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🚀 Tesla bets on Bitcoin
Plus, what's Gen Z's #1 dating app?
We’re excited to share the results of our survey on dating apps - thanks to all who participated! A few interesting takeaways:
Three apps dominated among both demos (millennials & Gen Z) - Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge. Hinge was #1 for Gen Zers, followed by Tinder, while Hinge & Bumble tied for the top spot among millennials.
50% of millennials paid for an extra feature/subscription, compared to 21% of Gen Zers. Older users are getting more serious about their love lives, which also explains why Tinder is a distant #3 for millennials (it’s seen as a “hookup” app).
While Bumble has strong brand recognition among Gen Zers, it’s used slightly less often than the other apps - Gen Z males and females both mentioned that the “women message first” feature is great in theory, but tough in reality.
Check out the S-1 Club’s teardown of Bumble if you’re interested in learning more! We contributed the “Gen Z” section, which has extra data + some of our favorite survey responses, as well as the “Why Now?” section on timing for this IPO.
₿ Tesla makes big Bitcoin buy. Two weeks after Elon Musk added “#bitcoin” to his Twitter bio, Tesla announced that it purchased $1.5B of BTC. The company also plans to accept Bitcoin as payment “in the near future.” Tesla had a hefty cash balance of $19B at the end of 2020, and noted in an SEC filing that BTC will help “further diversify and maximize returns on cash.” The announcement had an immediate impact on Bitcoin’s price, which rose from $38K to a record high of $48K this weekend.
🐝 Bumble soars in IPO. Bumble had a strong public debut on Thursday, closing up 64% from its initial price. Founder Whitney Wolfe Herd (who owns 12% of the company) became the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire at age 31, as well as the youngest female CEO to take a company public in the U.S. On the negative side, due to the unusually large percentage of shares the company sold via IPO (~20%), Bumble left quite a bit of money on the table - read more on this from Fortune here.
🛍️ Thrasio raises $750M to buy brands. It’s been a whirlwind year for Thrasio, a startup that acquires third-party brands on Amazon and helps them grow. The company raised a $110M Series B last April, followed by a $260M Series C in July and now a $750M Series D at a multi-billion dollar valuation. Thrasio has raised a total of $1.75B in equity and debt since 2018, and used this funding to acquire 100 brands (out of 6,000 they’ve evaluated!). One of the company’s co-founders told TechCrunch that they’ve been acquiring $1.5M in revenue per day over the past two months.
📈 Earnings updates. We’re still in the thick of earnings season! Here’s the major updates from this week:
Disney made its first quarterly profit since early 2020! The company’s theme parks & cruise business have been crushed by the pandemic, but Disney+ continues to be a bright spot. The streaming service beat growth estimates yet again, and is now fast approaching 100M subscribers.
Lyft’s Q4 revenue was down 44% YoY, and the company reported a slump in Nov/Dec as COVID cases spiked. As we approach a year in quarantine, it’s interesting to see that Uber’s bet on food delivery has clearly paid off - Lyft’s revenue fell 35% in 2020, while Uber saw a more moderate 14% decline.
Twitter did $1B+ in revenue for the second time in its history. The company’s monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) grew 27% YoY, but just missed analysts’ expectations. CEO Jack Dorsey expects 20%+ mDAU growth in Q1, despite the Trump ban - he noted that 80% of Twitter’s audience is outside the U.S.
Reddit had a busy start to 2021! In the aftermath of the U.S. Capitol riot, the platform banned the largest remaining subreddit that supported Trump. Then, after two weeks of relative calm, Reddit was in the news again with the GameStop saga. This eventually spilled over to other public “meme stocks” (e.g. AMC, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Tilray), prompting an SEC investigation and Congressional testimony.
In the midst of this activity, Reddit managed to close a $250M Series E! The company is now valued at $6B, up 2x from its last round in 2019. A blog post from the Reddit team noted that the company now has 50M DAUs and continues to make progress on monetization, with direct ad revenue increasing 90% YoY in Q4.
The company plans to double headcount this year - check out open roles here.
what we’re following 👀
Lisa Xu on the rise of community teams & the software they need to succeed.
A look at the rise of the anti-MLM movement on platforms like Reddit and TikTok.
Shopify has been on a tear, and the product launches aren’t slowing down! This week, the company announced a rollout of Shop Pay to merchants on Facebook and IG.
Shop Pay is Shopify’s fast and easy checkout solution - it auto-populates info like your address and credit card number. This makes the checkout process 70% faster and increases conversion rates by 1.72x (which is a big deal for merchants!). It also allows consumers to pay in installments and track packages through the Shop app.
What does this mean? Shopify retailers can offer Shop Pay as a checkout option on Facebook and IG, enabling the same seamless checkout experience as on the brand’s own website. This is a similar value prop to startups like Nate, which offers a Shopify or Apple Pay-like experience anywhere (but has also expanded into gifts and social lists).
The Shop Pay user base is still relatively small, with ~60M global users. However, we expect it to grow quickly! Shop Pay is the smoothest checkout we’ve experienced off of Amazon, and Shopify is incentivized to scale it quickly - upstarts like Fast (which just announced another $102M in funding) are hot on their heels.
First Round - Talent Analyst (SF, Remote)
01 Advisors - Senior Associate (SF)
Ethos Life - Business Analytics Associate (SF)
Goldman Sachs - Imprint Analyst (SF)
Fast - Sales Ops Associate (SF)
Rally - Account Associate (SF)
Tinder - Financial Analyst (LA)
Elsewhere Partners - Associate (Austin)
BCG - PIPE Analyst (Boston)
Stripes - Software Investor (NYC)
Hearst Ventures - Associate (NYC)
Eniac Ventures - Analyst (NYC)
FirstMark - Investor (NYC)*
*Requires 3+ years of experience.
Precursor Ventures - MBA Intern (Remote)
Loom - Software Engineering Intern (Remote)
Dapper Labs - Spring Engineering Intern (Remote)
Kapor Capital - Summer Fellows (Remote)
thredUP - Product Management Intern (Remote)
On Deck Labs - Operations Intern (Remote)
Coursera - MBA Product Marketing Manager Intern (Remote)
Flexport - Product Management Intern (SF)
SoFi - MBA Product Marketing Intern (SF)
Drift - Finance Intern (Boston)
Eight Sleep - Graphic Design Intern (NYC)
Vowel - Marketing Intern (NYC)
puppy of the week 🐶
Meet Stanlee and Ferguson! Stanlee is an 11-month-old mini bernedoodle, and Ferguson is a six-month-old Ragamuffin cat.
Their hobbies include wrestling with each other, playing in the snow, and napping.
Check them out on Instagram @stan.thedoodman!
Hi! 👋 We’re Justine and Olivia Moore, identical twins and venture investors at CRV. Thanks for reading Accelerated. We’d love your feedback - feel free to tweet us @venturetwins or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.