Home Depot goes VC

Home Depot launched a VC fund, stocks closed in the green once again, the SEC is probing Didi Global, Germany supports Sweden and Finland's NATO bids, Rivian won a $1.5B incentives plan for its GA plant, and Biden is eyeing $125k for student loan relief cut off.

Litquidity Capital
May 04, 2022

Good Morning,

Home Depot launched a VC fund, stocks closed in the green once again, the SEC is probing Didi Global, Germany supports Sweden and Finland's NATO bids, Rivian won a $1.5B incentives plan for its GA plant, and Biden is eyeing $125k for student loan relief cut off.

Big Swinging Decks is back with a new episode!

This week Lit & Mark are joined by Christina Melas-Kyriazi, a Partner at Bain Capital Ventures. Catch the latest episode of our Big Swinging Decks podcast on SpotifyApple, and YouTube (presented by CoinFLEX.US) 🤝 

Let's dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 5/3/2022 market close.

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

Markets

  • The major averages rose slightly yesterday as investors look forward to today’s Fed announcement on rate hikes
    • Most of Wall Street is expecting the central bank to raise rates by 50 basis points
  • On the data front, factory orders for March rose 2.2% (better-than-expected) and job openings came in at 11.5M (an ATH)

Earnings

  • Pfizer beat on top- and bottom-line estimates for Q1 driven by strong Covid vaccine and oral treatment sales but discounted its FY outlook due to R & D costs and changes in foreign exchange rates (CNBC)
  • BP reported bumper Q1 profits and announced a further $2.5B in share buybacks but posted a headline loss of $20.4B loss associated with its Russia exit (CNBC)
  • Hilton missed on revenue and issued a disappointing current quarter profit forecast with revenue per available room (important metric for the company) down 17%+ from pre-pandemic levels (YHOO)
  • Airbnb posted better-than-expected Q1 results with revenue growing 70% YoY as travel rebounds from the pandemic (CNBC)
  • Starbucks reported stronger-than-expected revenue numbers as US same-store sales grew 7% in the quarter, offsetting sharp declines in China (CNBC)
  • Lyft Q1 revenue was up 44% YoY, beating expectations, as the business continues to improve post-pandemic but the stock fell AH due to a lackluster forecast and sequential decline in active riders numbers (TC)
  • MicroStrategy reported a $170M impairment charge to write down the value of its Bitcoin holdings, along with a revenue decline (BBG)
  • What we’re watching today: Moderna, CVS, Marriott, Uber, Etsy 
  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • Russia dodges default as some investors receive dollar funds (BBG)
  • Tiger Global slumps more than 40% in first four months of 2022 (FT)
  • Protesters block entrance to Scottish oil terminal in climate action (BBG)
  • Germany backs looming Swedish, Finnish NATO membership bids (BBG)
  • JD Vance, an author and VC, wins Ohio republican senate primary (FT)
  • Rivian wins $1.5B incentive package for Georgia plant (BBG)
  • BP takes $25.5B hit from Russia exit (WSJ)
  • Paramount+ adds 6.8M subscribers in Q1 (WSJ)
  • Elliott pushes Western Digital to separate its hard drive and flash-memory businesses (WSJ)
  • Apple store workers in Maryland begin union drive (CNBC)
  • AT&T raises prices on wireless plans to address higher costs (BBG)
  • Biden team eyes $125K income cutoff for student loan relief (BBG)
  • CIA chief met Saudi Crown Prince last month in push to mend ties (WSJ)
  • If Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade, up to half of US expected to ban or severely restrict abortion (CNBC)

A Message From Composer

Can you guess who said this?

“There should be a shift back towards active investment. Passive has gone too far.”

It wasn’t Warren Buffett or Peter Lynch, but Elon Musk. The eccentric billionaire may have a point.

Boomers LOVE parking their net worth into ETFs. And tell us to “set aside a small amount to invest in stocks, if you have to scratch that trading itch.”

But is there somewhere between brainless passive investing and neck-beard day trading?

Institutional investors use systematic, or “rules-based” strategies that automatically buy and sell stocks when certain conditions are met: “Buy the Nasdaq 100 every time it dips 5% over 3 trading days” “Sell 10% of my Apple shares when AAPL goes above its 200 day moving average.”

For the first time, you can have access to the same tools the big boys do - no code or Excel required. Composer lets you invest in a robust library of customizable systematic strategies, 100% free to use. Composer is active management, evolved. 

