Global VC trends in Q2'17. New US unicorns. Dropbox vs Box. Jawbone's death.

VC criticism is officially approved

Hi there,

We just released the quarterly MoneyTree Report with PwC which looks at VC-backed trends across the globe through Q2'17.

Check out some highlights scattered below.

But first.

The most interesting email exchange I've ever had with a subscriber came last night.  

It started with this.

And the best part is it's from the CFO of a VC fund. Here are all the details.

Real critical

Last week, we asked our readers whether VCs should be able to publicly criticize startups after an exchange on Twitter between First Round Capital partner Phin Barnes and Fortune's Erin Griffith.

Barnes was of the view that VCs should publicly be supportive of startups and the industry. The CB Insights readership, however, overwhelmingly disagreed as you can see in the survey results below.

There were also many interesting responses — a few of which are below.

Global gains

Deal activity increased marginally from the previous quarter, but funding increased by 53% from $28B in Q1’17 to $42.9B in Q2’17, reaching an 8-quarter funding high.

Valuation matchup

We dug into how publicly traded cloud storage and file-sharing company Box compares to nearly public Dropbox. At a $9.4B market capitalization and a $1B 2017 revenue run-rate, Dropbox would have a 9.4x price to sales multiple, double that of Box at its IPO.

Riviera Partners finds talent with CB Insights

Riviera Partners, a premier recruiting firm for technology executives, uses CB Insights to optimize talent outreach, broaden their prospecting efforts, and augment their own system/recruiting stack with the CB Insights API. 

Riviera recently expanded its R Squared business line, opening an additional office in Bozeman, Montana to support this growth. R2 specializes in technical recruiting of individual contributor software engineers for top technology companies in the Bay Area and now Seattle. Go here to learn more.

Reader feedback on VCs criticizing startups

Here are some of the responses we got back to the question of whether VCs should be able to criticize startups and the industry.

One fellow VC wrote:

"While I don't think there is anything morally or ethically wrong with publicly criticizing startups, given the networked nature of the venture world, I wouldn't do this out of my own self-interest. There is no point in creating ill-will within the ecosystem."

Anonymous wrote:

"So now VC snowflakes need safe spaces?"

Girish Apte wrote:

"Any industry that relies on public opinion or public confidence for its growth will invariably develop an 'us vs. them' / 'circle the wagons' / 'perception must be preserved' attitude.

We see this happening in K-12 education, police, medicine, US foreign policy. In each of these areas, preserving the image seems to be the priority; the fear being that a reduction in public confidence might trigger a cascade collapse.

It is a labor union mentality, wherein protecting the interests of those in the industry overrides all else."

So many unicorns

9 new US VC-backed companies reached $1B+ valuations in Q2’17, up from just 3 the quarter before. The US unicorn birth count reached its highest quarterly total since the peak of Q3’15.

This was just really good

US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts recently gave a commencement speech at his son's graduation. Just seemed worth sharing.

via H. Poteat


Last week, one of Silicon Valley’s most well-funded wearables unicorns — Jawbone — announced that it would be shutting down and liquidating its remaining assets. The company's death ranks as the second costliest startup death ever by a VC-funded company globally. 

Despite the news, wearable computing deals continue to grow, with 2017 projected to see an annual high of 150 deals by end of year.

Industry Standard

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

Financial Times. A report on venture capital focused on the car technology sector with a mention of CB Insights investment data.

Bloomberg Quint. A look at company Razer and its target valuation for IPO with a reference to CB Insights valuation data.

Huffington Post. An interview with Babak Yazdani of Cota Capital that mentions CB Insights angel & funding data.

I love you.


P.S. Download all the presentations from the Future of Fintech here.

Venture capital funding report Q2 2017

CB Insights and PwC's Q2 2017 MoneyTree report highlights the latest trends in venture capital funding globally. Get the report.
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Dropbox vs Box: Valuation matchup

At a $9.4B market capitalization and a $1B 2017 revenue run-rate, Dropbox would have a 9.4x price to sales multiple, double that of Box at its IPO. See the data.
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Jawbone is the second costliest VC-backed startup death ever

Wearables maker Jawbone's liquidation also makes it the highest-funded failure by any consumer electronics startup in history. Read about it.
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Wearable computing deals keep climbing despite Jawbone’s recent death

Wearables deals reached their second-highest total ever in Q2. See the data.
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The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

Ears: Use them. Lars Dalgaard (@larsluv) on the subject of listening in sales.

Emotional intelligence. Jon Callaghan (@jcal7) on why emotional intelligence matters in venture capital.
True Ventures

Insurance. From problems to opportunities, Aaron Harris (@harris) shares some thoughts on the insurance space.
Y Combinator

Creativity and growth. Parul Singh (@parulia) on how to grow 3000% a year without making a mess.

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