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You can once again order free Covid-19 tests from the federal government, as hospitalizations were up 7.7% and deaths increased by 4.5% in the most recent week.
The program previously sent 775 million tests through the mail, reaching more than two-thirds of American households, according to DHHS, but it was paused last September over test supply concerns, then relaunched in December 2022, before being suspended again on June 1. The tests are meant to be used through the end of the year.
Ordering restarts September 25 and you can place an order at this link. There is a limit of one pack—containing four tests—per residential address.
Let’s get into the headlines,
Donald Trump plans to skip the third Republican presidential debate reportedly taking place in early November, according to Bloomberg. The former president skipped the first debate in favor of an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson in August and will not attend the second next week, when he intends to give a speech to members of the United Auto Workers. Despite his absences, Trump still commands a wide lead in the national polls.
Amazon will cancel a planned additional 2% fee for third-party merchants not using the company’s delivery services, a sudden change that comes as the e-commerce giant is expected to face a potentially historic antitrust lawsuit that could result in the breakup of the company. Merchants, who are already charged fees ranging from 8% to 15% on each item sold, told Bloomberg last month the fee was meant to push sellers into using Amazon’s own shipping services.
BUSINESS + FINANCE
The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady for just the second time since beginning its current hiking cycle last year aimed at curbing inflation. But the central bank projected rates will remain higher over the next two years than previously expected, unwelcome news for investors hoping for rates to come down sooner rather than later. Stocks slipped following the report.
Oil prices reached a 10-month high on Tuesday, as the international benchmark Brent Crude Oil hit $95.34 per barrel, and some experts predict it could surpass $100 per barrel. Prices have been increasing for months after Saudi Arabia and Russia announced they would cut production through the end of the year, though some analysts suggest other factors have contributed to the increase, including weather and geopolitics. The national average price for unleaded gasoline is $3.87, the highest national average price in nearly a year, according to AAA.
WEALTH + ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Entrepreneur Shlomo Kramer became a billionaire taking two cybersecurity companies public, and now he’s planning to launch Tel Aviv-based Cato Networks on the stock market next year. The company announced Tuesday it had raised $238 million to expand its sales and product development as it competes with giants like Cisco, Palo Alto Networks and VMWare in a hotly competitive area of cybersecurity called “secure access service edge.”
TECH + INNOVATION
Startups are scrambling to buy up Nvidia’s H100, the graphics processing unit of choice among artificial intelligence companies looking to crunch huge amounts of data. Now an unlikely new rival has joined the scrum: Tether Group, the crypto company behind the $86.5 billion stablecoin Tether, just spent some $420 million on 10,000 H100 GPUs in an unusual deal that will see it gain a 20% stake in a controversial German-listed bitcoin miner Northern Data who plans to rent the chips to AI startups.
Those who receive food stamps and other government-funded food assistance programs will be able to order groceries from the Uber Eats app using those benefits starting next year. There are 41 million people who received benefits in June from the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as SNAP, according to data from the USDA, making it the largest food assistance program in the country. Uber said it made the change to reduce “barriers to fresh groceries,” particularly for vulnerable populations living in food deserts or those facing transportation barriers.
SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT
More than a dozen authors including George R.R. Martin and John Grisham sued OpenAI on Tuesday for copyright infringement, alleging the company copied the authors’ works “without permission or consideration” and used the content to train their language models, such as ChatGPT. It’s the second copyright infringement lawsuit filed against OpenAI this month and argues the company should be required to receive permission from authors and compensate them in order to use their works for language model training.
The Colorado Buffaloes scored a win on the field and off last week, as former NFL player and coach Deion Sanders’ famous football family helped to best the Colorado State Rams in a game that was viewed by 9.3 million people on ESPN. It was the second-most watched cable program of the week—easily beating Fox News and MSNBC—and the most-viewed college game so far this season.
TRENDS + EXPLAINERS
Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell won’t commit to predicting a so-called “soft landing” for the U.S. economy as the central bank walks the tightrope of stabilizing inflation while keeping the economy strong. A “soft landing” is essentially the goldilocks scenario, where a central bank rightsizes the economy perfectly to slow price increases but keeps employment robust and the economy out of a recession.
DAILY COVER STORY
TOPLINE Klaviyo, which sells software that allows merchants to send targeted marketing emails and text messages to online shoppers, went public on Wednesday.
Its stock popped 23% in the debut, pushing the valuation of the company, ranked No. 6 on Forbes’ Cloud 100 list, above the $9.5 billion mark set amid venture capital’s frothy conditions two years ago. But it may not be the bellwether to kick open the IPO floodgates of the enterprise software sector.
Shares were priced at $30 and opened at around $36.75, giving Klaviyo a market capitalization of $11.2 billion and making cofounders Andrew Bialecki and Ed Hallen billionaires. The company ended the day trading at $32.70, a more modest 9% jump on its IPO price, putting Bialecki’s net worth at $3.8 billion, while Hallen’s is $1.4 billion.
Klaviyo generated $473 million in revenue last year, a 63% increase from the year prior, and now has 130,000 customers. But the Boston-based company’s prolific rise is unusual among traditionally VC-backed software firms. For starters, it did not raise any money until it was profitable and had made a couple million of revenue.
Because of that, the founders both retain big stakes in Klaviyo—in particular CEO Bialecki, who owns 38.1% of the company. That’s nearly unheard of in Silicon Valley, where a founder typically holds less than 20% of the company by the time it goes public.
“We both came from families and had friends that ran small businesses,” Bialecki said in an interview with Forbes. “So, it was funny that in tech, the norm is you raise a bunch of venture capital and then you figure it out afterwards. For most small businesses outside of technology, you have to find customers to drive your business. I remember talking with Ed in the early days and deciding: let’s do it that way.”
Klaviyo was profitable in the first six months of 2023, a rare achievement among both 2021’s class of IPOs and the current crop of Cloud 100 private companies looking to go public in the near future.
WHY IT MATTERS Bialecki’s ownership stake in Klaviyo is comparable to a small handful of outliers including David Duffield, the Workday cofounder who owned 44% of the company at its 2012 IPO. A closer parallel to Bialecki: Atlassian co-CEOs Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, who each held 37.1% stakes when the company went public in 2015 after having bootstrapped their Australia-based company for several years.
FACTS AND COMMENTS
The prices of Spanish olive oil have reached a record high, and climate change could be to blame as much of the Mediterranean witnesses extremely dry weather. Spain, the world’s largest producer and exporter of olive oil, made 50% less oil in its most recent season, CNBC reported:
$8,900: The record price per ton that Spanish olive oil reached this month
610,000 tons: The amount of olive oil Spain produced in the recent season, compared to the typical 1.3 million to 1.5 million tons
$14.2 billion: The value of the global olive oil market in 2022
STRATEGY AND SUCCESS
In the face of economic uncertainty, the job market has cooled from its red-hot pandemic recovery. In response, employers plan to take a calculated approach to hiring, one survey found. If you’re looking for a new job or promotion this year, use the holiday season as a time to reach out to your network, update your résumé and LinkedIn profile, and use the end of the year to prepare for performance reviews or goal-setting meetings with your manager.
With the added flexibility of remote work, many Americans are choosing to leave the nation’s largest and costliest cities. Which of the following midwestern cities is one of a number of destinations across the U.S. offering up to $15,000 for you to relocate there?
A. Omaha, Nebraska
B. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
C. Topeka, Kansas
D. South Bend, Indiana
ACROSS THE NEWSROOM
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