Playtika Agrees to $25 Million Minority Investment in Mobile Gaming Company Ace Games

HERZLIYA, Israel and ISTANBUL, Turkey, Nov. 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Playtika Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: PLTK) (“Playtika”), a mobile gaming entertainment and technology market leader with a portfolio of top casual titles, today announced execution of an agreement for a $25 million minority investment in Turkish mobile gaming company Ace Games ("Ace"). Ace is the developer of Fiona's Farm, a free–to–play innovative casual mobile game that expertly and uniquely combines the mechanics of Match–3, farming, decoration, and narrative–driven games into one immersive mobile gaming experience for players.

Ace was founded in 2020 by its Chief Executive Officer, Hakan Bas, co–founder of Peak Games, the developer of Toy Blast and Toon Blast (sold for $1.8 billion). It is led by an experienced and talented team of industry veterans from companies like Dream Games and Playrix, and the team has a proven track record in the mobile casual gaming space.

"Our investment in Ace Games is an important milestone in the execution of our new games investment strategy as Playtika continues to seek exposure to high–growth potential game IP in cost–effective ways," said Robert Antokol, Chief Executive Officer of Playtika. "The talented team at Ace has built a best–in–class and innovative product on the "Match–3 and Meta' game model. Playtika can greatly complement Ace with our LiveOps and Digital Studio capabilities, leveraging our enhanced monetization and game operations leadership in mobile gaming."

"Playtika has an unrivaled reputation for delivering superior in–game experiences, scaling mobile games to global dominance in their respective categories," said Hakan Bas, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ace. "We are excited to be teaming up with Playtika as an investor and partner that will help us continue to grow this title, and possibly others, into leading mobile game franchises."

About Playtika Holding Corp.
Playtika is a mobile gaming entertainment and technology market leader with a portfolio of multiple game titles. Founded in 2010,"Playtika"was among the first to offer free–to–play social games on social networks and, shortly after, on mobile platforms. Headquartered in"Herzliya,"Israel, and guided by a mission to entertain the world through infinite ways to play,"Playtika"has employees across offices worldwide.

About Ace Games
Ace Games is a next generation global mobile gaming studio with a novel approach to the casual gaming genre. Founded in 2020 by Hakan Bas (Co–Founder of Peak Games, acquired by Zynga) and backed by NfX and Actera, the company is currently working on the global launch of its Match–3 game "" Fiona's Farm "" with a unique triple layer meta gameplay. Ace is headquartered in Istanbul, Turkey and powered by a multi–generational approach with the aim to become a true interactive gaming powerhouse.

Forward Looking Information
In this press release, we make "forward–looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward–looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. Further, statements that include words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “present,” “preserve,” “project,” “pursue,” “will,” or “would,” or the negative of these words or other words or expressions of similar meaning may identify forward–looking statements.

Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from estimates or projections contained in the forward–looking statements include without limitation:

  • our reliance on third–party platforms, such as the iOS App Store, Facebook, and Google Play Store, to distribute our games and collect revenues, and the risk that such platforms may adversely change their policies;
  • our reliance on a limited number of games to generate the majority of our revenue;
  • our reliance on a small percentage of total users to generate a majority of our revenue;
  • our free–to–play business model, and the value of virtual items sold in our games, is highly dependent on how we manage the game revenues and pricing models;
  • our inability to complete acquisitions and integrate any acquired businesses successfully could limit our growth or disrupt our plans and operations;
  • our inability to enhance the monetization and game operations in our investments;
  • we may be unable to successfully develop new games;
  • our ability to compete in a highly competitive industry with low barriers to entry;
  • we have significant indebtedness and are subject to the obligations and restrictive covenants under our debt instruments;
  • legal or regulatory restrictions or proceedings could adversely impact our business and limit the growth of our operations;
  • risks related to our international operations and ownership, including our significant operations in Israel, Ukraine and Belarus and the fact that our controlling stockholder is a Chinese–owned company;
  • our reliance on key personnel;
  • the closing conditions in the agreement are not met or our inability to complete the investment for any reason;
  • security breaches or other disruptions could compromise our information or our players' information and expose us to liability; and
  • our inability to protect our intellectual property and proprietary information could adversely impact our business.

Additional factors that may cause future events and actual results, financial or otherwise, to differ, potentially materially, from those discussed in or implied by the forward–looking statements include the risks and uncertainties discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward–looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee that the future results, levels of activity, performance or events and circumstances reflected in the forward–looking statements will be achieved or occur, and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. Given these risks and uncertainties, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward–looking statements.

Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update any forward–looking statements for any reason to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in our expectations.

Media Contact:
Darlan Monterisi
darlanm@playtika.com

Investor Contact:
David Niederman
davidni@playtika.com


GLOBENEWSWIRE (Distribution ID 8701060)

Morrow Sodali Strengthens Its Market Leading Position With New Australian Acquisition

NEW YORK, Nov. 04, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Morrow Sodali, the world's leading shareholder engagement and governance advisory firm, announced today the acquisition of Australian financial communications and investor relations agency, Citadel–MAGNUS, its first since TPG Growth secured a majority stake in April of this year.

The Australian based acquisition represents a significant expansion of Morrow Sodali's service offering in the APAC region to meet the rapidly growing global demand from corporations for strategic communications and investor engagement services.

The combination of Morrow Sodali and Citadel–MAGNUS brings together two trusted market leading consultancies to provide best in class strategic counsel and support to our clients. Citadel–MAGNUS will be fully integrated into Morrow Sodali enabling the firm to provide a seamless offering and the most comprehensive suite of investor relations and communications solutions to listed and private entities with the intention of rolling out the expanded services to other markets.

