ESPN losing subscribers. Vision solutions for driverless vehicles. Supply chain & logistics investment activity.
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I'm Batman

Hi there,

Happy Halloween.

I spent yesterday with my kids dressed as Batman wearing my underwear on the outside. And then I spotted this handy venn diagram of superheroes.

Batman is not alone.

Uber board member

I'm excited to announce that Uber board member and chief advisor David Plouffe will be joining us at The Innovation Summit in Santa Barbara, CA from Jan 10-12th (just over 60 days away).

David helped orchestrate what is widely regarded as a very successful policy/regulatory shift in favor of Uber (esp. when you juxtapose against how Airbnb is doing against regulators right now). He also served as the campaign manager for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential bid.

From Uber to the regulatory hurdles/landscape for autonomous vehicles to how Silicon Valley can navigate Washington DC to the role of technology in politics, we'll be covering a lot of very interesting topics with David at The Summit.

Today is the last day to get discount tickets as they go up to $1k tomorrow. Join us and an amazing lineup of speakers from Airbnb, Sequoia Capital, Microsoft, USAA, the Oakland A's, and more.

The 3 tickets for the price of 2 offer also continues through today.

Identify yourself

We look at funding trends in the Identity and Access Management (IAM) space, as well as the share of deals to these startups by stage, and identified the most well-funded IAM companies. Year-to-date, cybersecurity companies that offer IAM solutions have raised $362M across 34 deals.

All sizzle, no steak

On Friday, autonomous vehicle startup ended development of its driverless vehicle kit which it had promised to sell for $999 by year-end.

The company had received a letter from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asking how the system would work and how it would ensure safety. The NHTSA's questions seemed quite reasonable given this device goes on cars which can pose substantial safety risks.

Instead of responding to the NHTSA's requests, outspoken CEO of, George Hotz, responded that he'd rather "spend my life building amazing tech than dealing with regulators and lawyers. It isn’t worth it," and cancelled the development of the autonomous driving kit.

Basically, "The Man" was holding them back.

The pullback had nothing to do with whether the kit was actually viable or ready.

In fact, just a month ago, Hotz delivered a 15-minute piece of insufferable performance art at TechCrunch Disrupt where he talked isht about Tesla, Mobileye,, Zoox, Otto, and Cruise Automation, which he described as "sellouts" for their acquisition by GM for $1B.

At the time, he said the difference between Cruise and was “shippability,” i.e. Comma was going to ship per Hotz.

Guess not.

Sharpen your senses

There has been an increasing interest in startups developing autonomous driving sensing hardware and vision technologies, which have drawn a number of funding rounds in recent months. We profiled four startups in this field that have raised funding since August 2016, including the unicorn Quanergy.

The sports bubble

ESPN lost 621,000 subscribers in the last month making it the worst month ever in the network's history.

While the decline in subscriber numbers is obviously bad for ESPN, Clay Travis of Outkick the Coverage digs into the implications for sports overall, and it ain't pretty. He writes:

The full article is in The Blurb below.

While supply chains last

We examined investment activity from 2012 to 2016 year-to-date in the supply chain and logistics tech space. At the current run-rate, total deals will reach 315 by the end of the year.

Getting physical

Starting with men’s apparel retailer Bonobos in 2011, startups that launched as online-only have increasingly been opening brick-and-mortar stores. We look at a host of other e-commerce companies that have followed suit in order of the opening date of their first physical store.

The Industry Standard

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

Forbes. Mike Montgomery (@mikemontgomery) dives into the future of telehealth systems and refers to CB Insights research on companies reinventing the practice of medicine.

Vator News. Ronny Ker on Uber's decision to bring surge pricing to UberEATS with a reference to CB Insights food tech investment data.

TechCrunch. Connie Loizos (@cookie) writes about Wish's new round of financing and refers to the CB Insights Enhanced Valuation capability.

Fast Company. Pavithra Mohan (@pavsmo) dives into how global incubator 1776 plans to diversify the NY tech sector and references CB Insights research on early-stage startups.

I love you.


P.S. 4 more days to apply for the AI100. 600+ startups have already applied. Round 2 kicks off next week.

P.P.S. We just hit 210,000 subscribers on the CB Insights newsletter. If a friend forwarded this to you, what happens if your friendship ends? Don't take that kind of risk.  Sign up for the newsletter here

(Plouffe photo above via

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  • Before they were unicorns, they looked like this.

Investors pull back on dollars to identity and access management startups

Unicorns in the space include Okta, valued at $1.2B, which focuses on identity and access management as a cloud-based service. See the data.
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Startups developing sensing and vision solutions for autonomous vehicles

A look into four sensing and vision startups that have raised since August as investors hunt for opportunities within the self-driving ecosystem. See the list.
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Deals to supply chain & logistics tech startups spike upwards

Of the top 5 most well-funded companies, four are in Asia. See the data.
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12 e-commerce startups with brick-and-mortar stores

Bonobos, Warby Parker, Birchbox and other digital-native startups are staking claims in brick-and-mortar retail. See the list.
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The Blurb

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

Having a VC cohort conversation. Sonia Sahney Nagar (@ssahney) on what VCs expect from cohort analysis.

AI for insuranceChris Bishko (@chrisbishko) and Pearl Chan dive into the opportunities for AI across the insurance realm.
Omidyar Ventures

The plumbing of investing. 
David Merkel (@alephblog) on how secondary markets work.
Aleph Blog

Board meetings. Jean de La Rochebrochard shares advice on how to run an effective board meeting.
Kima Ventures

Navdy: the fourth screen. Varun Jain (jvarun83) writes about Navdy, an augmented reality device for the car.
LinkedIn Pulse

ESPN loses 621k subscribers. Worst month in company history. Clay Travis (@claytravis) digs into the hole that ESPN finds itself in and how it only looks to be getting worse.
Outkick the Coverage

Interview with CEO. George Hotz interview at Techcrunch Disrupt where he discusses the imminent shipping of the self driving vehicle kit.
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