Burning Money in The Metaverse

Jack Dorsey left Twitter's board, the SEC is cracking down on misleading ESG claims, Zuck's metaverse will burn cash in the short-term, Musk boosted the equity component of his Twitter bid, and a tree-boring beetle could wreck South Africa's economy.

Litquidity Capital
May 26, 2022

Together with

Good Morning,

Jack Dorsey left Twitter's board, the SEC is cracking down on misleading ESG claims, Zuck's metaverse will burn cash in the short-term, Musk boosted the equity component of his Twitter bid, and a16z raised a massive crypto fund.

Special shoutout to today's sponsor, Parcl. They're hosting a $100,000 giveaway to go toward's a home downpayment. More details below.

The start of Memorial Day Weekend is just a day away. That means Lit's Hamptons Spotify playlist is refreshed and ready to go for the next few months. 

Let's dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 5/25/2022 market close.

If you want to learn more about crypto trading strategies and the world of DeFi, check out our Foot Guns newsletter.

Markets

  • US stocks rose yesterday after the Fed’s May policy meeting showed that rate hikes may exceed what the market had expected
    • The Nasdaq rose 1.5% in trading, but the futures retreated after chip giant Nvidia missed on earnings
  • Retail stocks remained in focus yesterday, as after-hours reports from Tuesday showed how the companies are dealing with sky-high inflation

Earnings

  • Nvidia shares fell 6.5%+ AH after the chip-maker beat on both Q1 revenue and EPS but delivered underwhelming Q2 guidance (YHOO)
  • Snowflake tanked 13%+ after market close due to an earnings report which showed a revenue beat but a narrower-than-expected margin forecast (CNBC)
  • What we’re watching today: Manchester United's FQ3 2022 earnings (reported before market open)
  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • SEC to crackdown on funds with misleading ESG claims with new rule (BBG)
  • Iran used secret UN records to evade nuclear probes (WSJ)
  • CBO boosts US GDP growth estimates, says inflation has topped and will cool to 2% by 2024 (CNBC)
  • Jack Dorsey exits Twitter board of directors months after departing CEO role (TBC)
  • Zuckerberg’s metaverse to lose ‘significant’ money in near term (BBG)
  • Embattled payments startup Bolt is cutting staff (BBG)
  • Houston mayor says he can’t cancel NRA convention after school massacre (BBG)
  • Musk boosts equity component of Twitter bid to $33.5B (BBG)
  • Tree-boring beetle could cost South Africa $18.5B (BBG)
  • Apple to boost pay for US workers as inflation bites (BBG)
  • China turns a blind eye to labor violations to spur economy (FT)

A Message From Parcl

Want to be eligible for a $100,000 downpayment on a house?

Parcl is hosting a giveaway from Tuesday, May 23rd, until Friday, June 3rd. They're giving away up to $100,000, plus a full year’s worth of mortgage and tax payments* (equivalent housing costs).

The goal of the giveaway is to help support people that are typically priced out of owning a home or investing in real estate.

They’ve partnered with the Suh Family Foundation, headed by NFL player and champion of those affected by housing inequality, Ndamukong Suh.

They’ll be using a large portion of funds they received from their Homeowners Association NFT sale to fund the charity initiative.

To be eligible, you need to create a TikTok telling your story of how the housing crisis has negatively impacted you. You can create as many videos as you want, so long as you use the #ParclHomeGiveaway hashtag.

You also need to fill out your details on their giveaway page to be eligible.

Parcl and the Suh Family Foundation will then pick five finalists based on the most moving story and best engagements on their video by their community. Once the five have been selected, the Parcl community will have 24 hours to vote for the grand prize winner.

More competition details can be found on the Giveaway landing page.

** Total value subject to change and dependent on the Terms & Conditions of the giveaway

Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • The UK Government approved the sale of Chelsea FC to US investor Todd Boehly in a $5.3B deal (BBG)
  • CD&R and TPG Capital agreed to buy animal health company Covetrus in a $4B deal (RT)
  • State-backed Japan Investment Fund is considering a bid for Japanese conglomerate Toshiba (BBG)
  • French company TotalEnergies agreed to buy 50% of US renewables company Clearway Energy Group, which will receive $1.6B in cash in the deal (RT)
  • Saudi Aramco approached Valvoline about potential takeover of one of its lubricants business (WSJ)