The acquisition marks a significant step forward in Morrow Sodali's strategy to accelerate its growth by investing in services that create value for its clients world–wide.

Alvise Recchi, CEO of Morrow Sodali, commented, "As part of Morrow Sodali's strategic global growth strategy, the addition of Citadel–MAGNUS will expand our service offering to encompass a broader suite of Board, C–Suite and ESG advisory, Investor Relations and Financial Communications services. We can't wait to see the potential of this exciting opportunity realised as we continue to grow in new markets around the world."

Christian Sealey, CEO of Morrow Sodali's International Business added, "More and more, our clients are coming to us seeking advice and assistance across a wide array of areas covering shareholder communication, stakeholder engagement, capital markets intelligence, corporate governance and ESG advisory. Acquiring Citadel–MAGNUS enables us to provide strategic solutions for our clients and uniquely positions us to become their ongoing trusted partner of choice."

Peter Brookes, Joint Managing Director of Citadel–MAGNUS said, "Our team is thrilled to be joining forces with Morrow Sodali. We are seeing a growing need to provide clients with an end–to–end offering across the financial calendar and increasingly complex event driven activity where good communication is paramount. The combination of our firms brings together two leading and trusted advisory companies that are deeply embedded in corporate Australia and who share a strong focus on delivering exceptional client service."

About Morrow Sodali

Morrow Sodali is a global corporate advisory firm that provides clients with comprehensive advice and services relating to corporate governance, ESG, sustainability, proxy solicitation, capital markets intelligence, shareholder and bondholder engagement, M&A, activism and contested situations.

From headquarters in New York and London and offices in global capital markets, Morrow Sodali serves over 1,000 clients in more than 80 countries, including many of the world's largest multinational corporations. Clients include listed and private companies, mutual fund groups, stock exchanges and membership associations.

In 2022, Morrow Sodali is celebrating its 50th anniversary and also secured a majority investment from TPG Growth, the middle market and growth equity platform of alternative asset firm TPG. This partnership will significantly advance the firm's mission of providing clients worldwide with unrivalled strategic advice and comprehensive support, enabling them to maximize value and expertly manage stakeholder relations.

For more information about Morrow Sodali, please visit www.morrowsodali.com.

About Citadel–MAGNUS

Citadel–MAGNUS is a leading corporate and financial communication firm with offices in Sydney and Perth, servicing clients across Australia and internationally.

We have established a reputation for delivering outstanding results for our clients through trusted relationships, integrity and professional excellence. Our priority is to support clients' business objectives through effective communication and a superior level of service.

Citadel–MAGNUS brings an unrivalled depth of financial markets, corporate and media experience to help companies address the challenges of today's highly competitive and changing business environment. We have worked with companies in all sectors and of all sizes, and our success has led to established, long–term partnerships with business leaders and companies.

For more information, visit www.citadelmagnus.com.

CONTACT:

Elena Cargnello

Corporate Director, Marketing

e.cargnello@morrowsodali.com

+44 (0)20 4513 6913


GLOBENEWSWIRE (Distribution ID 1000754955)

EMGA Secures US$ 20M Debt Finance for Costa Rica’s Banco Improsa

LONDON, Oct. 31, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Emerging Markets Global Advisory LLP (EMGA) for the second time working with Banco Improsa, secures this US$20M facility from the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) – AECID (advised by COFIDES).

Commenting on the transaction, Felix Alpizar, General Manager of BANCO IMPROSA, said: “Banco Improsa is very honored to be recognized by AECID and COFIDES for both its track record and programs to finance and support Costa Rican micro, small and medium–sized enterprises (MSMEs). With this credit we will continue our contribution to the economic and social development of the country.”

EMGA's Head of Investment Banking Sajeev Chakkalakal said, "A pleasure again to facilitate Banco Improsa's continued vision of supporting SMEs within Costa Rica and complete this funding solution with AECID (advised by COFIDES)."

Jos Luis Curbelo, chairman and CEO of COFIDES, stated that "we are pleased to support AECID in its first impact project with EMGA and IMPROSA in the Central American region. The transaction will be used to finance small and medium enterprises in Costa Rica, which will contribute to the creation and maintenance of quality jobs and reducing inequalities. We look forward to continuing these strategic partnerships, which enhance economic growth in developing countries by strengthening the private sector through sound financial support."

Carlos Jimnez Aguirre, General Manager of FONPRODE and Head AECID's Financial Cooperation Department expressed that "the formalization of this transaction reflects Spanish Cooperation's aims to contribute to expand the financial support for Costa Rican micro, small and medium–sized enterprises (MSMEs), as MSMEs play a key role in creating and maintaining decent jobs and reducing inequalities. Our intention is to expand this kind of support to other Central American countries in providing access to finance to MSMEs, with a special focus on mainstreaming gender and climate change strategies in private sector activities."

Emerging Markets Global Advisory LLP, based in London, helps emerging market based financial institutions and corporates seeking new debt or equity capital.

Banco Improsa was founded in 1995 and is a niche bank with a specialization in providing financial solutions and services to MSMEs, which account for most of its portfolio. It has an extensive track record in providing support and advisory services to MSMEs. Banco Improsa's key success factor lies in its commitment to high standards of personalized, agile, and flexible service, which, together with customized financial solutions, have enabled it to achieve a solid position in these segments. Banco Improsa is part of Grupo Financiero Improsa (GFI).

