Walmart Land Is Coming – Retail Giant To Enter The Metaverse

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You're reading Investor Junkie's weekly newsletter that gets you caught up on the week's financial news in less than five minutes.

October 4th, 2022

Last week’s market summary (September 26th-30th, 2022):

  • S&P 500: -2.70%
  • Dow: -1.86%
  • Nasdaq: -2.14%
  • Bitcoin: +1.08%

Hey Junkies,

Hurricane Ian has impacted some of our team members at IJ, which is why this edition of IJ's weekly newsletter has been slightly delayed. But we're still trying our best to keep you up to date with the latest investing and economic news as we get back on our feet.

We hope anyone else impacted by Hurricane Ian is also recovering, and thank you for your patience.

Here's what we're covering today:

  • Walmart to Enter the Metaverse
  • Cathie Woods & ARK Invest to Launch Exclusive VC Fund
  • British Pound Continues to Crash
  • Hertz & bp to Expand National EV Charging Station Network
  • Chase, DoorDash, & Mastercard Team Up

Keep reading to learn more about each of these stories and to get a look at upcoming econmic events that should be on your radar.

Tom, Staff Writer

Tom Blake

What Everyone’s Been Buzzing About

1. Walmart to Enter the Metaverse

In early September, Starbucks announced its plans to launch a “revolutionary Web3 experience” for its rewards members. Not to be outdone on the Web3 trend, big-box giant Walmart has also unveiled its plans to enter the metaverse with two different experiences: Walmart Land and Walmart's Universe of Play.

Both of these experiences are taking place in Roblox, an online gaming ecosystem where players can create their own games and universes. Roblox isn't a stranger to corporations like Walmart either, with brands like Nike already launching its own virtual worlds around sneakers. But Walmart has rather large plans for its foray into the Metaverse.

Firstly, Walmart Land's inaugural event is going to be a virtual concert known as “Electric Fest” that features artists Kane Brown, Madison Beer, and YUNGBLUD. As for the Universe of Play, it features virtual games and toys based on series like Paw Patrol, Jurassic World, and Razor Scooters that younger fans can enjoy.

According to Walmart's chief marketing officer William White, Walmart is “showing up in a big way – creating community, content, entertainment and games through the launch of Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play.”

Time will tell if the younger audience on Roblox will dive into Walmart's two new virtual experiences or not. But it's clear that Walmart has major plans for the metaverse that begin with Roblux as a testing ground.

2. Cathie Woods & ARK Invest to Launch Exclusive VC Fund

We've covered Titan on Investor Junkie before, and it's one of the few platforms that offers managed hedge-fund style investing opportunities starting at just $100.

At launch, Titan primarily focused on the U.S. market, some offshore opportunities, and crypto. But in late September, it announced an exclusive partnership with Cathie Wood's ARK Invest to bring the new ARK Venture Fund to Titan investors.

This fund invests in a portfolio of both private and public companies, bringing VC investing opportunities to everyday investors. There's a low $500 minimum investment for the fund, and its part of Titan's push to expand its portfolios and to open more investing opportunities to its members.

Titan also recently launched real estate and private credit portfolios. But its partnership with ARK Invest is excellent news for investors looking to dip their toes into VC investment opportunities without needing much starting capital.

3. British Pound Continues To Crash

It's been a tough few weeks for the UK to say the least. And last week, the Bank of England raised interest rates a half percentage point to try and combat inflation. But after UK Prime Minister Liz Truss announced massive tax cuts on the country's highest earners, things didn't go quite as planned.

For starters, the British pound crashed even more versus the U.S. dollar, dropping to around $1.03 before rebounding slightly to $1.07. Markets didn't respond well either, with government bonds being sold off rapidly and the FTSE 100 Index dropping even more.

Polling numbers aside, it's clear that confidence in the UK's economic plan for recovery hasn't been at all-time highs. In the face of opposition and political heat, this Monday, Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng announced the government is scrapping the tax-cut policy. But many critics are already losing trust in the Tories and trust in the British economy, claiming this reversal is too little, too late.

4. Hertz & BP to Expand National EV Charging Station Network

If you're a fan of electric vehicles, there's good news coming out of last week: Hertz and BP announced a partnership to develop a national network of EV charging stations. This network will help service Hertz's growing EV fleet as well as taxis, rideshare drivers, and the public.

The fact this expansion is servicing different customer bases is what's exciting. Range anxiety is still a barrier to EV adoption. But if partnerships like the one between Hertz and BP can help improve America's EV infrastructure, it stands to reason that more consumers will feel comfortable making the switch to EVs over time. And for existing EV drivers or Hertz customers, this partnership bodes well for making your recharging experience easier.

5. Chase, DoorDash, & Mastercard Team Up

For any Investor Junkie who has a habit of ordering in often, there could be a new credit card on the market soon. That's because Chase, DoorDash, and Mastercard are launching a credit card, the DoorDash Rewards Mastercard, to let DoorDash customers earn more rewards for spending on and off the app.

According to Usman Cheema, the Senior Director of Global Partnerships, DoorDash is “thrilled to deepen…its relationship with Chase and continue building more everyday shoppable moments for consumers on and off the platform, while empowering the local communities we serve.”

DoorDash already has over 50% of the U.S. online meal delivery market share, and partnerships like this continue to help the company retain its customers and encourage repeat spending.

What To Keep Your Eye on This Week

Here are a few noteworthy economic events that are coming this week:

  • Wednesday October 5th: ADP employment report.
  • Thursday October 6th: Initial and continuing jobless claims.
  • Friday October 8th: Unemployment rate announcement.
  • Friday October 8th: Consumer credit report.

Staff Favorites

At IJ, we're well aware that many other news teams and websites are creating great personal finance content. So each week we like to call out a few recent stories from our colleagues that we felt were interesting, eye-opening, challenging, inspiring…or just funny.

Here are our picks for this week:

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Tom Blake

Tom Blake is a staff writer at Investor Junkie who specializes in cryptocurrency, investing, and passive income. His work has appeared on numerous publications like The College Investor, Money Crashers, Greedy Rates, and his own blog This Online World. In his spare time, Tom enjoys spending time outdoors and traveling as a digital nomad.

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