Game of (Fed) Throne

Biden is expected to pick the next Fed Chair this weekend (Jerome Powell sweating rn), the Constitution DAO was outbid, supply chains still constrained, and big things cooking over at Exec Sum HQ.

By Litquidity Capital Nov 19, 2021

Together with

Happy Friday,

Biden is expected to pick the next Fed Chair this weekend (Jerome Powell sweating rn), the Constitution DAO was outbid, supply chains still constrained, and big things cooking over at Exec Sum HQ. 

🚨🚨 Quick reminder: we're surveying our audience again for some truly lit upcoming opportunities. Pls fill out this brief survey(should take 1 minute, tops). This will be a big help for us to take this community to the next level. 🤝 We'll even throw some swag at some select few participants. 

Also, if y'all have any suggestions on what else you'd like us to cover in the letter, pls advise and we'll get Karl staffed on it.

Have a good weekend.

Before The Bell

As of 11/19/21 market close.

Markets

  • The S&P 500 and Nasdaq edged higher to close, but the Dow took a hit and closed just under for the day
  • Investors are still digesting the combination of strong earnings, rising prices, labor shortages, inflation, and the future of the post-Covid economy
  • US jobless claims are edging down, with 268K last week vs. 269K a week earlier. Claims are still at the lowest level since the beginning of the pandemic
  • More than 90% of S&P 500 companies have reported Q3 results, with 80%+ beating analyst expectations
  • Investors will keep an eye on Biden's Fed Chair pick, which is expected to unveil by the weekend. The two leading contenders are Lael Brainard and Jerome Powell (the current incumbent, obviously) 

Earnings

  • Alibaba missed on earnings and revenue expectations for the quarter and lowered its FY forecast; they are feeling the impacts of a slowdown in Chinese consumer spending and the country’s crackdown on its domestic technology industry (CNBC)
  • Farfetch shares fell after a revenue miss but slight earnings beat driven by an increase in subsidized shipping and duties costs; they upgraded their FY outlook citing that retailers are producing more luxury goods than ever, and customers are buying (SA)
  • Macy’s posted a beat-and-raise Q3 report thanks to the addition of 4.4M new customers, strong consumer spending, and the upcoming holiday shopping season; they also announced plans to launch a digital marketplace in 2022 with the help of consulting firm AlixPartners (CNBC
  • What we’re watching today: Foot Locker
  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • Constitution DAO, which raised $47M to buy a copy of the US Constitution, lost their bid (CNBC)
  • Ford agreed to enter a strategic agreement with US-based chipmaker GlobalFoundries (WSJ)
  • Ford plans to increase EV production to 600K vehicles by 2023 (CNBC)
  • Macy’s hires advisers to look at digital business as activist seeks spinoff (BBG)
  • US purchases 10M treatment courses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 pill (WSJ)
  • Surging shipping costs will drive up prices for some consumer products by 10%, new UN report finds (CNBC)
  • CVS to close ~900 stores over next three years, as it shifts to digital strategy (CNBC)
  • Starbucks and Amazon are opening a cashierless coffee shop in Manhattan (CNBC)
  • Lawmakers introduce bipartisan bill to address crypto tax reporting requirement (CNBC)
  • FedEx sees 10% rise in holiday package volume to record levels (BBG)
  • Instagram’s effects on children are being investigated by coalition of states (WSJ)
  • Biden’s social and climate plan is set for a House vote after analysis shows it adds to the deficit (CNBC)

A Message From Blendid

Last chance to invest in Blendid’s autonomous smoothie kiosks

Blendid's fully autonomous robots serve fresh and tasty food at a fraction of the cost of human-operated kiosks. In fact, the operator net margin is 20-40% – significantly higher than traditional operations. 

Ideal for busy locations and offering 24/7 accessibility, Blendid can meet consumers where and when they want delicious food. In fact, Blendid bots have already served 50K+ smoothies in colleges and supermarkets across the country.

The best part? Blendid recently reopened their investment opportunity after over-subscribing the initial $2M round by over $400,000.

Today is your last chance to invest. Get in with Blendid here.

Deal Flow

M&A

  • CVC Capital is in talks to buy some of Lipton owner Unilever’s tea assets in a potential ~$5.1B deal (BBG)
  • Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk agreed to buy Dicerna Pharma, which specializes in therapeutics that counteract disease-causing genes, in a $3.3B deal (RT)
  • JKO Play offered ~$4B for gambling software maker Playtech, following two offers from Gopher and Aristocrat Leisure, setting up a potential bidding war for the company (RT)
  • Czech lender MONETA Money Bank agreed to buy Air Bank from investment firm PPF in a $1.16B deal (RT)
  • South Korean media firm CJ ENM is in talks to buy a majority stake in US talent and media company Endeavor’s scripted content business in a potential $900M-$1B deal (WSJ)
  • Data intelligence specialist GBG agreed to buy US peer Acuant in a $736M deal (RT)
  • Cinven agreed to buy a stake in technology services provider Nitel at a ~$700M valuation (BBG)
  • Human capital management software company Workday agreed to buy VNDLY, a startup that helps companies manage external workforce personnel, for $510M (TC)
  • Allied Resources Investment agreed to buy an 18% stake in internet services firm HengTen for $273M from China Evergrande (BBG)
  • bitFlyer, Japan’s largest BTC exchange, is considering acquiring a smaller domestic or foreign rival to scale up its business (BBG)
  • St. Croix Energy won the auction for the closed Limetree Bay Refinery in the US Virgin Islands for $20M (RT)
  • US office furnisher Haworth’s Italian unit Lifestyle Design agreed to buy a majority stake in high-end interior design group Interni from Progressio SGR (RT)

