🚰 A $700m Water Brand
GM! It's Thursday, December 22nd - Today we're covering Caroline Ellison & Gary Wang pleading guilty to fraud, Youtube's $2.5B NFL deal, Lucid raising $1.5B, Citadel generating $7B in profit, what's trending in tech, and how to build a $700m water company.
> Caroline Ellison & FTX Co-Founder Gary Wang plead guilty to charges relating to their roles in the FTX collapse. In a separate action, the SEC charged Ellison and Wang with defrauding investors.
> Youtube is nearing a $2.5B deal with NFL's 'Sunday Ticket.' Satellite provider DirectTV has paid $1.5B annually for these rights since 2015.
> Pheonix Suns bought for a record $4B by mortgage billionaire Mat Ishiba. The previous record was set in 2019 when Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai purchased the Brooklyn Nets for $2.35B.
> Tesla competitor Lucid Motors raised $1.5B, the majority ($915m) from The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, which owns 62% of the company.
> Citadel expects to generate $7B in profit, a 32% return, on its flagship hedge fund.
> 'South Park' creators raise $20m for their deep fake startup Voodoo.
> Elon Musk has become a 'detriment' to the value of his companies, say 79% of CEOs surveyed at a Yale CEO summit.
> US Job hunters won't take a job for less than $74,000 - a record high for salary expectations.
> Justin Beiber nearing a $200m deal to sell his music rights to Blackstone-backed Hipgnosis Songs Capital.
He Built A $700m Water Brand!🚰
Liquid Death sells the most commoditized product in the world - and it's now worth $700m.
Most people will miss the nuance that led to their explosive growth - now you won't.
So What's The Business?
Liquid Death sells canned water. It was founded by former Netflix Director Mike Cessario, who sold $45m of the stuff last year.
The company is on track to 3x growth to $130m this year and recently raised $70m ($200m altogether) at a $700m valuation.
How Are They Winning?
1) Positioning: The story goes back to 2005 when Mike noticed that energy drink companies heavily sponsored rock bands on tour. The band wouldn't actually drink the energy drink - they'd drink water instead.
This got him thinking...why can't water be cool?
Before launching a product, Mike produced a commercial for $1.5k & spent $3k on Facebook ads. Within 3 months, his product-less water company 'Liquid Death' had more Facebook followers than Aquafina, and the ad had more than 3 million views!
2) Marketing & Partnerships: Because of their unique positioning as “the cool water.” They’ve made some killer partnerships.
Concert promoter Live Nation made the brand the official water of major music festivals like Governors Ball and Austin City Limits.
Their marketing is all about being extreme, funny, and bold - they even cast pornstars for their commercials.
3) A United Enemy: Liquid Death gives 10% of its proceeds to cleaning up the ocean.
Its campaign #DeathToPlastic was a big hit and motivated customers to be part of something bigger. It also gave Liquid Death the online chatter & fandom it needed for its virality.
ON TREND: Here's what entrepreneurs are talking about
> 50+ entrepreneurs, Investors, and innovators share their predictions for 2023.
The next big thing in 2023 will be...
-in areas like AI and healthcare
-tough times with resets for companies and for VC
-a focus on reality and fundamentals
50+ incredible entrepreneurs, investors, and technology thinkers share their ideas:
— Nikhil Basu Trivedi (@nbt)
Dec 21, 2022
WORTH A LISTEN: Pods you'll want to share
> The Disney Boss Who Wouldn't Let Go: When Bob Iger stepped down as Disney's CEO, he continued to wield influence as Chairman. Tensions mounted between Iger and his successor, Bob Chapek, and led to a corporate coup that shook Hollywood (The Journal - 16 min).
> Richard Branson: Sir Richard Branson sits down on Armchair Expert with Dax Shepherd, where they discuss his business career, social issues, and why he loves being the underdog (Armchair Expert - 1 hr, 37 min).
> Michael Malice - Christmas Special: Michael is a political thinker, podcaster, author, and anarchist. (Lex Fridman Podcast - 3 hr, 40 min).