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🥚 Egg freezing is big business

The Hustle

Intro: A lot of people may be humbled after reading this: Uber now lets you check how many 1-star ratings drivers have given you. You can find your rating count in the app’s privacy settings.

In today’s email:

  • Egg freezing: Why more people are freezing their eggs.
  • Chart: Used car prices are through the roof.
  • Good grief: How Charlie Brown became a fashion icon.
  • Around the web: A carrot museum, houseplant love, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s podcast to dive deeper on egg freezing, how much Epic spends on free games, and much, much more.

The big idea
egg

The big business of egg freezing

The 1st baby born from a frozen egg would be in their mid-30s now.

And what was once considered an experimental procedure recommended for women with medical issues that might impact fertility — such as cancer requiring chemotherapy or ovarian disease — is on the rise.

Per Quartz, there was a 1k%+ increase in the number of US women who froze their eggs between 2009 and 2016.

What is it, exactly?

The process involves injecting hormones that stimulate egg production, then retrieving those eggs — ideally 10-15 per cycle — via surgery and freezing them at -196°F for future use.

Why are so many people doing it?

Women are born with all the eggs they’ll ever have, and they decline in quality over time.

Freezing eggs gives patients time to focus on their careers and other goals. There are other reasons, too:

  • The pandemic stalled dating and weddings
  • Transgender men are freezing their eggs before beginning hormone replacement therapy
  • Buying time to find the right partner

But it’s expensive

In the US, it can cost $11k+ for a single cycle, plus $5k for medication and $500 in annual storage fees. And many women complete multiple cycles, as the chances of a live birth increase with the number of available eggs.

As of 2020, ~11% of US employers with 500+ workers, and ~19% of employers with 20k+, covered egg freezing, including Facebook, Google, and Apple.

Meanwhile, startups are popping up

  • Boutique agencies like Trellis Fertility Studio, Kindbody, and Extend Fertility
  • Carrot, which works with employers to offer fertility care benefits
  • Mate Fertility, founded to offer inclusive, more affordable family planning services

Some traditional doctors are wary of the new crop of startups and their Instagram-aesthetic advertising, reminding patients that frozen eggs are not a guarantee of a future baby.

But the market doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

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SNIPPETS

Grubhub is launching Grubhub Goods, featuring delivery from 3k+ 7-Eleven locations across the US. #ecommerce-retail

If you spend a lot of time in VR, you may notice avatars often don’t come with legs. Here’s why. #emerging-tech

Meta will pay $90m to settle a 2012 class-action lawsuit accusing Facebook of tracking users’ activity on the internet, even after they’d logged out. #privacy

Vroom: Red Bull’s Formula One racing team signed a 3-year sponsorship deal with Singaporean crypto platform Bybit worth an estimated $150m. #fintech-crypto

Epic Games says it’s reached 500m+ accounts. Not only does Epic have hits like “Rocket League” and “Fortnite,” but it also regularly gives away free games. #big-tech

Now on MFM: The couple at the center of a crypto heist, Stonks.com, Sam Parr’s new ideation course, and more. #mfm

What does “Arbejdsglæde” mean? It’s Danish for “work happiness.” Steph Smith explains. #hustle-picks

average used car prices

What’s happening with used car prices?

Over the last 2 years, as supply chain breakdowns and chip shortages led to a drastic decrease in new car production, something odd happened to car prices.

Normally after you buy a new car, its value depreciates by ~33% on average in the 1st year, and then 14% each year afterward.

But over the last 2 years, used cars actually appreciated in value, with average prices up 40.5% in the last year alone.

The price tag on a 3-year-old used Dodge Grand Caravan, for instance, is up 69% since January 2021.

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Fashion Statement
Charlie Brown products

You’re a fashion icon, Charlie Brown

If it feels like you’ve been seeing Peanuts characters all over the place lately — it’s probably because you have.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a global merchandise strategy built on collaborations has given Snoopy and the gang new life.

Peanuts’ push into fashion…

… started in the ‘90s, including collaborations with high-fashion brands down to fast-fashion powerhouse H&M.

Today, brands continue to slang merch across a wide range of price points. Some items on offer include:

  • Omega Speedmaster watch — $9.6k
  • Goyard luxury tote bag — $1.5k
  • Marc Jacobs men’s sweatshirt — $225
  • Timex fabric strap watch — $65

Through its collaborations, Peanuts generated $152.2m in royalty revenue in 2021.

Up next?

A deal with Apple TV+ is set to bring Peanuts’ original specials to new audiences and fuel new titles with the characters.

If history is any indication, this could kick off a new wave of collaborations. In 2015, the brand launched partnerships with Vans, Gap, and Gucci with the release of The Peanuts Movie.

Which begs the question…

… What would Charles Schulz, Peanuts’ legendary creator, think of its global merchandise empire?

Some fans don’t think it aligns with the spirit of his comics — pointing to the anti-commercialism message of the brand’s iconic TV special, A Charlie Brown Christmas.

On the other hand, some estimates peg Schulz’s personal earnings during his lifetime at $1B+. He wasn’t exactly anti-business.

Either way, we’re fairly confident he’d have the same response: “good grief.”

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AROUND THE WEB

On this day: In 1867, the SS Dido, owned by a Scottish merchant shipping company, became the 1st ship to pass through the Suez Canal.

🧐 How to: Recruitment scams try to get personal info and money out of jobseekers. Here’s how to spot the phonies.

🪴 Useful: How Many Plants is a cute site full of everything you’ve ever wanted to know about caring for houseplants.

📃 That’s interesting: This visual site details how the US Census has changed over time.

🥕 That’s cool: And now, a virtual museum dedicated to carrots.

Meme of the day
Charlie Brown meme

What if it’s all 3? (Source: Know Your Meme)

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Psst

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In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

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