ICANN Halts .Org Sale To Private Equity Group

ICANN Halts .Org Sale To Private Equity Group

ICANN Halts .Org Sale To Private Equity Group

Domain supervisor ICANN ‘withholds consent’ for the sale of the .org domain registry to a private equity firm, following months of protests

Internet supervisor ICANN has confirmed it is withholding ‘consent for a change of control of the Public Interest Registry (PIR).’

Arguments have been raged since November 2019, when it was revealed the current owner of the .org registry, the Internet Society, planned to sell the domain to newly formed equity group Ethos Capital for a $1bn endowment.

In December 2019, ICANN said it “does not have the authority” to act on the matter, since its role is only to “assure the continued operation of the .org domain”.

Consent withdrawn

The Internet Society, for its part, had said the sale of the .org registry would provide it with “sustainable funding” to continue its work on internet-related standards, education, access and policy.

But protesters of the deal including California’s Attorney General, warned that changes to the .org Registry Agreement could allow the registry’s owner to do significant harm to the global NGO sector, intentionally or not.

Also, many protestors were unhappy that Ethos Capital never fully disclosed who its directors or investors were.

And some of the world’s largest non-profit organisations, were worried their online addresses were going to be exploited for profit.

But now ICANN’s board has announced it decision to withhold consent for the sale.

“Today, the ICANN Board made the decision to reject the proposed change of control and entity conversion request that Public Interest Registry (PIR) submitted to ICANN,” it said.

“After completing extensive due diligence, the ICANN Board finds that withholding consent of the transfer of PIR from the Internet Society (ISOC) to Ethos Capital is reasonable, and the right thing to do,” it said.

The Board said that the proposed sale impacted one of the largest registries with more than 10.5 million domain names registered.

“After completing its evaluation, the ICANN Board finds that the public interest is better served in withholding consent as a result of various factors that create unacceptable uncertainty over the future of the third largest gTLD registry,” it said.

Saving private labels in Covid season, Technology News, ETtech

Saving private labels in Covid season, Technology News, ETtech

Illustration: Rahul Awasthi
Illustration: Rahul Awasthi

At a time when consumers are looking for low-cost options and as products from large FMCG players have become scarce on online platforms, players such as BigBasket, Grofers, Amazon and Flipkart have seen sales of their private labels in essential categories grow strongly.

Industry executives and analysts told ET that private brands in categories such as pulses, detergents and personal care have received a boost over the past five weeks as the country went under lockdown to stem the spread of the outbreak.

Consumers are preferring to buy lower-cost alternatives to tried and tested brands as spending is hit due to the uncertainty surrounding the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, experts said.

For instance, Amazon’s Presto brand floor cleaner is 25% cheaper than rival Reckitt Benckiser’s market leading Lizol. A similar product from BigBasket is priced at least 15% lower, while Flipkart’s Supermart-branded floor cleaner is 50% cheaper than Lizol.

BigBasket and Grofers said they have been able to directly work with manufacturers to make staples and hygiene products available faster than traditional FMCG channels.

This momentum is expected to continue in the mid- to long-term, with India’s largest e-grocer BigBasket expecting the contribution of private labels to overall sales to rise to 45% from 35% in the next six months.

“Certain categories like health, bakery, organic milk, ghee, chocolates, snacks will drive this growth,” said Hari Menon, CEO of BigBasket.

Rival Grofers is also looking at private labels accounting for 60% of sales, up from 40% in the same timeframe.

“We plan to invest $15 million in our owned brands over the next year and are looking to invest $25-$50 million in the supply chain and owned brands combined over the next two years,” Albinder Dhindsa, co-founder and CEO of Grofers told ET.

Grofers wants to increase the availability of its private brands from 350 corner stores to 2,000 in the next six months, he added.

“Our goal is to provide customers with more choices and we work closely with local manufacturer, brands and sellers to fill selection gaps with products that they are searching for,” an Amazon spokesperson told ET.

Flipkart did not respond to ET’s queries seeking comment.

E-commerce firms have also been able to scale up supply of private labels more meaningfully than that of products from third-party brands amid the ongoing lockdown.

“We were in talks, and continue to be in talks, with all large FMCG brands, but even they have been facing challenges in terms of opening up factories and getting back labour,” said a senior executive at a leading e-commerce marketplace. “So, it was much easier for us to scale our own brands to meet consumer demand.”

It is a good opportunity to scale up private labels at a time when consumers have limited options and are sometimes forced to buy whatever is available, the executive, who did not want to be named, added.

Tech titans put up big bucks to fight Covid-19 — will more private money follow?

