[APO] Apollo

Most distressed investors merely live in the darkness; Apollo was born in it. Following the epic collapse of Drexel Burnham Lambert, the high-flying investment bank that filed for Chapter 11 in 1990 after pleading guilty to securities and mail fraud, a triumvirate of bankers from the defunct firm – Michael Milken protege Leon Black and […]

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A tour through payments: part 3 (SQ, FOUR)

Block (SQ) I once argued how by taking the problem of merchant payments acceptance seriously, Block knew to start with what must at the time have seemed like the most commoditized part of the payments stack, card readers, when everyone else was obsessed with software. Cheap plastic dongles combined with transparent pricing and no contracts […]

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A tour through payments: part 2 (Adyen, GPN, FIS, FISV)

Hi everyone, scuttleblurb is now on Substack (link). You don’t need to do anything. scuttleblurb Substack will have the same content as scuttleblurb Classic and I will continue to run both versions of the site. If you prefer to read on Substack, here’s what you should do: cancel your scuttleblurb Classic subscription (link) sign up […]

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A tour through payments: part 1 (Visa and Mastercard)

I plan to spend the next month re-surveying the payments landscape, mostly updating my views on companies I’ve discussed in the past but also maybe laying some groundwork on a few new names. The next few posts will be a loosely organized jumble of thoughts. I don’t know where this is going or how it […]

[SITE] SiteOne Landscape Supply

SiteOne sources 135k landscaping SKUs from 5k suppliers and distributes to 280k customers, most of them private contractors operating in a single market. It is in the early innings of rolling up a fragmented $23bn industry, its share 5x that of the next largest player but still just a 15% of the overall market, which […]

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[VRSK] Verisk Analytics

One job of an insurance commissioner is to ensure that carriers under their jurisdiction have sufficient reserves to pay claims. In the early 1900s, the data required to make this determination was collected across insurers and standardized into formal reports by a number of rating agencies. A second job of a commissioner is to ensure […]

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[CSGP] CoStar

One way to make money is to start with transactions and monetize the data exhaust. Intercontinental Exchange disseminates data from the trading activity on its exchanges. Amazon’s ad business relies on first party data spawned by e-commerce. CoStar instead made the less common reverse commute, brute force curating commercial real estate data and then building […]

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thoughts on Guidewire, Wizz Air, and Upwork

Today I want to talk about 3 stocks I own that have gotten smashed this year: Guidewire (-48%), Wizz Air (-66%), and Upwork (-60%). Guidewire (GWRE) I’ve written about Guidewire before (here and here). To recap: with 40% of policies are still processed on mainframes, the P&C insurance industry is long overdue for an upgrade. […]

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