🎉 It’s the 200th issue of Accelerated! Whether you’ve been here from the beginning or just subscribed, we want to thank you for being part of our journey. We’re so grateful to everyone who has joined our community, and we’ve loved getting to know many of you (online and IRL!).
We want Accelerated to be more than a weekly newsletter. It should be a trusted resource and a community to lean on throughout your career. This is why we recently launched a job board and continue to run our Slack group & campus scout program.
And we have an exciting announcement - we’re expanding our family of newsletters! For the first time in four years, we’re introducing a new publication: Launched.
The average consumer downloads zero apps each month - it takes a special product to break out. Each issue of Launched will dive into one startup (including a conversation with the founder) to answer the question: “How did you get your first 1,000 users?”
Olivia is back (‼️) to lead Launched, and will still be part of the Accelerated community. It would mean a lot to her if you subscribed to Launched - first issue drops soon!
🐕 Rover goes public. The Nasdaq has gone to the dogs! Pet care marketplace Rover went public via SPAC on Monday. The company had a tough 2020 - demand for dog-sitting plummeted when many people transitioned to WFH. However, bookings rebounded this year as owners needed dog walkers for their “pandemic puppies.”
💳 Square buys AfterPay. Payments company Square is acquiring Afterpay, a BNPL (buy now, pay later) service that enables consumers to pay in installments at 100K+ merchants. The $29B price tag drew attention - it represents a 42x revenue multiple (pretty steep!), but this acquisition is highly strategic to Square’s existing payment products.
📦 Brandless is back! You may remember Brandless, the SoftBank-backed startup that aimed to offer unbranded household goods at affordable prices. It shut down last February after failing to fix its unit economics - but it’s now back from the dead! The company raised $118M in equity and debt financing to acquire digitally-native brands, which is becoming an increasingly popular playbook (see “e-comm rollups” for more).
🚘 Uber reports earnings. The company did $22B in gross bookings, up 114% YoY. While delivery still comprises the majority of GMV, the core ride-hailing business is bouncing back - U.S. drivers grew 30% between June and July. The company also made $1B in net profit, though this was largely due to unrealized gains in investments.
💰 YouTube launches Shorts fund. Add YouTube to the long list of companies paying creators for short-form content! In an effort to attract more creators to Shorts (its TikTok competitor), YouTube will be dispersing $100M over the next 18 months to users who meet certain thresholds for views and engagement.
what i’m following 👀
TikTok is testing Snapchat-style disappearing Stories.
Pear VC’s tips on how to answer tricky investor questions about market size.
A list of Gen Z founders building products for their own demo.
Crime tracking app Citizen is launching a paid emergency response service.
You may remember from last week’s edition that Robinhood had a rocky IPO. The stock priced at the low end of its range ($38), and fell 8% on opening day. Bloomberg called it the “worst debut ever” for a company of its size.
This week, Robinhood came back with a vengeance - the stock price doubled between Monday and Wednesday! As you might expect, this caused some to question whether Robinhood itself is now a “meme stock” (a phenomenon that the platform helped enable).
Though Robinhood reserved shares for retail investors, the sentiment around the IPO was largely negative on consumer forums - some users were still upset about the company’s choice to halt trading of GME earlier this year. Many of these investors reversed course this week. Robinhood was the third-most purchased stock on retail platforms on Wednesday, and the most-discussed stock on r/WallStreetBets.
But is it really a meme stock? I don’t think so. The $50M that retail investors poured into Robinhood this week is dwarfed by the jumps experienced by OG “meme stocks”! Consumers invested $352M into GME (down 57% since Jan), and $600M into AMC (down 47% since June) at their peaks. Much of Robinhood’s rise came from institutional fund purchases, including Cathie Wood at ARK Invest (who bought $65M).
Robinhood’s market cap post-spike is also not disproportionately high compared to the company’s valuation in the private markets pre-IPO. Robinhood ended the week at a $50B market cap, versus an estimated ~$40B price for private secondaries (read more on these here!) shortly before IPO.
Are you a Robinhood customer, and/or a $HOOD investor?
BoxGroup - Investor (SF, NYC)
Bowery Capital - Investment Associate (SF)
TikTok - Product Strategy Analyst (SF)
Faire - Strategy Associate (SF)*
CZI - Investments Analyst (Redwood City)
Robinhood - Strategy Associate (Menlo Park)
Redesign Health - X Ventures Associate (NYC)
Finary - Full Stack Engineer (NYC)
JPMorgan - Strategic Investments Associate (NYC)
Work-Bench - Senior Associate (NYC)
*Requires 3+ years of experience.
LingoAce - PM Intern (SF)
Flockjay - Strategy & Finance Intern (SF, Remote)
Snowflake - Fall Partner Marketing Intern (San Mateo)
Polarr - Community Manager Intern (San Jose)
GoodRx - Content Promotions Intern (LA)
LTK - Creator Success Intern (Dallas)
Duolingo - Associate PM Intern (Pittsburgh)
Thrive Capital - Research & Incubation Intern (NYC, Remote)
RapidSOS - Fall MBA Marketing Intern (NYC, Remote)
Wholier - Marketing Intern (NYC, Remote)
puppy of the week 🐶
Meet Remu, Luka, Uuno, and Aamu, four Westie siblings who live in Finland! They range in age from 1 to 13.
The squad enjoys hanging out on their boat and swimming in the lake (they all have life jackets!), chasing each other around in the snow, and playing with their automatic ball machine.
Follow them on Instagram @mr_vili_and_the_westies!