Inflation Keeps Inflating

Inflation came in hot at 8.5%, CNN+ had a lackluster launch, Tim Cook says anti-trust laws will weaken consumer privacy, and airfares surged 20% past pre-pandemic levels.

Litquidity Capital
April 13, 2022

Together with

Good Morning, 

Inflation came in hot at 8.5%, CNN+ had a lackluster launch, Tim Cook says anti-trust laws will weaken consumer privacy, and airfares surged 20% past pre-pandemic levels. 

Big Swinging Decks is back! This week, Lit and Mark welcome Lydia Moynihan of the New York Post to chat about Wall Street scoops and culture. As always, catch the latest episode of our podcast, presented by CoinFLEX.US, on SpotifyApple Music, and now, YouTube 🤝. 

Let's dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 4/12/2022 market close.

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

Markets

  • Stocks fell yesterday as investors digested the latest US inflation data, which showed an 8.5% YoY increase in March 
    • The major averages all closed in the red with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq posting their third straight negative days of trading
    • The 8.5% increase is the highest in over 40 years
  • High inflation numbers raised expectations of tighter monetary policy from the Fed
  • The corporate earnings season kicks off today with JPMorgan and Delta Air Lines reporting before the bell

Earnings

  • Carmax reported worse-than-expected earnings with retail sales volume dropping 5.2% YoY and same-store sales falling 6.5% in Q4 (BRRNS)
  • What we’re watching this week: 
    • Today: Delta, BlackRock, JPMorgan, Rent the Runway, Bed Bath & Beyond
    • Thurs: TSMC, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Citi, Morgan Stanley, PNC
  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • NYC subway shooter at large as police shift focus from terror (BBG)
  • CNN+ struggles to lure viewers in early days, drawing fewer than 10,000 daily users (CNBC)
  • Biden allows sale of higher-ethanol gas in bid to tame costs (BBG)
  • Italy to buy more Algerian gas in bid to cut Russia reliance (BBG)
  • US inflation accelerated to 8.5% in March, hitting four-decade high (WSJ)
  • UK’s Boris Johnson to be fined over lockdown parties (WSJ)
  • New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin arrested on public-corruption charges (WSJ)
  • Apple’s Tim Cook warns proposed antitrust laws will leave users with less choice for privacy (WSJ)
  • Airfare surged 20% over pre-pandemic levels in March as inflation hit vacations (CNBC)
  • Lululemon launches a trade-in and resell program as shoppers grapple with inflation (CNBC)
  • EV maker Lucid debuts its latest Tesla rival, a high-performance luxury sedan with a 446-mile range (CNBC)

A Message From Plaid

The Two Words Changing The Financial Landscape?

No, we don’t mean what happens when you accidentally pull your Chase account up on your laptop while presenting – we mean the concept of data connectivity between all of your financial apps and services. 

This access makes managing your money more seamless than that one piece velour sweatsuit we wanted to use our tax return on (until cooler, less fun heads prevailed). 

Lucky for you, Plaid is here to help with this guide:

Inside, you’ll find everything you need to know about…

  • What open finance is and the key principles behind it
  • The benefits for financial institutions like yours
  • How to think about and find the right partners
  • The future of open finance regulations

Okay, less chit-chat, more down-load. (And don’t forget to say “thank you, Plaid!”).

Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • Deutsche Telekom is reviewing proposals to sell a majority or minority stake in its towers business that could be worth up to $19.6B (RT)
  • Software company Kaseya agreed to buy software maker Datto in a ~$6.2B deal (BBG)
  • KKR agreed to buy cybersecurity company Barracuda Networks in a $3.8B deal (BBG)
  • Russian investment firm Interros Capital agreed to buy Societe Generale’s Rosbank unit (SG will be taking a hit of ~$3.3B to exit the nation) (BBG)
  • A consortium led by HRL Morrison & Co. and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners is nearing a deal to buy Australian fiber cabling firm Uniti Group in a $2.5B deal (BBG)
  • Axa is in early talks to buy a controlling stake in Banco BPM’s insurance business which could be valued at $1.6B (BBG)

