🍋 Rihanna Dropping on Wall St?

Short Squeez
March 14, 2022

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“Patience is not passive, on the contrary, it is concentrated strength.” — NFT Artist Cam Rackam after netting $739k in 32 minutes selling his first NFT collection

Good Morning! Tom Brady had an eventful weekend – met Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford, announced he's not f***cking leaving and un-retired (after spending 1 month in web3), and also rugpulled the guy who bought his "final touchdown" ball for $518,000. Meta is also rugpulling its employees and will no longer be doing their dirty laundry, as part of a reduction/elimination of some of its famous perks. E-cig makers like Puff Bar are facing smoke, thanks to a $1.5 trillion bill expanding the FDA's reach over synthetic nicotine. Work from home is encouraging Americans to go nomadic. 9.3% of surveyed Americans say they plan to move. Meanwhile, the Great Resignation is not going according to plan for its participants. 72% of millennial and Gen Z workers say they regret quitting old jobs.

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1. Story of the Day: Rihanna Dropping on Wall St?

Rihanna really has been at work, work, work, work, work. It's been revealed that the singer/entrepreneur's Savage X Fenty lingerie company could go public at a $3 billion valuation. The star is apparently talking to Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley about a listing that could happen this year.

Growth has clearly been on Riri's mind - in January, Neuberger Berman led a $125 million funding round with investors like L Catterton (PE firm backed by LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault,) Avenir Growth Capital, Sunley House Capital Management, and Jay-Z's Marcy Venture Partners.

Savage X Fenty has raised $310 million since its inception in 2018. Rihanna maintains a 30% ownership stake in the firm, which is apparently enough to help support her billionaire status. Rihanna's estimated net worth of $1.7 billion is comprised of $990 million in the lingerie company at the current valuation. 

The business is uniquely positioned to succeed in the market because they encourage body positivity, providing sizes from XS to 4XL. This is similar to Rihanna's other companies like Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin, who cater to customers that may be overlooked by competitors e.g., Fenty Beauty has 40+ foundation shades, far more than similar brands.

Shannon Coyne, cofounder of Bluestock Advisors, a consumer products consulting firm, thinks the valuation may be a little rich, and may be driven more by the superstar founder's fame, rather than the brand's track record. The company is less than five years old and only has a few brick-and-mortar locations. Coyne said, "At this time, $3 billion seems rich because her items are not expensive, so she would have to do a lot of volume in lingerie, or around $140 million in EBITDA."

Short Squeez Takeaway: Other than Rihanna's stardom, the main reason for Savage X Fenty's success has been its wholesome embrace of diversity and inclusivity catering to women of all shapes and sizes. Savage X Fenty has been eating into Victoria's Secret market share (dropped from around 80% in 2016 to 65% in 2019), which has historically focused on oversexed marketing catered to the male gaze, rather than how women view themselves. Savage X Fenty's IPO might be more bad news for Victoria's Secret.

Source: Bloomberg, Forbes, FastCompany

2. Markets Rundown

Stocks opened higher, but ultimately ended lower locking in the 5th straight week of losses amid the Russia-Ukraine situation. Crypto traded fairly horizontally over the weekend.

Movers & Shakers

  • (+) Marygold Cos ($MGLD) +89% after its uplisting to the NYSE American Exchange.
  • (+) Lazydays ($LAZY) +20% thanks to positive Q4 numbers and growth in the RV space.
  • (–) DocuSign ($DOCU) -20% because of a weak revenue outlook, despite positivity from CEO Dan Springer.

3. Top Reads

  • Being undermined by a boss who's not supposed to be working? (NYT)
  • Cost of protecting Pompeo is $2 million a month (BB)
  • Broken McDonald's ice cream machines land them in a federal lawsuit (NYT)
  • Women face tough choice between working from home and their careers (WSJ)
  • It's telecom deal time! (Axios)
  • Twitter is trying to grab Gen Z and the influencer crowd (WP)
  • Best brain foods you're not eating enough of (CNBC)
  • A 50 million person experiment about changing how we work (NYT)
  • Roadblocks for fast grocery delivery apps (BoB)
  • How the pandemic changed our views on work (WSJ)

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4. Book of the Day: Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen

So often in life, we get stuck in a cycle of response. We put out fires. We deal with emergencies. We stay downstream, handling one problem after another, but we never make our way upstream to fix the systems that caused the problems. Cops chase robbers, doctors treat patients with chronic illnesses, and call-center reps address customer complaints. But many crimes, chronic illnesses, and customer complaints are preventable. So why do our efforts skew so heavily toward reaction rather than prevention?

Upstream probes the psychological forces that push us downstream—including “problem blindness,” which can leave us oblivious to serious problems in our midst. And Heath introduces us to the thinkers who have overcome these obstacles and scored massive victories by switching to an upstream mindset. One online travel website prevented twenty million customer service calls every year by making some simple tweaks to its booking system. 

A major urban school district cut its dropout rate in half after it figured out that it could predict which students would drop out—as early as the ninth grade. A European nation almost eliminated teenage alcohol and drug abuse by deliberately changing the nation’s culture. And one EMS system accelerated the emergency-response time of its ambulances by using data to predict where 911 calls would emerge—and forward-deploying its ambulances to stand by in those areas.

Upstream delivers practical solutions for preventing problems rather than reacting to them. How many problems in our lives and in society are we tolerating simply because we’ve forgotten that we can fix them?

“When people’s well-being depends on hitting certain numbers, they get very interested in tilting the odds in their favor.”

5. Short Squeez Picks

  • No deal-maker should have to spend half their week creating contacts or logging interactions in a CRM. Save time, work smarter, and close deals with Affinity
  • A podcast with Michael Lewis about the "value of failure"
  • Here's 5 tips from new book "The Anatomy of Anxiety"

6. Daily Visual: IRS Audits for Millionaires

Tax audits for filers earning $1 million or more by fiscal year

Source: Axios

7. Daily Acumen: Hard Things

Building muscle is hard, so most are physically weak

Starting a business is hard, so most work jobs they hate

Saving money is hard, so most are always broke

Eating healthy is hard, so most are unhealthy

Reading books is hard, so most are glued to their screens


Source: Financial Simplified

8. Crypto Corner

9. Memes of the Day




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