Aldi strategy teardown. The future of cooking. Startups attacking cancer.


Hi there,

I don't mean to brag but CB Insights was recently invited to Instagram's elite data influencer program.

If you don't follow us on Insta (as the kids say), you are missing out.

Also, as a PSA to other elite Instagram influencers, never do this.

Things that make you go hmmm....

There is the Paypal Mafia, X-oogler Mafia, Facebook Mafia, etc.

Why is there no Amazon Mafia?

While you ponder the utter deepness of that question, read the Amazon strategy teardown.

Supermarket sweep

Germany-based discount grocer Aldi announced earlier this year that it would spend $5B on US expansion, adding over 900 new stores and renovating 1,300 existing stores.

If Aldi fulfills its aggressive brick-and-mortar expansion plans, it would become the United States’ third-largest grocery chain, following Walmart and Kroger. 

We analyzed the grocer's corporate history, operational strategy, and new business initiatives to get a better sense of the threat that it poses to the wider grocery space.

The future of cooking

We identified the startups and technology with the potential to shape the future of cooking.

Moley Robotics has created a fully automated, intelligent cooking robot capable of precisely creating meals. The system — which takes the form of an end-to-end, capsule robotic kitchen — is trained via artificial intelligence to “know” recipes, and to execute them using the same movements as a master chef.

To brand or not to brand?

Liza Landsman, president of, says her company (acquired by Walmart for $3.3B) is the secret weapon for reaching young, affluent consumers with brands like Bonobos (acquired by Walmart for $310M).

Tina Sharkey, founder of e-commerce startup for household and food items Brandless, believes socially-conscious consumers care less about brands versus value and sustainability. Brandless products are $3 each and conform to a strict set of rules for ingredients. And all items are (do I need to say it?) — brandless.

Liza and Tina will be at the A-ha! Conference December 12 -13 in San Francisco. Looking forward to hearing perspectives on this core issue at the center of retail disruption.

What’s your view? Use discount code brands or brandless to cast your vote and save $500.
tina sharkey brandless nl.PNG

Attacking cancer

As deals to the cancer therapeutics space hold steady, investors are betting on startups leveraging immunotherapies, stem cell research, and biotechnology to shape the future of cancer treatment.

At the current run rate, deals to cancer therapeutics startups are on track to reach over 200 by year end.

Know the rules

If you're thinking of applying for a gig at CB Insights, you should know a few things:

  • Growing ~100% yoy
  • Tens of millions of ARR
  • Amazing team
  • Not burning cash (very old-fashioned)
  • Great software predicting tech trends
But most importantly, when you get here, you can only have 1 slice of pizza.

The Industry Standard

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

Bloomberg. Tim Culpan (@tculpan) writes about SoftBank's Masayoshi Son's involvement with Uber and cites CB Insights unicorn data.

NY Times. Conor Dougherty (@conordougherty) talks about self-driving trucks with a reference to CB Insights investment data.

Silicon Republic. John Kennedy (@mrjohnfkennedy) writes about ICOs and mentions CB Insights funding data.

I love you.



P.S. Our most insanely good speaker lineup ever. A cornucopia of unicorns.

P.P.S. Instagram does not have an elite data influencer program, but if it did, we'd definitely be part of it. Follow @cbinsights on Instagram to see why.

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

Clever machines. Computer scientists are finding ways to code curiosity into intelligent machines.
Quanta Magazine

How to forecast markets. Strategist Jan Loeys shares what he's learned after 30 years at JP Morgan.

Building AI that can build AI. Google and others are looking for automated ways to deal with a shortage of artificial intelligence experts.
NY Times

Field notes from China's retail revolution. How Amazon and Whole Foods can learn from China.
GGV Capital
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