💊 Psychedelics hit the stock market


April 30, 2021

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The Hustle

Amazon’s advertising business is on a run rate of $27B+ for 2021. For reference of how crazy that number is: Twitter’s *total* revenue over the past decade (2011-2020) is ~$20B.

 
The big idea
psychedelic kitty

The Nasdaq gets groovy with the listing of psychedelics biotech firm MindMed

MindMed’s product pipeline reads like a shopping list for 5 nights at Burning Man: LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin.

On Tuesday, the biotech company went public on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker “MNMD.” The company was already trading shares on the lesser known Canadian NEO Exchange, but by “uplisting” to the Nasdaq, MindMed investors hope to garner more attention and $$$.

But in a public market where stocks-can-do-no-wrong, MindMed got torched by close, dropping as much as 30%.

MindMed believes tripping could be big business…

The company is focused on bringing psychedelic-inspired therapies and medicines to market.

MindMed is sponsoring several clinical trials using both hallucinogenic doses and non-hallucinogenic microdoses of psychedelic drugs to treat addiction, adult ADHD, depression, and anxiety.

And according to an investor deck, industry stats are all caps-no stems:

  • $4.7B/year global anxiety drug sales
  • $9.5B/year global ADHD drug sales
  • $9.6B/year global depression drug sales
  • $5.8B/year global anti-addiction drug sales

MindMed hopes to capture shares of those markets with its alternative, psychedelic offerings.

‘I still think we’re in early innings here’

… MindMed co-founder and co-CEO JR Rahn said in a recent Forbes interview, referring to the company’s current concentration on clinical trials.

The company has a lot riding on those trials — and the arduous process to bring new drug therapies to the US market is the cop waiting in the bushes(FDA) — with a median cost of $985m.

Meanwhile, users on Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets have fixated on MindMed with several posts making its front page.

Next GME… Who’s tripping now?

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SNIPPETS
  • Twitter issues: The social netwwork’s revenue in Q1 2021 jumped 28% YoY (to $808m) but the stock fell on weak user growth.
  • *DJ Khaled Voice* Another one: Fresh off hitting Alibaba with a big fine, Chinese regulators are lining up an antitrust fine for social giant Tencent.
 
 
Q&A
Turner Novak

Turner Novak is monetizing memes with venture capital

If you’ve been anywhere near tech Twitter over the past year, you’ve seen a viral tweet from Turner Novak.

The 30-year-old investor pumps out investment memes and conjures up hysterical parodies:

Don’t let the jokes fool you, though

It’s a very deliberate approach with an end goal in mind.

“My thesis for focusing on memes… is that founders and other investors want to work with people they enjoy being around,” Novak tells The Hustle.

Earlier this week, Novak officially launched Banana Capital, a $9.999m early-stage VC fund backed by top names including:

  • General partners from Andreessen Horowitz
  • Co-founders of Coinbase and Flatiron Health
  • Sequoia Capital

Perhaps most importantly, the fund’s name is a 4D chess move to own the 🍌 emoji.

Novak isn’t just a meme lord

He built his investing chops with stints at Afore Capital and Gelt VC. Novak also writes widely on consumer tech (e.g., Snap, Pinduoduo, TikTok) at his Substack.

Based in a nontraditional VC locale (Michigan), Novak credits Twitter for building his network.

For that reason, Banana Capital is focused on “internet-first” founders… most of whom just so happen to love memes.

(To find out more, read our full Q&A with Novak)

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Deepfake
deepfake satellites

Are those circles real? (Source: DigitalGlobe / ScapeWare3d / Getty Images)

Forget AI Tom Cruise, experts are worried about deepfake satellites

When a TikTok of Tom Cruise doing magic went viral earlier this year, people quickly discovered the real magic was that the videos weren’t actually of Tom Cruise.

They were deepfakes — AKA an impersonator was wearing an AI-generated Tom Cruise face mask.

Understandably, security experts have warned about the dangers of deepfake tech falling into the wrong hands.

Now, geographers are worried, too

A team from the University of Washington recently created software that can both generate deepfake satellite imagery and, importantly, detect fakes.

It’s not a new problem for geographers either. “Paper towns” and “trap streets” are fake markers that cartographers use to catch map plagiarizers.

But today’s geographic deepfakes are harder to detect. Think:

  • Deepfake satellite imagery of natural disasters
  • A fake bridge, building, mountain, or river to trick military planners

Nonetheless, the deepfake business is growing

Deepfake app Avatarify (not pronounced “ava-terrify”) saw users generate 140m videos on its platform this year. Another app, Reface, raised $5.5m and has been downloaded 70m times since launching in January 2020.

A 2019 malaria awareness deepfake ad featured David Beckham speaking in 9 languages and quickly hit 400m impressions.

Only time will tell how deepfakes will balance comedy, utility, and security. While you wait, check out this deepfake of Mike Tyson and Snoop Dogg as Oprah and Gayle King.

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Podcast

Why you should create a portfolio of small bets

On today’s podcast, Sam and Shaan chat with investor Codie Sanchez, who has an unpopular opinion about investing: skip angel and public stock investing. Instead, she says to look at:

  • Distressed businesses
  • Real estate
  • Cannabis

And if you are looking to invest in yourself and grow your network, don’t miss out on Sanchez’s tips on “how to collect cool people.”

🎧 Listen below:

Craziest meme coins of the day
crypto tweet

Source: Twitter

Crypto’s rise over the past year has expanded outside the cozy confines of Bitcoin and Ethereum.

To get a rundown of the wildest crypto assets out there, we asked one of finance Twitter’s most popular accounts (@ParikPatelCFA, who writes at Bullish Studios) to break down the top meme-y crypto coins:

  • Dogecoin: Created as a joke alternative to Bitcoin in 2013, this is the OG meme crypto, boasting a market cap of $38B+. Spurred by endorsements from Elon Musk, Kiss singer Gene Simmons, billionaire Mark Cuban, and even rapper Snoop Dogg, the coin has had an impressive run. It’s up more than 4,000% YTD.
  • CumRocket: Perhaps the world’s 1st NSFW cryptocurrency, this female-led coin is known as “CUMMIES.” The coin has rocketed itself to a market cap of $100m+ and can be used on Degenerate Money to purchase various adult content including NSFW NFTs.
  • Jesus Coin: On to less… sinful cryptos, Jesus Coin was launched in 2018 and rapidly hit a market cap of ~$50B, describing itself as “the currency of God’s Son.” Jesus Coin intended to outsource sin forgiveness and develop record transaction times “between you and God’s Son.”
  • SafeMoon: Launched in March 2021, SafeMoon took the meme cryptocurrency market by storm, hitting a market cap of ~$3B+ in under a month. What makes it interesting: The coin punishes sellers by charging 10% for the trade, redistributing a portion of the fee among its community.
Shower Thoughts
  1. “Room-temperature water tastes warm, but room-temperature food tastes cold.”
  2. “When immortality is a thing, some jobs will require a thousand years of experience.”
  3. “The only difference between holding a ball in your hands and doing a handstand is the size of the ball.”
  4. “House flies have existed far longer than houses.”
  5. “Nothing can ever be cleaned without getting something else dirty.”
via Reddit
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