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Hi friends, 

Are you in the midst of a mad dash to finish your taxes? It's that one weekend when you have to engage in nail-biting over whether all the K-1s come in on time and on spec. 

Taxes aside, there has been so much work and Twitter distraction this week that I almost forgot that the inflation numbers came out on Tuesday at 8.5% (annualized rate). Yikes. Not to be ignored or forgotten. 

Today's Contents:

  • Good Reads: Emerging Trends
  • Good Reads: Sensible Investing
  • Weekly Song: Take a Minute

Good Reads: Emerging Trends

BlackRock will now become the primary cash reserves manager of USD Coin (USDC), a $50 billion digital asset, pegged to the value of the U.S. dollar. Here. Sharing as a milestone toward the institutional adoption of crypto and blockchain as the rails behind the new-age financial system. It's coming.

VC firm Accomplice raises its last-ever fund. Here. My take: It's refreshing for a fund to retire and wrap up at a high. I hope the trend continues. It makes way for the next generation to start fresh, and it leaves the legacy at a high. 

There is no playbook. An interview with Gavin Baker. Here. TL/DR: 

  • Mr. Baker discusses where he sees compelling investment opportunities and why he thinks competition among the tech titans will intensify significantly. He also has a strong opinion on the outlook for the chip sector.
  • "In America and Europe, you have never seen how inflation impacts the business models of different software companies. You haven’t seen how it impacts different internet business models."
  • He predicts commodity driven inflation will last for a while.
  • "I have a bias for infrastructure software over application software. Here’s the simple reason: A lot of application software companies are barely software. David Sacks, a co-founder of the venture capital firm Craft Ventures, said it aptly: For around twenty years, all these companies had to do was to take any business process that’s done on Excel or uses a fax machine, create a web or app-based software version of that business process, run it on AWS - and presto: you have a multi-billion software applications company."
I keep a running mental list of the predictions of these fund managers. Gavin called the impact on software businesses all wrong in 2020 when he said that revenue would decelerate and decline at SaaS and cloud businesses. But he could call it right this time.

Flutterwave: The African Unicorn Built On Quicksand. Fraud, perjury and insider trading? All in a day's work. A glimpse at the dark underbelly of Africa's biggest fintech superstar. Here. I hesitate a bit to share this given it is gossipy, but these allegations have sent the Nigerian startup ecosystem reeling and this issue has an African's bent after all. My own take is that the nuance of governance and board oversight are likely to gain more prominence in the coming era. 

Good Reads: Sensible Investing


Yishan's (former founder of Reddit) take on Elon's offer for Twitter: Twitter thread here. TL/DR: Concepts of 'free speech' are highly generational and politicized, which has lead to conflict with no easy solutions. An alternative description from Josh Elman: "masterpiece of a thread on why moderating social networks in 2022 is very different than the original “free speech” Internet, why it is about behavior and network collapse and safety vs about arbitrating truth, and the superhuman work involved to try."

Raad (founder of Lawtrades) explains how he used the Roll Up Vehicle to leverage 100 small check investors. Thread here. I've been recommending this to founders. When done well, these community fund raises can be incredibly powerful. I'm a happy participant in many of these. 

Getting the most out of your Seed stage investors. Advice here from Sam Lessin that I largely agree with. 

‘Jack Dorsey’s First Tweet’ NFT Went on Sale for $48M. It Ended With a Top Bid of Just $280. Here. I'm sharing this article because at least five people shared it with me. My view is that the seller didn't know how to play the game of insider collusion very well. Also, when he originally bought the NFT, he was pricing it mentally in Eth, which I'm sure was at a low dollar cost basis/ 

What the hell is going on with the economy? Article from Bryan Caplan, Economics Professor at George Mason University. H/T Natty Wine. 8.5% inflation and more. 

VC distributions are down 90% in Q1, says Industry Ventures, an LP in 450 funds. Here in Techcrunch.

Weekly Song: Take a Minute

Music Video here

K'naan is one of my favorite African artists. I love how easy it is to sign along to his rhymes. Take a Minute, particularly, has a great message: no one really knows anything and instead of getting angry you can take a minute and let it settle. The theme about generosity 'to give is priceless' is beautiful.

I've been saving this song for a while and thought it was apt this week given Kibo School won 1st place at the ASU-GSV cup last week. I used to invest professionally in education companies in emerging markets and had three companies across sub-Saharan Africa. Kibo is a new online university for students who want to solve problems with technology based out of Nigeria. 

It feels like African EdTech is having a moment, and who better than Ope Bukola to lead the way.

"Take a Minute" by K'naan

This K'naan, and still reppin' the S
Comin' out of Muqdisho and still draped in the mess
And no matter how we strong homie
It ain't easy comin' out of where we from homey
and it's the reason why I can never play phony
"Tell 'em the truth" is what my dead homies told me, ooh yeah
I take inspiration from the most heinous of situations
Creatin' medication out my own tribulations
Dear Africa, you helped me write this
by showin' me to give is priceless

And any man who knows a thing
knows he knows not a damn, damn thing at all
And every time I felt the hurtin'
I felt the givin' gettin' me up off the wall
I'm just gonna take a minute and let it ride
I'm just gonna take a minute and let it breathe


Thanks for reading, friends. Please always be in touch.

As always,

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Katelyn Donnelly
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