Facebook takes out the trash. What's threatening chocolate? Welcome, new unicorn.

Meanwhile, in Lackawaxen...


Shorter newsletter today because the CB Insights team is at our offsite in the Pennsylvania woods.

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful

The retail apocalypse claimed nearly 7,000 stores in the US last year, but Sephora has come out looking strong. In terms of sales, it is considered the top beauty retailer in the world.

From building partnerships to integrating in-store technology, our new deep dive explores how Sephora got to the top and what other retailers can learn from it. Check it out here.

Uh huh, I'm worth it

Digital lending platform GreenSky plans to raise $750M in an upcoming IPO, which would value the company around $4.35B.

Other alternative lenders like Lending Club and OnDeck have flopped in the public markets, but there are 5 key reasons why GreenSky just might pull it off. We discuss them here.

Exosuit chic

Exoskeleton technology is becoming a reality on factory floors and has the potential to dramatically reduce the physical toll of repetitive work.

We look at some of the startups making the high-tech gear in our Future Factory deep dive.


Trading bitcoin

Last week, Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman suggested she would be open to adding a cryptocurrency exchange should the market develop and regulations be sorted out.

She’s sure to share her views on capital markets, technology, and crypto at Future of Fintech, June 19-21Purchasing a pair of tickets gets you one of our best rates for this event. If you’re attending solo, the code exchange offers $500 off.

FOMO warning

Yesterday's client-only note covered:

  • Clean meat vs. plant protein
  • Which public companies are gearing up for sports betting
  • SoftBank's unruly portfolio company
  • Chai startups taking on Starbucks in India
  • Why Discovery acquired Scripps
  • How Boxed is coming for Costco with a premium membership

Log in to your account to read the whole thing. You can see all client notes here.

Have a great rest of the week.


P.S. Bring new subscribers to the CB Insights newsletter and win free swag through our CB Insiders rewards program.

This week in data:

  • 583 million: Facebook published its community enforcement numbers for the first time this week. Spam and fake accounts were the most common type of offending content. Facebook took action on 836M pieces of spam and deleted 583M fake accounts in Q1’18. The report also shows that Facebook’s AI and other moderator tools are better at detecting some kinds of offensive content than others: Facebook detected 99.7% of spam but only flagged 38% of hate speech content.

  • 20% to 30%: Diseases kill 20% – 30% of cocoa pods every year before they’ve been harvested, which severely threatens the chocolate industry. But recently, researchers at Penn State were able to use CRISPR technology to eliminate a gene that made the plants more susceptible to disease, which could mean more chocolate for everyone. Read more about gene-editing in our CRISPR explainer. And on May 31, tune in to our CRISPR webinar — sign up here.

  • $3B: Peer-to-peer payments and cryptocurrency tech company Circle closed a $110M Series E from investors including Bitmain, Accel, Blockchain Capital, and General Catalyst. At the time of funding, the company also revealed a plan to launch a “US dollar coin” that aims to address price volatility in digital currencies by requiring Circle customers to hold $1 for every USD Coin. The round valued the company at $3B, making it the newest entrant to our unicorn list.
  • 24%: Costco has started selling razor kits under its private-label brand, Kirkland Signature — a play that could threaten once-dominant razor company Gillette and threaten newer brands Dollar Shave Club and Harry's. Gillette, which once accounted for an estimated 70% of razor market share in North America, is now down to 50%, despite price cuts. At $20 for 14 blades, Costco’s razor kits are 24% cheaper per blade than the Gillette razor pack. We’ve discussed the private-label squeeze retailers face in our weekly CPG newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.

  • 69 to 1: To address San Francisco’s prohibitively expensive housing, some developments are offering an affordable housing lottery for lower-income residents. One such development, Natalie Gubb Commons, recently offered 95 units reserved for applicants with incomes up to 50% of the local median. In the three weeks applications were open, 6,580 households applied — a ratio of about 69 applicants per unit.
  • 1 million kronor: As Sweden increasingly goes cashless, it’s experiencing a strange shift in criminal activity, according to an article released earlier this week. In 2016, there were only two bank heists in all of Sweden, compared with 110 in 2008. With Sweden’s supply of banknotes dwindling, criminals have increasingly turned to the endangered species black market, where animals like a single great gray owl can sell for 1 million kronor ($120,000) on the dark web. You can read about Sweden’s premier payments startup Klarna and other payments trends in our most recent Fintech Trends report.

One more thing...



The royal wedding is this Saturday, and there are plenty of souvenirs to be purchased on both sides of the pond. 

Buckingham Palace has commissioned an official commemorative plate that costs £49 ($66), and there are options for tote bags, tea towels, mugs, and even life-size cardboard cutouts of the royal couple.

Food and drink brands also have royal wedding fever. British cider brewer Strongbow is using the nuptials to promote its new rosé apple cider. Biscuiteers has whipped up a collection of royal wedding cookies.

American restaurant chain Chili’s is distributing limited-edition cufflinks and fascinators to fans of the royal couple via social media. KFC is celebrating the big day with 50 “regal” chicken buckets available exclusively at its Windsor branch as a nod to Prince Harry’s proposal, which was reportedly over a roast chicken. SodaStream is releasing bottles with caps “inspired by the British royal family’s hats.”

Those more concerned with the royal honeymoon can order a box of Crown Jewels Heritage condoms, which feature Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s faces. They're packaged in a souvenir case that plays an arrangement of God Save the Queen and The Star Spangled Banner when opened.

If you loved this newsletter, send it to a friend.
If you hated it, send it to an enemy.
Copyright © 2018 CB Information Services, All rights reserved.
498 7th ave, 17th floor, New York, NY 10018
About UsUnsubscribe | Update Preferences | Blog | Newsletter | Privacy Policy