James Cakmak just left his job as a Wall Street analyst covering internet stocks to focus on running Snailz Inc., an app he co-founded and refers to as “the OpenTable of nail salons.”
As a result, Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co. had to discontinue coverage of Twitter Inc.
PayPal Holdings Inc.
and Etsy Inc.
the companies Cakmak covered for the equity research and trading firm.
“In no way did I suspect a decade ago I’d make it my core mission to serve women’s (and men’s) mani-pedi needs, but here we are!” Cakmak wrote in a farewell email.
Cakmak said when he started covering internet stocks 10 years ago, Facebook Inc.
was being compared with Classmates.com, as both had fewer than 100 million users, Amazon.com Inc.
was just starting to commercialize its now-dominant cloud business Amazon Web Services and Netflix Inc.
was just a DVD play.
“After watching those companies contribute to the world at large, it’s my intent to do the same, beginning with an underserved niche in need of digitization,” Cakmak wrote in a farewell email.
So he co-founded Snailz, a marketplace for nail and beauty salons in New York City. To date, he said the company has aggregated 250 salons, or about 25% of the Manhattan nail salon market. Snailz also has a presence in Brooklyn and northern New Jersey. With the app, he said users can be serviced without the wait, pay seamlessly, and in the near future, use loyalty points.
“After visiting hundreds of salons and interviewing even more of our customers, I can beyond empathize now with what it takes to maintain a manicure,” Cakmak wrote. “If I can make this one small part of life just a little bit easier, while working simultaneously to raise industry standards, it will be beyond fulfilling.”
His move comes as internet stocks have been outperformed the broader market this year, and the past 12 months, by wide margins. The First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index exchange-traded fund
has rallied 10% year to date through afternoon trading on Thursday, while the S&P 500 index
has lost 0.9% and the Nasdaq Composite Index
has edged up 2.6%. Over the past year, the internet ETF has run up 39% and the S&P 500 has gained 14%.
Cakmak isn’t leaving the world of analyzing technology completely, however. He said he would begin writing as a contributing editor to Techonomy.com.
Emily Bary contributed to this report.