Must Be The Monet


Nov 14, 2022


Cindy Grazer


Nov 14, 2022


Cindy Grazer


This week marked the most expensive art auction in history, as Christie’s prepared to kick off the evening sale of late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s personal collection.

With works including a Cezanne for $120m, a van Gogh for $100m, and a Klimt for $90m, many onlookers went into the week wondering how many buyers would be liquid enough to make a purchase.

The Bloomberg Billionaires List did not disappoint. In a year in which the world’s richest have already lost ~$1.6t – and an especially tumultuous week for political and crypto-related reasons – expectations for a $1b auction were far surpassed nonetheless. The two-part charity sale snapped up previous records, reaching more than $1.5b in total.

All of the aforementioned works and many more were sold as effortlessly as slices of Joe’s Pizza to first year IB analysts at 2am on Saturday – reinforcing the sentiment surrounding the value of hard assets in a volatile global market. As with any good investment, experts shared that rather than representing the art market at large, this was the confluence of exceptionally rare talent.

But perhaps most interestingly, even with this record demand and notable price appreciation over the 18 year (on average) holding period, Allen would have actually made more money buying an S&P index fund - a decidedly less fun decision. After all, art isn’t just about the money, and sometimes the ride is just as rewarding.

Newsletter Image - 11/11

Portfolio News

MoneyLion reports record third quarter 2022 results - "In the third quarter, we delivered another quarter of record results," said Dee Choubey, co-founder and CEO of MoneyLion. "We reported our seventh consecutive quarter of triple-digit Adjusted Revenue growth, while further improving our Adjusted EBITDA margin for the third consecutive quarter." Total revenues came in at $88.7m for the third quarter of 2022 compared to the third quarter of 2021 and total customers reached 5.4m (101% YoY growth). Read more

Reorg and FinDox to combine to offer best-in-class solutions for the credit markets - Reorg, a global provider of financial and legal intelligence and data, announced today that it has agreed to acquire FinDox, a leading document, compliance and data management provider. FinDox was founded in 2016 by Tejs Broberg, whose goal was to revolutionize investment management data. At its core, FinDox has built the industry-leading document aggregation and compliance platform, which serves as the central repository for more than 3m confidential investment documents from approximately 25,000 deals, all accessed through a controlled compliance meta layer. Read more

Must Be The Monet

Auction of Paul Allen’s collection will test billionaires’ buying power - All told there are 60 lots, which carry an overall estimate of $1b to $1.38b. (The following day comes a second sale with lower-priced works from Allen’s collection, with a total estimate of $58m to $87m.) This assumes, of course, that there will be bidders. Any mere billionaire can buy a $10m painting. But how many are liquid enough to spend $100m? And how many actually want to? Read more

Paul Allen’s art collection sets record with $1.5b sale - Mr. Allen’s trove surpassed the previous, $922m record set in May by New York real-estate developer Harry Macklowe and his ex-wife, Linda Macklowe. Whereas the Macklowe holdings were packed with midcentury masters and pop icons like Andy Warhol, Mr. Allen amassed a museum’s breadth of pieces, from old masters to impressionists to American modernism. The sale had been expected to reach $1b, the house said. Read more

Industry News

Elon Musk details his vision for a Twitter payments system - Elon Musk detailed his vision for Twitter’s plan to enter the payments market during a livestreamed meeting with Twitter advertisers, hosted on Twitter Spaces on Wednesday. Musk suggested that, in the future, users would be able to send money to others on the platform, extract their funds to authenticated bank accounts and, later, perhaps, be offered a high-yield money market account to encourage them to move their cash to Twitter. Read more

Pitchbook VC Valuations Report - Though there has been a slowdown in deal count, momentum from the market growth in recent years continues. The record number of closed funds and the high amount of dry powder are likely to help seed and early-stage venture much more than late-stage venture, as a high number of investors remain in their new investment period. Read more

Sam Bankman-Fried steps down as FTX CEO as his crypto exchange files for bankruptcy - FTX has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S., according to a company statement posted on Twitter. Bankman-Fried has also stepped down as CEO and has been replaced by John J. Ray III, though the outgoing chief will stay on to assist with the transition. Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried’s crypto trading firm, and approximately 130 additional affiliated companies are part of the voluntary proceedings. Read more

