🛍 "Buy now, pay later" billions

Friday, June 11, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks |
_The holo colleagues are coming [Paper Boat Creative/Stone via GettyImages]_

The holo colleagues are coming [Paper Boat Creative/Stone via GettyImages]

Yesterday’s Market Moves
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Hey Snackers,

A 16-year-old made $1.7M by reselling gaming consoles, patio heaters, dumbbells, and other scarce pandemic items. Unique bullet for the college app.

Stocks closed at a record yesterday, but investors still have inflation on the brain. Consumer prices spiked 5% in May from a year earlier, the highest annual inflation rate since 2008.


1. "Buy now, pay later" is booming: Europe's biggest fintech Klarna hits a $46B valuation

Love the AllSaints biker jacket... don't love the $500 price tag. Klarna helps you sport that leather now, and pay for it later by spreading out payments as interest-free monthly installments. The Swedish company just raised $640M at a huge $46B valuation, becoming Earth's second most valuable private fintech after Stripe. Quick Klarna stats:

  • Numbers: 90M+ global active users, with 2M transactions per day.
  • $$$: Klarna posted record annual revenue of $1.2B last year on fees from merchants, but its loss grew.
  • Investors: Backers include Softbank, Snoop Dogg, and A$AP Rocky.

Speaking of ASAP... People want retail therapy immediately, but want to pay for it ASLP (as late as possible). Klarna is one of the buy-now-pay-later firms — like Affirm and Afterpay — that have been thriving since the pandemic began. PayPal also intro'd a BNPL checkout option last year. Money was tight, and spending moved online. It took Klarna eight years to hit a $1B valuation, but less than 12 months to go from $5.5B to $46B. It could go public this year.


BNPL eases the "mental accounting" burden... It can help rationalize large purchases by breaking them into smaller chunks in our minds. With a credit card, you have to fully pay off purchases at the end of the month to avoid interest. With BNPL, that $3K Peloton suddenly seems "affordable" at $50/month. Hence: merchants often see a boost in sales after offering Klarna's service. But that easy accounting could also come with financial consequences for some.


Can't skip the pants on this one... Holograms are getting closer to becoming a workday reality. Think: hologram colleagues giving speeches at all-hands (already happened), and team meetings where you can see everyone's shoes.

Do it for the gram... Holo style. As tech companies move to hybrid WFH models, they're investing in holo-tech to fight Zoom fatigue blues. But holograms aren't just for employees — they're a bet on the future of remote communications. In the last few months:

  • Google unveiled Project Starline, an effort to create a video-chat system that gives participants 3D depth (it looks like a trippy mirror... straight out of Black Mirror).
  • WeWork is partnering with a holo tech company to bring holograms to 100 WeWorks around the globe. The program kicks off this month.
  • Microsoft intro'd Microsoft Mesh, a "mixed-reality" service that displays life-size 3D avatars and content through smart glasses.

Holograms could be the second coming of Zoom... and companies could pay big bucks for them. WeWork is already charging $2.5K for holograms to be displayed on one standard HoloPod. Holograms could offer the best of both worlds in a hybrid future: the flexibility to WFH, paired with the bonding benefits of an in-office experience. But holo tech is also complex, expensive, and likely years away from being adopted. And pants are definitely required.

What else we’re Snackin’

  • Pandemic: Covid deaths this year have already exceeded 2020’s toll, as cases surge in poor and developing countries.
  • Drop: GameStop shares plunged 27% yesterday after it declined to provide an earnings outlook and said it may sell 5M shares.
  • Vax: The US halted new shipments of J&J's Covid vaccine, as states deal with a surplus of expiring doses.
  • StarFi: SpaceX's satellite internet network Starlink is in talks with airlines to offer in-flight Wi-Fi.
  • Check: As much as half of US unemployment money doled out over the past year may have been stolen, according to some experts.

Snack Fact of the Day

Bill Gates is the US' largest farmland owner


  • Consumer sentiment index. Earnings expected from Nathan's Famous

Authors of this Snacks own shares of: Google and Microsoft

ID: 1682476