SBF Of FTX Is Eff'd

Sam Bankman Fried closing testimony in the FTX trial wasn't great

Sam Bankman Fried (“SBF”) finished up his FTX trial testimony earlier this week and it wasn’t great for him. For the rest of us - watching the trial with an uneasy “no way he gets out of this… right?” feeling - it was solid. It was solid because it all seems pretty clear and he should go to jail. Despite lot’s of “I don’t recall” responses and generally trying to act like he wasn’t in charge, the defense didn’t amount to much. He was so arrogant about his fraud in once private chats that the stack of evidence approaches dark comedy. The prosecution once asked: “Did you have a risk department?” To which, SBF responded: “We sure should have...”

Closing time for Sam Bankman-Fried
“Mistakes aren’t illegal, but fraud is — and Bankman-Fried’s lawyers never made his defense land.” - The Verge

The Walt Disney Company to Purchase Remaining Stake in Hulu from Comcast
“Under the terms of the put/call arrangement, by December 1, Disney expects it will pay NBCU approximately $8.61 billion, representing NBCU’s percentage of the $27.5 billion guaranteed floor value for Hulu.” - The Walt Disney Company

Joe Biden Wants US Government Algorithms Tested for Potential Harm Against Citizens
“Draft rules from the White House would require federal agencies to assess AI systems currently in use in law enforcement, health care, and other areas—and to shut down any algorithms doing harm.” - Wired

Flexport Buys Shuttered Trucking Startup Convoy’s Technology
“Convoy, once valued at $3.8 billion, shut down in October after failing to find a buyer or raise fresh capital. Convoy CEO Dan Lewis will join Flexport as part of the acquisition, a person familiar with the matter said, though his new role couldn’t be immediately learned.” - The Information

Bitcoin: trial of SBF is no match for ETF enthusiasm
“Next year, bitcoin buyers expect the US Securities and Exchange Commission to give BlackRock and other financial companies permission to launch exchange traded funds that invest directly in bitcoin. This, they believe, could spur more adoption by institutional investors and act as a challenge to nefarious, unregulated crypto platforms.” - Financial Times

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Every quarter, Forge puts out an investment outlook report that covers a broad range of topics related to how the private markets are performing and what we might be able to expect going forward. Here’s an excerpt related to the chart above:

Companies continue to exercise their Right of First Refusal (“ROFR”) at elevated levels compared to the lows of 2022. This suggests company insiders remain prepared to step in for the opportunity to buy back shares at still-discounted levels.

This chart shows the percentage of issuers that traded in a given quarter that exercised their ROFR in that quarter. When a private company shareholder seeks to sell stock to a third-party buyer, the company typically retains a ROFR for a set period (often 30 days) to step in and buy the stock back itself (or assign this right to a large investor) at the price negotiated by the seller and buyer. In addition to the company ROFR, certain large investors may have ROFR or co-sale rights they can exercise in this context. If the company (and/or investor) waives this right, the seller can proceed to sell the stock to the buyer at the negotiated price.

Mercury aspires to reimagine the startup banking experience by combining the stability of regulated banks with modern technology. Since the launch of its first product in 2019, Mercury has grown rapidly, reaching over 100K customers across 180+ countries.

They most recently raised $120M at a $1.62B valuation (~$77 per share) in June of 2021. The round was led by Coatue, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, CRV, and Sapphire Ventures.

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