Acorns teardown. Big auto's tech arms race. In-flight fitness.
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Dressing it up

Hi there,

So starting a biz because you saw an opportunity and thought it could become big and employ a bunch of people will not get media coverage.

That pitch will be received as follows.

If you want the press to cover you, you need a good origin story.

The formula for a good origin story looks like this:

While [insert verb] [insert unexpected activity] in [insert unexpected location] after [insert prior job at prestigious firm], I realized [insert problem] and called [other credentialed person] and launched [insert company name] to [insert big verb] [insert industry or problem].

I know it looks complicated but I'll illustrate below. I'll also share a version of the origin story for CB Insights using this exact template.

Robo on

Acorns — a micro-investing app — has grown an of army of 2.2M accounts. We dug into the company's growth and key metrics to see how well-positioned the company is to expand its product and compete against major industry players.

It is already the largest robo-advisor by client accounts. Read about this and more in our Acorns Strategy Teardown.

Google is not AT&T

In 1982, the US government declared AT&T a monopoly and broke it up into regional “Baby Bells.” 35 years later, AT&T appears to be bigger and broader in its current form than it was in 1982.

Some people suggest breaking up Google, Facebook, Amazon and other tech giants.

a16z’s Benedict Evans disagrees in a recent tweetstorm.

He’s joining us next week at A-ha! - December 12 -13, 2017 in San Francisco.


We look forward to hearing his take on what’s next for the tech giants, machine learning, and more during his end-of-day talk about the future.

Get your ticket asap before registration closes. Save $500 using discount code breakup.

Origin of the startups

Here is an example of an origin story using the formula above.

Big auto's tech arms race

We identified the 5 most active automakers making investments and acquisitions since 2014, analyzing their deals and how those investments fit into each players’ broader strategy. 

BMW, for example, has concentrated much of its private market activity in exploring new ride-hailing/sharing and vehicle-sharing models.

Yup — we're hiring

CB Insights was #55 on Crain's best places to work in NYC. Congrats to the team.

We are hiring like crazy.

BTW, here is our origin story as developed by Ari Levy of CNBC.

Planking on a plane

Incumbents in the air travel and hospitality spaces are making novel fitness offerings — from in-flight workouts to spin bikes in hotel rooms — to build brand loyalty among travelers looking to stay fit on the go.

A3, a division of Airbus based in San Jose, is testing a variety of modular in-flight concepts, including a module that would feature Peloton spin bikes, yoga mats, and other fitness equipment.

The Industry Standard

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

Bloomberg. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry on how the fall of finance led to French tech's rise, with a mention of data found in the CB Insights Q3'17 French Tech Report in partnership with La French Tech.

Observer. A look at the Bitcoin investment history of a16z and USV with a reference to CB Insights research on the subject.

Diginomica. A look at the insurtech space with a mention of CB Insights investment data.

Happy Monday.

I love you.


P.S. We're diving into game-changing startups this Thursday. Don't miss out.

P.P.S. We're adding earnings transcripts to CB Insights. You'll be able to search 6500+ public company transcripts from over the last 10 years. No more Ctrl-F'ing for keywords. Learn more here.

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

What could go right. Hunter Walk (@hunterwalk) says when a venture-backed company fails, it likely wasn’t that their investors didn’t realize the risks upfront, but rather they were interested in the upside, not the downside.
Hunter Walk

It's not always AI. Behind every AI that analyzes your data, teams of human workers pick up the slack.

Microbes, robots, and ambition. Robin Sloan (@robinsloan) is a writer and media inventor based in Oakland. He just released his second novel, Sourdough.
Y Combinator

'I forgot my pin.' An epic tale of losing $30,000 in Bitcoin.
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