Happy Thursday, friends. Happy first week of spring. Or, according to TikTok, happy first-week-of-Taylor-Swift’s-tour. Her opening night broke Madonna’s record for the most attended female concert in U.S. history.
If ya want something done, just leave it to the Swifties.
Alright, now get to the good stuff.
In the oven this week:
🥺 Cute story of the day: what happened at Stripe
🍪 Cookie crumbs: 5 bite-sized headlines
💰 Poll of the week: BTC to 1M?
🍫 Chocolate chips: our 3 favorite finds of the week
😂 Snickerdoodles: Thursday memery
WHAT HAPPENED AT STRIPE
Silicon Valley’s favorite child just got some more cash.
That’s right, Stripe raised $6.5B at a $50B valuation.
Normally, you couldn’t catch us giving a flying f about this kinda stuff, but this announcement caught our eye.
First off, it’s a huge down round. Two years ago, Stripe was valued at $95B.
Our brain: 😳
Our brain: Interesting…they cut their valuation in half. Tough economy.
Stripe press release: btw, we don’t need this money to run our business.
Our brain: ?? Ok… then what are ya using it for, dawg?
Turns out, they wanna give it to employees.
In 2016, Stripe started offering employees RSUs (restricted stock units). These RSUs were set to expire in 7 years unless some sort of liquidity event happened (e.g. IPO or acquisition).
Well now, it’s 7 years later, and these RSUs are about to expire. So if Stripe does nothing, the people that joined the company 7 years ago don’t get their stock (theoretically worth millions now).
To get employees their stock, the Stripe board could choose to waive this IPO/acquisition requirement, meaning employees could vest all their stock now. Problem solved, right?
NOPE. Employees would owe big money in taxes, since vested RSUs are taxed like ordinary income.
And because Stripe is still private, employees wouldn’t be able to sell their stock to cover their tax bill. Yikes.
Imagine you have $100K of stock from 7 years ago that now vests at $800K. Uncle Sam’s now knocking at your door asking you to fork up the taxes on that $800K. How's the average joe gonna afford that without selling any part of their stock grant?
Enter the capital raise.
With the extra dough, Stripe can now help a brotha out by giving employees a loan or buying back some of their vested RSUs so they can afford their taxes.
Patrick Collison (their CEO) is a tier 1 homie because Stripe definitely wasn’t obligated to do this, and plenty of companies just let their employee stock grants expire.
Here’s what Collison said:
“Over the last 12 years, current and former Stripes have helped build foundational economic infrastructure for millions of businesses around the world, and this transaction gives them the opportunity to access the value they’ve helped create.”
Damn Patty C, are you Aretha Franklin?
‘Cause we got some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
BITE SIZED TREATS
Google unveiled it’s AI chatbot, Bard to the public this week, and it’s underwhelming. But here's why we think Google is sticking around for the long haul.
Microsoft is coming for that app store money. They’re planning on launching their own app store for games on iOS and Android.
Elon’s giving us the keys to the Twittersphere. Apparently, he’s open sourcing Twitter’s recommendations algorithm on March 31st. Get ready for our tweet threads to pop off 🧵.
The layoffs keep coming. Amazon’s laying off 9K employees across Twitch, cloud, and ads (after laying off 18K employees since last Nov.), while Meta just laid off 10K. Rumors are swirling that Google is planning a second cut too.
Balaji (ex-CTO of Coinbase and GP at Andreessen Horowitz) made two $1M bets on Twitter this week. He’s betting that the US will enter hyperinflation and bitcoin’s price will reach $1M….. in 90 days. Why? Banks are in trouble and the government is printing more money to save ‘em. Hyperinflation is inevitable as a result, and people will want to invest in Bitcoin as a hedge. Our take: miniscule chance BTC actually reaches 1M, but it’s getting people talking about real economic problems.
POLL OF THE WEEK
BTC TO $1M?
Ok, so the guy who reads textbooks for fun thinks Bitcoin is going to $1M. 90 days seems aggressive, but do you guys think it'll ever get there? Will Bitcoin ever reach $1M?
Sound off 👇🏽
OUR FAVORITE FINDS
Paul Graham on the shortness of life. “If life is short, we should expect its shortness to take us by surprise. And that is just what tends to happen… Cultivate a habit of impatience about the things you most want to do. Don’t wait before climbing that mountain or writing that book or visiting your mother. You don’t need to be constantly reminding yourself why you shouldn’t wait. Just don’t wait.”
A short but good post from Morgan Housel on risk and regret. “The purpose of life is to experience things for which you will later experience nostalgia.”
an outrageous Linkedin work history https://t.co/1dooeAZs9Q
— Trung Phan (@TrungTPhan)
Mar 18, 2023
That's all we got for ya this week, folks. See ya next Thursday!
If you enjoyed this, we'd love it if you'd fwd to a friend! We don't gate keep here - spread some of these sweet treats. 🙏🏾
What'd you think about this email?