Citadel Securities - the new tech unicorn?

Citadel raised outside funding, CPI data dropping at 8:30, stocks bounced back yesterday, US daily covid cases hit all-time highs, Citi pulls the plug on some Mexican banks, China thinks it found water on the moon, Rivian's COO said adios, Meta mandates covid boosters (which raises the question: can you catch covid in the metaverse?), United cuts 3,000 flights, Spain says covid in endemic, Pfizer has (another) new shot, Adidas signed a fat office lease in LA.

By Litquidity Capital Jan 12, 2022

Together with

Good morning,

Citadel raised outside funding, CPI data drops at 8:30am ET, stocks bounced back yesterday, US daily covid cases hit all-time highs, Citi pulls the plug on some Mexican banks, China thinks it found water on the moon, DirecTV and Dish in merger talks again, United cuts 3,000 flights, Spain says covid is endemic, Pfizer has (another) new shot, and Adidas signed a fat office lease in LA.

Special shoutout to Cometeer for sponsoring today's edition. One capsule got me ready to run through 6 brick walls in the morning. 

LitVentures is offer to a piping hot start. We're circulating a new investment opportunity this AM to our accredited investors. Exciting deal with a strategic angle. If you're accredited (or a qualified purchaser) and want to get in the mix, fill out this survey.

Let's dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 1/11/2021 market close.

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


  • Major indexes rose yesterday for the second straight day as cooling interest rates relaxed pressures on equities; the Nasdaq gained 1.41%
  • JPow said in yesterday’s testimony that he expects a normalized supply chain to ease inflationary pressures in 2022, but the Fed is ready to further hike rates if inflation stays high
  • Investors will be watching the December CPI data at 8:30am ET today for updated inflation numbers
    • Dow Jones estimates show an expected 7.1% YoY increase


  • What we’re watching today: Jefferies 
  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • US Covid-19 hospitalizations and cases hit new record (CNBC)
  • Pfizer begins making shot that targets omicron, original virus (BBG)
  • Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch again doesn’t wear mask on bench (CNBC)
  • Spain calls for debate to consider covid as endemic, like flu (BBG)
  • Ken Griffin sets Citadel Securities on IPO path with tech backers Sequoia Capital and Paradigm (BBG)
  • Crypto funds outperformed traditional hedge funds and digital asset benchmarks (TB)
  • Citigroup to exit Mexico consumer banking business in part of CEO’s continued push to simplify bank (WSJ)
  • Meta to mandate Covid-19 vaccine boosters for office workers, delay reopening (WSJ)
  • Adidas signs downtown Los Angeles’s biggest office lease in more than a year (WSJ)
  • Rivian’s COO departed amid production ramp-up (WSJ)
  • United cuts flights as ~3,000 workers call out sick from Covid (CNBC)
  • Kleiner Perkins starts 50th year with $1.8B in two new funds (TC)
  • China’s Chang’e-5 probe finds on-site evidence of water on the Moon’s surface (TC)
  • Kim Kardashian, Floyd Mayweather sued by investors in EthereumMax tokens (lmfaoooooooooo) (BBG)

A Message From Cometeer

The coffee that has $100M+ in funding?

A coffee company that has SaaS level funding? And they didn’t even need to pivot to NFTs to get the nod from top-tier VCs?? That must be one hell of a cup of joe. And it is. 

Cometeer coffee is cafe-quality coffee in the comfort of your own house. And it’s better than your MD’s multi thousand dollar espresso machine. 

This coffee doesn’t come in a bag, or a cup, or even a plastic bottle. It comes in a frozen puck. Stay with me here. 

Cometeer’s frozen capsule is preserved at -321°F (at the absolute peak of its flavor and aroma).  You can melt a perfect cup of coffee in less than 30 seconds without any annoying equipment. Just drop your capsule into a cup of water for hot or iced coffees, or straight into milk for lattes.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been called up by your PE recruiter at 11 pm for a surprise in-office model test. Cometeer is ready to go just like that, and it gives the perfect cup of joe everytime. 

How could this possibly work? First, Cometeer sources beans from the country’s best roasters. Next, they grind and brew the coffee meticulously, using a new, proprietary process that turns the beans into perfection.

Moments later, the brewed coffee is flash-frozen at peak flavor so it's perfect when it hits your lips. And it’s easy. Even the cocky but completely inexperienced MBA associates in your group will nail it on their first try. 

