Shopify Stock Got Chopified

Retail sales came in HOT, Shopify stock was down bad after they released earnings, Google is adopting new privacy restrictions, Goldman is opening a Monaco office for the super-wealthy, China rolled out a digital yuan at the Olympics, and Kid Cudi's startup raised new capital.

Litquidity Capital
February 17, 2022

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Good Morning,

Retail sales came in HOT, Shopify stock was down bad after they released earnings, Google is adopting new privacy restrictions, Goldman is opening a Monaco office for the super-wealthy, China rolled out a digital yuan at the Olympics, and Kid Cudi's startup raised new capital.

Big Swinging Decks is back this fine Thursday with a special guest: Mark Lamb, the CEO and Co-Founder of CoinFLEX. Who is CoinFLEX? The exclusive sponsor of BSD Season 1 😤 Catch the latest episode on Spotify & Apple.

We just added some new job openings to our job board. Be sure to check it out below!

Let's dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 2/16/2022 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 indices ended the day relatively unchanged
    • Some of the midday losses reversed as the Fed announced they weren't going to accelerate the rate hike schedule
  • Retail sales rose 3.8% compared to the 2.1% expected by economists
  • ViacomCBS, the largest loser in the S&P 500 yesterday, dropped 17% after announcing that it would rebrand to Paramount Global to focus on streaming
  • Energy prices continued to rise, led by a 7% increase in natural gas as the Russia-Ukraine uncertainty persists

Earnings

  • Shopify shares slipped after reporting better-than-expected earnings numbers but a discounted future outlook, suggesting that growth could slow as some pandemic-era benefits subside (MW) 
  • Nvidia beat EPS ($1.32 actual vs. $1.22 exp.) and revenue ($7.64B actual vs. $7.42B exp.) estimates while increasing Q1 revenue guidance. Shares were down 2% AH (CNBC)
  • Kraft Heinz reported falling sales after raising product prices amid inflationary pressures, but they still beat top and bottom-line estimates (WSJ)
  • What we’re watching today: Palantir, Walmart
  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • Russia is continuing to build up forces near Ukraine, West says (WSJ)
  • Activist investor Dan Loeb sees ~$1T of untapped value in Amazon (WSJ)
  • Google is planning to adopt new privacy restrictions to cut tracking across Android apps similar to Apple’s move last year (CNBC)
  • US retail sales rise most in 10 months in broad-based rebound (BBG)
  • Meta’s Clegg promoted to president of global affairs as Zuckerberg steps back from policy (BBG)
  • Morgan Stanley’s Archegos unwinding sped up trading probe (BBG)
  • Goldman Sachs opens office in Monaco to expand operations for world’s ultra-rich (BBG)
  • Biden orders archives to release Trump White House visitor logs to Jan. 6 panel (WSJ)
  • Disney to develop residential communities with condos, houses (WSJ)
  • China rolls out digital yuan for foreigners at the Olympics (WSJ)
  • BioNTech unveils mobile Covid-19 vaccine factories for developing world (WSJ)
  • Microsoft shuts AltspaceVR’s social hubs to combat harassment (TC)

A Message From Cometeer

Gourmet coffee, brewed with the best beans, roasters, and technology possible. Just in time for that Q1 deal crunch. 

Cometeer capsules are flash-frozen to preserve the perfect flavor. You can melt a fresh cup in seconds. Ready to go whenever a PLS FIX hits, whether you’re chained to a desk or on the plane to Tulum.

Just empty your Cometeer capsule into hot water or milk. Enjoy however you want. Hot. Iced. Latte. Irish. It’s all ridiculously easy. And perfect for when you need help waking up on a Monday (the Super Bowl did us in hard).

So kick back and enjoy the aromas of world-class roasters like Joe Coffee and Equator. It’s a lot of work sourcing such incredible beans, but seriously–you’ve never tasted a supply chain this good. 

And no need to blow your bonus on a $5,000 espresso machine. Cometeer is just $2 a cup (even with that hot 7.5% inflation rate), and it tastes better than the fancy cappuccino your MD insists on getting every morning.

