Anthony Ferrara

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On December 13, 2015, Anthony Ferrara commented on Solazyme: Poised to revolutionize oil markets? :

Agree 100% – very interesting concept…

Regarding the plunge in oil prices, I believe it forced Solazyme to re-asses its operating model and further improve it (making it viable even under circumstances where the Company’s price floor completely fell from under it). Although I don’t foresee Solazyme being particularly aggressive regarding cash burn (investors would likely be weary), they do plan to continue pursuing expansion of in-house production facilities (which with economies of scale should make more products viable).

I am looking forward to seeing the Company’s fully fledged capabilities in a more favorable pricing environment. Think the potential is pretty huge…

On December 13, 2015, Anthony Ferrara commented on Solazyme: Poised to revolutionize oil markets? :

Gaurie, thanks for the post! Although this is all a single platform, they have numerous patents to produce the various tailored oils and they continually strive to come up with new processes that could be potentially patented – this somewhat mitigates the risk you mention. Nonetheless, as stated within Solazyme’s business risks “Our competitive position depends on our ability to effectively obtain and enforce patents related to our products, manufacturing components and manufacturing processes. If we or our licensors fail to adequately protect this intellectual property, our ability and/or our partners’ ability to commercialize products could suffer.”

So this is definitely a significant business risk, but Solazyme has been able to mitigate via solid management of its patent/product portfolio.

On December 13, 2015, Anthony Ferrara commented on ZARA: Sprinting past traditional retail :

Thanks Anna Marie – super complete!

It’s incredible how this company has been able to become so reactive to the market, while still producing good quality products at competitive prices. My concern is that they do not seem to be at the forefront of fashion (more replicating model trends). This in turn means they could in a sense be “capped” in regards to consumer perception – they will never be a “top” fashion brand that dictates fashion trends. This being said, I think the could brand could focus more on new growth markets were this effect would be harder to perceive, thereby somewhat mitigating the issue and driving higher margins. I have seen that Zara in some emerging markets prices at significant premiums vs other retailers.

On December 13, 2015, Anthony Ferrara commented on ClassPass: Bringing Boutique Fitness to the Average Yuppie :

Great post Caitlin!

I have a couple of friend who swear by Classpass (almost enough to get me to try it). I think the model is especially beneficial to smaller studies with new concepts that do not have the resources to advertise and really garner the required support to become profitable. Classpass basically brings in an audience of health focused individuals who might not be willing to try new routines unless they are offered at a discount (which is the case here).

I also particularly like the fact that you can continually change your workouts (trying new things and really avoiding it getting monotonous).

The question I had was regarding solvency – i think Classpass had issues with liquidity and was having to refocus operations. If not mistaken they were exiting Boston because of this. Could you maybe provide some insight into the issues they are facing? Thanks!

On December 13, 2015, Anthony Ferrara commented on SLC Agricola: The way to run a farm in the 21st century :

Great post, thank you.

My concern in in regards to the investment in land. In the post you mention these investments can be a hedge of sorts (given they are uncorrelated with the grain production business). Maybe you can share a little more in regards to SLCs strategy in regards to land purchases (what drives the buy vs lease decision) and what are price appreciation expectations – and probably more importantly what is expected to drive that appreciation. I would imagine that land values for the lands SLC acquires are highly dependent on commodity cycles and therefore might not be entirely uncorrelated. Answering these questions would also give us a better sense of risk related to land depreciation.