Mental health investors. Daimler's moves. Fitness startups.
View this email in your browser
Sign up for our newsletter

The Jobs Rule

Hi there,

Here are a few folks attending our next Councils session in NYC on Oct 2/3rd.

  • Home Depot, Chief Strategy Officer
  • Traveler, EVP & COO
  • Sage Software, EVP of Strategy
  • Harman, Head of Strategy (Connected Car)
  • Chief Innovation Officer, USAA

If you're a senior leader focused on growth and innovation at a company doing $1B+ in revenues, we have a few spots left. Just write back to me or

More on Councils here if you are interested or want to share it with execs in your organization.

And now some data.


Keep in mind

We analyzed the most active investors in the mental health sector since 2013. Y Combinator takes the No.1 spot, with 6 deals into the space.


A couple of weeks ago, Juicero died.

The company had raised $100M+ from top investors like Kleiner Perkins, Thrive Capital, and Google Ventures, among others, and had a valuation of several hundred million dollars.

For those unfamiliar, Juicero was a connected (aka IoT) $699 juice press with DRM capabilities (can't make this stuff up). Bloomberg's Ellen Huet and Olivia Zaleski eventually revealed that the juice bags used with the Juicero could be squeezed by hand, which sort of makes the idea of a press less useful.

But that's neither here nor there.  

After the company's demise, Kevin Roose of The New York Times posted this tweet showing the company's founder at Burning Man.

Kevin's tweet led to some pushback from folks who said this type of criticism is unfair and the founder should be allowed to move on after trying valiantly, but ultimately failing.

This reminds me of a discussion on whether VCs should criticize startups between Phin Barnes of First Round Capital and Erin Griffith of Wired. At the time, we'd polled you all and you overwhelmingly said criticism is fair.

So when is it actually fair to criticize a startup or its founder or its investors?

In these cases, it is best to adhere to what I'll call the Jobs Rule, which is:

If the startup's founders, execs or investors draw comparisons to Steve Jobs before it's clear they have an actual working business, you are allowed to be especially critical of the startup when it fails.

Did Juicero violate the Jobs Rule? Yup.


Benz goes vroom vroom

We updated our analysis of Daimler's startup and accelerator activity since 2014. Daimler has continued investing in various mobility models, showing a willingness to participate in larger financings to companies like Careem ($150M), Via ($250M total), and Turo ($92M). 

You're not seeing the vision

Juicero wasn't a smoothie maker. It was an f'n platform.

Family ties

We look at 8 high-profile families from Southeast Asia that are putting money into startups in the region. The Sinar Mas Group, for example, has set up its own tech investment arm, Sinar Mas Digital Ventures, which has invested in 7 companies in Southeast Asia to-date.

Sick burn

According to a great Bloomberg essay by Olivia Zaleski, Ellen Huet, and Brad Stone, Juicero was burning a lot of money.

The $4 million per month was surprising given the company's strict expense reimbursement policy.

Hit the ground running

We surfaced 15 noteworthy early-stage fitness tech startups applying or developing technologies to a variety of areas in the sector, from fitness equipment, to on-demand apps and subscription services, to workout apparel, and more. The full list of startups can be seen in our fitness tech collection.

It wasn't me

Here's the rub in the whole Juicero thing. The $699 juicer with DRM capabilities market was there. The company wasn't done in by its $4M per month burn.

Maya Kosoff of Vanity Fair details the real reason for the company's demise.

the populist, anti-elitist political climate was the problem.

The Industry Standard 

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

Tearsheet. Tanaya Macheel (@tmacheel) writes about the CB Insights newsletter and the use of personality and love in a B2B product.

Mashable. Stan Schroeder (@franticnews) writes about initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cites CB Insights blockchain & ICO data.

Nikkei Asia Review. A look at the Indian internet startup space and SoftBank's investments with a reference to CB Insights VC data.

Happy Monday.

I love you.


P.S. We're digging into baby and kids tech tomorrow. Be there.
The Next Big Thing

A look at the research out of universities, corporate R&D teams, and government research labs that CB Insights thinks you should know about.

Your Next Pacemaker Might Be Implanted In … Your Armpit

This Common Drug May Increase Type 1 Diabetes Risk In Early-Childhood
New at CB Insights
Stay up-to-date on reports, briefings, events, and more.

The most active investors in mental health tech

Y Combinator and other tech accelerators top the list of investors making bets on mental health startups. See the list.
Tweet this

Daimler chases startups in autonomy, ride-hailing, and more

The world's oldest automaker turns to startups and startup accelerators as it hopes to stay abreast of rapid auto tech and mobility developments. Read about it.
Tweet this

How the wealthiest people in Southeast Asia are investing in tech

Some of the wealthiest and most powerful individuals in Southeast Asia — including Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines — are making big bets on the region's tech startups. Check them out.
Tweet this

15 early-stage fitness tech startups to watch

From video platforms for boutique fitness classes to wireless, waterproof earbuds, these early-stage fitness tech companies are applying new business models and technologies to transform the exercise industry. See the list.
Tweet this

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

Let them drink juice. Maya Kosoff (@mekosoff) details the real reason for Juicero's demise.
Vanity Fair

Inside Juicero's demise. The shuttering of the much-ridiculed Silicon Valley startup was the culmination of unsustainable costs, slow sales, and unflattering media reports.

Inflection points & lessons. Jonathan Golden (@jpgg) shares lessons he's learned from scaling Airbnb.

A second time. A conversation with Tikhon Bernstam (@tikhon) on the challenges a repeat founder faces.
Y Combinator

History is repeating itself. Rob Go (@robgo) says what happened with seed VC investing is happening in the pre-seed market.
Rob Go

ICOs. Albert Wenger (@albertwenger) on the promise and perils of a global capital market for everyone.

Packaging your seed round. Noah Jessop (@njess) on the importance of “packaging” your startup.
If you loved this newsletter, send it to a friend.
If you hated it, send it to an enemy.
All the data in this newsletter comes from CB Insights. Join NEA, Cisco & hundreds of other clients and get access to the industry's best private company data.

Sign up for access.
Copyright © 2017 CB Information Services, All rights reserved.
498 7th ave, 17th floor, New York, NY 10018