Tuesday, May 10th 2022

Three Things (5/10)

Commentary

“A problem is a chance to do your best.” – Duke Ellington

1) Uber warns of "hardcore" cost cuts and prioritization of profitability

  • Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote a letter to employees discussing the business’ plans to cut costs in an effort to decrease cash burn and increase profitability.
  • Initiatives internally that do not hit higher hurdle rates and require substantial capital will be slowed and hiring should be viewed as a “privilege” in the coming months.
  • The company plans to refocus resources on key revenue drivers like Delivery and Freight in an effort to highlight its value.

Titan’s Takeaway: This is the latest tech company to warn of a slowdown in hiring and the need to drastically reign in spend. The goalposts have changed — as investors in Uber, we’re encouraged to see management’s focus on shortening the path to profitability.

2) Ford sells their stake in electric car maker, Rivian

  • Ford (F), an early investor in Rivian (RIVN), announced it is selling 8 million shares of the electric vehicle challenger at a deep discount through Goldman Sachs.
  • Shares of the EV manufacturer plummeted 20% on Monday; the stock is down more than 77% year-to-date.
  • Rivian reports earnings on Wednesday and news surrounding Ford’s sales suggest that supply chain concerns and internal production snags may have long-term implications for the car company.

Titan’s Takeaway: Rivian was one of the most anticipated IPOs of 2021, yet like most other recent listings, life as a public company has been challenging to date. With a fragile market, unprofitable, capital-intensive businesses will continue to be judged with a harsh eye.

3) Instagram set to trial NFTs for content creators

  • Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, announced that the platform is going to start testing NFTs and digital collectibles with select creators in the United States this week.
  • Users will be able to verify NFT ownership, showcase them on their profiles, and tag the artists who made them.
  • At launch, Instagram plans to support Ethereum-based NFTs, with integrations for the Polygon, Solana, and Flow blockchains down the line.

Titan’s Takeaway: Twitter was the first of the social giants to embrace NFTs earlier this year, and others are racing to build out their offerings. With over one billion users, Instagram has a unique opportunity to introduce NFTs to a broader range of people; as investors in Meta, Ethereum, Polygon, and Solana, we welcome this launch.

As of this writing, FB, UBER were a portfolio holding of Titan. This security may cease to be a portfolio holding at some point in the future.
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