Match Made in Silicon Valley, Biggest Pot Company on the Planet, No Time for Charlie, Namely Fires CEO and Deep Freeze Tomorrow Night

Good Wednesday Morning,

Daylight – Match Made in Silicon Valley – A white paper passed around yesterday among major VC’s Orange County to San Fran is the big business of online dating is overdue for a disruption and there’s a new company with a new method, no photos or swipes required – called Luna will use anonymised data to design algorithms to match and pics will be replaced with voice messages which also will be analyzed for tone, sincerity etc.

Luna will recommend where you meet and what time based on data from work schedules and common interests.

Huge study on success of online marriages over 10 years – results were people are generally as unhappy as getting married after “going steady” offline. Tempus fugit.

Luna says to pick the right mate – a person would need to spend thousands of hours of research and study as opposed to its algorithm can do it instantly with a 78 percent predictability of infidelity. Ten Trick Questions.

M&A – In what will be the biggest company in the nascent marijuana industry, Aurora Cannabis is offering to buy MedReleaf for $3.2 billion. The combined marijuana industrial giant could have a valuation north of $7 billion, which would make it the biggest pot company on the planet. It would have nine facilities in Canada and two in Denmark with an annual manufacturing output of about 570,000 kilograms per year.

BJ Beltram acquired Louis Wohl and Sons, a provider of equipment, supplies and design services to the food service industry.

The Halifax Group invested ChanceLight Behavioral Health, Therapy & Education, a provider of behavioral health, therapy and education solutions for children and young adults.

Style – Word of the Day: tempus fugit [tem-poos foo-git]

Latin. time flies.

Economics – Homegrown – Patreon – a platform that allows two million patrons to contribute on a regular basis to about 100,000 creators – has paid out approximately $350 million to such creators over the past five years, and this year expects to transfer over $300 million from fans to independent artists and content producers.

Picked a Fine Time to Leave me Lucille – Yesterday, two more top Tesla executives, Arch Padman and Bob Rudd walked out the door with the model 3 facing more production problems and following news that his engineering chief, Doug Field, was taking a leave of absence, and that senior executive Matthew Schwall was departing the company for Alphabet driverless-car division Waymo. Musk called it a “thorough reorganization.” Don’t panic – as you can see from our crossing the Swamp Slide below – exits and emergencies are part of going from hyper growth to human scale.  

Live Rounds – First 2nd Chance – Disney executives leaked out a trial balloon yesterday of letting Pixar co-Founder John Lasseter return back to the company in a new role, following accusations of touching and uncomfortable hugs, that would reduce his managerial power but allow him to retain creative influence. Disney has told him if they get PR blowback – he is not coming back.

Also, Charlie Rose is trying to get his second chance by convincing Harvey Weinstein to let him interview him on national TV – thanks a lot Charlie – really gets you off the hook. Weinstein said no.

Buzzard’s Roost – The human resources start-up Namely ousted it’s CEO Matt Strad, over misconduct claims – scoop is he dated two different girls on the team who got together with combined claims. Not going to survive in an environment where you need a lawyer to approve a Valentine’s card – lawyer chaperones? New revenue stream.

Not to Miss – HBO’s fascinating documentary “Elvis Presley: The Searchers” looks at Elvis’s extraordinary Entrepreneurial skills of repackaging black music to deliver it to a bigger audience. A lot to learn from this doc, as Elvis is not much different from Jobs sprucing up Windows from the techies at Xerox to be the king of business for the 21st century.

Hot – Biohackers across the country are taking gene editing into their own hands. As the equipment becomes cheaper and the expertise more widely shared, citizen-scientists are trying to re-engineer DNA in surprising ways. Until now, the work has amounted to little more than DIY misfires. But that could change all too quickly. After a virus was created from mail-order DNA, scientists are sounding the alarm about the genetic tinkering in garages and living rooms. The most pressing worry is that someone might use the spreading technology to create a biological weapon.

Culture – Creator of New Journalism and Entrepreneurial stylist Tom Wolfe, trailblazing author of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and The Right Stuff, died yesterday at 88. He brilliantly captured the tidal wave of change in America for the second half of the 20th century.  

Pulitzer Prize winning author Junot Diaz has been accused of sexual harassment by four fellow female writers. After the callout, the author cancelled his book tour for – a children’s book. Many of his critics also see his recent New Yorker essay revealing his experiences with childhood sexual abuse as a preemptive move.

Our Morning Report editor met Diaz while he was at Providence College and still considers him a great writer, but said, “he was a jerk with a holier-than-thou attitude.”  

Investment Banking – River Associates Investments acquired GAHH, a maker of aftermarket convertible tops, Jeep tops, seat covers and vehicle interiors.

Hedge Funds – Edison Partners sold its stake in Billtrust, a provider of payment cycle management solutions, to W Capital Partners.

Hedge Funds – Fulcrum Equity Partners acquired a majority stake in Liberation Way, a drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility.

IPO – PluralSight, a cloud-based learning platform, says it plans to raise $269.1 million in an IPO of 20.7 million shares priced between $12 to $14.

MeiraGTx, a gene therapy firm, filed for an $86.3 million IPO.

Venture Capital – Celsius Therapeutics, a company translating single-cell genomic insights into precision therapeutics for autoimmune diseases and cancer, raised $65 million.

Beam Therapeutics, a developer of precision genetic medicines through base editing, raised up to $87 million.

Saildrone, a provider of high-resolution ocean data collected via a fleet of unmanned surface vehicles, raised $60 million.

Good Eggs, an online market that delivers fresh groceries, raised $50 million.

Metawave Corporation, a developer of beam steering automotive radars, raised $10 million.

PegEx, a hazardous waste removal online platform raised $8 million.

Choosy, an on-demand social shopping platform, raised $5.4 million.

Prisma, a startup focused on GraphQL, raised $4.5 million.

Rael, a feminine care products startup, raised $2.1 million.

Printify, a print-on-demand platform, raised $1 million.

Spotlight – Tomorrow evening we will discuss The Five Negotiation Strategies to Get to Yes:

Mad Men Strategy

Deep Freeze Strategy

OR Strategy

Dead Man Walking Strategy

Butler Big Ask Strategy

And that’s what’s ahead, Cliff

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