🍪 Quibi gets $1.75B pre-launch

Monday, March 9, 2020 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

Trying to calculate the new girl's APS score

Last Week’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
25,865 (+1.79%)
S&P 500
2,972 (+0.61%)
8,576 (+0.11%)
$9,139 (+4.63%)
10-Yr US Treasury

Hey Snackers,

The business disruptions continue: Conferences (SXSW in Austin), in-person annual shareholder meetings (Starbucks' is online-only), and movie premieres (Bond, James Bond) are getting cancelled. Even March Madness could happen sans-fans.

Investors are suffering from motion sickness as stocks continue to swing daily — but the S&P 500 managed to inch up last week despite all the volatility.

1. Quibi gets $1.75B before launching — credit its "Anticipated Popularity Score"

Don't use it as a verb... Quibi wants to be a noun. The adorably-named mobile video startup — short for "quick bites" — just raised a not-so-adorable $750M in additional cash from its private investors (it hasn't IPO'd yet). That brings Quibi's total fundraise to a gargantuan $1.75B — and it doesn't even launch until April 6th:

  • Quibi is like a mobile-only Netflix, but its movies and video series are broken into 8-10 minute episodes (Quibi wants 8-10 minutes to be known as 1 "Quibi"). It's for people with short attention spans (aka, all of u-
  • The world has not yet tasted a Quibi, making its value all the more surprising — Quibi's massive fundraise is rare for a pre-launch startup (though having Disney and Comcast as investors, and Shrek-creator Jeffery Katzenberg as co-founder definitely helps).

If you bake it, will they eat?... Quibi's spending massively to cook up 8.5K bingeable bites in 2020 — and we just learned its 50 first shows (we're curious about the Barkitecture doghouse one). Quibi is betting big that these content cookies will be in high demand. We're calling it the "Anticipated Popularity Model." Can go 3 ways:

  • Success: Apple had it with the iPhone, AirPods, and bold headphone-jack removal.
  • TBD: GM is spending billions building electric cars, though Americans haven't shown real demand for EVs yet.
  • Struggle: Canopy Growth and its cannabis peers produced a ton of pot after legalization, but demand was way lower than hyped up to be.

The proof is in (the other's) pudding... Quibi's APS (Anticipated Popularity Score) is really high — and for good reason. It's coming in at a time when short-video app TikTok has blown-up in popularity (over 1B users). On the streaming bench, Quibi sits between popular super-short vids (Snapchat, Instagram) and highly successful longer-form streamers (Netflix, Disney+). TBD whether Quibi's position in the middle will help or hurt it.

  • Have that in a 224-pack?... Costco unloaded better-than-expected earnings last week, fueled by "run-on-the-wholesalers" coronavirus stockpile shoppers — It's already struggling to meet demand for bleach, bottled water, and 24-packs of Clorox wipes. Viral virus shoppers boosted sales 3% — and that's after its online sales jumped 28% over the holidays.

  • Filling the Victoria's Secret void... American Eagle can thank its teen-centric loungewear brand, Aerie, for quarterly growth. Sales of AE's namesake brand were actually down 3%, but Aerie's surged 26% (bumping overall growth). Instead of extra-padded bras and airbrushed models, Aerie offers comfy bralettes and inclusivity campaigns. The same taste shift that hurt Victoria's drove Aerie's 21st-consecutive snuggly quarter of double-digit sales growth.

  • Enter 'high pun' here... Canopy Growth, Earth's largest cannabis company, isn't living up to the 2nd half of its name. It's firing 500 workers and shutting down 2 of its biggest cannabis-growing greenhouses (and cancelling plans to build another). The entire cannabis industry is coming down from a short-lived high: companies produced a ton of pot after legalization, only to realize demand wasn't at the same level as hoped. Now Canopy's left holding the (weed) bag.

  • Epic sinking streak... Carnival Cruise's stock has sunk 46% since mid-January, thanks to a disaster trifecta that includes 2 Carnival ships colliding and a quarantined ship with 700 coronavirus infections. Now, it's got another coronavirus-infected ship scheduled to dock today in Oakland. Still, Carnival's industry dominance and Americans' growing demand for cruises might help it weather these temporary (but massive) setbacks — sales have risen 7% annually since 2015.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • Chill: The Anxiety Algorithm — how our minds act similar to immune systems, protecting us from threats (apparently success makes us more anxious)
  • Learn: The true size of Africa, mapped in a cool visual — throw the US, China, India, and more into the land mass (it all fits)
  • Visualize: What office life might look like in 2030. Hello robot assistants and virtual computers, goodbye desks
  • Communicate: 7 CEOs explain what building a transparent company actually means
  • Ponder: Will the "Millennial Aesthetic" ever end? How we're living in an era in which design/aesthetic is the product
Snacks Daily Podcast

Spindrift is the anti-LaCroix sparkling water that just raised a fresh $29.8M (pop the pamplemousse open). Its annual sales grew last year by 147% to nearly $30M — but LaCroix has almost 20X that.

Now Spindrift is facing massive sparkling water competition from Big Beverage (Coca Cola and Pepsi) — we Ocean Spray is its model for success on our 15-minute pod, Snacks Daily.

This Week

Disclosure: Authors of this Snacks own shares of Slack, Disney, and Carnival Cruises

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