❤️ Tinder has a makeover


June 24, 2021

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The Hustle

People are complaining that — due to meme stocks — investors no longer use fundamentals to value assets.

Thankfully, CNBC dropped this headline yesterday to show that fundamentals are alive and well: “Falling avocado shipments could hurt Chipotle’s margins.”

The big idea
Tinder logo

Tinder reinvents itself for Gen Z

If you’ve never used dating app Tinder, here’s a new phrase for you: “Swipe Surge.”

This refers to moments when activity on the app is up to 15x higher and “match-making” potential is 250% greater (translation: the odds of getting lucky are high).

To engineer even more of these connections…

… Tinder just announced a suite of new tools

Founded in 2012, Tinder’s interface has remained largely unchanged. Profiles are anchored by photos where users swipe right (to accept) or left (to reject) a potential date.

Per Mashable, 3 updates are coming:

  • Videos: Tinder users can upload videos (up to 15 seconds) to their profiles.
  • Live social experiences: Tinder will roll out an interactive choose-your-own-adventure game (Hot Takes) and a Q&A game (Vibes) that matches users based on their answers. A similar idea last year — called “Swipe Night” — attracted 20m+ users.
  • Explore page: An entirely new part of the app where users can see prospects based on shared interests.

In a completely novel change, people can actually talk before matching.

Wooing Gen Z

Tinder’s emphasis on video and shared digital experiences incorporates the best features of Snap and TikTok, 2 apps very popular with the younger demographic.

In fact, Tinder is contending with a number of new Gen Z-first dating apps, per Wired:

  • Snacks, which calls itself “TikTok meets Tinder” (read our Q&A with its CEO here)
  • Lolly, where people can “match… while exploring sweet video content”
  • Feels, which has an app built around a carousel of short videos
  • S’more, which blurs profile photos until people start talking

With so many options and so much — umm — pent-up demand, it seems swipes will be surging everywhere soon.

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SNIPPETS

The most beautiful Apple store may be this brand new one, set inside a historic theater in downtown Los Angeles. #ecommerce-retail

Join Steph Smith as she explains why technical literacy will soon be just as important as written literacy. #hustle-picks

Now on My First Million: breaking down the sweepstakes industry. #mfm

401(k) provider ForUsAll is partnering with Coinbase to help employers offer crypto plans. Experts don’t think that’s a good idea. #fintech-cryptocurrency

Need advice on how to protect yourself from cybercrime? Why not take it from an ex-hacker. #privacy

A report found that 62% of wind and solar projects built last year will undercut the cost of coal. #clean-energy

Lego is ditching oil-based plastics for recycled drink bottles. A 1-liter bottle can make 10 2×4 Lego bricks. #clean-energy

Microsoft is now the 2nd US-listed company to hit a $2T valuation. The 1st? Apple. #big-tech

Wayfair wants to use AR to help you see how its furniture might fit in your home. #emerging-tech

Food Tech
Wingstop chicken

Wingstop goes for the thigh meat

Fast-food chain Wingstop just launched a new brand: Thighstop. As you may have guessed, it trades chicken wings for thighs.

Like the many ghost kitchens that popped up amid the pandemic, Thighstop is an online restaurant only available for pickup and delivery via DoorDash.

Its menu includes…

… bone-in and boneless thighs tossed in Wingstop’s signature sauces, plus sides like fries and rolls.

“We think thighs are the most under-appreciated piece of the chicken, left at the bottom of the bucket. That’s just not fair,” CEO Charlie Morrison told Yahoo Finance.

People chowed down on wings last year

During the pandemic, several surprising things were suddenly in short supply — toilet paper, flour, and, yes, chicken wings. Reasons included a harsh winter, more wing-centric ghost kitchens, and a 7% increase in chicken wing demand.

This demand was good for Wingstop, which saw its total revenue in Q1 increase by 28% YoY to $70.7m.

According to Morrison, the real opportunity is optimizing its supply chain by buying the whole bird, giving each part of the chicken its “rightful place in the center of the plate.”

Vegan chicken is also having a moment:

  • Simulate, which makes plant-based chicken Nuggs and Discs, raised $50m in Series B funding earlier this month.
  • Kellogg jumped on the trend, dropping its own vegan chicken brand in April.

What’s next, Gizzardstop?

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Free Resource

Inbound marketing is all the rage

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Tech Investing
SoftBank

Shoulda spent money on better PowerPoint slides (Source: YouTube)

SoftBank: ‘Capital provider for the information revolution’

Remember the WeWork debacle?

Well, the main investor behind that episode — Masayoshi Son and his firm SoftBank — have rebounded nicely.

SoftBank — which can be thought of as a tech holding company — is on a recent high after big wins including DoorDash and Coupang IPOs, per The Economist.

SoftBank has invested in 200+ tech firms…

… and could have another big score when ByteDance (TikTok’s parent company) goes public. From pandemic lows, SoftBank’s stock price is up ~2x to $126B.

In total, SoftBank has invested ~$84B into startups since 2018 (and still has $40B+ in dry powder). There have been some bad apples, though:

  • Greensill Capital: A supply chain finance company that declared bankruptcy after questionable corporate lending.
  • Wirecard: A German payment processor that also went under following a massive accounting scandal.

During SoftBank’s annual general meeting…

… on Wednesday, Son made the argument that capital providers are as important as inventors.

He used the example of Mayer Amschel Rothschild, who helped finance the industrial revolution in the 1800s. Son wants to do the same for the information revolution.

Per The Economist, here’s the investing approach he’ll take: “big bets based less on spreadsheets than on ‘feeling the force’ of a deal.”

That’s one way to be a capital provider.

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Meme of the day
Gordon Ramsay meme

Source: Mirror UK

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