Fans of the coffee are everywhere, from Aaron Paul to David Chang. Even Stripe CEO Patrick Collison has tweeted about his love for Cometeer. 

Not to mention thousands of passionate customer reviews. As Scott R. wrote: "Though my home office (literally a garage) is a bland, unassuming space, when I have a cup of Cometeer's exquisite coffee it seems like a barista-crafted palace.” That’s true coffee love.

Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • German national railway operator Deutsche Bahn is preparing for a potential sale or listing of its DB Schenker logistics unit which could be valued at ~$23B (BBG)
  • Brookfield Asset Management, CVC Capital Partners, and some sovereign wealth funds are among parties that made first-round bids for a minority stake in Kuwaiti conglomerate Alshaya’s Starbucks franchise at a potential $15B valuation (BBG)
  • Blackstone agreed to buy apartment owner Preferred Apartment Communities in a $5.8B deal (BBG)
  • Theme park operator Cedar Fair shares fell after they rejected an offer to merge with SeaWorld Entertainment (BBG)
  • Italian engineering firm Saipem is considering a ~$4.5B restructuring package that could include a cash injection and asset sales (BBG)
  • Chinese General Nuclear Power Corp is considering selling its portfolio of renewable energy assets in Europe that could fetch $2B+ (BBG)
  • Goldman-backed workout equipment maker Echelon Fitness is exploring strategic options which could value the company at $1B+ (BBG)
  • Oil and gas producer Crescent Energy agreed to buy ~145K acres of oil and gas-producing assets in the Uinta Basin of Utah from Verdun Oil for $815M (RT)
  • Singapore-based The Sylvan Group agreed to buy majority stakes in four Singapore healthcare and pharmaceutical firms, Juniper Biologics, Artemis Health Ventures, DX Imaging, and Juniper Therapeutics, for a combined $140.5M (RT)
  • Crypto custodian Fireblocks acquired Israel-based crypto payments processor First DAG in a cash-and-stock deal (TBC)

VC

  • HV Capital raises a $489M continuation fund to hold startups for longer (BBG)
  • Uniphore, a conversation automation startup, raised a $400M Series E at a $2.5B valuation led by NEA (BW)
  • Africa and emerging markets-focused payments firm Flutterwave raised $250M at a $3B+ valuation in a round led by B Capital Group (BBG)
  • Low code application platform for financial markets Genesis raised a $200M round led by Tiger Global (TC)
  • SME lender Funding Societies raised a $144M Series C+ led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and a $150M credit line from institutional investors (TC)
  • Fifth Wall, a venture capital firm focused on real estate tech, closed an oversubscribed $159M fund (PRN)
  • Online shopping rewards app ShopBack is in talks with potential investors to raise $150M at a ~ $1B valuation (BBG)
  • Payments infrastructure startup Stronghold launched a $100M venture arm to invest in underrepresented founders, fintech, and web3 (TC)
  • Star Therapeutics, a rare disease therapeutics startup, raised a $100M round from Westlake Village BioPartners, OrbiMed, Redmile Group, and others (BW)
  • Electra Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing antibody therapies that target signal regulatory proteins, raised an $84M Series B led by Westlake Village BioPartners and OrbiMed (BW)
  • Payroll infrastructure startup Check raised a $75M Series C led by Stripe (PRN)
  • Walking Fish Therapeutics, a startup building cell factories to produce therapeutic antibodies, raised a $73M Series A led by Northpond Ventures and First Spark Ventures (BW)
  • Antora Energy, a startup unlocking zero emissions heat and electricity for heavy industry, raised a $53M round from Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Lowercarbon Capital (BW)
  • Data driven manufacturing quality protection startup Instrumental raised a $50M Series C led by BAM Elevate (TC)
  • Brick and mortar in-store experience management platform Raydiant raised a $30M Series B led by 8VC and Atomic Ventures (PRN)
  • Hyphen, a robotics startup for commercial kitchens, raised a $24M Series A led by Tiger Global (BW)
  • Qumata, a startup developing an ML mechanism for insurance underwriting, raised a $23M Series A extension led by AIA Group and MMC Ventures (BW)
  • Nomad, a startup aiming to fix small-time rental property owners’ financial uncertainty with ‘guaranteed rent’, raised a $20M Series A led by Silicon Valley Bank Capital (TC)
  • Virtual event space startup EventX raised an additional $8M led by GL Ventures, bringing the Series B total to $18M (TC)
  • Vivvi, an employer sponsored child care company, raised a $15M Series B led by Tribeca Venture Partners (BW)
  • Encore, an interactive live performance app co-founded by Kid Cudi, raised a $9M round led by Battery Ventures (BW)
  • Paywallet, a payroll-linked verification and remittance ecosystem, raised an $8.82M Series A led by Pasaca Capital (BW)
  • Social livestream and immersive chat platform for traders, Trading.TV, raised an $8M round led by Lightspeed Ventures (PRN)
  • Appboxo, a startup helping developers create ‘super apps’ (think WeChat), raised a $7M Series A led by RTP Global (TC)
  • NourishedRx, a digital health company, raised a $6M seed round led by S2G Ventures (PRN)
  • Voila, a startup building infrastructure for social commerce, raised a $6M Series A led by Sinovation Ventures (TC)
  • Aurox, a cryptocurrency trading platform, raised a $5M seed round at a $25M post-money valuation led by RB Capital (BW)
  • Architect.io, a next-generation dependency-aware continuous delivery platform, raised a $5M seed round led by Next Coast Ventures (PRN)
  • Uni, a startup building reusable containers for homecare products, raised a $4M seed round led by SOUNDWaves (TC)
  • CrowdForce, a startup working on increasing the availability of financial services in Nigeria, raised a $3.6M debt/equity pre-Series A led by Aruwa Capital Management (TC)
  • Spoke, a music therapy app for Gen Z, raised a $1.5M pre-seed round led by Ada Ventures (TC)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Life Insurance Corporation of India is looking to raise ~$8.7B from its IPO (BBG)
  • Medical device maker Meihua International Medical Technologies priced its IPO at the mid-point of a marketed range for a potential $236M valuation (BBG)

