Three Things (9/21)

Wednesday, Sep 21st 2022


Goldman strikes deal with T-Mobile

“If you wait, all that happens is that you get older.” ― Larry McMurtry

1) Goldman strikes deal with T-Mobile: The investment bank is said to have locked a credit card deal with T-Mobile. While terms of the agreement were not disclosed, the news follows Apple and GM's partnership earlier this month and comes amid mounting scrutiny over Goldman's consumer unit, Marcus, which is still unprofitable. The partnership could allow T-Mobile to add a financial product to incentivize its 88 million U.S. monthly subscribers to compete with Verizon, which launched its own credit card partnership in 2020. 

Titan's Takeaway: Creating a credit card with robust reward programs could entice T-Mobile users to stay committed to the service for the long term. While it's too early to predict how this shakes out, the partnership between a legacy financial institution and a growth telecommunications giant shows that in today’s market, “bundling” is how you grow. 

2) Amazon's "Thursday Night Football" scores: Amazon's big bet on live sports appeared to be a touchdown last Thursday. The debut broadcast of Thursday Night Football drove a record number of Prime sign-ups in a three-hour period. Amazon secured the exclusive rights to broadcast the Thursday night games for ~$1 billion in mid-2021. 

Titan's Takeaway: The e-commerce giant continues to focus on bolstering its Prime offerings by bundling premium services, from live sports to GrubHub+'s prime delivery. With over 80 million active Prime users in the U.S., Amazon appears keen on optimizing its once modest free-delivery option into a service juggernaut with all the bells and whistles. 

3) SPAC "King" eliminates two deals: Chamath Palihapitiya, the man who brought special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) mainstream, plans to shutter two deals worth $1.6 billion after failing to find companies to take public. Rising interest rates and entrenched inflation have dogged the public listing market, a far cry from just last year when SPACs exploded onto the scene with 670 total SPACs worth $172.2 billion. Besides ProKindey, Palihapitiya's SPACs are down roughly 40% off their initial listings. 

Titan's Takeaway: While the rather pugnacious entrepreneur may have under-indexed the impact of the $5 trillion pandemic stimulus buffeting the listing market, he is still doing just fine. His venture capital arm, Social Capital, continues to place massive bets in the private markets, and he's recently taken up a second career as a talking head on the wildly popular All-In podcast…who doesn't have a podcast these days?

As of this writing, TMUS, AMZN 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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