Black Friday e-commerce spending popped 7.5% from a year earlier, reaching a record $9.8 billion in the U.S., according to an Adobe Analytics report, a further indication that price-conscious consumers want to spend on the best deals and are hunting for those deals online.

“We’ve seen a very strategic consumer emerge over the past year where they’re really trying to take advantage of these marquee days, so that they can maximize on discounts,” said Vivek Pandya, a lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights.

Black Friday’s spending spike reflects a consumer who is more willing to spend than in 2022, when gas and food prices were painfully high.

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Founded in 2021 by James Kirimy, who previously helped launch Uber’s expansion into the UK and ran its electrification department, DoorFeed aggregates residential properties into portfolios backed by market data for institutional investors.

The DoorFeed platform analyses large volumes of sources to provide insights on things like market value and energy performances to build out property portfolios.

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Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM) closed Morgan Stanley Next Level Fund, L.P., at $50m.

Investors in the strategy include the inaugural corporate partners Hearst, Microsoft and Walmart as well as Altria, Ten Figures Ventures and Phalanx Impact Partners.

Next Level, part of MSIM’s $200 billion alternative business, builds upon the expertise of the Morgan Stanley Inclusive Ventures Lab and HearstLab to invest in primarily early-stage technology and technology-enabled companies with underrepresented members as part of the founding team.

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New Flagship Pioneering biotech Quotient Therapeutics has lots to be thankful for this year, namely $50 million in cash, a new U.K. outpost to work from and a formal unveiling as the holiday season approaches. 

The Cambridge startup incubator took the lid off its latest company Tuesday, possibly the last Flagship launch of 2023. Quotient’s focus is on identifying potentially disease-causing genetic discrepancies that crop up in a single person’s body. Co-founder and President Jake Rubens, Ph.D., said that instead of comparing genomes across patients, the biotech aims to compare genomes with cells of a single patient. 

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The brand management company has formed a partnership with Hoodrich’s founder Jay Williams, who will retain an ownership interest. Global brand licensing and design company Batra Group will assume business operations and JD Sports will stand as a global retail partner. 

Founded in 2014, Hoodrich has worked with Footasylum and JD Sports, and in 2022 with Netflix’s Top Boy. The lifestyle and streetwear brand is already sold in more than 1,000 retail outlets in 24 countries. Under the partnership, headquarters will remain in Birmingham and Watford. 

Bob Galvin, CEO at Iconix International, said: “The brand is extremely well positioned to capitalise on the growing demand for lifestyle streetwear with an authentic brand story. We are committed to bringing this high-quality brand to an even bigger global audience.” 

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The chancellor will announce a science and tech venture capital (VC) investment growth scheme inspired by the US in his upcoming Autumn Statement speech.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who has often stated a desire to turn the UK into the “next Silicon Valley”, is expected to announce plans for a fellowship programme to increase the supply of tech-focused venture capitalists, as first reported by The Guardian.

The scheme, said to be worth £3m, will offer up to 20 fellowships to act as a small but meaningful boost to specialist investment into the sciences. The scheme is in part based on the Kauffman Foundation in the US.

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Hampshire-based virtual reality (VR) firm nDreams has been acquired by Swedish video game company Aonic in a £90.3m deal.

Headquartered in Farnborough, nDreams develops and publishes VR games, working with partners representing the major headsets such as the Meta Quest, Valve Index and PlayStation VR.

The company has developed games such as Phantom: Covert Ops, PowerWash Simulator VR and Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord.

The company has now be acquired by Stockholm-headquartered Aonic, which in 2022 invested $35m (£28m) into nDreams.

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Microsoft is hiring former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman.

Altman was fired from OpenAI on Friday after the board said it “no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.” After a weekend of negotiations to potentially bring Altman back to OpenAI, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that both Altman and Brockman will be joining to lead Microsoft’s new advanced AI research team. Altman will have the CEO title of this new group.

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Female Founders Fund on Tuesday filed with the SEC to start raising $75 million for its fourth fund.

That amount is the biggest yet from FFF: Fund I was just $6 million, and Fund II was $25 million. In 2021, it closed an oversubscribed $57 million for Fund III, which saw Goldman Sachs, Pivotal Ventures, and Plexo Capital come on as limited partners.

London-based AI coaching app Bloom is launching in the UK and US after raising a $10m (£8m) seed investment.

Founded last year, the Bloom app merges insights of “industry leaders”, behavioural science, AI, psychometrics and check-ins to provide a personalised coaching experience.

Bloom says it has achieved more than “10,000 coaching moments” and is used by businesses including Manchester-based ecommerce company THG.

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