Payments tech map. Death of news aggregators. Insurance + IoT.
CB Insights celebration
I'm here to ruin your holidays

Hi there,

Winter is coming. And I'm not talking about the temperature.

It's about to get harder for startups trying to raise financing.

While Q3 2015 was a monster quarter for VC funding & deals, our early read on Q4 shows things are getting downright ugly. This article by Ari Levy of CNBC does a nice job summarizing just how negative private market sentiment has become.

Compounding the issue is an exit environment this year that has been terrible. IPOs have been few and far between as have mega-acquisitions. 

For the first time, our 2016 Tech IPO pipeline has companies that will be dragged into going public because the private markets will close up on them.

But there is good news in here for real companies.


There are lots of very smart people working at cr@ppy startups — experiments burning investor cash masquerading as businesses.

And these talented people will become available as it gets harder for these "non-profits" to raise follow-on financing. These folks will find refuge at solid, healthy companies that are not reliant on investor largesse for their survival.

If you are a VC, these are the companies you should have your best portfolio companies plundering talent from.

A quick way we're seeing clients do this is by identifying companies that raised a Series A more than 12 months ago and who've raised < $10M in total.  We've set up searches on CB Insights to identify these companies as below.
Get your plunder on.

The news reader app graveyard  

We dig into the hopeful rise and ultimately spotty record of VC-backed news reader startups. With the recent demise of Circa and Prismatic and the woes of Flipboard, it's a space that has been tough for investors who have plowed $300M into it only to be greeted by failures & asset sales. The post also highlights a few news readers that have momentum and one bootstrapped one with a reported 12 million users.  

All-Stars at Future of Fin Tech Conference

Here are just a few of the great speakers we have lined up for our Future of FinTech Conference
  • Jon Stein, CEO of Betterment
  • Tricia Kemp, General Partner at Oak HC/FT 
  • Arjan Schütte, Founder & Managing Partner at Core Innovation Capital
  • Jenny Fielding, Managing Director at TechStars FinTech
  • Maria Gotsch, CEO of FinTech Innovation Lab
A few early-bird tickets are available so get them now.

Mapping payments tech

The 109 startups in our graphic are attacking a range of areas, including bitcoin, mobile commerce, and specialized consumer-focused transactions like child support and restaurant bills. See the full list

Crush your 2016 Sales Targets

If you're figuring out how to decimate your 2016 targets and selling to high-growth startups (tomorrow's S&P 500) is a priority, we've just launched CB Insights for Sales.

You tell us who you've sold to in the past and even your competitors' customers, and we build a recommendation system to automate how you find your next customers.

Yup — we kill a bunch of low-value data janitor work your B2B sales team is doing.

Reach out if you're a VP of Sales or of Sales Ops and you:
  • Have at least 10 SDRs or AEs
  • Sell a product/service with an average ticket of $20k or greater
  • Are not selling bottled water

Insurers chase IoT startups

The big hope for life insurers, general carriers, and private health providers is that smart devices will drastically improve how they price riskHere's a look at notable partnerships linking insurers — including AmFam and State Farm — with IoT startups and tech companies in one infographic.

Merry Christmas.

I love you.


P.S. We analyzed the 531 most high-flying private tech companies you should know.

The Rise And Fall Of Venture-Backed News Readers In One Chart

Visualizing the venture capital funding boom to news reader apps, and the subsequent rash of acquisitions and failures. Read about the trends in news aggregators
Tweet this

From Point-Of-Sale To Money Transfers: 109 Startups Disrupting The Payments Industry

From point-of-sale solutions to money transfers, payments makes up one of the largest categories within the larger fin tech industry. See the list of companies
Tweet this

How Major Insurers Are Teaming Up With Internet Of Things Companies In One Infographic 

A roundup of partnerships between big insurers like State Farm, Liberty Mutual, and AXA with IoT firms including Censio, Canary, Nest, and Ring. See the analysis.
Tweet this

The Unicorns With The Biggest Valuation Increases In 2015

Zenefits, Wish, and Olacabs were among the high-flying unicorns that saw their paper valuations skyrocket in 2015. See how the unicorns stack up.
Tweet this

Notable Deals From This Past Week

We tracked 637 financings and exits totaling $6B in the last week. Here are 10 notable deals. To see them all, login to CB Insights or create an account here.

1. AstraZeneca buys 55% of Acerta Pharma in $4B deal
The deal gives Netherlands-based biotech company Acerta a $7.3B valuation. Venture-backed Acerta Pharma has a leukemia drug awaiting approval. 

2. Pharmaron raises $280M Series D
Backed by CITIC Capital Private Equity and Legend Capital in the Series D round, Pharmaron provides R&D services for biotech and pharma industries.

3. Recovery Centers of America raises $231M
The company aims to create one of the worlds largest addiction treatment systems. 

4. Blackstone invests $170M in IBS Software Services 
India-based IBS is involved in software solutions for travel, hospitality, logistics, and oil and gas industries.

5. Cathay Industrial Biotech raises $135M
The China-based chemical company specializes in industrial production for the biotech industry. Shanxi Lu'an Mining (Group) Co. provided the financing.

6. Broadband provider WOW! raises $125M
Crestview Partners invested $125M into WOW!, an Englewood, Colorado-based provider of Internet, cable, and phone services. 

7. P2P lending company Zopa raises $106M Series F
The round puts UK-based fin tech player Zopa at a $757M valuation and was financed by Arrowgrass Capital Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Wellington Partners, among others.

8. Upcurve Energy raises $100M
Post Oak Energy Capital provided the equity funding. Founded this year, Upcurve Energy is an oil and gas company focused on drilling in unconventional shale plays.

9. Vroom raises $95M Series C
The online car buying store was backed by Allen & Company, Catterton Partners, General Catalyst Partners, and T. Rowe Price.

10. Algae-based green crude oil maker Sapphire Energy raises $92M Series
The San Diego, California-based algal biofuels company raised from ARCH Venture Partners, among others. 

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles on tech, media, what's next, and recent news.
How to tell if a company is good at innovation. How to distinguish "innoganda" from the real thing. 
Harvard Business Review

A day in the life of Americans. A stunning dynamic data visualization of how Americans spend their time. 
Flowing Data

Slack and the state of technology at the end of 2015. We shouldn't be surprised that communication-centric platforms are dominating tech (and not just consumer tech). 

Getting to the heart of David Letterman. An interview from Montana with the comedic genius, who talks about getting older and being out of the spotlight.
The Whitefish Review

If you loved this newsletter, send it to a friend.
If you hated it, send it to an enemy.
All the data in this newsletter comes from CB Insights. Join NEA, Cisco & hundreds of other clients and get access to the industry's best private company data.

Sign up for access.
Copyright © 2015 CB Information Services, All rights reserved.