One of the hedge funds badly burned in the infamous GME social media-driven short squeeze is closing down, while GameStop itself has just completed its $1.13-billion equity offering.
According to the Financial Times, London-based White Square Capital, operated by Florian Kronawitter, has closed its main fund and will return capital to investors.
White Square Capital reportedly had $440 million in assets under management at its peak. The hedge fund was one of many that suffered double-digit percentage losses from short positions in January, when the r/Wallstreetbets subreddit helped pump GME’s price from $21 on Jan. 12 to around $345 on Jan. 27.
However, the Financial Times reported a source saying the fund’s closure was unrelated to its GameStop misadventure. In a letter to investors, co-founder Kronawitter cited the traditional equity long-short model was being “challenged” in the current financial climate, as there are “way too many fish in the pond” that operate with the same long-short strategy.
“The traditional edge is being arbed away [eroded by other investors], there’s an oversupply of capital,” Kronawitter said.
The co-founder also highlighted that the hedge fund’s opportunities for arbitrage have “diminished” due to the “onslaught of capital caused by central bank monetary interventions.”
These factors are also accompanied by the relative ease of access to information and cheaper investment alternatives, with Kronawitter asserting that it brings it to question how the management fees from hedge funds can be justified in the current market.
In a Reddit thread discussing the news in the r/Wallstreetbets subreddit, members of the group shared their delight, with user u/turtleduck77 likening hedge funds that shorted GME to dominoes falling, noting that it’s “Time to invest in dominoes! The game not the pizza.”
GameStop completes ATM offering
On Tuesday, GameStop announced the completion of an at-the-market (ATM) equity offering, with the company selling 5 million shares of common stock, generating almost $1.3 billion before commissions and offering expenses.
“GameStop will use net proceeds from the ATM Offering for general corporate purposes as well as for investing in growth initiatives and maintaining a strong balance sheet,” the announcement read.
One of the growth initiatives likely to be funded is GameStop’s NFT marketplace set to be launched on Ethereum.
While details are sparse at this stage, the firm’s blockchain division is reportedly headed by the former business operations leader of Ethereum and Loopring DEX, Matt Finestone.
The smart contract platform is based on the ERC-721 NFT standard and was created by Foobar, a developer who has worked on wrapper solutions for the classic version of Crypto Punks, HD Mooncats and MooncatHelper NFT projects in the past.
While top crypto assets and memecoins have been in a major downtrend since May 12, GME’s meme stock has increased 36.6% within that time frame, increasing from $161 on May 12 to $220 as of Wednesday, according to TradingView.
In comparison, data from CoinGecko shows that crypto’s nearest equivalent in meme coin Dogecoin has cooled down and dropped by 64% — declining from a price range of $0.50 on May 12 to $0.18 on Wednesday.