Fund for the Promotion of Development (FONPRODE), managed by Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) with the support of COFIDES (Spanish Development Finance Institution). AECID is the main management body of Spanish Cooperation and is oriented towards the fight against poverty and the promotion of sustainable development. COFIDES provides support management for FONPRODE with reimbursable financing operations that promote social and economic development of partner countries through investments or transfers of economic resources with a reimbursable nature. FONPRODE may finance non–reimbursable and reimbursable debt and equity. Examples of refundable financing offered by FONPRODE are loans to financial service providers aimed at financial inclusion.

COFIDES, a state–owned company engaging in the management of State and third–party as well as its own funds, pursues several aims; internationalization of Spain's economy, furtherance of economic development and fortification of the solvency of companies affected by COVID–19. In addition to the Spanish State, its shareholders include Banco Santander, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), Banco Sabadell and Development Bank of Latin America (CAF).

Jeremy Dobson

info@emergingmarketsglobaladvisory.com


GLOBENEWSWIRE (Distribution ID 1000753987)

EMGA completes EUR 9.4M capital raise for Kashf Foundation with financing from BIO

LONDON, Oct. 03, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The EURO 9.4 million funding facility for Kashf Foundation was originated, structured, and negotiated by Emerging Markets Global Advisory LLP (EMGA), the emerging market investment bank.

Speaking on the transaction, Mr Shahzad Iqbal, CFO of Kashf Foundation said, "Kashf Foundation is registered as a Non–Banking Micro Finance Company regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. Set up in 1996 as the first specialized microfinance institution of Pakistan it began its operations as a Grameen replicator and since then, Kashf has successfully carved out a distinct and unique niche for itself in the microfinance sector in Pakistan by offering a suite of innovative and transformative products and services to low–income households especially for women. It has a current outreach of over 600,00+ female borrowers across its 360+ branches with a GLP of USD 90+ million."

"Just to share that it has always been a pleasure working with EMGA on new transactions to expand our network and outreach. This is the first ever transaction that we are doing with BIO and that too, in Euros. I believe BIO and Kashf will work together and build a strong relationship to increase the financial inclusion in Pakistan and particularly for women. This transaction will help Kashf Foundation to expand its outreach not only in its existing operational areas but also in the new geographical regions across Pakistan."

Emerging Markets Global Advisory LLP (EMGA)'s Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking Sajeev Chakkalakal said, "It has been a pleasure to continue our long–term partnership with Kashf Foundation and deliver this new financing solution despite the volatile economic environment both within Pakistan as well as globally." Also commentating on the transaction, Emerging Markets Global Advisory Limited (EMGA)'s Managing Director Jeremy Dobson said, "It was a real pleasure to work with Kashf Foundation again on this latest transaction and help support their female micro–entrepreneur client base."

Frdric Vereecke, Investment Officer from the Belgian Investment Company for Developing countries (BIO) commented, "We welcome the opportunity to support Kashf Foundation in empowering women and their families by providing quality financial services to low–income households in Pakistan."

Kashf Foundation is registered as a Non–Banking Micro Finance Company regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. Set up in 1996 as the first specialized microfinance institution of Pakistan it began its operations as a Grameen replicator and since then, Kashf has successfully carved out a distinct and unique niche for itself in the microfinance sector in Pakistan by offering a suite of innovative and transformative products and services to low–income households especially women.

Belgian Investment Company for Developing countries (BIO) supports a strong private sector in developing and emerging countries, to enable them to gain access to growth and sustainable development within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals. They achieve this by investing in small and medium–sized enterprises, financial institutions, and infrastructure projects, contributing to socio–economic growth in developing countries.

Emerging Markets Global Advisory Limited (EMGA), with offices in New York and London helps financial institutions and corporates that seek new debt or equity capital. EMGA provides its services, to clients within many of the worlds rapidly developing economies, including Pakistan. With a proven track record in capital formation and strategic advisory throughout diverse economic cycles, EMGA continues to expand its geographic reach and service offering, as they solidify their place in the market as one of the industries preeminent emerging markets focused investment banks.

Contact details
info@emergingmarketsglobaladvisory.com


Planck Raises $71M to Date to Expand its First-to-Market Cognitive Business Analytics Platform 

TEL AVIV, Israel, Sept. 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Planck, a leading AI–powered data and analytics platform, recently closed a $23 million funding round to continue its mission of empowering commercial insurers with real–time and accurate insights. The financing, which brings the company's total to $71 million, was led by Vintage Investment Partners and all existing financial investors, including Team8, Greenfield, Arbor Ventures, Viola, 3L Capital, HDI and Nationwide, alongside private angel investors.

By partnering with Planck, commercial insurance carriers and their agents can achieve breakthrough levels of improvement in their processes and profitability by having clear, real–time views into their underwriting and business risks that are not available from standard industry data flows and typical providers. Insurers are reaping the benefits from Planck's insights to greatly improve their customer experience, operations, and bottom line.

“This round is a testament to the consistent execution of the Planck team, the trust they've gained from their customers and strong endorsement of its shareholders. Pioneering a leading solution that keeps up with dynamic market demands, coupled with their customer–centric mentality sets Planck apart from others," said Amit Frenkel, General Partner at Vintage Investment Partners. “Planck's deep domain knowledge and technical skillset enable Planck's customers to digitally transform their traditional business models to maintain their competitive edge."

The financial backing will allow Planck to act quickly on opportunities that arise in today's changing market and will specifically bolster development of additional products that complement the platform, along with continued geographic expansion. Planck recently launched solutions like its underwriting risk search engine, which solves for the shortcomings of traditional research methods, and Prospect Intelligence that helps carriers expand into new markets, reduce customer acquisition costs, and drive growth.

