Bezos Makes Climate Pledge; Stripe Raises Massive Round; AirBnb To Go Public

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THE HEADLINES

 

BROTHER EARTH

Book store founder. E-comm legend. Recent divorcee. Jeffrey Commerce is a lot of things … and now you can add Captain Planet to that list.

Jeff Bezos is strapping on his football pads and tackling climate change, announcing renewable energy goals for Amazon and a massive donation on behalf of the company.

The Climate Pledge

Through an initiative called the ‘Climate Pledge’ (which is not the same as the freshman you send out in a hailstorm), Jeff promises to personally (ok, not personally, but delegate the task) measure and report the company’s emissions on a regular basis.

By implementing decarbonization strategies, adjusting Amazon’s business plan, and helping other companies in its supply chain do the same, JB vows that 80% of Amazon’s energy will come from renewable sources by 2024.

By 2030, the company will report zero emissions, and by 2040, Amazon pledges to guilt other corporations into net-zero carbon emissions, a full decade ahead of the Paris Accord’s goal. Suck it, Paris agreement!

Electric Avenue

Remember back in February when Amazon’s $440M investment led the $700M investment round of electric vehicle startup, Rivian? Me too, because I wrote about it. Amazon has now agreed to purchase 100k of Rivian’s electric delivery vans, indicating that they’ll be coming to a road near you by 2024.

Amazon will also donate $100M to the Neature Conservancy, which works to restore and protect forests, wetlands, and peatlands, with a goal of removing carbon from the air.

The bottom line …

Did Jeff announce this out of the goodness of his heart? Not quite, as roughly 1k employees have a scheduled walkout today as a part of the Global Climate Strike. But JB is hoping other companies join in on the cause as well. Because if Amazon can figure it out, your run of the mill, sh*t corporation can too!

 

EARN YOUR STRIPES

*Adam Neumann checks rearview mirror*

With its latest funding round, payment platform Stripe became the third most valuable startup in the US, behind Juul, and, you guessed it, WeWork. Of course, if this were college football rankings WeWork is like the number one team in the land that just got upset by a D2 team waiting for the new coaches poll to drop.

Stripe passed AirBnb, which had some news of its own yesterday, and Palantir on its way to the 3-spot. Suck it, Thiel.

Very nice, how much?

The two native sons of Ireland who founded Stripe seem to have found their pot of gold. The PayPal for Gen Z raised $250M at a $35B valuation from a who’s who of Sand Hill Road: General Catalyst, Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz. Stripe’s previous round valued the company at $23B.

Now what?

DEFINITELY not an IPO. It appears that John and Patrick Collison are keenly aware of unicorns in the news for all the wrong reasons. Looking at you Uber … and Lyft … and Juul … and WeWork. John Collison indicated that the company has no plans to IPO.

But it does plan to put its roughly $1B in VC money to good use. The company is looking to continue its rapid growth and build out its financial services offerings, like the corporate credit card and business loans for Stripe merchants that it announced this month.

The bottom line …

Welp, investing in Stripe appears to be off the table … for now, but chances are you utilize the service on a daily basis without even knowing it. It is the preferred online payment platform of, well, everything: Lyft, AirBnb, Postmates … you name it.

And if the company’s success in the payments space is any indication you might be expensing “drinks with the clients” (read: you and your buddies at a gentlemen’s cabaret) using a Stripe corporate card VERY soon.


IN OTHER NEWS

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  • Three-peat. The Fed intervened in the US money markets for the 3rd day in a row yesterday injecting $75B in cash into the short-term lending market. It appears that banks are looking to secure cheap funds from the Fed as the offering was over-subscribed. The Fed is expected to repeat the process today. The move coincides with the Fed’s reduction of interest rates by 0.25% and its “hawkish” outlook.

 

  • AirBnB announced that it is looking to IPO next year. Unlike its unicorn counterparts, the home-sharing company seems to be riding high heading into its IPO. The company has an expected valuation of $31B, and unlike Uber and WeWork, is actually making money. Of course, the estimates are all coming prior to AirBnB opening its financials to the investment world. That said, the books show that it made $1B in revenue during Q2 this year … though its losses were not disclosed.

 

  • It’s not you, it’s me. The former CEO of Overstock.com Patrick Byrne sold $90M worth of stock yesterday, which represents his remaining share in the company he founded. Per his claims, he is funneling the cash right back into gold and cryptocurrency. HODL. Byrne has always been a bit of a wildcard but officially went off the deep end after announcing his involvement in a “deep state” scandal.

 

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