The AI 100. Another Apple acquisition. Giant penguins.


Is Facebook destroying society?

Maybe. There’s a famous number in anthropology called Dunbar’s Number, which is 148. It says that humans, since we are primates, can only maintain meaningful relationships with around 150 other humans. Some psychologists think Dunbar’s Number is why social media is “alienating” for many people.

For example, I just checked, and my brother-in-law has 2,297 Facebook friends. Why? That's insane, that's like 15x Dunbar’s Number!

Interestingly though, Facebook is not really on the mind of public company CEOs. 

We mined data from earnings transcripts for 6600+ public companies over the past 10 years to see what investors, analysts, and executives are talking about in earnings calls.

And among the big 5 tech companies, Facebook ranks last for mentions on public company earnings calls.

Corporate leaders and analysts are mainly obsessing over Amazon; Facebook not so much.

In fact, Facebook mentions on earnings calls have basically been flat since the company went public in mid-2012. 

Just good to keep things in perspective. Facebook might be a societal bugaboo right now but it’s not considered the disruptive force in business that Amazon is. And its market cap is roughly 3/5 of Apple’s (BTW, see This Week in Data below for how Apple's products were among the most searched terms of the year).

Have a great weekend.


This week in data:

  • 100: This week, we unveiled the second annual AI 100 —  a list of 100 of the most promising private companies applying artificial intelligence algorithms across 25+ industries, from healthcare to cybersecurity — at the A-Ha! conference in San Francisco. The companies were selected from a pool of 2,000+ startups based on several criteria, including investor profile, tech innovation, team strength, patent activity, mosaic score, funding history, valuation, and business model. 

  • 40: From 2,000+ applicants, 40 companies were chosen to present at our first Demo Day, and 4 companies were chosen by our judges as "Most Innovative" in the categories of AI, Discovery, Fintech, and Health. The winners were UK-based marketing language generator Phrasee (AI), Japan-based IoT cybersecurity company Trillium (Discovery), Indian enterprise sales system Vymo (Fintech), and US-based startup NemaMetrix (Health). You can check out the winners, and the rest of our Demo Day presenters, here
  • 4: We’re down to the Final 4 in our latest bracket which asks what the best company is to invest in and hold for 10 years. The matchups include: Amazon vs Alphabet and Apple vs Alibaba. Polls for Round 5 close this Sunday, December 17th. Vote now.

  • $400M: Apple acquired UK-based Shazam, a mobile music- and television-recognition app for $400M. Previously valued at $1B, the former unicorn received funding from investors including DN Capital, Institutional Venture Partners, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. We recently dug into Apple’s top acquisitions. Its $3B acquisition of Beats Electronics in 2014 was far and away its largest deal. 

  • 62%: Speaking of Apple, the top 2 most searched items in consumer tech globally were “iPhone 8” and “iPhone X,” according to Google’s 2017 Year in Search. Across all categories, they placed as 2 and 3, respectively, behind “Hurricane Irma.” According to our Apple Strategy Teardown, the iPhone accounted for 62% of the company’s net sales this year. Read about this and more here
  • $2B: This week, personal & consumer lending startup Affirm raised $200M led by GIC and with participation from Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and others. At a $2B valuation, it is one of three companies to make it onto our real-time Unicorn Tracker this week, alongside Gingko BioWorks and Squarespace. It is also one of over 100 startups applying AI in financial services.

  • $2M: Storify, a website that allows users to create online narratives from tweets, videos, and pictures, is shutting down next May. The company will no longer allow new users to sign up and will close existing users’ accounts next May. Prior to being acquired by Livefyre in 2013, the startup raised $2M in total disclosed funding. For more on startup death, check out our list of 242 startup failure post-mortems.
  • $20M: The amount raised by Berlin-based logistics company FreightHub from Cavalry Ventures, Cherry Ventures, Global Founders Capital, La Famiglia, and Northzone Ventures. The round brings the company’s total disclosed funding to $23M. FreightHub tackles freight-forwarding, also the focus of SF-based logistics giant Flexport, which we dive into here

  • $500M: Target acquired on-demand grocery delivery service Shipt for $500M. The company had previously raised $60M from investors including, Greycroft Partners, and Harbert Venture Partners. Shipt received its first round of funding last July, exiting just under a year and a half after its Series A. We previously looked at first fundings to US food delivery startups and subsequent exits in the space. See the timeline.

  • 7X: Scientists at the University of Cambridge have found that wine glasses have ballooned almost 7 times over the past 3 centuries, rising most sharply in the last two decades. Three hundred years ago, a typical wine glass would have only held about half of today's smallest "official" measure of 125ml, while today the median wine glass holds 450ml. We recently mapped out the startups making waves in wine tech, with offerings from grapeless wine to AI-driven pairing suggestions.

  • 220 pounds: The weight of a Kumimanu penguin, which stood at 5 ft 7 inches or 1.7 meters in height, according to a 57 million-year-old fossil. For reference, the tallest living penguin species is the emperor penguin, which reaches about 4 ft. Kumimanu ranks among the oldest known penguin fossils.
Tweet of The Week

Here's what the team at CB Insights has been talking about.
If you loved this newsletter, send it to a friend.
If you hated it, send it to an enemy.
Copyright © 2017 CB Information Services, All rights reserved.
498 7th ave, 17th floor, New York, NY 10018
About UsUnsubscribe | Update Preferences | Blog | Newsletter | Privacy Policy