"Our record acceleration and the confidence of investors during this economic downturn is a strong indicator of the platform's value and necessity," said CEO and founder Elad Tsur. "We are energized to continue our journey of bringing the most advanced AI–powered insights to the financial services industry across the globe and excited to achieve the vision we are forging alongside our customers, investors and employees."

Among others, six of the top ten commercial insurance carriers in the U.S, as well as top carriers in Europe and Japan are already benefiting from Planck's offerings.

About Planck
Planck, an automated AI–powered data platform for commercial insurance, has solved the industry's long–standing need for real–time accuracy and truth. Planck enables insurers to drive service and underwriting excellence by connecting the most up–to–date insights, with just a business name and address. Global carriers, MGAs, and insurtechs leverage Planck's holistic solution for growth strategies; submission prefilling; prioritization and validation; underwriting new business; renewing existing policies; premium auditing and more. The platform makes managing risk much faster and more predictable, resulting in increased written premium while reducing loss and expense ratios.

Planck was founded by a team of relentless entrepreneurs with extensive backgrounds in insurance and technology, and has almost 100 employees globally. The company has raised $71 million to–date, led by Vintage, 3L Capital, Greenfield Partners, Arbor Ventures, Viola Fintech, Team8, Nationwide, HDI and Eight Roads.

For more information, visit www.planckdata.com.

Media Contact
Audrey Wayne
312.837.1522
Audrey.Wayne@KemperLesnik.com


Heart Aerospace unveils new airplane design, confirms Air Canada and Saab as new shareholders

Gothenburg, Sweden, Sept. 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Swedish electric airplane maker Heart Aerospace today unveiled significant design updates to its first electric aircraft and confirmed Air Canada, one of North America's largest airlines and Saab, the Swedish aerospace and defense– company, as new minority shareholders.

The new airplane design, called the ES–30, is a regional electric airplane with a capacity of 30 passengers and it replaces the company's earlier 19–seat design, the ES–19. It is driven by electric motors powered by batteries, which allows the airplane to operate with zero emissions and low noise.

Air Canada and Saab have each invested USD 5 million in Heart Aerospace. In addition to its investment, Air Canada has also placed a purchase order for 30 ES–30 aircraft.

"We are thrilled to have two such strong partners as Saab and Air Canada join our mission to electrify regional air travel. Growing up in Sweden, Saab is synonymous with aerospace, and our partnership will not only support our programme, but help us to become a part of the proud Swedish aerospace heritage," said Anders Forslund, founder and CEO of Heart Aerospace. "Air Canada is a strategically important partner with one of the world's largest networks operated by regional turboprops, and as a progressive, future leaning company."

"Air Canada is very pleased to partner with Heart Aerospace on the development of this revolutionary aircraft. We have been working hard with much success to reduce our footprint, but we know that meeting our net–zero emissions goals will require new technology such as the ES–30. We have every confidence that the team at Heart Aerospace has the expertise to deliver on the ES–30's promise of a cleaner and greener aviation future," said Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive of Air Canada.

The ES–30 has a comfortable three–abreast flat–floor cabin seating, and it features a galley and a lavatory. Cabin stowage and overhead bins will add to the large external baggage and cargo compartment and provide airlines with network flexibility.

The airplane will also include a reserve–hybrid configuration, consisting of two turbo generators powered by sustainable aviation fuel. The reserve–hybrid system is installed to secure reserve energy requirements without cannibalizing battery range, and it can also be used during cruise on longer flights to complement the electrical power provided by the batteries.

This gives the airplane a fully electric range of 200 kilometers, an extended range of 400 kilometers with 30 passengers, and flexibility to fly up to 800 kilometers with 25 passengers, all–inclusive of typical airline reserves.

"The ES–30 is an electric airplane that the industry can use. We have designed a cost–efficient airplane that allows airlines to deliver good service on a wide range of routes," said Anders Forslund, founder and CEO of Heart Aerospace. "With the ES–30 we can start cutting emissions from air travel well before the end of this decade and the response from the market has been fantastic."

"This underlines our commitment to innovative technology and solutions for sustainable aviation. Heart is a pioneer within commercial electric aviation and we look forward to contributing to the future of aviation with our experience of developing solutions at the forefront of technology," says Micael Johansson, Saab's President and CEO.

Previous orders for Heart Aerospace's ES–19 electric airplane, placed by United Airlines and Mesa Air Group for a total of 200 electric aircraft with an option for an additional 100 planes, are reconfirmed for the updated ES–30 design.

"From the beginning Heart and United have been on the same page "" with an acute focus on safety, reliability, and sustainability. Heart's exciting new design "" which includes expanded passenger capacity from 19 to 30 seats, and a state–of–the–art reserve–hybrid engine "" is the type of revolutionary thinking that will bring true innovation to aviation," said Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines.

In addition to those commitments, many of the ES–19 letters of intent (LOI) holders have already updated their respective letters to reflect the ES–30. These include the Nordic airlines Braathens Regional Airlines (BRA), Icelandair and SAS as well as New Zealand's Sounds Air. Rockton, a Swedish–based lessor who has made it their mission to focus on sustainable solutions for the industry, has just signed an LOI with for up to 40 airplanes.

In total, Heart Aerospace has LOIs for 96 ES–30s.

The ES–30 is a cost efficient airplane that, on top of significant fuel savings, is cheaper to operate than a larger turboprop due to its electric propulsion. The airplane has also been designed to accommodate battery technology evolution, which will increase its fully electric range and make it even more cost efficient over time.