Deal Flow


  • DirecTV and Dish in merger talks once again despite past antitrust concerns (NYP)
  • Auto parts maker Aptiv agreed to buy software developer Wind River for $4.3B (RT)
  • KKR has reached out to Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund as it seeks co-investors to join its proposed acquisition of Telecom Italia (BBG)
  • Citic Capital and FountainVest Partners are considering the sale of the Australia and NZ assets of pallet maker Loscam Asia Pacific Co, which could sell for $1B+ (BBG)
  • Planet Fitness agreed to buy Fitness Growth, one of its top franchisees, for $800M (WSJ)
  • Walgreens Boots Alliance has begun a strategic review of Boots, its chain of ~2,200 UK drugstores, which CEO Rosalind Brewer said is expected to move quickly (BBG)
  • UniCredit is interested in a potential takeover of rescued Russian lender Otkritie Bank (BBG)
  • IBM agreed to buy Australian ESG startup Envizi (TC)
  • Manufacturing company Magna agreed to buy the technology, IP and assets of autonomous shuttle startup Optimus Ride (TC)
  • Resolution Life has emerged as the likeliest buyer of Asian insurance company AIA’s life insurance legacy assets that could raise “a few hundred million dollars” (BBG)
  • French healthcare tech platform Doctolib agreed to buy Tanker, a developer of a SaaS product to help doctors and medical workers with admin tasks (TC
  • Candle Media agreed to buy Israeli studio Faraway Road Productions for less than $50M (RT)


  • Electronic-trading firm Citadel Securities received its first outside investment: a $1.15B investment at a ~$22B valuation from Sequoia Capital and Paradigm (WSJ)
  • Turkish grocery delivery app Getir is looking to raise capital at a $12B valuation in a funding round started by its existing investors (BBG)
  • Bolt, an on-demand ride-hailing and shared car service startup, raised a $709M round at an $8.4B valuation led by Sequoia Capital and Fidelity Management & Research (TC)
  • Business banking startup Qonto raised a $552M Series D at a $5B valuation led by Tiger Global and TCV (TC)
  • Refurbished iPhone seller Back Market raised $510M at a $5.7B valuation in a funding round led by Sprints Capital (WSJ)
  • Vienna-based education technology startup GoStudent has raised $340M at a $3B valuation in a round led by Prosus Ventures (BBG)
  • Brex, a US fintech startup reimagining financial operations for businesses, raised a $300M Series D-2 at a $12.3B valuation led by Greenoaks Capital and TCV (BW)
  • Early cancer detection startup Freenome received a $290M investment from Roche (PRN)
  • Project 44, a startup that enables the world’s largest companies to track shipments across the global supply chain, raised $240M in equity funding at a $2.4B valuation in a round led by TPG, Thoma Bravo, and Goldman Sachs (BBG)
  • Alternative investment platform CAIS raised a $225M round at a valuation north of $1B led by Apollo and Motive Partners (BW)
  • Transcarent, a startup reimagining how employees and employers receive health care, raised a $200M Series C led by Kinnevik and Human Capital (BW)
  • Tul, an e-commerce platform specializing in construction materials, raised $181M in equity funding at a ~$800M valuation led by 8VC (BBG)
  • Pentera, a startup building automated security validation, raised a $150M Series C at a $1B+ valuation led by K1 Investment Management (BW)
  • Envoy, a workplace platform that helps businesses reopen after the pandemic, raised a $111M Series C led by Brookfield Growth (BW)
  • SME financial platform KoinWorks raised a $108M Series C led by MDI Ventures (TC)
  • Shanghai-based biotech company ZhenGe Biotech raised a $100M Series C led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Sofina (PRN)
  • Indonesian aquaculture tech startup eFishery raised a $90M Series C led by Temasek, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and Sequoia Capital India (TC)
  • SMB neobank Novo raised a $90M Series B at a $700M valuation led by Stripes (TC)
  • Autonomous building platform PassiveLogic raised a $34M Series B led by Addition (PRN)
  • Corporate learning platform EduMe raised a $20M Series B led by Prosus Ventures and Workday Ventures (TC)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • India said to be tweaking rules and amending regulations to ensure Life Insurance Corp.’s potential 1B rupee (~$13B) IPO goes smoothly; the success of the offering, which would be the biggest Indian IPO ever, is a key item in the current government’s economic agenda (BBG)

Exec's Picks

  • Sharing a post by author Morgan Housel about why human behavior and stories often overrule statistics, especially in financial markets.
  • Plus another piece by Jack, a contributor to Exec Sum. Yesterday he wrote an article about how money amplifies every aspect of your life. Check it out here.
  • Y Combinator, the prestigious startup accelerator, recently announced they changed up their standard deal for companies who are accepted into their program. This twitter thread by Elizabeth Yin of Hustle Fund succinctly breaks down the implications this has on the early stage funding landscape. Well worth the read if you're a startup founder or early stage investor.

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.

Big Swinging Decks Podcast

🗣 ICYMI: Yesterday we dropped a new episode about mental health in the workplace, something that doesn't get talked about enough on Wall Street. We hope to bring about change by tackling this topic in a down-to-earth manner.

Catch the latest episode on Spotify and Apple Music 🤝

Meme Cleanser

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