‘Twas a Musky Thursday

Twitter is hosting an employee town hall regarding Musk's bid, US mortgage rates hit 5% for the first time in a decade, bank earnings were down year over year, Peloton is raising its subscription fee, California ran on clean energy for a month, and North Korea is tied to the Axie Infinity hack.

Litquidity Capital
April 15, 2022

Together with

Good Morning, 

Twitter is hosting an employee town hall regarding Musk's bid, US mortgage rates hit 5% for the first time in a decade, bank earnings were down year over year, Peloton is raising its subscription fee, California ran on clean energy for a month, and North Korea is tied to the Axie Infinity hack.

In case you forgot: today is Good Friday the US stock and bond markets are closed today. In Europe, stock exchanges will be closed today through Easter Monday, reopening on Tuesday. 
Have a good Easter weekend fam 🤝

Let's dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 4/14/2022 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 fell yesterday to cap off a negative week as investors digested mixed bank earnings and rising inflation
    • The 10Y Treasury climbed to 2.8%, bringing it back to multi-year highs 
    • Retail sales rose 0.5% in March and import prices climbed 2.6%, the biggest one-month jump since 2011
  • US jobless claims rose by 185K (vs. 172K expected)

Earnings

  • TSMC raised its sales outlook for the year after quarterly earnings increased 45%, driven by continued strong demand for chips (YHOO)
  • Wells Fargo’s Q1 profit declined 21% YoY despite increased lending and a release of $1B in funds set aside for potential losses (WSJ)
  • Goldman Sachs’ Q1 profit fell 42% YoY driven by a decrease in revenue from fees as less companies went public in the volatile market (WSJ
  • Citi posted a Q1 YoY profit decrease of 46%, dragged down by higher expenses and potential losses from exposure to Russia (WSJ)
  • Morgan Stanley reported a Q1 profit decrease of 11% YoY thanks to a decline in corporate deal flow, with merger brokering and fundraising fees falling 37% (WSJ
  • PNC posted a better-than-expected Q1 report, but profits were still down 22% YoY (BRRNS)
  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • US mortgage rates hit 5% for first time since early 2011 (BBG)
  • Peloton will slash hardware prices, raise subscription fee (BBG)
  • Twitter to host town hall with employees to discuss Musk offer (RT)
  • Russia’s Black Sea flagship abandoned, damaged after Ukraine claims missile strike sunk it (WSJ)
  • Retail sales rose 0.5% in March amid inflation jump; import prices hit 11-year high (CNBC)
  • Russia threatens new nuclear deployments if Sweden, Finland join NATO (CNBC)
  • New York clears $4.5B plan to bring hydropower to Big Apple (BBG)
  • California ran on nearly 100% clean energy this month (BBG)
  • Blackstone signs a deal to expand its offices in Midtown Manhattan (BBG)
  • Islamic State fighter convicted for role in murder of four Americans (WSJ)
  • Ukraine seizes 26 cars and 32 apartments of detained Kremlin ally Medvedchuk (CNBC)
  • American Airlines pilots’ union sues carrier over request to help with training on days off (CNBC)

A Message From Wondrium

The Clock Is Ticking ⏳

12 billion. That’s not how many people are on the planet, it’s how many tons of carbon have been released into the atmosphere so far in 2022. This rate of carbon release is unsustainable, but there is hope on the horizon.

Wondrium, a leader in educational media, has produced a fantastic documentary, Solving for Zero, along with a 10-part series, Solving for Zero: The Search for Climate Innovation, , to highlight the science and people behind recent innovations across various industries that contribute the most to our carbon footprint.

How do we get to net zero by 2050? Join the race with Solving for Zero, inspired by Bill Gates’ bestseller, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, and the 10-part series, Solving for Zero: The Search for Climate Innovation. Stream both today with a Free Trial on Wondrium.

Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • The Benetton Family and Blackstone offered to buy Italian highway operator Atlantia in a $20.7B deal (BBG)
  • Holcim, the world’s biggest cement maker, is considering a potential sale of businesses in India including Ambuja Cements, which has a market value of ~$9.6B (BBG)
  • Apollo is in talks to buy part of AMP Capital’s infrastructure equity business which would include $5-$7B of assets (BBG)
  • Road King Infrastructure and CVC Capital Partners are considering options for toll road business RKE that could be valued at ~$1B (BBG)
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank withdrew its $1B bid for investment bank EFG-Hermes over regulatory delays (BBG)
  • Russian gold producer Petropavlovsk is considering putting itself up for sale following sanctions on Russia and the risk of countermeasures; the firm has a market cap of ~$155M (RT)
  • The management of Chinese hotel chain GreenTree is considering teaming up with CICC Capital on an offer to take the NY listed firm private (BBG)

VC

  • Filevine, a startup offering a SaaS product for legal case management, raised a $108M Series D led by StepStone Group (TC)
  • Welcome Tech, a startup aiming to build “an operating system” for immigrant families in the US, raised $30M in a round led by TTV Capital (TC)
  • DoControl, which creates no-code solutions for cloud app log-ins, raised a $30M Series B led by Insight Partners (TC)
  • Backbone, a platform designed to enable companies to respond to supply chain disruptions by surfacing replacement options, raised $14M in seed funding from Nautilus Ventures, 12/12 Ventures, and individual investors (TC)
  • Been Impact, a company that enables consumers to turn their spending into a way to support social causes, raised a $13.3M Series A led by Index Ventures (TC)
  • Employee perk management platform Compt raised a $13M Series A led by Battery Ventures (TC)
  • Speckle, a 3D developer platform, raised $5.5M in a seed round led by Frontline Ventures and Matrix Partners (TC)
  • Cerve, a Sweden-based food tech startup, raised $2M in a seed round led by Orkla Ventures (TC)
  • Zaraye, which runs a platform that connects manufacturers directly with suppliers, raised $2.1M in pre-seed funding from Tiger Global and Zayn Capital (TC)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

Chinese battery maker Gotion is considering raising ~$1.6B from a sale of global depositary receipts in Switzerland (BBG)

Crypto Corner

  • US Treasury connects North Korean hackers to $622M Axie Infinity exploit (DC)
  • New York man charged with running unlicensed Bitcoin ATMs that sold $5.6M in BTC (DC)
  • Amazon won’t support crypto payments any time soon: CEO (DC)
  • New Virginia law allows state-chartered banks to custody crypto (TBC)

Exec's Picks

  • Done watching grass grow? It’s your final day to invest in Graze. Their 100% electric, autonomous mower is cutting grass and costs across America. And with $32 million in preorders and counting, it’s about to chomp on the $100 billion commercial landscaping industry. So hurry and invest now!
  • Yesteday, Josh Wolfe, founder of Lux Capital, joined the Empire podcast for a great discussion about all things nuclear energy. Listen to their latest episode 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.

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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