The ES–30 is expected to enter into service in 2028.

The Swedish electric airplane maker will establish the world's first commercial electric aircraft industry at Sve airport, in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Heart Aerospace will build sustainable state–of–the–art offices, production, and flight test facilities which, together, will form a new campus that will go by the name the Northern Runway.

"We have a plan and it's not just to build a new electric airplane, but a whole new industry," said Anders Forslund, founder and CEO of Heart Aerospace. "Sweden is the origin of flight shame, an anti–flying movement, but with the Northern Runway we will make electric air travel a reality and preserve flying for future generations."

Heart Aerospace's Northern Runway campus will form part of the Castellum owned development area Gateway Sve, where a unique site for sustainable logistics and electric mobility is being developed.

"Gothenburg has distinguished itself as a driving force within electrification, with world class research facilities like the Swedish electric transport laboratory, SEEL, Chalmers University of Technology and a large cluster of companies focused on battery and electric vehicle development," said Sofia Graflund, chief operating officer at Heart Aerospace. "The ambition that Castellum and the City of Gothenburg have for Gateway Sve is truly unique and that is why we have decided to establish our new industry here."

Heart Aerospace currently employs 130 people, but the company is growing rapidly and expects to employ around 500 people by 2025.

" We are extremely proud that Heart Aerospace has chosen Gothenburg for this step in their expansion, which we will give full support. The establishment will generate an additional 500 Swedish jobs by 2025 and even more when series production begins," said Patrik Andersson, CEO of Business Region Gteborg.

The long–term recruitment base in Gothenburg is strong due to its proximity to Chalmers University of Technology, ranked among the top 100 in the world in terms of graduate employability.

A first phase in the establishment of Heart Aerospace's Northern Runway is scheduled to be finalized by mid–2024, with test flights scheduled to start in 2026. Heart Aerospace expects to deliver its first ES–30 aircraft in 2028.

Note to editors:

More information on "Gateway Sve" can be found on www.gatewaysave.com.


Sabin Receives Additional $21.8 Million From BARDA to Advance Marburg Vaccine

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Sabin Vaccine Institute today announced it is receiving an additional $21.8 million under an existing contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These funds advance development of a vaccine against Marburg virus disease, a virus that is related to Ebola Zaire which killed 2200 people during the last major outbreak that ended in 2020.

The Sabin Marburg vaccine is the only candidate currently slated for a Phase 2 clinical trial. Marburg is among the world's deadliest viruses, resulting in the death of approximately half the people the virus infects. Currently, there are no approved vaccines or treatments for the disease. As recently as July this year, two people in Ghana died after being infected with Marburg virus, reinforcing the urgent need for medical therapies.

The latest tranche of funds enables Sabin to conduct a randomized, blinded, placebo–controlled clinical trial among adults in the U.S. to further evaluate the safety and the efficacy of the Marburg vaccine candidate and advance non–clinical vaccine dosing studies. The Phase 2 clinical trial in the U.S. will begin after Sabin has initiated a same–stage trial in Africa, currently scheduled for 2023. Sabin will also undertake a non–clinical study on the vaccine candidate during this phase.

"Beginning Phase 2 clinical trials for the Marburg vaccine is a pivotal milestone for us and we appreciate BARDA's continued confidence in our work and support for this critical next step," says Sabin Chief Executive Officer Amy Finan. "Vaccines remain our best bet against death and disability from deadly viruses. I am hopeful that in the years ahead, we can offer this life–saving vaccine to every person who needs it."

In 2019, BARDA awarded Sabin a multi–year contract valued at $128 million to further the development of vaccines against two lethal viruses: Marburg and Ebola Sudan. With BARDA now exercising the latest option of that contract, Sabin's Ebola and Marburg Research & Development program, to date, has been awarded $98.6 million.

BARDA is part of the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This project has been funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services; Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, under contract number 75A50119C000555.

Learn more about Sabin's Marburg and Ebola Sudan Program.

About the Sabin Vaccine Institute

The Sabin Vaccine Institute is a leading advocate for expanding vaccine access and uptake globally, advancing vaccine research and development, and amplifying vaccine knowledge and innovation. Unlocking the potential of vaccines through partnership, Sabin has built a robust ecosystem of funders, innovators, implementers, practitioners, policy makers and public stakeholders to advance its vision of a future free from preventable diseases. As a non–profit with more than two decades of experience, Sabin is committed to finding solutions that last and extending the full benefits of vaccines to all people, regardless of who they are or where they live. At Sabin, we believe in the power of vaccines to change the world. For more information, visit www.sabin.org and follow us on Twitter, @SabinVaccine.

About Ebola Sudan and Marburg

Ebola Sudan and Marburg are members of the filovirus family. Both can cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates. No therapeutic treatment of the hemorrhagic fevers caused by filoviruses has been licensed to date. Marburg and Ebola viruses are transmitted to humans by infected animals, particularly fruit bats. Once a human is infected, the virus can spread to others through close personal contact or contact with bodily fluids. Isolation of infected people is currently the centerpiece of filovirus control.

Marburg was the first filovirus to be recognized in 1967 when outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever were reported in a few Europe–based laboratories including in the town of Marburg, Germany. Ebola was identified in 1976 when two simultaneous outbreaks occurred in northern Zaire (now the DRC) in a village near the Ebola River and southern Sudan. The outbreaks involved what eventually proved to be two different species of Ebola virus; both were named after the nations in which they were discovered.

