Our public relations team fills in
The VC power law is well documented, but a similar phenomena is observable across many asset classes. Here are the public markets where a fat tail distribution of extreme winners and losers is visible.
A look at CPG
We look at deals and dollars into CPG companies. After two consecutive years of 400+ deals, consumer packaged goods continues its spree with 101 deals in Q1’16. However, dollar funding is behind the pace of the previous two years.
We look at the decline in mega-rounds from 2015 to 2016. As the creation of new private unicorn companies valued at $1B or more has slowed down, the frequency of $100M rounds (aka "private IPOs") into VC-backed tech companies has also fallen.
Not this again
We hear lots of complaints about advertising yet we're not willing to pay the creators. Guess that means more ads.
We look at funding trends to private companies in virtual and augmented reality. Investment has poured into the category, with $1.1B in funding to startups in this space in Q1’16, across 41 deals.
Early detection of cancer
In the blurb below, we highlight the commencement address given at the University of Illinois by Jeff Huber, an ex-Googler and current CEO of Grail. It's a powerful speech where Huber discusses losing his wife to cancer and what graduates can do to help solve some of our biggest problems.
You should read it.
Huber's company Grail, a spin-off of Illumina, is working on the early detection of cancer through a blood screen. Grail has also received investment from Bill Gates, Bezos Expeditions (the family office of Amazon's Jeff Bezos), and Google Ventures, among others.
After reading and being inspired by Huber's speech, I dug into Grail on CB Insights to see what other companies are working on the detection of cancers and other diseases, and many came to light.
If it's an area of interest to you, here are a few of the companies in addition to Grail that I quickly discovered in 5 minutes on CB Insights. They range in maturity with some early stage ones who've raised a few hundred thousand in funding to much more mature, later-stage private companies. There are also a few that have exited via IPO or M&A.
There's a lot more going on to battle cancer and this will likely intensify after Stemcentrx's $10.2B acquisition, which was the 2nd largest VC-backed M&A exit ever.
A quick search on CB Insights since Jan 2014 for deals with the word "cancer" or "oncology" in their description turns up 1064 results. You can run that search and see all the deals here.
The CB Insights research team has also dug into the cancer therapeutics market which is hitting record highs for deal activity (as shown below).
Some of the most active corporate investors in the cancer therapeutics area include Novartis, Lilly Ventures, Pfizer, Amgen Ventures, and J&J.
The Industry Standard
CB Insights data is the most trusted by those in the industry and the media. A few recent hits.
CCTV. Citing CB Insights data on venture funding to China, Xia Cheng (@CharlesXiaCheng) reports on the unique culture inside Chinese startups.
Reuters. VC firms are raising more and investing less, reports Heather Somerville (@heathersomervil), referring to CB Insights analysis on venture fundraising and hedge fund activity.
CSC. The largest global insurers are intensely focused on digital innovation. Phil Ratcliff (@CSC) reviews some strategic moves, citing CB Insights investment data.
Have a great week.
P.S. We're looking for a Research Editor to help us manage and edit the research that our increasingly large and prolific tech industry analyst team is churning out.