*See important disclaimer

Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • Brookfield Asset Management is exploring a purchase of data-center operator Switch which has a current market value of ~$7.6B (BBG)
  • British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe has moved quickly to hold talks with fans of Chelsea Football Club as he looks to build momentum for his late $5.3B bid for the team (BBG)
  • Digital media company Roku and Apollo have teamed up to bid for a minority stake in pay-TV streaming service Starz (WSJ)
  • Swedish pension fund AMF agreed to buy a 10% stake in energy storage developer Polarium at a $1B+ valuation (BBG)

VC

  • Home equity platform Point raised a $115M Series C led by WestCap (PRN)
  • Identity-based infrastructure access startup Teleport raised a $110M Series C at a $1.1B valuation led by Bessemer Venture Partners (TC)
  • Payments startup Kevin raised a $65M Series A led by Accel (TC)
  • Edge Delta, an observability platform that analyzes and extracts data insights from distributed stream processing, raised a $63M Series B led by Quiet Capital (PRN)
  • API security and observability startup Traceable AI raised a $60M Series B at a $450M+ valuation led by IVP (PRN)
  • Backend services platform AccelByte raised a $60M Series B led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 (TC)
  • Open-source database management startup Prisma raised a $40M round led by Altimeter (TC)
  • LottieFiles, a motion graphics platform for designers and developers, raised a $37M Series B led by Square Peg Capital (PRN)
  • European BNPL platform Scalapay raised a $27M Series B from Poste Italiane (PRN)
  • Teamwork platform Valence raised a $25M Series A led by Insight Partners (TC)
  • Graphite, a startup building an internal code review tool, raised a $20M Series A led by a16z (TC)
  • Robotic startup SLAMcore raised a $16M Series A led by ROBO Global Ventures and Presidio Ventures (TC)
  • DRUID, an end-to-end platform for building AI-driven conversational business applications, raised a $15M Series A led by Karma Ventures and Hoxton Ventures (PRN)
  • Open source risk management startup Phylum raised a $15M Series A led by ClearSky (PRN)
  • Operational technology security startup Network Perception raised a $13M Series A led by The Westly Group (BW)
  • Media company Decrypt raised $10M in funding at a $50M valuation from a group of investors including Hack VC, Hashkey Capital, Canvas Ventures, Protocol Labs, and more (BW)
  • Americana Technologies, a startup turning real-world objects into NFTs, raised a $6.9M seed round led by a16z (TC)
  • Syndicate, a startup bringing DAOs to the masses, raised a $6M strategic investment from Carta, Circle Ventures, OpenSea, and others (TC)
  • Courted.io, a professional network for residential real estate, raised a $6M seed round led by Human Capital (BW)
  • Stakes, a social wagering platform, raised a $5.3M seed round from Digital Currency Group, FBG Capital, CMS Holdings, and more (PRN)
  • Claira, a competency analytics engine, raised a $3.5M seed round led by Heartland Ventures (PRN)
  • WILE, a hormone wellness brand for women, raised a $3M pre-seed round led by Serena Ventures (PRN)
  • Lillii RNB, a retail fraud detection and prevention data services firm, raised a $3M seed round co-led by Serena Ventures and Aperture Venture Capital (BW)

SPAC

  • Chinese EV company CH-AUTO agreed to merge with Mountain Crest Acquisition Corp IV in a $1.7B deal (RT)

Fundraising

  • BlackRock seeks up to $4B for new private credit fund (BBG)
  • RoundTable Healthcare Partners raised $800M for its sixth fund (PRN)
  • Life sciences investment firm Catalio Capital Management closed its third fund at $381M (BW)
  • HOF Capital, a VC firm focused on ​​pre-seed to Series A investments, raised a $300M second fund (TC)
  • Home Depot announced a $150M VC fund to fuel innovation in retail and home improvement (PRN)
  • Hetz Ventures, an Israeli seed-stage VC firm, raised a $123M third fund to focus on startups involved in DevOps and dev tools, open-source software, enterprise/data software, fintech and cybersecurity (TC)

Crypto Corner

  • El Salvador debt risk looms as bitcoin bond has yet to launch (DC)
  • Luxury fitness club Equinox starts accepting crypto payments in NYC (TBC)
  • Bitcoin mining revenues fell in April while Ethereum’s rose (TBC)
  • Coinbase ends M&A talks with Brazilian crypto firm 2TM (BBG)

Exec's Picks

  • Yesterday, Jack Raines wrote a great piece about our problem with an overabundance of choices. Check out "The Paradox of Choice" here

Big Swinging Decks Podcast

🚨BIG SWINGING DECKS IS BACK🚨

This week Lit & Mark sit down with Christina Melas-Kyriazi, a Partner at Bain Capital Ventures. The duo discusses Christina’s path from an analyst in Goldman Sachs' Industrials group to her current position as a Partner at BCV focused on early-stage fintech investments.

Pop that F1 key off your mechanical keyboard and listen to Christina’s phenomenal career advice as well as the REAL story about how Lit became a venture scout for Bain Capital Ventures.

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

The Hiring Block

If you're looking to break into finance, lateral, or move out, check out our job board on Pallet. If you're a firm looking to advertise a job opening to a highly-targeted finance audience, you can post a job here.

Meme Cleanser

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

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