18
Sep
2020

Fraud prevention startup NS8 implodes as SEC investigates them for…. fraud

  “We’re just, a sign of the times  We’re just, a sign of the times  We’re just, a sign of the times  We’re just, a sign of the times” — Quiet Riot, Sign of the Times It can’t get much more 2020 than this: Los Vegas based fraud prevention start-up, NS8, who just raised $123 million from the VC firm Lightspeed, just fired nearly everybody via an all hands Zoom meeting, and disclosed that they...

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12
Jun
2020

Memo to Robinhood traders: “Bankruptcy” usually means the equity gets wiped out

Quick primer on how it works, given Hertz is about to pull the world’s first Initial Bankruptcy Offering: The senior debt holders are first in line Subordinated debt holders are next in line Creditors, suppliers, vendors, including employees and pension funds are in this line Equity holders (this means you) are the very last in line and they get a fraction whatever is left, which is often NOTHING Good luck in the scramble to buy Hertz...

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19
Apr
2020

Thematic next-wave portfolio constructor Motif goes bust

Motif trading platform, which claimed to use data driven methodologies to enable the creation of thematic and “next-wave” portfolios (translation: they grep 10Q’s for keywords) has rather abruptly shut  down. Their own advisors heard about it via Twitter. Yes, it did come with %FIRSTNANE%, who cares I guess… pic.twitter.com/3IuwpuBJQG — Hylland Capital (@HyllandCapital) April 18, 2020 They also had developed some  “next generation thematic ETFs” like “human evolution reimagined” (SPTX), which were launched by Goldman...

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16
Apr
2020

Siri: What is a “Unicorn circle jerk”?

Carta, a unicorn that makes dashboards for managing equity investments in other unicorns is laying off staff and sniffing out a cash injection from existing backers. Bloomberg reports that the company is seekng a $200 million investment from existing investors at a $3 billion valuation, up from 1.8B last year. Somewhat incongruent with the “growth story” picture that normally garners such a sharply higher round, Carta is laying off employees. They just axed 161 people...

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12
Apr
2020

AirBnB Pivots to “Virtual Experiences”, Lands $1 Billion Down Round

AirBnB, the tech unicorn that monetizes your spare room has been hit hard by the Coronavirus academic. As the company and the phenomenon grew, more and more “investors” levered up to buy more properties to rent out short term. Some becoming so-called “super-hosts”, running dozens or even hundreds of rental units. There even emerged a phenomenon, of “STR arbitrage“, which is Short Term Rental Arbitrage: taking out long term leases on properties you don’t own,...

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