Tech titans put up big bucks to fight Covid-19 — will more private money follow?

LOS ANGELES: Wealthy denizens of Hollywood and Silicon Valley — an elite strata not always held in the highest esteem by the general public — have pledged large donations amid the global economic chaos to help those afflicted by the coronavirus.

“If anyone can afford to give right now, it’s the billionaire class,” says David Callahan, founder and editor of news site Inside Philanthropy.

Big-cheque writers have included CEOs like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Comcast’s Brian Roberts; billionaire entrepreneurs Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg; and celebs Oprah Winfrey and Rihanna. Then there’s Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who has outdone everyone by pledging US$1bil (RM4.37bil) in proceeds from stock sales of his payments company Square — nearly one-third of his wealth — to create a fund initially focused on COVID-19 relief efforts.

It’s a historic outpouring of financial support from leaders in media and tech, and could herald more to come, says Kris Putnam-Walkerly, a philanthropy consultant and author of the recently published book Delusional Altruism.

Dorsey’s US$1bil (RM4.37bil) pledge “is so staggeringly large”, she says, that it could put pressure on other high-net-worth individuals to give more. That said, the vast majority of billionaires are not publicly disclosing if or how they are giving in response to the global health crisis. It’s safe to assume many billionaires are not making any charitable gifts to address the pandemic.

Affluent donors have a long track record of stepping forward with assistance during crises, Callahan says. Contributions flowed after 9/11, as well as natural disasters like the recent California wildfires. Bezos in February announced a US$10bil (RM43.70bil) fund to fight climate change. “The difference with this [pandemic] is that it’s far bigger than anything in recent memory and comes at a moment when the wealthiest Americans have more money than ever,” Callahan says.

Is there more behind the phenomenon than simply trying to help? Dorsey, in a Twitter thread, wrote: “The needs are increasingly urgent, and I want to see the impact in my lifetime…. I hope this inspires others to do something similar.” The 43-year-old exec also expressed a doing-well-by-doing-good motive, explaining the fund should benefit both Twitter and Square over the long term “because it’s helping the people we want to serve”. (Dorsey, through a rep, declined an interview request.)

In addition to individual contributions, tech giants and others are seizing the moment to burnish their brands as good corporate citizens. Apple has procured and is distributing 20 million protective face masks; the company also brought together teams across Apple and its suppliers to design, produce and ship about one million face shields weekly for frontline health care workers. Google, Facebook and TikTok have established funds to assist smaller businesses with cash grants and ad credits.

Amid the surge in giving, history suggests that overall philanthropic efforts likely will decline, despite a bump in coronavirus-related donations, says Jane F. Karlin, an adjunct associate professor at the NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Global Affairs. During the recession of 2007-10, total charitable giving in the US dropped by 10.9%. The reason? Americans gave nearly the same proportion of their income as before — but “many saw their incomes decline during the recession”, she says.

With the spread of the coronavirus evolving so rapidly, it’s not always clear what the best uses of philanthropic funds are, Putnam-Walkerly says. There are obvious immediate needs, but Covid-19 recovery efforts will stretch on for years.

“There will also be a need for philanthropists to support long-term recovery, reform and resilience,” she says, “long after this crisis [is out of] the headlines.” — Variety/Reuters

G6 materials logo

G6 Materials Corp. Announces Private Placement of $350,000

G6 Materials Corp. (TSXV:GGG, OTC:GPHBF) is pleased to announce its intention to raise up to C$350,000 by way of a non-brokered private placement.

G6 Materials Corp. (the “Company” or “G6”) (TSXV:GGG) (OTC:GPHBF) is pleased to announce its intention to raise up to C$350,000 by way of a non-brokered private placement. The Company will issue up to 5,000,000 Units for total gross proceeds of up to C$350,000 at a price of $0.07 per unit.

Each unit will consist of one common share and one common share purchase warrant. Each common share purchase warrant is exercisable into one common share for a period of two (2) years from closing at a price of $0.12 per share. If the common shares trade on the TSX Venture Exchange at a volume weighted-average price of $0.16 or more per common share for any period of at least ten consecutive trading days after four months plus one day from the initial closing date, the Company shall be entitled to accelerate the expiry time of the warrants to a date that is at least thirty days from the date that notice of such acceleration is given via news release by the Company, with the new expiry time specified in such news release.

Insiders have indicated that they will be participating for a significant portion of the financing.

The Company intends to use the proceeds of the private placement to fund the design, development and marketing of the new graphene enhanced air filtration system and for general working capital purposes.