Media contact:

Rajee Suri
press@sabin.org


EMGA advises on US$10M debt raise for Banco D-Miro

LONDON, Aug. 31, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Emerging Markets Global Advisory Limited (EMGA), the niche investment bank focused on emerging markets, announces a Senior Debt raise transaction in Ecuador that will allow Banco D–Miro to continue the expansion of its microcredit lending activities in Ecuador.

The US$10 million debt facility was originated, advised upon, and structured by EMGA with financing provided by U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the transaction is the first time EMGA has completed an operation in Ecuador.

Commenting on the transaction, Banco D–Miro's CFO Fabian Victores Baque said, "We appreciate the support of EMGA and DFC to finalize this important transaction. Having a strategic partner such as DFC will help us to meet our objectives of generating more financial inclusion and increasing financing to women microentrepreneurs."

Jim Polan, Vice President of DFC's Office of Development Credit, said, "DFC's investment in Banco D–Miro will expand access to financing, enabling low–income populations and women entrepreneurs in Ecuador to recover from the COVID–19 economic downturn. With a focus on small businesses, this transaction will advance long–term development and economic growth in Ecuador, a key goal for DFC."

Sajeev Chakkalakal, Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking at EMGA, said, “It was a real pleasure for EMGA to have advised Banco D–Miro on this important transaction aimed at funding their small and medium enterprise loan portfolio with a particular focus on women–owned enterprises. Furthermore, closing yet another transaction with DFC demonstrates the strength of our relationship built across several years. Finally, we believe DFC's position as a pre–eminent development finance institution will add a new, strategic long term funding source for Banco D–Miro."

Jeremy Dobson, Managing Director of EMGA, added, "With this first transaction in Ecuador, EMGA adds to its operational footprint in Latin America, and we will continue to develop business in the country and the region."

Banco D–Miro: Banco D–Miro is an Ecuadorian bank specialized in microfinance and their vision is to be the bank that contributes the most to the reduction of poverty. The bank offers financial services to the micro, small and medium entrepreneurs in Ecuador and especially those areas, where the poverty levels are higher, and the penetration of financial services is the lowest.

DFC: U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) partners with the private sector to provide financing solutions that aim to address the problems facing the developing world. We invest across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. DFC also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs in order to create jobs in emerging markets. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.

Emerging Markets Global Advisory LLP, based in London, helps financial institutions and corporations seeking debt/equity capital. EMGA's team combines the decades of experience needed to complete transactions in emerging countries including Ecuador, which remains a key market. EMGA continues expanding and solidifying its place as a niche investment bank focused on emerging markets.

Jeremy Dobson

info@emergingmarketsglobaladvisory.com


Triller Completes Pre-Public Listing Financing Plans For Q4, 2022 NASDAQ listing:ILLR, Also completes Acquisition of Bare Knuckle Fight Championship

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Triller, the AI–powered open garden technology platform for creators, today announced it had completed a substantial pre–public financing in the form of debt and equity. This announcement comes on the heels of its filing its S–1 with the SEC, the document a company files prior to a public listing. The company has reserved the ticker symbol "ILLR" with the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Participants in the round include Total Formation Co, an affiliate of Fubon Financial, one of the largest financial institutions in Asia with ownership of Taiwan Mobile, Taipei Fubon Bank, Fubon Life, and many others, and was for the third straight year on Fortune Global 500's list of "The Top 500 most valuable Global Brands. Other investors included, Falcon Capital, Clearvue Partners and others.

"This was an important step for Triller to be properly funded entering the Public Markets," said Mahi de Silva, CEO and Chairman of Triller. "We are very pleased to have such strong market leaders as investors and look forward to bringing Triller to the world via a Nasdaq listing," he continued. "If the capital markets continue to be stable, we are targeting an early Q4 public listing."

Triller also announced that it concluded the acquisition of of Bare Knuckle Fight Championship (BKFC), a transaction it announced it had contracted earlier this year.

Bare Knuckle has quickly become a world–wide phenomenon with deals consummated or in negotiations across more than 20 countries, and an unprecedented growth in the United States. BKFC is the fastest growing combat sport with an anticipated 200,000 subscribers between the BKFC app and Triller's wholly owned Fite TV.

"Bare Knuckle Fight Championship has enjoyed never before seen growth, as it offers something that all fight audiences can connect with," said Mahi de Silva CEO and Chairman of Triller. "This acquisition is a game–changer for Triller, as it accrues numerous synergies across our entire platform and allows us to supercharge BKFC even further," continued Silva. "By leveraging our creator platform, combined with our social media infrastructure, ad–tech and mar–tech capabilities, influencer network, and FITE TV's streaming services currently enjoyed by five million paying households, makes this acquisition a no brainer for both parties."

The announcement comes in the wake of BKFC's most successful, largest event–to–date, held on August 22 at Wembley Arena in London. This past weekend BKFC had its most successful event to date at Wembley Stadium in London, and trended number 2 in the world on Twitter. As a result, the digital streaming, pay–per–view, and subscription service FITE.TV by Triller, now has over 200,000 subscribers.

"I started BKFC from scratch and it has become a way of life, and will forever change boxing and MMA," said Dave Feldman, Founder and CEO of BKFC. "We spent over a year working with Triller prior to the acquisition, getting to know their team, their plans and the way in which BKFC would be integrated into their ecosystem. What became clear is that Triller was the only home for us. They are not seeking to change BKFC but will help supercharge our growth, maximizing our marketing and monetization. I can say without hesitation there is no company out there that has both the ambition and the tools of Triller to change the ways people consume combat sports," Feldman concluded.

