🕶e8: Some T-Shirts n A Dream! You Been MOOCn Lately?

👋 Good Morning and Happy Sunday! Welcome to the e8 newsletter, a hand-picked collection of business and start-up news, resources for entrepreneurs, job/internship postings, and noteworthy trends that are happening this week! I hope you find this weekly newsletter informative and engaging!

Business/Start-Up News

👕 Some T-Shirts n A Dream!

Almost 30 years ago, James Jebbia opened his first skate shop selling t-shirts in SoHo, New York. It’s 2020 now, and his brand “Supreme” has come to a $2.1B agreement with VF Corp. But for many fashion aficionados this came as an awkward move for the brand, notorious for its “rare” collector-style, low inventory releases. Is Supreme finally on the verge of losing its hype? Let’s take a peek behind the curtain!

The Facts

  • Supreme currently operates twelve stores internationally and pulls in roughly $160m in annual revenue. The brand heavily relies on its cult following (“Hypebeasts”) to jump at their strategically-scheduled merchandise drops, often selling out within hours! *add one more closing fact

  • On the other hand, VF Corp.started out as a manufacturing company in the late 1800s. Throughout the mid-1900s they shifted their focus from manufacturing to acquiring clothing brands. Over the course of the years, they have built up their portfolio with some notable brands such as Dickies, JanSport, Kipling, The North Face, Timberland and Vans. Last year, the company generated $13.8B in revenue!

  • Year-to-date, the brand’s revenue increased at a mid-single-digit rate compared with a year earlier, VF said while discussing the deal. It helps that the company makes more than 60% of its revenue online.

Quick Pick Up for a Quick Buck

This isn’t the first time we see Supreme selling out. Back in 2017, they came to a deal with the Carlyle group to exchange a 50% stake for $500m, giving the company a unicorn valuation. At the time, fans were skeptical of this move due to Carlyle’s suit-and-tie atmosphere, but Jebbia and his team remained in control of company decisions and with the recent acquisition, Carlyle group enjoyed doubling their investment. Seems like it was a win-win for everyone.

Ev’s Take

Supreme is one of those clothing brands that makes cool stuff, but personally, trying to get those pieces just never seems worth the time (AllSaints is that real drip). As much as the limited release business model has worked for Supreme, it’s also been a growing pain. The company suffers from constantly having to threaten lawsuits to copycats and loses the battle in foreign countries where counterfeit laws aren’t enforceable.

This acquisition by VF Corp has probably been on the drawing board for a while. Working with a brand like Supreme isn’t new to them as they have already been collaborating with subsidiary brands Vans, The North Face, and Timberland for multiple years. VF Chairman, President, and CEO Steve Randle had made a welcome statement, “We are thrilled to welcome Supreme to the VF family and to build on our decades-long relationship as we create value for all of our stakeholders. VF is the ideal steward to honor the authentic heritage of this cultural lifestyle brand while providing the opportunity to leverage our scale and expertise to enable sustainable long-term growth.”

So far it seems like VF is going to stay pretty hands-off with regards to the decision-making at Supreme, but will ultimately maintain ownership of the company. For Jebbia and his team, this means maintaining the steady growth that they had projected during their purchasing agreements. 

💡 You Been MOOCn Lately?

Oh man, another wave of lockdown restrictions? Sounds like a broken record at this point. This past year I’ve watched more YouTube guides and tutorials than in all my past years of YouTube combined. With the pandemic having left many of us searching for new things to do or skills to pick up, a few emerging companies have been trying to capitalize on the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course Provider) method to capture hobbyists and schools looking for virtual learning resources. This week, a major player, Udemy, was in the spotlight as they announced they will be raising up to $100m in their series F, valuing the company at $3.32B so long as they manage to secure funding! Let’s learn more about online education and why people are throwing millions into safely educating the next generation.

The Facts

  • One of the clear winners of the ed-tech trend is Udemy, which provides over 130,000 online video courses ranging from photography to music to coding - you name it. The company is trying to capitalize and make some serious plays. Earlier in the year, they raised a $50m round

  • Udemy business users have grown and now number over 7,000, according to figures on its site, with total course enrollments now totalling 400m to date 

  • Udemy’s corporate learning division, Udemy for Business, claimed yesterday that it reached $100m annual recurring revenue (ARR) after a 90% surge in enrollments this year

  • Udemy’s corporate learning division–Udemy for Business–claimed yesterday that its annual revenue reached $100 million annual recurring revenue (ARR) after a 90% surge in enrollments this year.

Competition Heating Up

Udemy’s ambitions have been high since entering the ed-tech sector in 2009 - they focus on hobbyists with their MOOC site and on professionals/schools with Udemy Business. However, they aren’t the only players trying to make moves in those spaces, often seeing their services outperformed by companies specializing in one or the other. Online game-based learning platform Kahoot (I played this one a lot in school lol) announced a $215m round from Softbank. Udacity finally said they were profitable after a $75m debt round, along with Outschool who recently raised a $45m round as well.

Ev’s Take

As we all know, COVID has transformed education, and it may be to our benefit in the long-term. As students were pushed to take classes from home, and teachers had to figure out new ways to engage their students, one main theme is clear - resilience. The transition to an online environment provides us with insights on how vital technology is in our educational developments. 

I recently turned 23, and when I was in high school (not that long ago), we were barely on the cusp of implementing technology in our learning environments. I can’t imagine how much more engaged I would have been if I had been able to use certain platforms created specifically for learning, or even had the ability to pick up new skills and potentially count that towards credit through programs like Udemy. 

 This may seem far-fetched, but I believe that having online access to other courses and programs allows for versatility in the learning experience, which in turn encourages otherwise disengaged students to pursue a subject that might revitalize their motivation. This online access could also vastly expand the demographic of students to include those who would not normally have luxury of such extracurriculars due to their residence or socioeconomic status. 

Many challenges remain on the road ahead, but Ed-Tech is proving to be a solution to the missing gaps in our educational system

👀 Interesting Follows

📹 Zoom To Lift 40-Minute Meeting Limit On Thanksgiving For Longer Family Hangouts

📉 Why Unemployment May Be Falling

🍲 DoorDash IPO Bets That The Pandemic Has Accelerated Change

🚗 Getaround Tops Up $25M Debt Financing To Its $140M Series E

💼 Jobs/Internships

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💯Thank You For Reading, See You Next Week!

What's up, my name is Evan Hiltunen! I am a recent finance grad from Indiana University and financial analyst @ Goldman Sachs. I have a strong passion for start-ups, finance, and technology, and I hope you find this newsletter informative!

I’d love your feedback - feel free to email me at thee8newsletter@gmail.com