Binance walks away from deal to rescue FTX - Binance chose not to go ahead with the nonbinding offer following a review of the company’s finances, the exchange said. “In the beginning, our hope was to be able to support FTX’s customers to provide liquidity, but the issues are beyond our control or ability to help,” Binance said in a statement. In a call Wednesday with investors in FTX, founder and Chief Executive Sam Bankman-Fried said he needs emergency funding because of customer withdrawal requests received in recent days. Those requests sparked a debilitating liquidity squeeze. Read more

Startups look to scoop up laid-off tech workers - Flush with investor capital, technology startups plan to scoop up software developers, engineers and marketers flooding the labor market following job cuts at Twitter, Lyft and other large tech employers. Seed and early-stage tech startups, companies that often haven’t brought their products or services to market, have largely been spared the impact of higher interest rates, persistent inflation and disrupted supply chains roiling public technology companies. Read more

University endowments are at a crossroads - Endowments and foundations reported median losses of 7.8% for the fiscal year ended June 30, and that's actually good news, since those results handily beat traditional stock-and-bond portfolios. Thanks to their high exposure to private markets, endowments have been sheltered from the worst effects of the market sell-off. Read more

Cloud computing dependence imperils banks - By adopting cloud computing technology to make their systems accessible from multiple locations, financial services companies are launching new, improved digital products and streamlining their operations. But, at the same time, cyber specialists are warning that this cloud migration is exposing companies to a greater risk of cyber attacks and data breaches — as well as the fines and reputational damage they can bring. Read more

Feds announce seizure of $3.36b in bitcoin stolen a decade ago from illegal Silk Road marketplace - James Zhong of Gainesville, Georgia, pleaded guilty to wire fraud in the theft of about $3.36b in bitcoin stolen from the illegal Silk Road marketplace, which the FBI shut down in 2013. This is the federal government’s second-largest seizure of of cryptocurrency, following the $3.6b in stolen crypto linked to the 2016 hack of Bitfinex. Read more

Here’s how much equity U.S. homeowners have lost since May - The historic run-up in home prices during the first two years of the pandemic gave homeowners record amounts of new home equity. Since May, however, about $1.5t of that has vanished, according to Black Knight, a mortgage software and analytics company. The average borrower has lost $30,000 in equity. Read more

Select Financings

Agrolend - Brazil based agribusiness capital provider raised $27m in Series B funding led by Lightrock. Read more

Archy - San Francisco based payments and dental practice management platform raised $10m in new funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners and CRV. Read more

Atlar - Sweden based business payment automation startup raised $5m in Seed funding led by Index Ventures. Read more

BInk - Egypt based consumer credit startup raised $12.5m in new funding led by Sawari Ventures and EIIC. Read more

Cherry - New York based payments and invoice tracking company raised $4m in Seed funding led by NFX. Read more

Doola - New York based startup that helps foreign founders start LLCs in the U.S. raised $8m in Series A funding led by Nexus Venture Partners. Read more

Fintecture - France based B2B payments startup raised $26m in Series A funding led by Target Global. Read more

Fordefi - New York based DeFi wallet maker for institutions raised $18m in Seed funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Read more

Glow - San Francisco based digital insurance agency for small businesses raised $22.5m in Series A funding led by Cota Capital. Read more

Laika - New York based security compliance platform raised $50m in Series C funding led by Fin Capital. Read more

Mendel - Mexico based B2B payments firm raised $60m in growth funding led by Industry Ventures, Infinity Ventures and Victory Park Capital. Read more

Ordergroove - New York based provider of subscription solutions for retailers and DTC brands raised $100m in new funding led by Primus Capital Partners. Read more

Ping - LatAm based digital payments wallet raised $15m in Seed funding led by Y Combinator. Read more

Quinio - Mexico based e-commerce aggregator raised $40m in new equity and debt funding led by Northgate Capital. Read more

Ramp Network - London based crypto on- and off-ramp raised $70m in Series B funding led by Mubadala Capital and Korelya Capital. Read more

Savvy Wealth - New York based wealth management startup raised $11m in Series A funding led by The House Fund. Read more

SparkPlug - San Francisco based payout automation and sales management platform raised $8m in Series A funding led by Lightbank. Read more

Tellus - California based real estate investment app raised $16m in Seed funding led by a16z. Read more

TRM Labs - San Francisco based blockchain intelligence company raised $70m in Series B funding led by Thoma Bravo. Read more

Yassir - Algeria based super-app raised $150m in Series B funding led by Bond. Read more

Yave - Mexico City based embedded mortgage lender raised $7.5m in new funding led by Better Tomorrow Ventures and Metaprop. Read more


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