As the world of social media and the way in which brands market are changing dramatically, Triller has led the way to Web3 and decentralization with a "open–garden" ecosystem, helping creators gain ownership of their audiences, control their monetization and financial destiny. Triller saw over 750 million content interactions last quarter and looks at each interaction as an opportunity for monetization.

While the financial terms were not disclosed, the transaction involved a combination of cash and stock for majority ownership of BKFC.

Triller recently filed a confidential S1 with the SEC and expects to become publicly traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker "ILLR" during the 4th quarter of this year.

"Triller is now the only company in existence which owns and controls the entire pipe from beginning to end," said de Silva. "Starting with the content creators, which includes fighters, the events, the actual production, and broadcast to the users themselves through Triller's Fite Tv 5 million plus paying households and we believe quickly will become the most valuable brand in combat sports.

"We want to thank our partners, investors and supporters whom to date have helped supercharge Triller from a startup in 2019 to a household name today, having raised over $300 Million Dollars, supporting over 750 million monthly interactions and over 300 million users across all of its platforms. We have only just begun."

About Triller
Triller is the AI–powered open garden technology platform for creators. Pairing music culture with sports, fashion, entertainment, and influencers through a 360–degree view of content and technology, Triller encourages its influencers to post the content created on the app across different social media platforms and uses proprietary AI technology to push and track their content virally to affiliated and non–affiliated sites and networks, enabling them to reach millions of additional users. Triller additionally owns VERZUZ, the live–stream music platform launched by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland; Amplify.ai, a leading customer engagement platform; FITE, a premier global PPV, AVOD, and SVOD streaming site; and Thuzio, a leader in B2B premium influencer events and experiences.

About BKFC
Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) is the first promotion allowed to hold a legal, sanctioned, and regulated bare knuckle event in the United States since 1889. Based in Philadelphia and headed by President and former professional boxer David Feldman, BKFC is dedicated to preserving the historical legacy of bare knuckle fighting while utilizing a specifically created rule set that emphasizes fighter safety. BKFC will hold all its bouts in a revolutionary circular four–rope ring, designed to encourage fast–paced and exciting bouts. The patented BKFC “Squared Circle” contains scratch lines, based on the Broughton Rules, which governed bare knuckle fighting in the 19th century, and which requires fighters to “Toe the Line”: start every round face to face, and just inches apart.

In BKFC, only those fighters who are established professionals in boxing, MMA, kickboxing, or Muay Thai will be allowed to compete. The referees and judges will also be required to have extensive professional combat sports experience. All fights will be held under the auspices and control of an Athletic Commission. Unlike other fighting organizations and combat sports internationally which claim to be “bare knuckle”, but require wraps, tape, and gauze; BKFC is true to its word as fighters are not allowed to wrap their hands to within one inch of the knuckle. This makes BKFC unquestionably the truest form of bare knuckle fighting. BKFC is dedicated to not just creating the safest, most exciting, and highest–level bare knuckle fighting organization in the world; it's also leading the way for a new, fully recognized professional combat sport. BKFC is truly the sport of the future.

No Offer or Solicitation
This press release shall not constitute a solicitation of a proxy, consent, or authorization with respect to any securities or in respect of the proposed business combination. This press release shall also not constitute an offer to sell, the solicitation of an offer to sell or an offer to buy or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation, or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

Forward–Looking Statements
Except for the historical information contained herein, certain of the matters discussed in this communication constitute "forward–looking statements" within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, both as amended by Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "anticipates," "believes," "expects," "intends," "will," "should," "may," "could," "plan" and the negative of such terms and variations thereof and words and terms of similar substance used in connection with any discussion of future plans, actions or events identify forward–looking statements. Forward–looking statements are not statements of historical fact and reflect Triller's current views about future events. Such forward–looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the proposed business combination and other contemplated transactions (including statements relating to satisfaction of the conditions to and consummation of the proposed business combination, the amount, timing, terms or ultimate issuance of Triller's convertible notes, the expected ownership of the combined company, the expected trading value of the combined company's shares of common stock, the expected timing and likelihood of completion of the business combination, the expected value of Triller and of the combined company and opportunities relating to or resulting from the business combination), and statements regarding the nature and commercial success of Triller and the combined company, commercialization and marketing capabilities and strategy of Triller and the combined company, developments and projections relating to the industry, the parties' ability to protect their intellectual property positions, plans, objectives, expectations and intentions of Triller and the combined company and the effects of having shares of capital stock traded on Nasdaq. No assurances can be given that the forward–looking statements contained in this communication will occur as projected, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Forward–looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates, and assumptions that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation: risks relating to the completion of the business combination, including the need for stockholder approval, the satisfaction of closing conditions and the timing to consummate the proposed business combination; the completion of the offering of Triller's convertible notes; potential adverse reactions or changes to business relationships resulting from the announcement or completion of the proposed business combination; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; the risk of litigation related to the proposed business combination; the success and timing of regulatory submissions; regulatory requirements or developments; and other factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" in filings made with the SEC from time to time. Forward–looking statements are based on the estimates and opinions of management at the time the statements are made. Triller undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward–looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward–looking statements that speak only as of the date hereof.


dWallet Labs Raises $5M in Pre-Seed Round As Odsy Network Comes Out of Stealth

TEL AVIV, Israel, Aug. 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — dWallet Labs, a cybersecurity company specializing in blockchain technology, today announced it raised $5M in pre–seed funding led by Node Capital and Digital Currency Group (DCG), and joined by Amplify Partners, Lightshift Capital, Liquid2 Ventures, Collider Ventures, Lemnsicap, Heroic Ventures, Impatient Ventures, Zero Knowledge, Dispersion Capital, Token Bay Capital, Tykhe Block Ventures, Cerulean Ventures and Earl Grey Capital alongside founders and angel investors from Coinbase, Ethereum, Celo, AngelList, Alt, Spearhead, and others. With top cybersecurity experts and cryptographers, dWallet Labs is building solutions on top of the Odsy (pronounced Odyssey: od–uh–see) Network, a secure and programmable decentralized access control layer to all of web3. The funds will be used for building protocols and projects on top of the Odsy Network.

