Sticks and stones
Netflix has been called a lot of things over the years. And each time it gets dissed, it comes back to bite whoever did the dissing.
In 2010, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes laughed off Netflix when asked about it as a threat to traditional media. "It's a little bit like, is the Albanian army going to take over the world?"
Seems the Albanian army actually did pretty much take over the world. Netflix is available in 190 countries and will spend a staggering $8B on original content this year alone, after spending $6B last year.
The latest media CEO to dismiss Netflix is AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, who said this week, "I think of Netflix kind of as the Walmart of [video], HBO is kind of Tiffany. It's a very premium, high-end brand for premium content."
Hmmm. That's an odd comparison since Walmart has 18x the market cap of Tiffany & Co.
I’m betting Stephenson's patronizing quote gets him into the hall of infamy for CEOs that have dismissed the likes of Amazon, Netflix, the iPhone, and other disruptive threats.
Netflix received 112 Emmy nominations this year — more than HBO. It's the first time HBO wasn't at the top in 18 years. I wonder exactly how Stephenson defines premium?
Regardless of who wins more Emmys at the awards ceremony this weekend, I'd bet one thing: none of the actors, directors, producers, and showrunners in the audience will be comparing Netflix to Walmart in their heads. Or in future pitch meetings with Netflix execs.
What's the prognosis?
AI companies focusing on healthcare have their work cut out for them. To transform the space, they'll have to overhaul current healthcare processes that no longer work and experiment with emerging technologies.
From using therapy bots to AI-as-a-medical-device to DIY diagnostics, we dive into the healthcare AI trends to watch.
Don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge
The bulk of data processing for connected devices currently happens in the cloud, but sending the data back and forth across a central server can often take seconds too long. That's where edge computing comes in.
Edge computing enables connected devices to process data either within or much closer to devices themselves, saving valuable time. We dig deeper into how the technology works, its advantages, and much more here.
Teaching is one of the most difficult tasks to automate, but that doesn't mean companies aren't trying.
AI education startups have raised $350M+ across 105 deals since 2013, much of which has been driven by Southeast Asian companies.
From tele-tutoring to research paper search engines to language learning, we take a look at what these startups have in the works. Clients can check it out here.
Tech helps the medicine go down
Big tech companies have set their sights on healthcare. Amazon recently entered the pharmaceutical distribution space with its acquisition of PillPack. Google has upped its stake in health insurance startup Oscar.
We take a look at the top 10 tech companies in the US and their private market activity in the healthcare space. Check it out here.
If you build it, they will come
Funding to construction tech companies is already up 60% from last year with a quarter to go. Big later-stage deals have gotten media attention and driven up dollars, but a lot of the action is in the early-stages.
We take a closer look at deal share, first-time investors in the space, and top construction tech investors. Clients can read it here.
Have a great rest of the week.
P.S. Our last CBI Councils session of the year is October 16 in San Francisco. Apply to have your team featured by September 27.
P.P.S. On September 20, we'll be discussing startups reinventing the gym. Sign up for the briefing here.
This week in data:
- 576: Since 2013, healthcare AI startups have raised $4.3B across 576 deals — more than any other industry in AI deal activity. Diagnostics has been a huge driver of healthcare AI deals, with 70+ companies raising equity financing over the last five years. Learn more about trends emerging in the space in our new Top AI Healthcare Trends Report.
- $1,449: The price of the iPhone XS Max (512GB capacity) in the US — one of three new iPhone models announced by Apple earlier this week. Across the globe, countries will see an even higher price tag in comparison for this model: UK ($1,898), Poland ($1,956), and Italy ($1,971). The other models announced include the XS and XR, both starting at lower price points than the XS Max.
- $100M: Earlier this week, WeWork acquired software startup Teem for $100M, 5 years after the company was founded. This is WeWork’s third acquisition in 2018 year-to-date; its earlier purchases included Conductor and naked Hub. Our WeWork Strategy Teardown breaks down the company’s many strategic initiatives, from its acquisitions to co-management deals to its upcoming private elementary school, and more.
- $6.4B: China-based EV manufacturer NIO went public earlier this week, raising $1B at a $6.4B valuation. Prior to its exit, the company had raised $2.2B in total disclosed funding from investors including JD.com, Tencent, and Baidu Capital. NIO’s IPO makes it the latest exit to appear on our real-time Unicorn Exits Tracker, which looks at billion-dollar VC-backed exits since 2009.
- $150,000: This week, Snap revealed the first class of its California-based accelerator Yellow. In its three-month program, Yellow offers $150,000 to startups in exchange for equity, while seeking projects across beauty, eSports, AR, and more. The first nine companies in its class include fitness bootcamp ConBody, wedding videos platform Love Stories TV, and pop-up experiences-focused company SelfieCircus.
- 500 miles: More than 10M residents in North and South Carolina and Virginia are under a storm watch or warning. Hurricane Florence, the Category 2 storm expected to hit the US’ East Coast as early as today, is over 500 miles wide. The storm is so big that astronaut Alexander Gerst could only capture it with a “super wide-angle lens.” Florence could drench the area with up to 40 inches of rain once it makes landfall, and an estimated 3M people could lose power for weeks. More than 1M people are under mandatory evacuations in the three states.
- 5th: Ribbit Capital is raising $420M for its fifth and latest fund, according to an SEC filing. It raised $300M in its fourth fund last year. Ribbit is at the top of our list of fintech unicorn hunters, with its portfolio including Coinbase, Gusto, Robinhood, and more.
- 26,000 ft: Scientists discovered a new type of fish, currently dubbed “the pink, blue, and the purple Atacama snailfish.” The fish were found swimming at a depth of some 26,000 ft in the Atacama Trench, which is off the coast of Peru and Chile. According to researchers, the fish have a “gelatinous structure” with very few bones, and they “melt rapidly when brought to the surface.”
- 2,500: Artificial Intelligence researcher Janelle Shane trained a neural network on heirloom apple names, using a list of 2,500 names generated in 1905. Heirloom apples are older varieties of the fruit that have “fallen out of favor, sometimes because their tree wasn’t robust enough, or they didn’t ship well,” according to Shane. Using the list, Shane’s neural network was able to come up with more names, including Baldy the Pearmain, Warrior Golden Pippin Of Bellandfust, Winey De Wine, Knington Pooper, and more.
$1: Walmart is selling bitcoin for a dollar. The twist? It’s a fake bitcoin made of chocolate, and produced by candy company Frankford Candy. With all the blockchain hype, several companies have actually pivoted towards including blockchain in their strategies, including beverage companies, camera companies, and others. But for many, the technology still remains a mystery. For more on bitcoin & blockchain, and other related technologies, check out our What Is Blockchain explainer.