Debt

  • SoftBank is asking banks to underwrite a margin loan of ~$8B as part of chipmaker Arm’s IPO (BBG)

Crypto Corner

  • Red Bull Racing signs $150M sponsorship deals with crypto exchange Bybit (DECRYPT)
  • Canadian federal police seek to block crypto wallets tied to ‘Freedom Convoy’ (TBC)
  • El Salvador's president warns "boomer" US Senators not to meddle in his country (BBG)
  • Stronghold Capital launches with $100M fund for Web3, Blockchain and Fintech (BW)
  • Illicit crypto transactions hit all-time high of $14B in 2021 (BW)
  • Coinbase launches crypto remittance pilot for Mexico (BW)
  • Twitter adds Ethereum wallet support to its tipping feature (CD)
  • Disney hires Mike White to lean into metaverse efforts (TBC)

Exec's Picks

  • Picnic Tax - the new premium online tax product on the block. If you're a PE/VC investor, degenerate YOLO day trader, real estate landlord, or, better yet, all the above... Picnic has a network of hundreds of accountants that can handle anything from simple W-2s to more complex returns that include K-1s, rental or freelance income, multi-state, day trading gains/losses, crypto, you name it. Check out Picnic here.

Big Swinging Decks Podcast

🚨NEW BSD DROPPED LAST NIGHT🚨

On this week’s episode, Lit & Mark break the news of their exclusive sponsorship with CoinFLEX as they announce CoinFLEX’s formal expansion into the United States through CoinFLEX.US!

The duo is joined by Mark Lamb, the CEO and Co-Founder of CoinFLEX, who chats about his background and what led him to found the company.

Lit & Mark also play a special crypto-themed edition of “Cash or Pass" with ideas to form a DAO to acquire BBar in NYC (iykyk), launch RatCoin, and more.

Catch Big Swinging Decks on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

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.

And if you're a company looking to hire candidates with strong financial backgrounds, just head over to the board and click the big purple "Start Hiring" button.

Meme Cleanser

Catch the latest episode of our Big Swinging Decks podcast on 
Spotify and Apple Music 🤝

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