VC

  • Sierra Space, a commercial space company, received a $1.4B investment at a $4.5B valuation led by General Atlantic and Coatue (BBG)
  • UK-based semiconductor startup Graphcore is considering raising new funding prior to a potential IPO (BBG)
  • No-code workflow automation startup Formstack raised a $425M round led by Silversmith Capital Partners and PSG (TC)
  • Crypto exchange and stablecoin provider Gemini raised $400M in financing at a $7.1B valuation led by Morgan Creek Digital (PRN
  • Generate Biomedicines, a startup using a platform-based approach for protein-based drug development, raised a $370M Series B from Alaska Permanent Fund, Altitude Life Science Ventures, and more (TC)
  • Farming software maker Farmers Business Network raised a $300M Series G at a $3.9B valuation led by Fidelity (BBG)
  • Auto-editing tool for writing Grammarly raised $200M in funding at a $13B valuation led by Baillie Gifford and BlackRock (TC
  • Cybersecurity platform Expel raised a $140.3M Series E led by CapitalG and Paladin Capital Group (TC)
  • EasyHealth, a startup looking to navigate the Medicare experience, raised a $135M Series A led by Anthemis Group and QED Investors (TC)
  • FlipOS, a real estate platform designed to outsource asset scouting and renovation functions, raised a $136M Series B led by Zeev Ventures and Cantor Fitzgerald (PRN)
  • Kandji, a startup building an Apple device management business, raised a $100M Series C at an $800M valuation led by Tiger Global (TC)
  • Biotech software maker Benchling raised a $100M Series F at a $6.1B valuation led by Altimeter (BBG)
  • API-first, password-less authentication startup Stytch raised a $90M Series B at a $1B+ valuation led by Coatue (TC)
  • OTA Insight, a startup building intelligence tools for hotels, raised an $80M Series B led by Spectrum Equity (TC)
  • Hardware design platform nTopology raised a $65M Series D led by Tiger Global (TC)
  • MLOps startup Comet raised a $50M Series B led by OpenView (TC)
  • Polish custom packing startup Packhelp raised a $45.6M Series B led by InfraVia Growth (TC)
  • Automated software testing startup Mabl raised a $40M Series C led by Vista Equity Partners (VB)
  • Cross-selling startup Carro raised a $20M Series B led by Alpha Edison (TC)
  • All-in-one creator commerce platform Fourthwall raised a $17M round from Seven Seven Six, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and more (TC)
  • Cortex, a startup helping dev teams manage their microservices, raised a $15M Series A led by Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital (TC)
  • Rental property management platform Doorvest raised a $14M round led by M13 (TC)
  • Intelligent automotive software developer Eatron raised a $11M Series A led by MMC (TC)
  • Party Round, a startup streamlining the capital raising process, raised $7M in financing led by Anish Acharya, a GP at a16z (TC)
  • Turion Space, a satellite servicing and space debris removal startup, raised a $4.7M seed round led by Reinforced Ventures, Soma Capital, and others (PS)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Canadian property and casualty insurer Definity raised ~$1.1B in the country’s biggest IPO of 2021 (BBG)
  • Salad restaurant chain Sweetgreen doubled its value in its trading debut after raising $364M in their IPO priced above a marketed range (BBG)

SPAC

  • Crypto mining platform Bitdeer agreed to merge with Blue Safari Group AcquisitionCorp in a $4B deal (RT)
  • Bitcoin miner PrimeBlock is in talks to merge with 10x Capital Venture Acquisition in a $1.5B deal (CD)

Debt

  • Canadian Pacific Railway raised $8.45B by selling investment-grade bonds in US and Canadian dollars to help fund its Kansas City Southern acquisition (BBG)

Exec's Picks

  • Blendid - autonomous robots serving tasty food at a fraction of the cost. Blendid recently reopened their investment opportunity after over-subscribing the initial $2M round by over $400,000. Get in with Blendid here
  • If you're sick and tired of a busted supply chain, scoop up this ugly sweater
  • Looking for a mix of style and comfort in your dress shoes? Check out Amberjack. Rated "#1 best overall dress shoe in 2021" by Rolling Stone

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 100+ 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.

Candidates: We've also partnered up with Portal Jobs for a more hands-on approach to matching talent with relevant jobs. Fill out the form here and we'll get to work on placing you in a relevant gig 🤝

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