Wall Street’s Brashest Media Analysts Aim to Be Its Richest Too

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Rich Greenfield, part of a brash team of Wall Street media analysts, is known for calling out companies on social media. Now he’s getting ready to put his money where his mouth is.

LightShed Partners, the research firm that he helped start in 2019, has raised $75 million to invest in emerging media and technology companies. The firm, which already publishes research reports on names such as Netflix Inc., Walt Disney Co. and Facebook Inc., will invest the money in about 25 companies over the next couple of years.

Greenfield co-founded the firm with Walt Piecyk and Brandon Ross, two associates from BTIG Research. They left BTIG in part because they wanted more flexibility. Greenfield has already invested his own money in companies such as Wondery, a podcast network Amazon.com Inc. just acquired for about $300 million. Those investments will be rolled over into the fund.

“The whole goal is to take advantage of the visibility we have, the deal flow, the knowledge of the sector, and put that to work on early stage, disruptive companies,” Greenfield said. He cited Facebook and Snap Inc. as two companies he encountered in their early stages that he would have wanted to put money behind.

Greenfield is one of the most visible and vocal analysts on Wall Street, a champion of companies like Netflix and Spotify Technology SA, and critic of any media giant that isn’t shifting its business to the internet. He has coined hashtags such as #GoodLuckBundle to denote the demise of the cable bundle, and often wears branded attire on the day a company reports earnings.

LightShed has hired Jamie Seltzer, who most recently worked at Waverley Capital, to be a partner in the company’s investment business.

Investing in sectors where it provides stock advice sets up a potential conflict of interest. But Greenfield said the firm only plans to put money into companies very early in their history, and will sell its shares in any portfolio companies as soon as they go public or are acquired by a public concern. It won’t own shares in any companies it covers.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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