Shit posting is serious business. Just ask Lit, the pseudonymous creator behind the financial meme account Litquidity. He is amassed 700,000 Instagram and 270,000 Twitter followers for his snappy commentary on the cultural mores of aspiring American Psychos and Bored Ape collectors. BHis ambitions go far beyond fomenting Goldman Sachs interns for empty their bank accounts on Hamptons summer rentalcrypto brothers to go all in on not-so-stable coins, and Jeff Bezos for just . . . being. “[My] vision is to build a Barstool Sports, but focused on finances,” he tells londonbusinessblog.com above Zoom with his face hidden behind his signature avatar: a dollar bill adorned with a frazzled-looking George Washington.
That Lit’s inspiration is Barstool, the infamously abrasive but undeniably successful digital media company, is telling. The meme creator has enjoyed a bull run in recent years as he has gone from ridiculing bankers’ outfits to become a keen observer of market trends, with a burgeoning media empire to boot. In addition to his social accounts, he hosts a weekly podcast (Large swing decks) who unpacks rumors and trends in the financial sector and writes a daily newsletter (Exec Sum) that splits news from Wall Street and Silicon Valley. He has a “meme services” arm (aka Memes-as-a-Serviceor MaaS) and an e-commerce site that sells ‘lever tf up’ baseball caps and Lehman Brothers bank bags.
In January, Lit played for mainstream respect by signing up as a venture scout for Bain Capital’s VC arm, helping companies spot and occasionally invest while building his own portfolio as an angel investor. “Lit is part of this next generation of media entrepreneurs, such as Packy McCormickwho has the popular one Not boring newsletter, who use their online platforms to invest,” said Christina Melas-Kyriazi, the Bain Capital Venture partner who spoke to him. “They have unique insights and can leverage their online presence in interesting ways.”
And lest any of his followers think that partnerring with an investment firm co-founded by Mitt Romney may dulling Li’s acuity, he clarified things when he tweeted his news about the partnership: “no this is not a full-time thing,” he wrote, “the twitter sh*t poasting [sic] show continues.” But growing a subversive media brand while the Dow soars is one thing. The question now is whether Lit can ride a bear market as well as the roaring ones of recent years.
Litquidity started as a hobby in 2017, when Lit — then a 20-year-old banker in New York City — took inspiration from a Greek Life parody blog he followed in college to create the account. “Comedy has always been my form of expression,” he says. “I saw parallels between the training camp of interning on Wall Street and committing to a brotherhood.”
His first posts focused on the late nights, the Sisyphean workloads, and the megalomaniac managers he and his colleagues had to deal with. But during the pandemic, amid one of the largest bull markets in history, Litquidity proved particularly potent, capturing the attention of Wall Street sharks and Reddit minnows alike with reports of financial and cultural trends and stock meme.. For example, in November 2020, when Pfizer announced that its COVID vaccine was 90% effective, Lit responded with a chaotic, techno-assisted video montage featuring a “bear cucks” station wagon driving off a cliff, “hedge fund PM’s” breakdance and “the market” scored a touchdown by performing a gravity-defying front flip over a “Fauci” defender. (Moderna’s follow-up announcement inspired a similar treatment.) At the same time, Litquidity began to turn into a sort of advocacy tool for Wall Street analysts, tracking salary increases and bonus announcements and bringing transparency into a notoriously opaque system.
When his Instagram followers doubled, Lit quit his job in 2020 to focus on Litquidity. He claims that his simulated business has “been quite profitable from day one,” and says he has now surpassed his previous one. six-digit bank salary. In 2021, he forged a podcasting partnership with Mark Moran, and investment banker who became a participant on HBO Max reality dating show FBOY Island. Moran was a full-time employee at Liquidity for a few months, but recently decided to start his own investor relations and corporate marketing company.
Lit’s self-assured bro-y kind of humor and financial acumen have earned him a powerful array of followers, including banking CEOs and venture capitalistss, as well as their aspirants. “The brand I’ve been trying to build is something that’s not as approachable as a… WallStreetBetsLit says, referring to the popular financial subreddit where members use profane language to discuss which stocks to invest in. in recognition) to a post about private equity workers partying in Tulum with “medium-sized Instagram influencers,” with: an awkward photo of a vacation mode Jeff Bezos with Lauren Sanchez.
Li notes that he can use his relationship with these followers to influence their buying behavior, something that informs his investments, including: social trading app Iris, rental platform Pallet and shoe brand Amberjack. “People say a picture is worth a thousand words; I’d say a meme is worth 10,000 words,” said Bain Capital’s Melas-Kyriazi. “It boosts culture and even decision-making.”
The picture gets cloudy when it comes to Lit’s advertisers. While crypto bros and meme stock traders are a frequent target of Lit’s humor, among his early sponsors are some of the companies that have supported their lifestyle. In February, Litquidity brought in crypto exchange CoinFlex as a newsletter and podcast sponsor in a $1.5 million annual deal. three months later, CoinFlex has paused all withdrawals on its platform due to what it called “extreme market conditions” and ended its sponsorship with Litquidity. Users can currently withdraw 10% of their account balance while lay off up to 60% of staff. (Lit says he has another “major sponsor” lined up to be announced shortly.) Another advertiser, Sweater Venturesan investment platform that describes itself as “the venture capital fund for everyone” probably won’t do much to quell the impression that Lit is a little too agnostic when it comes to sponsors.
Other companies pay Litquidity to post jobs in the newsletter, which Lit says has an average unique open rate of nearly 60%. Career Development and Education Platform OfficeHours partnered with the brand to create the Litquidity Student-Athlete mentorship program, billed as “the best preparation there is for the future Patrick and Patricia Batemans of the world.” Lit has created sponsored social posts (aka MaaS) for people like Karat Financial and Polymarket and even partnered with Houston-based RCI Hospitality Holdings, which includes strip clubs, nightclubs and a “breastaurant” concept, to co-host the company’s Q2 2022 Profit Call on Twitter Spaces. The event was chaotic and confusing, but served to increase brand awareness.
Li still believes advertisers will flock to his platform even in a tough economy. “It’s like at the beginning of the pandemic, everyone pulled back, but then companies realize they still need high ROI marketing for their product. And I have a cost-effective marketing channel.” If all that sounds a little staid, well, it should be. Lit has created a business – now he has to keep the lights on.