Can't Stop, Won't Stop, GameStop

Yields keep climbing, tech stocks keeps crashing (is this the Dotcom crash of 2022?), EU sets new high score on daily virus cases, France is fining big tech, Ghislaine Maxwell might get the OJ Simpson acquittal, the metaverse is poppin' with 2M Oculus downloads, Bently sales are off the chain as the rich keep getting richer, and GAMESTOP WENT PARABOLIC ON NEWS THAT IT WILL ENTER THE NFT AND CRYPTO MARKETS.

Jan 7, 2022

Together with

Good morning,

Yields keep climbing, tech stocks keeps crashing (is this the Dotcom crash of 2022?), EU sets new high score on daily virus cases, France is fining big tech, Ghislaine Maxwell might get the OJ Simpson acquittal, the metaverse is poppin' with 2M Oculus downloads, Bently sales are off the chain as the rich keep getting richer, and GAMESTOP WENT PARABOLIC ON NEWS THAT IT WILL ENTER THE NFT AND CRYPTO MARKETS.

GameStop 🤝 NFTs 🤝 Crypto:  All three are guaranteed to give you less money back than your purchase price.

After one week, 2022 is already looking crazier than 2021.

In case you missed it on twitter yesterday, I'm now a venture scout for Bain Capital Ventures (BCV) focused on identifying startups across fintech, web3/DeFi, creator economy, consumer internet, e-commerce, and other tangential sectors. If y’all are at (or know friends at) pre-seed to Series A stage startups currently raising a round, hmu at [email protected] and cc [email protected]. This isn't a full-time gig btw, don't y'all worry. Got plenty of work to do here at LitCapital and nothing is changing.

Special thanks to BCV partner CMK for the opportunity. Incredibly pumped to continue investing in promising startups. See y'all on more cap tables.

Let's dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 1/6/2022 market close

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

Markets

  • All three major indexes sold off yesterday and closed in the red on continued investor uncertainty about the Fed’s recent announcements about not only raising rates and accelerating the tapering timeline but also potentially reducing their balance sheet 
  • The 10 year treasury yield pushed up through 1.75% and neared its 52 week high
  • The tech-heavy Nasdaq continued to get pulled down by rate-sensitive tech stocks while bank stocks continued to be lifted by the rising rates
  • Investors will be keeping an eye out for the December jobs report, which will come out at 8:30am ET today
    • Nonfarm payrolls are expected to increase by 444K and the unemployment rate is expected to be 4.1%

Earnings

  • Walgreens Boots Alliance beat on both earnings and revenue but shares dumped ~3% after the company mentioned potential rising labor costs due to staffing shortages in pharmacies
  • Bed Bath & Beyond shares dove 9% in premarket trading but then closed up ~8% yesterday even though the retailer missed expectations on both EPS and sales and slashed FY guidance due to supply chain issues (CNBC)
  • Duck Creek Technologies slightly beat Wall St expectations on both earnings and revenue

Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • Biden tears into Trump, blaming him for Jan. 6 insurrection (BBG)
  • EU daily virus cases top 1 million mark for first time (BBG)
  • Toshiba’s no. 2 shareholder steps up fight over breakup plan (BBG)
  • Mishcon De Reya hit with record fine as law firm pursues IPO (BBG)
  • Novartis, Alnylam to work together to develop liver medicine (BBG)
  • New York’s record wave of omicron-variant cases sees fewer severe ones (WSJ)
  • Luxury carmaker Bently reports a second consecutive year of record sales as other automakers struggle (CNBC)
  • France spanks Google $170M, Facebook $68M overe cookie consent dark patterns (TC)
  • Meta’s Oculus VR companion app gained ~2M downloads since Christmas (TC)
  • Ghislaine Maxwell juror who could upend conviction works for Carlyle Group (BBG)
  • GameStop rallies 22% on news that it will enter NFT and cryptocurrency markets (WSJ)

A Message From Skillful

How many times have you told yourself that you’re finally going to learn SQL? Tableau? Or even product frameworks and KPIs? And it never ends up happening? 

Us too. Until we heard of Skillful.

Skillful runs immersive cohort-based programs for business careers in the tech industry. Think roles like Strategy & Operations, Product and Growth.

Basically the kind of work you’d do as someone who reads smart business & tech newsletters like, I don’t know, this one. 

At Skillful, you’ll get access to programs that are built + led by operators from places like Netflix, Instacart and DoorDash.

