🍋 Sovereigns vs. Private Equity

Private equity’s investors are asking for their money back, plus $BTC topped its record 2021 high.

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“We are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible, because only in that way can we find progress." — Richard Feynman 

Good Morning! Bitcoin set an all-time high, rocketing past $69,000 and its 2021 record price. Jeff Bezos dethroned Elon Musk to become the world’s richest person, with Tesla shares declining 27% this year. Strong stocks are helping some companies issue bonds. And a Meta outage impacted tens of thousands of Facebook and Instagram users yesterday. Plus how your socioeconomic background impacts how your brain responds to reward, and a few leadership lessons from Stanford’s course on humor. 


Sovereigns vs. Private Equity

Private equity firms are having some drama with some of their big fish investors - think sovereign wealth fund and state pension plans. Investors are dialing up the heat on fund managers - and they say they need their money back.

The sovereign wealth fund investors are from countries with growing clout like UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.

They are insisting on the return of capital from older funds before committing to new ones, along with other demands such as fee discounts, more co-investment opportunities, and increased transparency and representation.

With an overcrowded PE market, these power investors are flipping the script, moving the goalposts in ways we haven't seen before. US PE exit activity is not helping either, with median holding period of investments exited reaching 6.4 years, the highest in more than a decade.

Takeaway: Sovereign wealth funds are growing in power and becoming more adept at understanding the industry's nuances. While private equity funds have been reluctant to relinquish too much control to investors, this might have to change if sovereign wealth funds have their way. How long before these powerful LPs start building out their own private equity firms and completely cutting off the ‘2 and 20’ the middle man charges?


Best Buy Introduces New Smart Home Category

The leading retailer in the distribution of Smart Home products has recently unveiled a new addition to its smart home lineup, Smart Shades.

There are A LOT of windows out there, and with only a small 10% of them being automated, this is a market that’s already worth billions with projected double digit growth for the next decade!

Recognizing this, Best Buy has made a huge bet on an innovative startup, and has already stocked their product in over 100 retail stores. This up-and-comer is RYSE, and for a limited time, you can invest in their vision of owning the Smart Shades industry.

Best Buy made similar bets on smart-home titans Ring and Nest, both of which saw billion-dollar exits at the hands of Amazon and Google.

Looking to follow in their footsteps, RYSE’s share price has grown by over 20X since it was founded, with significant room for growth as they capitalize on the increasing demand for its patented tech.


Top Reads

  • Bitcoin rockets to all-time high above $69,000 (CNBC)

  • Jeff Bezos dethrones Elon Musk to become richest person on earth (CNN)

  • Strong stocks are helping some companies issue bonds (Axios)

  • Meta’s Facebook, Instagram down for tens of thousands (Reuters)

  • JPMorgan’s AI-driven management software has slashed manual work by 90% (YF)

  • Rent is helping drive inflation, but something is off (YF)

  • Gen-Z says ChatGPT gives better career advice than their bosses (CNBC)

  • Singapore hotel will pay you if it rains on your vacation (CNN)

  • NYCB ballooned despite real estate warnings in year before fall (YF)

  • Sergey Brin says Google messed up with Gemini launch (CNBC)


Markets Rundown

Stocks closed lower as Apple dragged down tech stocks.

Movers & Shakers

  • (+) Target Corp. ($TGT) +12% after the retailer unveiled a paid membership program .

  • (–) Tesla ($TSLA) -4% because an arson attack stopped production at its Berlin factory.

  • (–) Gitlab ($GTLB) -21% after the software vendor posted weak annual guidance.

Private Dealmaking

  • Sentinel Capital Partners bought the industrial fire unit of Carrier for $1.43 billion

  • MiniMax, a Chinese AI startup, is raising $600 million

  • Salla, a website building software provider, raised $130 million

  • Baseten, a machine learning startup, raised $40 million

  • Inkitt, a self-publishing platform, raised $37 million 

  • Healthee, a health benefits startup, raised $32 million

For more PE, VC & M&A deals, subscribe to our Buysiders newsletter.


The Cure For Burnout

Is dread the first thing you feel when you wake up in the morning? Are you working in the evenings and on weekends to catch up? Have you already beat burnout once, only to find it creeping back? If you answered yes to any of these, you’re in need of a cure for burnout.

In The Cure for Burnout, burnout management coach and TikTok influencer Emily Ballesteros combines scientific and cultural research, her expertise in organizational psychology, and the tried-and-true strategies she’s successfully implemented with clients around the globe to demystify burnout for our post-pandemic world – and set you on a path toward a life of personal and professional balance.

Ballesteros outlines five areas in which you can build healthy habits to combat burnout—mindset, personal care, time management, boundaries, and stress management.

“Break burnout habits that keep you in a pattern of chronic overwhelm.”


US Office Vacancy Rate Rising

Source: Apollo


Boost Performance, Eliminate Jet Lag, and Accelerate Recovery

Want to maximize your mental and physical output? Louder for the people in the back! 

Try Fount Pro, the hyper-personalized health optimization program used by pro athletes, Fortune 500 execs, and special operators.

Whether you’re training for a marathon or looking for the edge in your career, Fount Pro helps you dial in the perfect routine for elite mind and body performance, everyday

Forget ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions  Fount Pro combines blood, wearable, and psychological data, weekly 1-on-1 sessions with your coach, and N=1 experiments to identify the tools that work uniquely for your body. 


Art Of Saying No

The most powerful tool in enhancing productivity isn’t found in any app or system, but in the mastery of saying "no."

This seemingly simple act is a fundamental strategy for prioritizing tasks and managing time effectively.

By judiciously declining requests or opportunities that don't align with our core objectives, we safeguard our most precious resource—time.

This enables us to focus on activities that directly contribute to our goals, ensuring that our energy is invested in endeavors that are truly meaningful and impactful.

Embracing the power of no requires clarity about our priorities and the courage to uphold our boundaries, even in the face of pressure.

This act of selective engagement not only streamlines our workload but also fosters an environment of respect for our time and commitments.

Ultimately, saying no is not about negation but about making intentional choices that propel us towards our aspirations, proving to be an invaluable asset in achieving sustained productivity and fulfillment.


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