1. PAX Labs raises $420 million
San Francisco-based Cannabis tech company PAX Labs has raised funding of $420 million, in time for 4/20 day, the day celebrating the culture of cannabis consumption. The company manufacturers vaporizers aimed at ‘making smoking obsolete’. According to an investor presentation leaked to The Information last week, PAX is projecting $113 million in revenue for 2019 and forecasting that it could jump to $1.2 billion by 2023. To date, PAX has sold 1.8 million of its second and third edition devices and more than 3.5 million PAX Era pods.
2. India’s ZestMoney raises $20 million
ZestMoney, a startup that helps consumers with no credit history get loans to buy online, announced today it has raised a $20 million Series B. ZestMoney is a consumer-centric loans company that works with consumers who have no credit card, limited credit history and often very little assessable data, to help them build a profile and become ‘credit-worthy.’ What typically begins with small loans, grows as a customer repays successfully.
3. Office Depot closes 50 stores
Office Depot is closing 50 stores this year, both under its own name and the OfficeMax banner. 9 of the 50 stores slated for closure will shut shop by May 18th, said Shera Bishop, a spokesperson for Office Depot. She said the closings are part of a three-year plan announced in 2016 to shutter roughly 300 stores.
4. JCPenny removes Apple Pay Support
Department store chain JCPenny announced on Twitter that it no longer supports Apple Pay. The announcement came in response to a customer query. In a statement provided to Techcrunch, the retailer explained that the move was necessitated by the April 13, 2019 deadline in the US for supporting EMV contactless chip functionality. As of this date, all terminals at US merchant locations that accept contactless payments must actively support EMV contactless chip functionality, and the legacy MSD (magnetic stripe data) contactless technology must be retired.
5. Peloton launches digital review
Peloton is reportedly looking for a new agency partner to help expand its increasingly profitable business. According to sources with direct knowledge of the matter, the at-home fitness brand recently issued an RFP for the digital portion of its marketing business before dismissing all involved agencies and starting the process over again. The development comes at a time when there are widespread speculations about an Initial Public Offering from the company.