Kevin Durant And Will Smith Part Of Andreessen Horowitz’s New Celeb-Led Fund; VF Corp. Will Sell Lee And Wrangler Denim Brands
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Kevin Durant, Will Smith, and other black celebrities will “get jiggy with” VC giant Andreessen Horowitz. The Silicon Valley mainstay will partner with the celebrities, athletes and media moguls to fund ventures run by people of color.
The goal is two-fold: give an underrepresented population exposure to the funding and expertise of “a16z” and to diversify the incredibly white pool of limited partners at the firm. According to Equal Partners, roughly 58% of venture capitalists are white and male, and only about 3% of partners are black.
The fund, which will total only $15M, relative peanuts in Silicon Valley, will invest alongside the VC’s main $1.5B fund.
But the idea isn’t without its critics, including former NBA player Baron Davis: “I may get in trouble for saying this, but it’s always great when white guys want to do something for black athletes and black entertainers, right?”
Water Cooler Talking Point: “I can’t help but think the conversation at Andreessen Horowitz started out something like ‘bro, can you imagine if we brought Kevin Durant to business meetings?'”
Retail manufacturer, VF Corp. will be divesting its denim labels Wrangler and Lee in an attempt to focus on other brands in its portfolio that, well, actually sell.
The classic American denim product’s sales have been in decline for some time. Drew Brees’ favorite “Real. Comfortable. Jeans.” still generated $2.66B in sales in 2017 and $422M in profit, but those numbers were down 3% and 14%, respectively YOY.
VF Corp. also owns brands the likes of North Face, Vans, Dickies and Timberland which have been doing well … probably because they aren’t sold in Walmart. Going forward, VF will look to build out those brands as well as grow its $11B business via M&A.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “The image of Brett Favre on the back of a Chevy pickup, drinking a Miller Lite in his Wranglers is definitely what foreign people think all Americans are like.”
WAIT, DON’T GO!
Netflix is on the hunt for a new CFO after its current captain of coin, David Wells, announced that he’ll be resigning. Wells will hold down the fort long enough for Netflix to pick a predecessor from a pool of both internal and external candidates.
This David Wells, who has reportedly never thrown a perfect game drunk, has been with the company since 2010 and is widely credited for helping increase NFLX shares from $26 to over $341. He will be leaving the company to focus on philanthropy.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “The only thing that could be worse for Netflix? Removing The Office from the streaming site.”
IN OTHER NEWS
- Yesterday morning Elon Musk blogged that the Saudi wealth fund was interested in helping take Tesla private. Then, yesterday evening Musk’s itchy Twitter fingers reported that Goldman Sachs and Silver Lake are advising him on the deal.
- Should the SEC pursue charges against Elon Musk regarding his lies about having “funding secured,” their star witness might be rapper Azealia Banks who claims to have been at Musk’s house all weekend (we’re confused too) and says that he was scrambling to secure funding.
- Google might be having their “Facebook” moment. According to reports from the AP, Google tracks user’s location even when the users turn data location service off.
- It appears that contagion is gripping financial markets and Turkey is patient zero. Markets continued to slide on Monday across the globe. Argentina’s central bank is raising rates another 5% to 45% as the world turns its back on emerging markets.
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