What is blockchain? Round 2 results are in. 2017 gift guide.

No books please

Hi there,

As we've built CB Insights, it's been fun to watch the evolution of industry jargon and buzzwords.

Interestingly, I can't think of a time when buzzwords have combined so fluidly, so effortlessly, and so beautifully.

Right now, you can basically append anything to blockchain.

  • You make AI-infused blockchain? Here's a $23M series A.
  • Your IoT blockchains? Nice. Can we acquire you? 
You can see the intersection of the buzzwords nicely in media chatter using CB Insights Trends where we see AI and blockchain is ahead of blockchain and IoT.


Speaking of blockchain...

Bitcoin. Blockchain. Cryptocurrencies. Initial coin offerings. Everyone’s talking about them, but what do these terms really mean?

We put together this explainer that will offer simple definitions and analogies for blockchain technology. It will also explain bitcoin, ethereum, blockchain broadly, and initial coin offerings, and highlight promising use cases for the technology.

Lastly, this report will make clear the distinctions between distributed ledger technology and blockchain, and highlight where these technologies have application — and where they do not.

All the buzz

As the newsletter has grown (now at 358,000+ subscribers), people now send us stuff with the hopes of it being featured in the newsletter.

Most frequently, they send books.

Please don't send books. Please.
Nobody here reads the books you send.

If you want to send us stuff, I'd recommend you use our 2017 Startup Gift Guide — produced in partnership with BuzzFeed — as a resource.

We scoured CB Insights for the most under-the-radar gifts from 36 leading startups. Many of you also submitted data to us via The Editor. Nice work. 

From an ink-less photo printer for your phone to personalized shampoo, go here for great gift ideas.

Let's get ready to rumble

Round 1 of our bracket to select the best company to invest in and hold for 10 years has concluded.

There were some close matchups:

  • Walmart just edged out Starbucks
  • Uber beat American Express by just a hair
  • Intel barely eclipsed Palantir
Of course, not every matchup was so close.
  • Amazon annihilated Kroger
  • IBM wrecked Twitter

So in round 2, we have some interesting matchups.

  • Amazon vs WeWork 
  • Facebook vs Airbnb
  • Uber vs Didi Chuxing
And the most interesting match IMO is Nvidia vs. Goldman Sachs.

Round 2 closes Sunday, April 26th. Get your votes in.

Yes — this is the most accurate graph ever

Thanks to reader Michael Ifkovits for spotting this graph.

If you want to see real AI companies, we'll be unveiling the 2018 AI 100 at A-Ha! in a few weeks.

According to at least two $1B+ VC fund clients, 60%-70% of the 2017 AI 100 were companies they'd not seen before. #dealflow.

Supply & Demand

The A-ha! Conference is in 3 weeks.
  • We have 27 tickets left
  • That gets you access to Conference and Demo Day (i,e. a killer line up of tech CEOs, investors, and 40 startups culled from 2000+ who will be presenting).
  • The group discount (2 for $1990) officially ends on Wednesday.
The speaker lineup is the most impressive we've ever had. 

Here are 8 of the 25+ amazing speakers joining.


The Industry Standard

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

Forbes. Adam Rogers on how AI is making managers more human with a reference to CB Insights funding data.

Silicon Republic. A report on the $30M worth of bitcoin stolen from digital currency startup Tether with a mention of CB Insights' Blockchain Investment Trends Report.

Business Insider. Tony Yoo (@tonyyooaus) discusses the creation of innovation labs by corporates and quotes Anand Sanwal on the subject.

I love you.

P.S. Don't forget to vote in Round 2 of our bracket here.

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

Media. Rafat Ali (@rafat) on the role of venture money in media.

The case for startups in the age of Goliaths. Jared Sleeper (@jaredsleeper) on why startups are a successful model for innovation, how today's giants are subverting that paradigm, and what might bring that to an end. 
Sleeper Thoughts

The rise of the CCO. A podcast on the rise of the Chief Customer Officer role, why it's so important, and what the scope and function of the role should be.

Apps can still break out. Jeremy Liew (@jeremysliew) on why they will still invest in smartphone apps.

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