“With our knowledge of graphene and its properties we have consistently tried to use it to enhance the properties of existing materials and devices. In the current environment we feel that with a relatively small capital injection we have a real opportunity to develop something that could potentially help in mitigating the spread of airborne pathogens.” said Daniel Stolyarov, CEO of G6 Materials Corp.

The closing of the Private Placement is expected to occur on or about April 17, 2020 and is subject to the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals, including the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange. All securities issued pursuant to the Private Placement will be subject to a four-month hold period in accordance with applicable Canadian securities laws. There is no material fact or material change regarding G6 that has not been generally disclosed.

About G6 Materials Corp.

G6 Materials Corp. is an innovative technology company operating in the space of advanced materials. The Company’s work is dedicated to research, development, and commercialization of the groundbreaking properties of graphene and other 2D materials. The Company is offering high-tech solutions in several areas, including:

R&D Materials: These diverse materials have a full spectrum of commercial, research, and military applications. The Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Graphene Laboratories Inc., currently offers over 100 graphene and related products to a client list comprised of more than 14,000 customers worldwide, including nearly every Fortune 500 tech company and major research university. The Company’s suite of products is available online at the Company’s e-commerce platform www.graphene-supermarket.com

3D Printing: The 3D printing division of the Company offers a portfolio of 3D printable filaments. These materials can be purchased through multiple distribution networks worldwide or directly from the web-store www.blackmagic3D.com

High-Performance Epoxies: Adhesive materials produced by the Company are distributed under G6-EpoxyTM trade name and can be purchased at www.g6-epoxy.com

Fine Organic Chemicals: ChemApproachTM is a worldwide supplier of a wide variety of building blocks to R&D facilities in the pharmaceutical/agricultural industries, biotechnology, academic institutions, and hi-tech companies. Please visit http://www.chemapproach.com

The Company’s headquarters are located at 760 Koehler Avenue, Ronkonkoma, New York. This 8,000 sq. ft. facility is situated in a tech park near Long Island MacArthur Airport, approximately 45 miles east of New York City. The facility has ample office and R&D space, as well as over 4,000 sq. ft. of production and warehouse space. Our facility is equipped with a wet lab for graphene wafer processing and reactors for graphene production as well as twin and single screw extruders and various resin mixing equipment. The research team of G6 Materials Corp operates a state-of-the-art analytical laboratory, developing and testing the quality of materials. The in-house analytical capabilities include rheology measurement station, four-probe conductivity measurement equipment, Universal Test Station for evaluation of materials’ mechanical performance, Raman spectroscopy, and optical microscopy.

Forward-Looking Information

Except for the statements of historical fact, this news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of the applicable securities legislation that is based on expectations, estimates and projections as at the date of this news release. “Forward-looking information” in this news release includes, but is not limited to, statements on the proposed private placement financing of the Company; the design, development and marketing of the new graphene enhanced air filtration system; and, the Company’s future plans and growth opportunities.

This forward-looking information is based on reasonable assumptions and estimates of management of the Company at the time it was made, and involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Such factors include, among others: the ongoing impact of COVID 19; the proposed financing may not close on the terms and timing as anticipated in this news release, or at all; the Company may not advance the design, development and marketing of new graphene enhanced air filtration systems as currently anticipated, or at all; the Company may never see any economic benefit from its initiatives to design, develop and market enhanced air filtration systems; and other related risks as more fully set out in the in the Company’s continuous disclosure filings at www.sedar.com. The Company has also assumed that: the Company can close the proposed financing as currently anticipated (including approval of the TSX Venture Exchange); and no significant events occur outside of the Company’s normal course of business. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward -looking information other than as required by law.

This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of any of the securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful, including any of the securities in the United States of America. No securities of the Company have been or will, in the foreseeable future, be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933 (the “1933 Act”) or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold within the United States or to, or for account or benefit of, U.S. Persons (as defined in Regulation S under the 1933 Act) unless registered under the 1933 Act and applicable state securities laws, or an exemption from such registration requirements is available.



SoftBank Group: WeWork sells social network Meetup to AlleyCorp, private investors - Latest News

SoftBank Group: WeWork sells social network Meetup to AlleyCorp, private investors – Latest News

BENGALURU: Social media platform Meetup said that shared-office operator WeWork had sold the company to a group of investors led by AlleyCorp, which funds companies in New York.

Meetup, a social network with 49 million members that encourages people to get together in person, was acquired by WeWork in 2017.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, while WeWork declined to comment on the deal value.

The sale comes as SoftBank Group-backed WeWork told investors on Thursday the $4.4 billion in cash and cash commitments it had at the end of 2019 is enough to execute its five-year plan and manage the challenges posed by the coronavirus crisis.