And you’ll join a strong community of Skillful grads who have been hired by companies like Stripe, TikTok, Uber and many more. 

Deal Flow

M&A

  • Societe Generale’s car-leasing arm ALD agreed to buy competitor LeasePlan from a TDR Capital-led consortium in a $5.5B deal (BBG)
  • Medical device maker Stryker agreed to buy digital care platform Vocera Communications for ~$2.97B (RT0
  • Infrastructure firm Atlantia is one of the final contenders to buy Siemens’ traffic management unit that could be worth almost $1.1B (BBG)
  • Drug and chemicals maker Merck agreed to buy contract manufacturer Exelead for $780M (BBG)
  • The New York Times agreed to buy sports-news website The Athletic for ~$550M (BBG)
  • ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia are exploring strategic options for selling JV CW Network (BBG)
  • Tech entrepreneur Murria is considering a bid for ad company M&C Saatchi, which has a market cap of ~$324M (RT)
  • Australian digital payments and lending firm Latitude offered to buy fintech Humm’s consumer unit, including its buy now, pay later business, for $241.8M (RT)
  • An alliance of KKR and BMG agreed to buy a catalog of John Legend dating back to his first album (BBG)

VC

  • Eikon Therapeutics, a company that uses super microscopes to develop drugs, raised a $517.8M Series B including existing investors The Column Group, Foresite Capital, Innovation Endeavors, Horizons Ventures, and Lux Capital (TC)
  • Supply chain sustainability company Assent Compliance raised $350M at a $1B+ valuation in a round led by Vista Equity Partners (TC)
  • Payroll and HR SaaS platform PayFit raised a $289M Series E at a $2.1B valuation in a  round led by General Atlantic (TC)
  • Hyperlocal delivery startup Dunzo raised $240M at a $775 valuation in a round led by Reliance Retail (TC)
  • Face authentication and verification company iProov raised $70M in funding from sole investor Sumeru Equity Partners (TC)
  • Avelo Airlines, a planned low-cost carrier, raised a $42M Series B led by Morgan Stanley (BW)
  • Rupifi, a B2B payments platform in India, raised a $25M round led by Tiger Global and Bessemer Venture Partners (TC)
  • Digital mental health company Little Ottre raised a $22M Series A in a round led by CVR (TC)
  • VeriSIM Life, an AI-enabled R&D decision-making startup, raised a $15M Series A led by Morpheus Ventures (PRN)
  • Pocket Network, an infrastructure and middleware protocol providing decentralized cloud computing, raised $10M in funding led by Republic Capital, RockTree Capital, Arrington Capital, and others (BW)
  • Digital asset exchange Symbridge raised $9M in financing from Traxys (BW)
  • Digital infrastructure management platform ReadyWorks raised an $8M Series A led by NEXT Investors (BW)
  • Fertility technology company Future Fertility raised a $5.5M Series A led by M Future Fertility (BW)
  • Digital platform and wellness network Mine’d raised a $3.5M seed round led by Listen Ventures (TC)
  • Namibian B2B e-commerce startup JABU raised a $3.2M financing round in a round including Afore Capital, Y Combinator, FJ Labs, Quiet Capital, Kli Capital, and Pareto Capital (TC)
  • Health Leap, which provides a clinical assistant for dietitians working hospitals, raised $1.1M in a pre-seed round led by Fifty Years (TC)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Chinese online car-services platform Tuhu has moved its IPO that could raise $300-$600M from the US to Hong Kong (BBG)
  • South Korean car-sharing startup SOCAR has filed for an IPO that could value it at ~$2.5B (TC)

SPAC

  • Averda, a provider of waste-disposal services in India, the Middle East, and Africa, is in talks to merge with Better World Acquisition Corp. (BBG)
  • Singaporean SPACs Vertex Technology Acquisition Corp and Pegasus Asia are seeking to raise at least $125M and $110M respectively (BBG)

Exec's Picks

  • Did you know you can get renter's insurance in just 90 seconds? You can with Lemonade. Simply sign up online and get AI-powered coverage instantly for as little as $5 a month – plus any unused premium goes to the charity of your choice. Get a quote today.
  • A lot of y'all asking where I got the sushi I posted on my IG story and twitter. It's from Bondi Sushi and it absolutely slapped. Highly recommend if you're in Manhattan.

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.

If you're looking to hire candidates and want to post a job, all you have to do is hit "+ Hire Talent" on the top right of the job board. If you want the role to be featured on Exec Sum, check out our "Featured" and "Premium" tiers.

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