Most successful personal finance apps. SEA funds. Microscopic DNA machines.

Woah or Whoa? Which is correct?

Hi there,

We've opened up a few remaining tickets to the A Ha! Conference and Demo Day to non-clients.

We just added a few more amazing speakers.

Steve Jurvetson, partner at DFJ and board member of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, will be one of our most interesting conversations.

I imagine we'll cover a lot with him, including:

  • His views on areas like space tech (via bets in companies like satellite image company Planet Labs)
  • Whether we should extend "human rights" to robots to co-evolve with them (vs controlling them)
  • What it's like working with Elon Musk 
Regarding bullet 2 above, here's an interesting tidbit from an interview with Steve from a couple of years ago (article link in The Blurb).

Get your ticket for A Ha! and the Demo Day here.

Secrets to success

We studied 7 of the fastest-growing personal finance startups of all time — including Robinhood, Credit Karma, and Mint — and what they did to achieve their results.

This is an insanely detailed review of how these personal finance apps worked their magic.

IPO brain damage

At last year's Innovation Summit, Chamath was one of the crowd favorites as he discussed:

  • Why VCs are worthless
  • Why he sold all his Facebook stock and invested in Amazon

This year, we'll be discussing the brain damage caused by the IPO process and his recent IPO of a public company shell. He is looking for a unicorn to fold into it.

If all goes well, he will tell us which unicorn he's targeting.

Also, we will have a raffle and prize for the person who correctly guesses how many times Chamath will curse during his keynote :)

Join us at A Ha! by signing up here. Use discount code CBINews to get $500 off individual tickets.

How to get millions of users

One of the most fascinating parts of our breakdown of personal finance apps is the pre-launch marketing strategies these apps use to get thousands and millions of users before launch.

Their strategies are pretty ingenious. Check them out.


We identified the investors that have raised funds specifically focused on the Southeast Asia region. In Q4’17, Vertex Ventures, the venture capital arm of Singaporean state-owned company Temasek Holdings, closed its third fund for Southeast Asia, at $210M.

Microscopic DNA machines

Researchers from the University of Chicago may have uncovered a new method for delivering chemical molecules (such as drugs) directly to diseased cells – without allowing any molecules to leak into the bloodstream, where they could damage healthy cells.

The Industry Standard

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

Fortune. Kirsten Korosec (@kirstenkorosec) writes about The Honest Co.'s valuation cut and references the state filing we uncovered as part of our enhanced valuation data.

CNBC. Seema Mody (@seemacnbc) and George Manessis (@gsmanessis) on ICOs with a reference to CB Insights data on the subject.

Construction Dive. Hallie Busta (@halliebusta) writes about the partnership between McCarthy Building Companies and Procore and cites CB Insights research on top construction tech deals.

I love you.


P.S. Join us next Tuesday for a deep-dive on startups transforming the healthcare space. Sign up here.

We analyzed 7 of the fastest-growing personal finance apps and here’s what we learned

Here are the core strategies that these companies are using to build, convert, engage, and monetize their audience. Check it out.
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10 new funds focused on Southeast Asia

With deal activity and funding hitting all-time highs in Southeast Asia, some investors are raising new venture capital funds specifically for the region. Read about them.
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New microscopic DNA machines could deploy drug therapies right into cells

Tiny structures made out of genetic code are capable of releasing payloads of molecules directly to specific cell "addresses" in the body. Read about them.
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The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

Silicon Valley brainiac. Steve Jurvetson (@dfjsteve) on DFJ, Elon Musk, and the growing divide between the rich and poor.

VC math. Homan Yuen dives into the questions VCs ask entrepreneurs and explains the math behind decision-making.

Defining aggregators. Ben Thompson (@stratechery) outlines characteristics of aggregators and provides guidelines for regulation.

Lessons from a triathlete. Sara Strope (@sarabstro) on how to improve self-motivation.

Scaling sales. Mandy Cole (@mandyhcole), former VP of Sales at Zenefits, Living Social, and MyNewPlace shares practical sales advice for building sales programs and teams.
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