In its short lifetime, blockchain has already gone through several evolutions. The first phase began with the emergence of Bitcoin which introduced decentralized money. Ethereum ushered in the second phase which brought decentralized applications (dApps) to light with smart contracts. Through the implementation of dWallets, Odsy marks the beginning of the third phase, decentralized access control, bringing the industry back to true decentralization.

Web3 has a major access control problem. As the industry continues to grow, it becomes more fragmented with new protocols, assets, and chains, causing access to revert from being completely decentralized (holding the private key directly) to outdated, centralized ways that hold the assets or keys for users. Managing access to decentralized solutions in a centralized way undermines decentralization. This is where a new era of decentralized access control comes in.

dWallets

Dynamic Decentralized Wallets (dWallets) are the trustless access control solution for web3. dWallets are a new blockchain primitive that other projects can build upon and offer programmable access for any other blockchain. A dWallet on the Odsy Network is bound to Wallet Contracts, dedicated smart contracts that manage the access control and privileges for that dWallet.

The dWallet concept will transform how digital assets are stored, used, accessed, and connected to the real world by adding a fully decentralized layer of a dynamic and stateful access control. This will open the door to new possibilities including multi–chain DAOs, granular access sharing, and interoperable infrastructure for DeFi. dWallets will also allow for a full transfer of their ownership, which was impossible before.

“It is rare to witness a totally new decentralized infrastructure allowing many new use cases that were not possible before with the utilization of the dWallet concept,” said Amos Meiri, Founding Partner at Node Capital.

“We're always looking for novel primitives that will unlock new use cases for blockchain technology. Soon after meeting the dWallet Labs team, we recognized the potential for their dWallet ecosystem to change access control for the better. In turn, dWallets may offer new ownership and transfer capabilities for a more expansive set of complex cryptoassets. We're excited to support the team and help bring their vision to fruition," stated Matt Beck, Director of Investments at Digital Currency Group.

Odsy Network

The dedicated blockchain that supports dWallets is the Odsy Network. In the Odsy Network, standard blockchain actions can be done only through dWallets, establishing them as a single, multi–chain access point to all of web3.

"Custody is just the tip of the iceberg, trustless access control is the missing piece of crypto. dWallets and the Odsy Network will connect crypto to the real world with so many new use cases," says Omer Sadika, Founder and CEO of dWallet Labs, who has his roots in cybersecurity, where he developed the concept of API Security, and founded API Security unicorn, Salt Security. "Today, we find it trivial that we have the appropriate access control, whether that be for a note–taking app or a bank account. However, when it comes to crypto, we have to choose between poor access control we get from blockchains to centralized solutions that defeat the purpose of being decentralized in the first place."

The Odsy Network was founded by Omer Sadika, David Lachmish, Sean Lee and Yehonatan Cohen Scaly, with the Zug, Switzerland–based Odsy Foundation that will support and develop the wider Odsy ecosystem. dWallet Labs will provide professional services to the Odsy Foundation, and support for organizations building on the Odsy Network.

"The Odsy Network is built as a security–first decentralized network, and it will be governed by the Odsy community," says Sean Lee, previously CEO of the Algorand Foundation, who serves as Odsy Foundation's Executive Director. "We are building the Odsy Foundation to support a vibrant Odsy ecosystem with builders and strategic partners to evangelize dWallet use cases for the next 10 years and beyond. The most innovative dWallet applications will come from the community and we will work together to imagine what is possible for the future of web3."

To learn more about dWallets and the Odsy Network visit odsy.xyz.

ABOUT ODSY NETWORK & DWALLETS
The Odsy Network provides a secure, programmable, decentralized access layer to all of web3 through dynamic, decentralized wallets (dWallets). A dWallet is a signing mechanism paired to a public key and constrained by dynamic access control, that operates within a decentralized state machine (e.g. blockchain). dWallets can sign transactions on any blockchain network that leverages the universally adopted signing algorithms (e.g. ECDSA, EdDSA, etc.)

On the Odsy Network, dWallets are bound to Wallet Contracts, dedicated smart contracts that are stateful and Turing–complete, enabling the management of access control and privileges of the dWallets, and the implementation of any protocol on top of the Odsy Network. The Odsy Network is a security–first blockchain that allows for multi–chain interoperability with programmable and transferable wallets. Learn more about Odsy and dWallets at odsy.xyz.

ABOUT DWALLET LABS
dWallet Labs Ltd., based in Tel Aviv, Israel, a cybersecurity company specializing in blockchain technology, is building SingleWallet, the first interface to interact with dWallets on the Odsy Network. The mission of dWallet Labs is to build protocols and solutions on top of the Odsy Network. dWallet Labs will also provide professional services and support for organizations building on the Odsy Network. The team possesses deep knowledge and expertise in cybersecurity, cryptography and blockchain technology. Learn more at dwalletlabs.com.

Media Contact
David Goosenberg; david.goosenberg@serotonin.co

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at: https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/d34d11e7–33dd–473c–bfac–11adb2e4ae59