VC

  • Automated operations platform Motive raised an additional $150M for its Series F at a $2.85B valuation led by Insight Partners and Kleiner Perkins (BW)
  • Booster, a mobile energy delivery platform, raised a $125M Series D led by Rose Park Advisors (PRN)
  • Car subscription platform Finn raised a $110M Series B at a $500M+ valuation led by Korelya Capital (TC)
  • StarkWare Industries, an Ethereum layer-2 scaling solutions developer, raised a $100M Series D at an $8B valuation led by Greenoaks Capital and Coatue (BW)
  • Crypto asset manager Babel Finance raised an $80M Series B at a $2B valuation led by Jeneration Capital, 10T Holdings, Dragonfly Capital, and BAI Capital (TC)
  • Airspace, a startup building a tech platform for time-critical logistics, raised $70M in funding led by DBL Partners (PRN)
  • Clozd, a provider of win-loss analysis technology for sales teams, raised a $52M Series A led by Greycroft (PRN)
  • Zip, an intake-to-procure solution startup, raised a $43M Series B at a $1.2B valuation led by YC Continuity (BW)
  • TARGAN, a vaccine delivery system for poultry, raised a $35M Series C led by NovaQuest Capital Management and Mountain Group Partners (BW)
  • AI chip startup SiMa.ai raised an additional $30M for its Series B from Fidelity (TC)
  • Upflex, a global hybrid workspace solutions provider, raised a $30M Series A led by WeWork (BW)
  • Canadian all-in-one HR platform Humi raised a $24.2M Series B led by Kensington Capital Partners (BW)
  • Point2 Technology, a provider of low power, high speed 5G connectivity solutions, raised a $22M Series B led by GU Equity Partners (BW)
  • Digital health platform Parallel Learning raised a $20M Series A led by Tiger Global (BW)
  • Crypto data analysis and accounting startup ZenLedger raised a $15M Series B led by ParaFi Capital (PRN)
  • MetaKing Studios, a Web3 game studio, raised a $15M seed round led by Makers Fund and BITKRAFT Ventures (BW)
  • Namibian B2B e-commerce retail platform JABU raised a $15M Series A led by Tiger Global (TC)
  • Pemo, an all-in-one spend management platform, raised a $12M seed round led by Cherry Ventures and Shorooq Partners (BW)
  • Livestream shopping platform buywith raised a $9.5M seed round led by igniteXL Ventures (PRN)
  • Web3 social application Primitives raised a $4M pre-seed round led by Redpoint (PRN)
  • Finnt, a DeFi startup offering global joint and savings accounts, raised a $3.5M seed round from Khosla Ventures, Y Combinator, Uphonest Capital, and more (FINNT)
  • Egyptian health and wellness platform Esaal raised a $1.7M seed round from A15 (TC)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Pharmaceutical sales platform YSB is looking to raise ~$300M in its Hong Kong IPO (BBG)

Fundraising

  • Andreessen Horowitz announced a new $4.5B crypto fund (DC)
  • FFL Partners, a PE firm focused on growth investments in middle market companies, raised over $900M for its fifth fund (BW)
  • Synthesis Capital, a London-based food tech and alternative protein investor, raised a $300M fund (TC)
  • Cybersecurity focused VC firm SYN Ventures closed $300M Fund II (BW)
  • Dallas Venture Capital announced it raised an $80M fund for early and growth-stage B2B SaaS companies (PRN)

Crypto Corner

  • JPMorgan: Crypto trumps real estate as 'preferred alternative asset class' (BW)
  • Solana overtakes Ethereum in daily NFT trading volume (DC)
  • In wake of stablecoin UST's implosion, new LUNA launch imminent (BW)
  • CryptoPunks floor price drops below $100K, down 50% from last month (TBC)

Exec's Picks

  • Lit recently invested in Hedge, a collaborative trading platform where you can make a hedge fund with your friends by pooling money & investing together. Guess what? Thanks to Republic, you can invest alongside me in Hedge's current round too. Interested? Click here to learn more.
  • Medha Agarwal, a partner at Redpoint Ventures, recently published a primer on FinTech, why it's important, and what the fundraising landscape has been like. Check it out here.
  • ICYMI, new episode of Big Swinging Decks dropped yesterday. Lit and Mark sat down with Mark and Leslie Lamb of CoinFLEX to give shareholders a primer on stablecoins and an update on the current crypto environment. Check it out here.

The Hiring Block

If you're looking to break into finance, lateral, or move out, check out our job board on Pallet, where we curate highly relevant roles for you. We've got 40+ jobs spanning IB, S&T, VC, tech, private equity, DeFi, crypto, CorpDev and more. We sift through all the noise on LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, etc. so you don't have to.

And for those who want a more of a "match-making" approach, we're now launching a Talent Collective. It's essentially a reverse-job board where top companies ask to be introduced to you based on candidate profiles. This is a free, application-only community targeted at finance professionals looking to transition to VC / tech / web3 (we'll have broader collectives as more companies join the platform).

Candidates: you are welcome to apply here and can choose to stay anonymous for privacy concerns.

Companies: if you're hiring, join our collective and start getting recurring drops of amazing talent who are searching for new gigs - actively or passively. Apply now, as spots are limited. 

Meme Cleanser

Catch the latest episode of our Big Swinging Decks podcast, presented by CoinFLEX.US, on SpotifyApple, and YouTube 🤝 

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