Afternoon coffee: payments start-up Affirm raises $ 500 million; The Trump team agrees to negotiate for Oracle, Walmart, TikTok; YoY increase in import volumes in August

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To affirm – an alternative payments start-up – announced a $ 500 million investment last week, according to FinLedger. GIC and Durable Capital Partners, among others, led the investment.

Max Levchin, co-founder of PayPal, started Affirm in 2012 as a replacement for credit cards. The mobile app offers installment loans to consumers at the point of sale. The latest investment brings the company’s total fundraising amount to more than $ 1.3 billion, according to the article.

“We are thrilled with this vote of confidence from new and existing investors as we move forward on our mission to create honest financial products that improve lives,” said Levchin, CEO of Affirm, in a written statement. “Along with this new capital, our latest product is another step towards credit card ubiquity,” he added.

Trump administration accepts Oracle, Walmart and TikTok deal

President Donald Trump has agreed approve an agreement between Oracle, Walmart and TikTok on US operations of the China-based social media video app this weekend, according to CNBC.

Oracle has announced that it has been chosen for TikTok’s secure cloud provider and will hold a 12.5% ​​stake in the company. TikTok has confirmed Oracle’s role while saying it will work with Walmart on a business partnership. Walmart has tentatively agreed to buy a 7.5% stake, with CEO Doug McMillon being one of five members of the board of directors of the newly formed company, according to the article.

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, will own the remaining 80% of the company. Given that 40% of ByteDance is owned by US venture capital firms, the Trump administration can argue that TikTok Global is majority owned by US money, allaying its national security concerns. The US Department of Commerce added that it would delay its ban on US transactions with TikTok until next Sunday, according to the report.

“I gave my blessing to the deal – if they do, that’s great, if they don’t, that’s fine too,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the House. White, according to the article. “I approved the deal in concept.”

In August, import volumes increase year-on-year in the country’s ports

Ports across the United States have experienced August import volumes higher than the same month last year, indicating that retailers are restocking their inventory after decreasing their purchases in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Supply Chain Dive.

The high volume comes as retailers prepare for the holiday season. Overall, August volume at U.S. ports grew 5.9% year-over-year (year-over-year), while setting an all-time high for U.S. port volume by exceeding 2 , 7 million TEUs, according to the article. The volume of imports at some ports was extremely high – 18% year-on-year at the Port of Los Angeles, 13% year-on-year at Long Beach, nearly 9% year-on-year at Oakland and less than 1% at the Port of Virginia.

“With all of that, a word of warning,” Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka said at a press conference last week. “A month, if not a quarter, is not trending. Despite this surge in imports that we are seeing, the US economy and world trade are facing significant challenges. The volume of goods remains down nearly 12% year to August; deepened with US exports continuing to struggle. In my opinion, our economy remains in a very precarious position. “

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