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High On Pot

At a time when banks and other financial institutions are shying away from investing in the pot business, PayPal owner Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund has decided to back cannabis startup Privateer. Founded in 2011, Privateer is looking to make it big in the marijuana business with its weed ratings website Leafly and a Canadian medical cannabis farm. After previously receiving $22 million in funding, it is going into a series B round of funding worth $75 million. Though Founders Fund has not disclosed the amount, it is said to be a multi-million dollar participation in a stake that could run up against the federal government. Thiel, however, seems confident that the legal dispute will soon clear and this investment will go high.

Back On Track

Remember the good ol’ Sony Walkman that introduced the concept of taking your music with you? It is probably a distant memory now. After phasing out the clunky Walkman in 2010, Sony is bringing it back in the form of a sleeker, more advanced Android-run Walkman ZX2 — without cassettes. This high-end player, at a stocky price of $1,200, is targeted at audiophiles, promising high-resolution playback and compatibility with all audio file formats. But given that none of Sony’s other players were as successful as the Walkman, it remains to be seen if the news of this expensive gadget will be music to the ears of the Millennials.

Patent Fight

Kyle Bass, a US hedge fund manager, is taking legal action against the US pharmaceutical industry. He plans on challenging drug patents of 15 companies that have a combined market cap of $450 billion. The founder of Hayman Capital claims that companies expand their patents by just changing the dosage or packaging. Part of an investment strategy, the legal challenge is likely to result in a fall of medicine prices in the US.

High In The East

Distilleries sitting pretty in Scotland better watch their back, since they might have competition from the East. Kavalan, a premium whiskey brand from Taiwan, has bagged the 2014 Malt Maniacs Awards among many others. The whiskey brand exports 40% of its production to markets across the world with France as its biggest market. Expecting 50% growth in exports this year, Kavalan is set to share bar cabinet space with our Glenlivets and Macallans.

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