Transportation as a service. Where top Euro banks put their money. Cyber defenders strike back.

TIL: people don't read

Hi there,

Every day, we test the subject lines we use in the newsletter.

For those unfamiliar, it's referred to as an A/B test.

Essentially, we send 3 different subject lines to 20% of you and the one with the combination of highest open rate, most clicks, and lowest unsubscribe rate goes out to the remaining 80%.

If you send emails (newsletter or otherwise), you live and die by your subject lines. Make them good.

In our case, better subject lines are actually worth dinero.

However, yesterday's A/B test went kinda wrong. 

More below.

But first.

Who will protect us?

With almost 1,000 data breaches occurring in the first half of 2017 and trust in the global digital economy eroding a little each time, investors are pouncing on the opportunity to back cybersecurity startups.

Our Cyber Defenders Report dives into the categories shaping cybersecurity innovation in 2018 and examines 29 cybersecurity startups that are poised to transform the space. Check it out here.


Yesterday, "hello <first name>" was the winning subject line.  

Here are the 3 options we tested. These are their open rates 1 hour after the A/B test was sent, which is when we picked the winner.

TBH, I'm surprised the headline mentioning blockchain and Facebook didn't win. Maybe we should have added "AI" or "crypto" to it.

So with these results, the majority of folks got the "hello <first name>" subject line. The newsletter talked about bad mail merges, so this was a play on that.

It was a joke.  

It failed.


European regulations — like the revised payments services directive and the UK's open-banking mandates — are playing a key role in the financial services industry's monumental regulatory reform.

To stay ahead of regulations and relevant to customers, big banks in Europe are investing in fintech startups. From Santander to UniCredit, we look at where the top European banks are putting their money.

I get around 

Thanks to technology and new business models, people can now enjoy the benefits of a privately-owned vehicle without actually owning one. Car ownership in the US declined to 80% per capita in 2014, and is projected to decline another 80% by 2030.

Transportation-as-a-service is emerging as the more cost-effective and time-efficient alternative. Guest writer and managing partner at NGP Capital Paul Asel explores the technology and companies that are rerouting the commute.

You have an email glitch

As soon as the mail merge joke subject line went out, the emails started coming in. In total, a couple hundred came that fell into 3 camps:

  • Group 1: 25% got the joke and thought it was funny
  • Group 2: 50% wrote saying there was an email glitch 
  • Group 3: 25% were mad or said we're stupid (or worse)
Group 2 folks were great. When I told them to read the newsletter, they responded like this:

Group 3 folks responded like this:

I find Group 3 responses perplexing. It's one thing to have missed the joke, but to respond with such anger to a newsletter just seems odd.

In any case, we now know that 75% of folks don't really read the newsletter :)

You can take that right to the bank

Global deals and funding for cybersecurity hit record levels in 2017, with $7.7M invested over 552 deals. It was also a record year for first-time investors in the space, with 403 venture capital deals.

For more on cybersecurity trends, check out our Cyber Defenders Report.

Wasn’t in the job description

We asked CBI Councils members for some unwritten aspects of their jobs. A few that stood out:

  • Demonstrate evidence of company-wide strategic change as quickly as possible

  • Nurture promising ideas that don’t yet fit into a business unit

  • Identify future skills the organization will need and bring the workforce along

  • Convince biz units built on highly-structured, finely-tuned processes to embrace change

Sound familiar? At Councils meetings, members offer their creative solutions to these challenges. Are you an SVP or up from a company with $1B+ in revenue? Apply to join.

The Industry Standard

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

Quartz. John Detrixhe (@johndetrixhe) reports that a major Spanish bank is using blockchain for money transfers and quotes CB Insights fintech analyst Lindsay Davis (@lcdavis1225).
Business Insider. Becky Peterson (@beckpeterson) reports that US-based AI startups raised $1.9B in Q1’18, citing PwC and CB Insights’ MoneyTree Report.
BostonInno. Rebecca Szkutak (@rebecca_szkutak) reports that Massachusetts had its highest number of dollars invested into VC-backed companies ever in a quarter in Q1’18 and cites PwC and CB Insights’ MoneyTree Report.

I love you.


It’s safe to say that subscribing to our newsletter was one of your best decisions, ever. Now do one better and join CB Insiders: a rewards program that lets you win great swag for referring new subscribers to the best newsletter in tech. Get started right here.

P.P.S. Want more insight into the cybersecurity space? Join us on April 19 for a webinar. Sign up here.

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

Green apple. Apple’s global facilities are now completely powered by renewable energy.
Multitasking. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi discussed the company’s plans to expand to car rentals, shared bikes, and public transportation at a future of mobility event in Washington, DC yesterday.
AI will fix it. During his congressional hearings, Mark Zuckerberg suggested that AI technology would solve Facebook’s biggest problems but was vague on how it would be executed.
Washington Post

Bad loans. A lawsuit argues that African Americans are being targeted by predatory loan offerings, leading to many buying houses that they can never truly own.
The Atlantic
It’s ok, I’m a specialist. The FDA has approved an AI diagnostic device that can detect a form of eye disease by looking at photos of the retina — and doesn’t need a specialized doctor.
The Verge
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