Andy Thomas

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On December 13, 2015, Andy Thomas commented on TransferWise: Quicker and cheaper foreign exchange :

Yeah, they have been expanding rapidly and don’t look to be slowly anytime soon. At a minimum, I think very shortly we are going to see the rates offered to retail customers by the big banks converge towards the mid-market rate. Foreign exchange has been a disproportionate contributor to the bottom line of banks – and I think this is largely because it’s simply gone unquestioned by consumers. People view foreign transactions as complicated and have just excepted high fees as the cost of doing business. I think Transferwise and a few other players are quickly dispelling that myth, and as a result we will see the entire industry get a lot more competitive!

Great post, Sudip! Bridge is doing amazing things in East Africa. I wonder how they have thought about and managed their relationship with the governments. There is a significant scarcity of qualified teachers in Uganda and Kenya – and I imagine they would be depriving government schools of many teachers if are paying above-award wages! I can also imagine potential resistance to having two tiers of schools emerging (government-funded and private) – particularly if Bridge and other private operators are not following the national curriculum, which is pretty standardized (in Uganda, anyway). Fantastic topic!

On December 13, 2015, Andy Thomas commented on Combatant Gentlemen: Farm to…Closet? :

Great post, Joe – I am definitely going to look into one of these for my next suit. I wonder how long consumers will be able to capture so much of the value here if their suits are indeed of the $500-$600 quality range. If I was the company – as soon the reputation of the suits was well established and my demand was stable, I would begin raising prices much closer to the $500 range. Because they own so much of the value chain, they will always be able to undercut competitors – but there doesn’t appear to be any need to do so by $400+. We had better buy suits from them soon!

On December 13, 2015, Andy Thomas commented on Boxed: Love that Bulk! :

Great article, Rina! I wonder if there is a bit of a cap on their growth though because of the size and pockets of Amazon and Costco. If they continue to grow rapidly or begin cannibalizing Amazon’s sales on certain SKUs to the extent that Amazon begins to notice – I wouldn’t be surprised if Amazon lowered price just on those particular SKUs to outcompete Boxed. I can’t imagine Amazon would even notice taking temporary losses or lower margins on 800 SKUs to drive out a competitor!