VC

  • Sunwoda Electronic is considering raising new funds for its EV battery unit at a $3.1B+ valuation (BBG)
  • USDC stablecoin creator Circle raised a $400M round from BlackRock, Fidelity, Marshall Wace, Fin Capital, and more (TC)
  • Voyager Innovations, the owner of Filipino payments and financial services app ‘PayMaya’, raised a $210M round at a $1.4B valuation led by SIG Venture Capital (TC)
  • Viral Nation, a global digital social innovation group, raised $198M in financing led by Eldridge (BW)
  • Pax8, a cloud services platform for small businesses, raised $185M at a $1.7B valuation in a round led by SoftBank Vision Fund (BBG)
  • Digital avatar startup Genies raised a $150M round at a $1B valuation led by Silver Lake (TC)
  • AI-powered contact center platform Observe.ai raised a $125M Series C led by SoftBank Vision Fund (TC)
  • Regenerative ophthalmic therapy startup Aurion Biotech raised $120M in financing led by Deerfield Management (BW)
  • IMMO, a European startup building a tech-driven residential investment platform, raised a $75M Series B led by Oak HC/FT (PRN)
  • Identity management platform Silverfort raised a $65M Series C led by Greenfield Partners (TC)
  • Trace, a game film platform that automatically edits and delivers personalized moments for players, raised a $47M Series C led by Pelion Venture Partners (PRN)
  • Jobox.ai, a software company providing home service marketplaces, raised a $42M Series B led by General Catalyst (PRN)
  • Mental health app Real raised a $37M Series B led by Owl Ventures (TC)
  • Quiq, an AI-powered conversational platform, raised a $25M Series C led by Baird Capital (TC)
  • AI-powered insurance claims processing startup EvolutionIQ raised a $21M Series A led by Brewer Lane Ventures (TC)
  • Egyptian infrastructure management platform for water and electricity companies Pylon raised a $19M debt / equity seed round led by Endure Capital (TC)
  • Product analytics startup Kubit raised an $18M Series A led by Insight Partners (TC)
  • No-code AI startup Noogata raised a $16M Series A led by Eight Roads (PRN)
  • Grain, a startup simplifying the capture of video snippets of online meetings, raised a $16M Series A led by Tiger Global (TC)
  • China-based exoskeleton startup RoboCT raised a $15.7M Series A+ led by Fortune Capital (PRN)
  • DUOS, a digital health company aiming to increase the lifespan of older adults, raised a $15M Series A led by Imaginary Ventures (PRN)
  • PassiveLogic, a startup creating a platform to autonomously control building systems, raised $15M from Brookfield Growth (TC)
  • Chicago-based wholesale cannabis marketplace Leaf Trade raised a $12.5M Series B led by Artemis Growth Partners (PRN)
  • 3D vision technology company NODAR raised a $12M Series A led by New Enterprise Associates (PRN)
  • AI workflow orchestration startup Union.ai raised a $10M round from NEA and angels (TC)
  • Proggio, a project portfolio management solution, raised a $7M Series A led by 2.0 Ventures (PRN)
  • Dragonfly AI, a predictive visual analytics platform, raised a $3.9M Series A led by Guinness Ventures and Downing Ventures (BW)
  • FLOWN, a startup aiming to augment the hybrid-work space, raised a $3.25M seed round led by Pi Labs and Venrex (TC)
  • Webhook management platform Hookdeck raised a $2.4M seed round led by Matrix Partners (TC)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • OfBusiness, a startup founded to help Indian enterprises buy bulk raw materials, is in talks to raise up to $2B in an IPO (BBG)

SPAC

  • Metaverse and creator economy company Infinite Reality agreed to merge with Universal Security Instruments in a $470M deal (BBG)

Fundraising

  • Pantera Capital, a crypto-focused asset manager, raised $1.3B for its Blockchain Fund (DC)
  • Growth equity firm Savano Capital Partners raised a $157M third fund (PRN)

Crypto Corner

  • Ethereum dev Virgil Griffith sentenced to 63 months in jail for North Korean crypto expedition (TBC)
  • Axie Infinity maker floats bug bounty program after $600M Ronin hack (TBC)
  • Celsius phasing out high-interest crypto accounts for non-accredited US investors (DC)

Exec's Picks

  • Investing is always better when you do it with friends. Hedge is a collaborative trading platform where you can pool money & invest together in stocks, options, crypto, & NFTs. Hedge is also one of Lit’s angel investments, and they’re launching a private beta later this month, which you can get access to by signing up for their waitlist here 🤝

Big Swinging Decks Podcast

🚨 BIG SWINGING DECKS IS BACK 🚨

This week, Lydia Moynihan of the New York Post sits down with Lit and Mark to discuss the state of the industry, the art of having sources and targets, her thoughts on David Solomon’s approach to the media, and who really writes the NY Post headlines.

The duo also plays a new iteration of “Cash or Pass” titled “Post or Hoax” where Lydia has to guess if a ridiculous headline is by the NY Post or not.

Oh, and as of today BSD is officially live on YouTube! Subscribe to our channel to stay up to date with the latest releases.

As always, catch the latest episode of our Big Swinging Decks podcast, presented by CoinFLEX.US, on SpotifyApple Music, andddd YouTube 🤝

And remember that you can earn and trade crypto with CoinFLEX.US, the inventors of flexUSD - America’s first interest earning stablecoin.

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.

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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