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Food tech funding. Blockchain applications. Digital health exits.
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Let's just talk about s3x, baby

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Our newsletter crossed 127,000+ subscribers today.

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I should have sold my medallion

Here's a chart showing Uber's impact on NYC taxi medallion prices. Ouch. The Uber effect has also led to some public market casualties in the taxi medallion space



Sticking with it
Rooting for Foursquare

Foursquare launched to much fanfare at SxSW in 2009, and for a while it was the next big thing, until it wasn't.

Then last week, the company raised $45 million as part of a down round. Mike Isaac (@MikeIsaac) of The New York Times covered the financing well here.

Although I don't know Dennis Crowley (4Sq co-founder), I admire him and the company. In a time when a lot of entrepreneurs would have given the money back to investors (and penned a Medium post to go with it) or tried to pivot into a mobile or ephemeral messaging app (or whatever today's soup du jour is), it has always seemed that Crowley and team have been obsessed with solving one problem.

While I'm sure there are downsides to being "stubborn" like that, I admire that they've stuck with it for 6+ years. 

Comebacks in the fast moving tech sector are not all that common, but I'm hoping Foursquare does it.


Bread winners

Overall, food tech startups raised $5.7B across 275 deals in 2015. We dig into the data and see that the shift to on-demand consumption drove global funding figures to four straight $1B+ quarters last year.


"Proprietary dealflow" not this again

When I talk to corporate VCs, VCs, or M&A/corp dev groups during a demo of the CB Insights platform, and they mention they have "proprietary dealfow," here is what I think.



It's like my hedge fund friends in NYC who are all always beating the market.

C'mon guys. Tell me you at least don't really believe it.

In any case, if you want to build a non-leaky deal sourcing net, here is what we see the best VCs and M&A groups doing:
BTW, the above are all lots of work (especially in the beginning). If you wanted something easy, skip them.
 


If you like it, you shoulda put a blockchain on it

The blockchain is going well beyond financial services and has implications for many industries including security, automotive, and music to name a few. We dig into 12 industries, beyond banking, where the blockchain will have an impact.


We'll be discussing the impacts of the blockchain on financial services at our Future of Fin Tech Conference.


Digital health's exit slowdown

While deal activity into digital health continues to grow, exits saw a slowdown in 2015. This was the third year in a row to break 100 exit transactions (M&A and IPOs), but it was still down almost 19% vs last year.

Even if you say you have proprietary dealflow, I still love you.

Anand
@asanwal

P.S. If you read this far and someone forwarded this newsletter to you, it's safe to say that you should subscribe to the CB Insights newsletter.

 

11 Surprising Future Applications For The IoT In Healthcare, Retail, Agriculture, And More 

From crop dusting to ingestible health sensors and food safety tests, the Internet of Things is doing much more than powering smart home appliances. Read about the IoT's future.
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CB Insights Top Deal Searches

CB Insights users can query our database in powerful ways. See a few below or sign up:

 

Food tech startups raise a record $5.7B in 2015

The food tech space exploded in 2015, as Asia drove the bulk of funding growth for what ended up being a record year. Europe also saw significant growth. Read about food tech funding.
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12 big industries where blockchain could be used

Banking and payments aren't the only industries that could be affected by blockchain tech. Cybersecurity, music, and auto also could be transformed. See where blockchain is expanding into.
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Digital health exits slowed down in 2015, but saw 5 IPOs

All of the 5 digital health IPOs last year went public for valuations above $400M. See the data.
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Notable Deals From This Past Week

We tracked 586 financings and exits totaling $8.3B in the last week. Here are 10 notable deals. To see them all, login to CB Insights or create an account here.

1. China-based lending platform Lu.com raises $900M round at $18.5B valuation
The platform raised $485M Q2'15 at a $10B valuation, in a round led by BlackPine Private Equity Partners. Lu.com (previously known as Lufax) is also said to be planning an IPO for late 2016, through which the platform would raise $5B. 

2. Skyscanner raises $192M Series C round at $1.6B valuation
The UK-based flight comparison tool raised $192M from Artemis Investment Management, Baillie Gifford & Co., Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Vitruvian Partners, and Yahoo. Skyscanner also raised a separate round of growth capital from Vitruvian Partners. 

3. StorageCraft Technology raises $187M
TA Associates provided capital to the Draper, Utah based enterprise data backup and protection company. 

4. Clues Network raises $150M Series E at $1.1B valuation
The India-based online marketplace joined the unicorn club by raising capital from GIC Special Investments, Nexus Venture Partners, and Tiger Global Management. Both GIC and Tiger Global are major investors in Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce platform.

5. India-based CarTrade raises $175M Series B
The B2B used auto marketplace sought investment from March Capital Partners, Temasek Holdings, and Warburg Pincus. 

6. EDM Group raises $144M round
The UK-based IT services company raised from BlueBay Asset Management and Lloyds Banking Group.

7. Low-cost blood test developer Illumina spins off into Grail, raises $100M Series A
Bill Gates, Bezos Expeditions, ARCH Venture Partners, Illumina, and Sutter Hill Ventures provided capital. Illumina will retain majority control in Grail, which is developing tests for cancer detection. 

8. ZAI Laboratory raises $100M Series B
The China-based biopharmaceutical company is focused on antibody and protein-based therapeutics. Qiming Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital China, and TF Capital invested, among others. 

9. Datadog raises $94M Series D
Index Ventures and RTP Ventures, among others, participated in the round for the NYC-based big data infrastructure company. 

10. Grindr sells majority stake to Kunlun for $93M
Based in Los Angeles, California, the dating and social networking app for gay men was bought by Kunlun Tech Co, a gaming company that went public in China in 2015. The deal valued Grindr at $155M. Grindr had not previously raised capital from outside investors.

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles on private companies, venture capital, emerging industries, and innovation.

It all changes when the founder buys a porsche. Micah Baldwin (@micah) of AWS Startups discusses the idea of founder cash-outs and how money changes the way founders execute and make decisions.
Medium

Reflecting on 2015 and looking ahead to 2016. From conversations about the "bubble" to the idea of a technology-driven future, Accel Partners (@accel) dives into how to prepare for opportunities in 2016.
Medium

When to join a startup. Tom Blomfield (@t_blom), co-founder of Mondo, believes when it comes to a startup, sometimes the size and stage of the company matters more than the industry or idea itself.
Tomblomfield.com

Modeling total addressable market. Mike Preuss (@mikepreuss) talks about the total addressable market (TAM) and how it shows whether an opportunity is big enough to be venture backed.
Visible

Nobody wants to use your product. UX designer Goran Peuc (@gpeuc) claims that people are not interested in using products, rather that they are solely interested in the end result and obtaining that result in the quickest manner.
Smash Magazine

Online shopping is terrible at venture capital. Jason Goldberg (@betashop), founder and CEO of Hem, says that online shopping is a terrible space for venture capital due to Amazon and the winner-take-all market.
Medium

What to do when you lose your job. This piece by Homebrew (@homebrew) lists out items that should be considered before you exit a company.
Homebrew VC


The resolution of the bitcoin experiment. Mike Hearn speaks about his experience as a developer in the Bitcoin space and how his journey has come to an end.
Medium
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