Walmart Land Is Coming – Retail Giant To Enter The Metaverse

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You’re reading Investor Junkie’s weekly newsletter that tells you the week’s financial news in less than five minutes.

October 4, 2022

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

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

Hi Junkies,

Hurricane Ian has affected some of our team members at IJ, which is why this edition of the IJ Weekly Newsletter has been slightly delayed. But we’re still doing our best to keep you up to date with the latest economic and investment news as we get back on our feet.

We hope everyone else affected by Hurricane Ian is also recovering and we appreciate your patience.

Here’s what we cover today:

  • Walmart to enter the metaverse
  • Cathie Woods and ARK Invest to launch an exclusive venture capital fund
  • The British pound continues to fall
  • Hertz & bp to expand the national network of charging stations for electric vehicles
  • Chase, DoorDash and Mastercard are teaming up

Read on to learn more about each of these stories and to take a look at the upcoming economic events that should be on your radar.

Tom, writer

Tom Blake

What everyone has been buzzing about

1. Walmart to enter the metaverse

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

Both experiences take place in Roblox, an online gaming ecosystem where players can create their own games and universes. Roblox is also no stranger to corporations like Walmart, with brands like Nike already launching their own virtual worlds around sneakers. But Walmart has pretty big plans for its foray into the Metaverse.

First up, Walmart Land’s inaugural event will be a virtual concert known as “Electric Fest” featuring artists Kane Brown, Madison Beer and YUNGBLUD. As for the Game Universe, it includes virtual games and toys based on series such as Paw Patrol, Jurassic World and Razor Scooters that younger fans can enjoy.

According to Walmart Chief Marketing Officer William White, Walmart is “showing up in a big way: creating community, content, entertainment and gaming through the launch of Walmart Land and the Walmart Gaming Universe.”

Time will tell if Roblox’s younger audience will dive into Walmart’s two new virtual experiences or not. But it’s clear that Walmart has big plans for the metaverse that start with Roblux as a proving ground.

2. Cathie Woods and ARK Invest to launch an exclusive venture capital fund

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

At launch, Titan focused primarily on the US market, some offshore and crypto opportunities. 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, providing venture capital investment opportunities to everyday investors. There is a minimum investment of $500 for the fund, and its Titans side is pushing to expand its portfolios and open up more investment opportunities to its members.

Titan has also recently launched real estate and private credit portfolios. But its partnership with ARK Invest is excellent news for investors looking to dive into venture capital investment opportunities without needing a lot of seed capital.

3. The British pound continues to fall

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

For starters, the British pound fell further against the US dollar, falling to around $1.03 before bouncing back slightly to $1.07. Markets didn’t respond well either, with government bonds selling off quickly and the FTSE 100 index falling further.

Poll numbers aside, it is clear that confidence in the UK’s economic plan for recovery has not been at an all-time high. Faced with opposition and political heat, this Monday Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng announced that the government is abandoning the policy of tax cuts. But many critics are already losing faith in the Tories and confidence in the British economy, arguing that this investment is too little, too late.

4. Hertz and bp to expand the national network of charging stations for electric vehicles

If you’re a fan of electric vehicles, there’s good news last week: Hertz and bp announced a partnership to develop a national network of electric vehicle charging stations. This network will help serve Hertz’s growing fleet of electric vehicles, as well as taxis, ride-sharing drivers and the public.

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

5. Join Chase, DoorDash and Mastercard

For any Investor Junkie who is in the habit of making frequent orders, 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 allow DoorDash customers to earn more rewards for spending on and off the app.

According to Usman Cheema, senior director of global partnerships, DoorDash is “excited to deepen…its relationship with Chase and continue to create more shopping moments every day for consumers on and off the platform, while empowering communities premises we serve”.

DoorDash already has more than 50% of the US online meal delivery market share, and partnerships like this continue to help the company retain customers and encourage repeat spending.

What to watch out for this week

Here are some of the notable economic events taking place this week:

  • Wednesday, October 5: ADP employment report.
  • Thursday, October 6: Initial and continued unemployment claims.
  • Friday, October 8: Unemployment rate announcement.
  • Friday, October 8: 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 talk about some recent stories from our peers that we found interesting, eye-opening, challenging, inspiring… or just plain funny.

Here are our picks for this week:

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