How VCs are investing globally. Blockchain for identity protection. Why startups fail.

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Around the world

Deal activity decreased by 4% in Q1'18 as global venture capital investment reached $46.5B across 2,884 deals. 

Check out PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Insights' Q1 MoneyTree report for more on the latest trends in global VC funding.

Dumb AF

This is what a thoroughly useless comment looks like.

A little privacy, please

Today Mark Zuckerberg continued answering senators' questions about Facebook's data privacy issues in his second of two congressional hearings.

We explore how blockchain technology could help prevent another Cambridge Analytica scandal and shift control back to internet users.

Dear <check your isht before sending>

I love mail merge. Done right, you can do amazingly personalized outreach in a fraction of the time.

Along with air conditioning and the internet and maybe a few others, I'd put mail merge among the greatest inventions of all time.

But alas, 87% of you using mail merge can't seem to be bothered to test it before sending. Hence a recent deluge of emails that say "Hey <first name>"

You know who does poor mail merges all too often? VC and growth equity firms. We critiqued emails we received from VCs and growth equity investors and shared what makes for a good pitch and what doesn't.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

After we gathered our list of startup failure post-mortems, we kept getting the same question: what are the reasons startups fail?

So we sifted through the 100+ post-mortems to find the top 20 reasons behind startup failure, from legal challenges to being outcompeted. Check out the full list here

Kind of a big deal

Q1'18 was a record quarter for AI funding, with total investments topping $1.9B — the highest ever. Funding to US-based AI companies jumped 29%. UiPath led with the largest deal at $153M from Accel Partners and others. 

For more Q1 VC funding highlights, download PwC and CB Insights' new MoneyTree report.

Are you an insurtech investor?

Our partner Willis Towers Watson is conducting a survey for investors in insurance technology startups. If you'd like to receive a detailed report of the findings, sign up to participate here.

Pssst ...

We’ve gotten a ton of requests to see the Future of Fintech agenda.

You should know we refine the agenda right up til showtime to ensure you get new information and no-B.S. questions posed to people who matter most.

Here’s what we’re thinking thus far for the main stage program. It’s stacked with 1:1 interviews featuring leaders at Bank of America, Robinhood, Fidelity, Credit Karma, and more.

Tickets are selling fast. You can still save $500 off individual tickets or bring a colleague and take advantage of our pair tickets. Prices will go up May 1.

The Industry Standard

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

The Verge. James Vincent (@jjvincent) writes about SenseTime’s $600M investment from Alibaba and how China is using AI-powered surveillance, citing CB Insights data.
Retail Dive. Dan O’Shea (@doshea14) discusses Alibaba and Suning’s investment in SenseTime and references CB Insights data.

Xconomy. Jeff Engel (@jeffengelxcon) reports that venture capital investment in Boston-area companies surged in Q1'18 and refers to PwC and CB Insights' new MoneyTree report.

I love you.


P.S. If you missed last week's flash briefing on the disruption of the luxury industry, you can get the slides and recording here.

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

What about trust? In the first of two congressional hearings, Mark Zuckerberg didn’t commit to supporting new legislation or changing how Facebook does business.
Maybe this time will be different. Sprint and T-Mobile are reportedly resuming talks of a merger for the third time in four years.
The Verge
Space stuff. The Hubble Space Telescope has captured an image of a light-bending phenomenon known as an “Einstein ring.”
Keep me honest. Twitter has endorsed the Honest Ads Act, a new piece of legislation that would require social platforms to keep more diligent records about who is buying political ads.
Difficult, but not impossible. Lydia Dishman (@lydiabreakfast) profiles Michael Forzano, a 26-year-old software engineer for Amazon who has been blind since birth.
Fast Company

How do you treat this? Doctors are facing new waves of competition from businesses creating new ways of providing care via technology.
New York Times
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