The Honest Company's valuation. AR/VR in retail. Food and beverage startups.
Red-rum, red-rum

Hi there,

Sit back, and I will tell you a story.

  • A UK investment bank had 50 analysts sign up for a free trial to CB Insights to get data
  • Given their interest, we reached out. They responded with "we don't have budget"
  • We blocked them from accessing CBI
  • They sent angry emails demanding that we allow them access to free trials again
We laughed heartily, deleted their emails, and continue to live happily ever after.

The end.

Not interested

Last week, we wrote about Khosla Ventures' Keith Rabois comment that he'd stop being a VC if carried interest tax rules changed and went away.

And so we asked VCs what they'd do if this happened to see if they shared Rabois' sentiment.

70% of VCs said they'd stay in the game. 30% would join Rabois.

Wounded unicorn?

Given the media and acquirer interest in The Honest Company, we used our valuation and performance data to understand trends in the company’s valuation, the terms under which investors have backed the company, and how it has been performing relative to competitors.

A potential sale for $1B would be a valuation discount of 39% from the valuation at which The Honest Company raised in their last financing.

What's driving NYC's rise in tech?

In the last few years, NYC has overtaken Boston as the #2 spot for tech investment behind Silicon Valley.

While there are many reasons for this, this is the primary reason.

Upset? Mark Cuban losing to Michael Dell

Our most admired tech founder/CEO bracket kicked off yesterday. Here are the closest matchups of round 1.

  • Jack Dorsey (Twitter/Square) is barely ahead of Daniel Ek (Spotify). A push from European unicorn supporters might be all it takes to topple Dorsey.
  • Kevin Systrom (Instagram) is in a dead heat with Nick Woodman (GoPro)
  • Ev Williams (Medium/Twitter) is just edging out Neil Blumenthal (Warby Parker)
In perhaps the biggest surprise (to our team) so far, Mark Cuban is behind Michael Dell. 

Vote today, else some egos are gonna get bruised.

Picture this

We identified 8 early-stage AR/VR startups focused specifically on improving retail by using technology to attract people back to stores and away from e-commerce sites. The list is organized from most well-funded startup to least and includes companies that have raised funding since 2014.

All-you-can-eat & drink

With increased global focus on health and natural eating, smaller food companies have been growing in recent years. We identified 93 companies offering new takes on healthy beverages, snacks, plant-based cheese, and more. The companies below have raised roughly $1.8M in total funding.

The Industry Standard

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

Skift. Dan Peltier (@djpeltier) dives into travel M&A and refers to CB Insights travel tech data.

Nasdaq. Prableen Bajpai (@nikkibajpai) discusses the growth, opportunities, and threats within artificial intelligence and cites CB Insights data on AI investment. 

South China Morning Post. A look at 500 Startups' announcement of its second fund focused on Southeast Asia with a reference to CB Insights research on the firm's investment activity.

American Banker. Penny Crosman (@pennycrosman) discusses where fintech VCs will place their bets in 2017 and cites CB Insights data on funding to insurance tech startups.

Have a great rest of the week. 

I love you.


P.S. Join us on October 18th for a deep-dive into startups, investment trends, and exits within the robotics space. Sign up here.

Geographic Spotlight
Silicon Valley doesn't have a monopoly on innovation. Here's a look at startups, emerging industries, and deals elsewhere in the US and the world.

Iceland is home to CCP Games, maker of multiplayer games. The Nordic country has also produced Plain Vanilla Games, a mobile gaming company backed by investors including Sequoia Capital and Greycroft Partners; Meniga, a personal finance management tool; and Kaptio, an enterprise travel platform backed by investors including VC firm NSA Ventures, which is also based out of the country. There were over 10 deals to VC-backed companies in Iceland in 2016 year-to-date. Here are the 5 largest:
  • Meniga raised a $8.3M Series C
  • Matorka, producers of environmentally friendly and sustainable seafood, raised a $5.5M seed VC round.
  • Kaptio raised a $2.6M seed round.
  • KeyNatura, a biotech company focused on consumer health products from microalgae, raised a $2.4M Series A.
  • Actvity Stream, a business data and intelligence company, raised a $2.07M Series A.

Why The Honest Company’s valuation may be under pressure

As acquirers circle, Honest Co. looks weaker than it did following a raise at $1.6B a year ago. We used our valuation and performance data to dig in. Read about it.
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8 early-stage AR/VR startups focused on retail

Early-stage AR/VR startups are making moves in retail, providing platforms for retailers to better show off products or aid in-store design. See the list.
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93 food & beverage startups in one infographic

These private food and beverage companies have raised roughly $1.8B to offer insect protein, kombucha tea, kale chips, beef jerky, and more. See the infographic.
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The Blurb

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

System stability. Albert Wenger (@albertwenger) dives into the complexity of computer systems and achieving stability in decentralized computation programs moving forward.

Consumer, SaaS, or Enterprise? Garry Tan (@garrytan) says not to worry about the classification of your startup until after you've picked a problem to solve.
Garry's Posthaven

AI in medicine. Brandon Ballinger (@bballinger) outlines three challenges for artificial intelligence in medicine.

How tools start a revolution. Steven Sinofsky (@stevesi) on how mobile photography that incorporates multiple sensors, machine learning, and real-time computing will continue to create new types of images.
Learning By Shipping

Tackling your own biases. Angel investor Adam Quinton (@adamquinton) talks about hiring and mitigating bias when looking for a "winning" startup.
LinkedIn Pulse

How much is my startup worth? Arthur Porré shares insights on startup valuation and the complications behind determining these valuations.
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