Martin Shkreli Is Back

Huge day in the US legal system as Martin Shkreli and Billy McFarland were both released from prison, Target and Walmart had poor earnings reports, Twitter keeps losing senior employees, Melvin Capital is winding down, and the US reopened its Kyiv embassy.

Litquidity Capital
May 19, 2022

Good Morning,

Huge day in the US legal system as Martin Shkreli and Billy McFarland were both released from prison, Target and Walmart had poor earnings reports, Twitter keeps losing senior employees, Melvin Capital is winding down, and the US reopened its Kyiv embassy.

We are extending an official invite for Mr. Shkreli to join Lit and Mark on the BSD Pod. Martin, if you're reading this let's chat 🤝

Speaking of the pod, Big Swinging Decks is back! This week, Titan co-founder Clay Gardner sits down with Lit and Mark to discuss how his company is giving the power back to the average investor.

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

Let's dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 5/18/2022 market close.

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


  • We saw a broad market sell off yesterday with the Dow having its worst day since June 2020 and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq shedding 4%+
    • The biggest hit was from consumer discretionary stocks after disappointing earnings reports from names like Target and Walmart
    • All 11 S&P 500 sectors closed down
  • On the economic data front, this morning we’ll receive initial jobless claims results


  • Target shares fell ~25% after a disappointing quarterly earnings report as they absorbed higher costs from supply-chain disruptions and inflationary pressures instead of raising prices for consumers (WSJ)
  • Lowe’s missed on Q1 revenue expectations as cooler spring weather hurt demand for supplies for outdoor DIY projects (CNBC)
  • What we’re watching today: John Deere, Foot Locker
  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • NYC won’t bring back school mask rule despite surge, Adams says (​​BBG)
  • Martin Shkreli is released from prison early (BBG)
  • Fyre Festival fraudster Billy McFarland released from prison early (NYP)
  • Twitter loses three more senior employees ahead of Musk’s takeover (BBG)
  • EU court backs $29M EU gun jumping fine against Canon (RT)
  • Allianz to pay $6B in US fraud case, fund managers charged (RT)
  • Flight attendants union backs Frontier-Sprint tie-up (RT)
  • Melvin Capital to close funds, return cash to investors (WSJ)
  • Under Armour CEO Patrick Frisk is stepping down (WSJ)
  • US reopens Kyiv embassy; Turkey rejects swift NATO approval for Finland and Sweden (CNBC)

A Message From Miso

How Do Restaurants Save $70.3B In Labor Spend?

With Miso. 

No, not the soup you order with your sushi. We’re talking about Miso, the cutting-edge AI developer saving restaurants from $70.3 billion in labor spend.

The fastfood industry suffers from razor-thin margins (as little as 3-5%), which means they’ll take all the help they can get when it comes to bumping those numbers up.

These days, that help has a name: Miso Robotics.

Their autonomous kitchen assistants is infiltrating kitchens at Jack in the Box, White Castle, and several other industry giants…with no sign of stopping:

So, ready to jump on the robo-chef rocket ship? 

Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • Siemens Energy is weighing a bid for the shares of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy it doesn’t already own; which has a total market value of $10.1B (BBG)
  • Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund agreed to buy a 5% stake in Japan’s Nintendo for ~$3B (WSJ)
  • Starwood Capital Group and London & Regional are exploring a sale of the Hard Rock Hotel in central London that could fetch up to $621M (BBG)
  • KKR and PAG are among suitors considering bids for Hong Kong telecommunications provider HKBN (BBG)
  • German eyeglass-lens maker Rodenstock is nearing a purchase of Spanish rival Indo in a potential $158M deal (BBG)


  • High-growth media company Recurrent Ventures raised $300M in new funding led by funds managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities (PRN)
  • Payments and software startup SpotOn raised a $300M Series F at a $3.6B valuation led by Dragoneer Investment Group (TC)
  • Cloud-native banking startup Thought Machine raised a $160M Series D at a $2.7B valuation led by Temasek (BW)
  • Code training school Masterschool raised a $100M seed round led by Group 11 (TC)
  • Laekna Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotechnology company developing next-generation medicines, raised a $61M Series D led by CS Capital (PRN)
  • SwanBio Therapeutics, a startup developing therapies for neurological conditions stemming from inherited mutations, raised a $56M Series B led by Syncona Limited and Mass General Brigham Ventures (BW)
  • N3TWORK Studios, a developer and publisher of blockchain-based games, raised a $46M Series A led by Griffin Gaming Partners (BW)
  • Data security startup Seclore raised a $27M Series C led by Origami Capital Partners and Oquirrh Ventures (BW)
  • Heartex, a startup building an ‘open source platform for data labeling,’ raised a $25M Series A led by Redpoint Ventures (TC)
  • UrbanFootprint, a platform enabling better decision-making around infrastructure investments, raised a $25M Series B led by Citi and Social Capital (BW)
  • Animal-free milk protein startup Imagindairy raised a $15M seed extension round led by Target Global (PRN)
  • CyberConnect, a startup developing web3 user data solutions, raised a $15M Series A led by Animoca Brands and Sky9 Capital ((TC)
  • QuestBook, a startup helping web3 developers secure funds, raised an $8.3M Series A led by Lemniscap (TC)
  • AI-generated fashion model startup raised an $8M Series A led by Hillhouse Capital (TC)
  • African video on demand company IROKOtv raised a $3.2M seed round led by 468 Capital (TC)
  • Security Token Group, a venture studio focused on building financial infrastructure for the security token industry, raised a $3M Series A led by Blue Bay Ventures (PRN)


  • Surf Air, a membership-based private plane operator, agreed to merge with Tuscan Holdings Corp. II in a $1.42B deal (BBG)
  • Turkish electric scooter company and bike-sharing app Marti agreed to merge with Galata Acquisition Corp., which raised $125M in a NYSE listing last year (BBG)


  • A consortium of private credit firms including Blackstone, Oak Hill, Crescent Capital, and Blue Owl Capital has lined up a ~$2.9B debt package backing Carlyle’s purchase of US government contractor ManTech International (BBG)


  • Singaporean venture firm Jungle Ventures closed its fourth fund with $600M: $450M for new investments and $150M for follow-up investments (TC)
  • Clearlake Capital raised a $14.1B Fund VII (PRN)

Crypto Corner

  • Ethereum nears major upgrade as testnet set to undergo merge in June (DC)
  • Terra backer Pantera Capital says it cashed out 80% of its investment before UST crash (TBC)
  • Coinbase is launching an in-house crypto think tank (TBC)

Exec's Picks

  • In honor of Martin Shkreli's early release from prison, we are sharing the story of how the world-famous "pharma bro" induced a 10,000% short squeeze on a left-for-dead biotech company in 2015. Check out the piece 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.
  • Featured Job Listing: For anyone considering a career change, Stirlingshire, a startup looking to fix the full-service broker-dealer model, is looking to hire new brokers and advisors. Stirlingshire is offering a 100% payout, 100% WFH, and equity to all first-year hires. Interested? Check out their posting on our job board 🤝

Meme Cleanser

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

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