Ed tech funding trends. Early-stage influencer networks. Travel tech financing breakdown.
CB Insights celebration
Eating at your desk

Hi there,

Marcelo here filling in for Anand. 

The Elite 8 of the VC tournament has concluded, and the results are below. Given the caliber of the firms that have made it to the Final Four, the final contests are sure to be nail-biters. 

Saved by the bell

We look at companies integrating technology into education and analyze their financing history over the last 5 years. 

Some of the companies analyzed can be seen at the ASU GSV Summit, which is currently taking place in San Diego. You could research the thousands of attendees while there, but you can also skip the homework and look at our list of high-momentum companies in attendance, or the full company list we put together, "ASU GSV Summit 2016" on our database here.


What's next in CPG

We'll be diving into the present and future of the CPG category in our webinar on The Changing Landscape of Consumer Packaged Goods May 3rd. Spots are limited.

Bitter critters

Somewhat related to CPG, early-stage food and beverage startups offer a peek into what’s next for how we eat and drink. We’ve been tracking this category more closely as funding and deals pile up

As we did, we've noticed a growing trend: crickets. The insects and their larva are apparently among the most environmentally sound sources of protein out there. Some products in this emerging industry make some sense, like Exo’s cricket flour protein bars. But others are just … weird. 

Like this desktop edible insect farm out of Kickstarter:

Breaking: insect farms are the new standing desks. #burnrate

Under the influence

As YouTube, Vine, and Snapchat create a new crop of digital media stars, a wave of early-stage, investor-backed startups are emerging to connect them to brands for a variety of opportunities.

We highlight 11 of these startups across the influencer marketing space.


VC March Madness — The Final 4 is underway

Round 4 of the Series A VC tournament is in the books, and the Round 5 semifinals will feature two heavyweight throw-downs. We expect these to be close. 

  1. Sequoia vs Andreessen Horowitz
  2. USV vs First Round

The Final 4 closes on April 26th so vote today for which investor you'd want in your Series A

The Industry Standard

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

NY Times. Media companies invested in 6 of 133 VR and AR deals in 2015, according to CB Insights data. Katie Benner (@ktbenner) and Emily Steel (@emilysteel) take a closer look at this shift in strategy.

World Bank. Maja Andjelkovic (@worldbank) cites CB Insights research in her analysis of the tech ecosystem in Africa.

Management Today. Alibaba is hungry to expand its foothold in the on-demand market, writes Rebecca Smith (@MT_editorial). She refers to CB Insights data on recent declines in funding to the industry.

Bloomberg. Artificial intelligence is becoming more accessible, with real-world applications popping up in unexpected places. Pavel Alpeyev’s (@pashakun) great profile of a small team doing big things refers to CB Insights investment data.

City A.M. Lynsey Barber (@lynseybarber) examines the downfall of Powa Technologies, citing CB Insights research on startup failures.

Buckle your seat belts

We dig into the data surrounding travel tech investment trends, including deals and dollar breakdowns, and most well-funded companies. The travel tech space saw the third-highest amount of funding by quarter in Q1’16.

Have a great rest of the week. 


P.S. If you're a senior strategy, M&A or investment professional at a digital health company or a VC/PE investor who is actively investing (you've done deals) in digital health, we've got a few spots at our dinner on May 25. Request an invite here.




Ed tech startups see funding slump and deals flatline

After a big 2015, ed tech fell back to earth in Q1'16, with funding dropping to a 7-quarter low and deals well off their peak levels. See the data.
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As digital stars go mainstream, startups vie to connect influencers to brands

We use CB Insights database to highlight 11 early-stage startups across the emerging influencer marketing space. See the list.
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Travel tech startup funding surges 133% in Q1'16

Two of the most well-funded travel tech companies have raised over $1B in funding. The category has several unicorn companies, including Skyscanner and Tujia. See the data.
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The Blurb

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

The VR idea maze. Benedict Evans (@benedictevans) says that there is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to the state of VR and its capabilities, and that an AR platform might have more potential.

Ben Evans

Dwarf Fortress. Cliff Moon (@moonpolysoft) shares what Dwarf Fortress, a computer game, has taught him about startups.

The importance of teams. Mark Suster (@msuster) says team dynamic forms a very important part of his investment decision, and that it should be just as much of a focus as other aspects of a startup.
Both Sides of the Table

What happens when bots learn to lie? Hunter Walk (@hunterwalk) questions the future of bots, from what they should sound like to how much they should be trusted.
Hunter Walk

Quirky expenses. Jason M. Lemkin (@jasonlk) advises against the abuse of VC funds on "quirky" costs such as personal expenses and loans.
LinkedIn Pulse

Do everything possible not to raise funds. Mark Cuban (@mcuban) says sweat equity is the best equity, and he encourages people to turn to crowdfunding before seeking out investors.

The snakes and ladders game of startups. Ooshma Garg (@ooshma) describes how building a startup is like the game of Snakes and Ladders that can take you two steps forward, and then two steps back.
The Macro

It's all your fault. Andy Dunn (@dunn) says as a leader and founding CEO, everything that does or doesn't happen within your company is your fault and responsibility.
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