December 04, 2017
Alex Wilhelm is the Editor in Chief of Crunchbase News, covering the intersection of startups and money.
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Morning Report: Continuing our coverage of 2017’s tech IPO crop, we have something new on the Blue Apron front. It’s good news!

Blue Apron’s IPO was rough. Price cuts before its debut were followed by price declines after the flotation. Blue Apron shed 70 percent of its value, becoming a bit of a poster-child for unicorns gone all trippy.

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As recently as Friday, these pages were still kicking over just what had happened to the American unicorn, especially in light of the recent HelloFresh IPO. Today, however, we have something else to show you.

After all the largely-deserved and crepuscular coverage, Blue Apron picked up some love today in the form of an analyst note. CNBC, take it away:

Blue Apron could be reaching a “stabilization point” given its stock’s disappointing performance since its last earnings report, according to Barclays.

Shares of the company have fallen off roughly 15 percent since its November earnings call and they may have finally bottomed out, according to analyst Ross Sandler, who upgraded the stock to equal weight from underweight. The analyst also cited new CEO Brad Dickerson as a solid leadership choice going forward.

A $4 per-share price target was a large bump up from where the company was trading. The missive had a quick impact:

Indeed, shares of the company actually shot much higher before settling. We noted a even higher pop this morning. However, the gain shown above is still key for the troubled meal delivery company.

We’re a ways out from the next Blue Apron earnings report, but investors will be looking for the usual: Revenue growth compared to S&M expenses, and the impact of churn on the firm’s GAAP bottom line.

But, all that is to come. For now, living as we are in the earnings cycle interregnum, we have to use smoke signals as satnav. And for Blue Apron today at least, the smoke reads positive.

 From The Crunchbase Daily:

Pre-seed looks here to stay

  • The rise of pre-seed funding may be a relatively new phenomenon, but industry observers believe it’s here to stay. Although data shows the number of deals under $1 million appears to be dipping, pre-seed investors tell Crunchbase News that may be due less to diminishing interest than to startups not reporting rounds.

CVS to buy Aetna for $69B

  • Drugstore giant CVS Health is acquiring Aetna, one of the biggest U.S. health insurers, for about $69 billion in a deal with potential to reshape the national healthcare industry. The deal is expected to close in the second half of next year.

Xiaomi eyes IPO at $50B valuation

  • Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is in talks with investment bankers about a potential IPO that could value the company at $50 billion or more, Bloomberg reports. The Beijing-based company is considering an offering as soon as next year, with Hong Kong as the most likely location for listing shares.

Hellobike raises $350M

  • Chinese bike-sharing startup Hellobike raised $350 million in a fresh funding round backed by investors including Alibaba’s Ant Financial. The latest financing, which follows closures and cutbacks for some competitors, could signal a period of consolidation following several quarters of booming investment for the nascent industry.