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Have you been #influenced?
Plus, an iconic D2C brand gets a new CEO!
Gamers, unite! Data.ai and IDC published a new report with some fascinating data on the state of the gaming market. Unsurprisingly, mobile gaming continues to dominate - this year, it’s expected to generate ~3x the spend of PC/MAC gaming.
A few other fun facts:
👩💻 In the U.S., nearly 50% of top games by consumer spend skew female (meaning that women are more likely than men to play the game).
🧓🏻 Outside the U.S., the majority of top games lean towards Gen Z users. In the U.S., games that skew towards Gen X / Baby Boomers (age 45+) are gaining ground - this is the fastest growing cohort by spend.
📱 Compared to the average population, gamers are 1.5x more likely to use TikTok and 1.4x more likely to use Snap. They’re less likely to use Facebook and WhatsApp.
1️⃣ Snap issues warning. Snap stock slid 43% on Tuesday, the company’s largest-ever one-day drop, after the company warned investors that it will not meet Q2 targets around revenue and earnings. CEO Evan Spiegel said at an investor conference that the macro environment has “definitely deteriorated further and faster than we expected,” negatively impacting the company’s ad business. Meta, Pinterest, Alphabet, and Twitter stocks all saw significant dips on the news as well.
2️⃣ a16z raises new crypto fund. a16z announced a new $4.5 billion fund dedicated to web3 investments, bringing the firm’s total capital raised for crypto to $7.6 billion across four funds. General partner Chris Dixon wrote that the funds will be used to invest “at every stage” in crypto companies, in themes ranging from games to social media to Internet infrastructure to NFT communities!
3️⃣ Broadcom buys VMware. Semiconductor company Broadcom announced one of the largest tech acquisitions in history - it plans to acquire VMware for $61B. VMware is a cloud services company with a lengthy track record. It was founded in 1998, acquired by EMC in 2004, (partially) went public in 2007, and then joined Dell (via the EMC acquisition) in 2016. Last year, Dell spun off VMware as an independent public company. It was trading at a ~$40B market cap before the acquisition news leaked.
4️⃣ Glossier gets new CEO. Glossier founder Emily Weiss announced she’s stepping down as CEO and becoming executive chairwoman. She’ll be replaced by Kyle Leahy, who joined as Chief Commercial Officer last year. Weiss reflected in a post that since starting Glossier in 2014, she regularly asked herself if she was the best person to lead the brand moving forward. This year, she decided to hand the reins to Leahy, who has a deep background in retail and spent the past ten years at Cole Haan.
what we’re following 👀
Amazon is opening a brick-and-mortar clothing store (what a blast from the past!).
California’s state assembly passed a bill that allows parents to sue social media platforms if their kids become addicted.
A look at the nine startups that presented at Pear’s demo day.
Is it weird to feature my own tweet? Maybe. But it’s a good starting point for a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot recently: the power of short form video in e-commerce.
Until I became a TikTok DAU, I didn’t really understand this. My primary method of shopping, especially for clothing, was going to a store or visiting a brand’s website and trying things on. Occasionally I’d read listicles (“10 Summer Dresses You’ll Love This Year”) or look up a shirt I saw on Instagram, but I considered myself immune to the business of “influencing.”
That all changed when I started seeing haul videos on my TikTok FYP. Haul videos aren’t new - but pre-TikTok, they mostly lived on YouTube. This meant (1) they tended to be quite long (a 25 minute haul is not uncommon!), and (2) you had to purposefully search for them. TikTok serves up quick clips that are hard to avoid, but weirdly addictive, and I soon found myself falling down the hole of #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.
I’m not the only one who has been influenced. Brands have been revived off by TikTok hauls (hate to say it, but Abercrombie is BACK), and products sell out every week as a result of viral videos. TikTok is especially good at this because of their hyper-customized algorithm - the platform quickly understands your size (for clothing), preferences, and style based on videos you engage with, and can serve up videos that feel like they were made for you.
However, I don’t think this phenomenon needs to be limited to TikTok - it was just the first platform to prove the value of short form video for e-commerce. There’s something undeniably powerful about watching someone try on / use a product in front of you and give an authentic review. It helps mitigate the trust issue that’s endemic in online shopping - every product can look great in a professional photoshoot, but what does it look like IRL?
It also adds a social element that online shopping often lacks, making you feel like you have a trusted advisor guiding your purchase decisions. When done well, these videos generate a sense of FOMO: “This dress looks so great on her, I should buy it before it sells out!”
I expect to see more brands (especially in beauty and fashion) leverage short form video, not only on their social channels but also on their websites. Almost every e-comm brand uses photos on their product page - why not add video to the mix, especially if you can leverage pre-existing UGC?
Chief - Core Operations Associate (Remote)
Wheel - Business Operations Analyst (Remote)
Clockwise - Chief of Staff (Remote, SF)
Airbnb - Product Insights Analyst (Remote, SF)
Canal - Partnerships Manager* (SF, NYC)
Ramp - Product Manager (NYC)
Walt Disney Imagineering - Associate Product Manager (Orlando)
embedded/capital - Investment Analyst (Berlin)
*Requires 3+ years of experience.
Cider - Influencer Relations, Social Media, and Video Editing Interns (Remote)
REI - Innovation Investment Analyst Intern (Remote, Seattle)
Allbirds - Analytics Intern (Remote, SF)
Techstars - Intern, Brand Experience (SF)
Pave - Product Design Intern (SF)
FT Partners - Off Cycle Investment Banking Analyst Intern (SF, NYC)
Lando - Business Operations Intern (Redwood City)
Atom Finance - Marketing Intern (NYC)
CaaStle - MBA Product Marketing Intern (NYC)
bunny of the week 🐰
Meet Moomin, a one-year-old Holland Lop rabbit who lives in Thailand.
Moomin’s hobbies include hanging out on the beach, and hitting the town in his cool leash.
Check him out on IG @moominthelop!
All views are our own. None of the above should be taken as investment advice. See this page for important information.