Bloomberg, disrupted. The anxiety economy. Meet our team.

Firmly against murder

Hi there,

Last week, one of our email subjects was "how to murder your husband," and in our A/B testing, it handily won.

(Note: more on the why behind our headlines here.)

Some of you were upset by this subject line cuz you thought it was in poor taste or you thought we might influence people.

And so I wanted to go on the record with our position:

CB Insights does not (nor has it ever) promote, recommend, or condone the practice of husband murdering. In fact, we think it is pretty wrong. We apologize for any confusion.

Now, on to more pleasant topics.

Empire under siege

Last year, general spending on financial market data and analysis hit a record $28.5B — and Bloomberg's market share shrank.

The company's weaknesses are becoming more apparent. Most Bloomberg Terminal users only use a small fraction of the thousands of functions it offers. Meanwhile, specialized, cheaper options are cropping up.

We dig into how the terminal is being disrupted function by function and what might lie ahead for Bloomberg.

Startup failure

When we analyzed the top 20 reasons startups say they fail, reason #10 was mis-timing the market.

This reason for failure is a cop out.

It shows little ownership of the failure. Instead, it just blames it on the market.

Last week, Airware, a drone startup backed by investors including Google Ventures and Kleiner Perkins, shut down after raising over $100M in under 4 years. See the full list of Airware’s funding rounds and investors here.  

Here is its statement on why it failed:

Absolutely zero culpability.  

Just some BS about being a pioneer and the market wasn’t ready for its money-burning awesomeness.  

Yes — startups fail and that’s fine, but some intellectual honesty as to the reasons for failure is good. Burning through $118M and saying “We tried but the market wasn’t ready — see you later,” is laughable.

BTW, most of the reasons startups give for their failure are not as lame as Airware’s, as you’ll see here.

People to know

Our customer success team builds relationships with all of our clients to make sure they get exactly what they need from the CBI platform.

The team is growing quickly and hiring for a number of positions. Think you might be interested?

Learn more about what the CSMs do and some of their favorite things about their role at CB Insights.

Americans are really, really anxious  

Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in the US. It affects nearly 1 in 5 Americans annually and almost one-third over the course of their lifetimes.

So, of course, capitalism has the answer.

It’s why digital therapists and meditation apps keep popping up, and why supposedly anxiety-reducing products like the fidget spinner and weighted blanket have gone viral.

Rebecca Jennings of Vox calls this the anxiety economy (catch the article in The Blurb). There isn’t much evidence to show adult coloring books, essential oils, etc. actually ease anxiety, but their popularity shows that, in classic American fashion, we’re “trying to buy our way out of the problem.”

Change happens in an instant

Bloomberg's chat function Instant Bloomberg is so valuable to its wide network of users that it's been called the world's most expensive social network.

But competitors like Symphony and Slack are starting to draw users away. We explore how Instant Bloomberg and other functions of the Bloomberg terminal are being disrupted here.

 Why you so obsessed with me?

Companies have been talking about Spotify on earnings calls a lot more over the last two quarters. The chatter is coming from the company's competitors, partners, and frenemies (aka record lables).

We took a look at what they have to say in today's client-only note. Clients can check it out here.

Schemin’ on the low

In November 2012, a rumored-to-be Malaysian billionaire named Jho Low threw a party at the Palazzo in Las Vegas to celebrate his 31st birthday.

It wasn’t cheap.

The guest list included Leo DiCaprio (Low was rumored to be funding The Wolf of Wall Street, which was filming at the time), Benicio Del Toro, Swizz Beatz, Robin Leach, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, and more.

The party venue included a trampoline, Ferris wheel, carousel, and cigar lounge. Britney Spears jumped out of a cake to sing Happy Birthday.

But no one knew much about Mr. Low. Some believed he was an Asian arms dealer. Some said he was pals with the prime minister of Malaysia, or that he inherited his fortune from his Chinese grandfather.

Turns out he looted billions from a Malaysian state fund and is now a fugitive.

 Changes in store

Pharma companies with women's health-specific portfolios have struggled to gain steady investor interest and hit roadblocks with getting new treatments approved.

But a new spike in deals and regulatory activity suggests that might be changing.

We take a look at how drug companies are tackling women's health issues, from endometriosis to cervical cancer. Clients can read it here.

Your CVC, corporate accelerator, incubator ...

Our last CBI Councils session of the year is October 16 in San Francisco. We’ll focus on tapping external ecosystems.

Through a series of mini-case studies, we’ll profile six companies’ accelerator, incubator, lab, CVC, or academic partnership strategy. (We make the slides. You present. You can keep your cool CBI-style slides.)

Apply by September 27 to have your team featured. Senior leaders from Fortune 1000 companies will participate, including AXA, CVS, GE, Munich Re, Samsung, USAA, and more.

The Industry Standard

CB Insights data is the most trusted by those in the industry and the media. A few recent hits.

TechRadar. Anthony Spadafora discusses how AI is set to transform the healthcare industry and cites CB Insights research.

Markets Insider. This article reports that Seven Peaks Ventures has closed its second fund with $28M and refers to CB Insights data.

China Money Network. Eudora Wang writes about how Hong Kong is working to help fintech companies enter broader markets and references CB Insights research.

I love you.


P.S. Tomorrow we'll be discussing how startups are reshaping fitness tech. Sign up for the briefing here.

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

Go for a spin. Americans’ anxiety has fueled the rise of viral products like the fidget spinner.

Plottin’ on the low. Man of mystery, rumored billionaire, and thrower of lavish parties Jho Low is now a fugitive.
Wall Street Journal

The ice cream can wait. “Neurofeedback” therapy could be the way to get over a breakup or ex, according to recent research by neuroscientists.

What year is it? As Apple rolls out $1,500+ smartphones, the “dumb phone” market may be having a renaissance.
Fast Company

Mind the gap. Only 9% of founder and employee startup equity is owned by women.

Save the animals. Animal extinction is detrimental to computer science algorithms.
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