Alternative proteins. SoftBank's global investments. AI and healthcare data.

Not guilty


Millennials are being accused of … everything. 

It’s always too easy to scapegoat the millennial generation. In fact, they’ve been named as the culprit in the demise of several industries: from canned tuna to casual restaurants to luxury goods to department stores

But guess what? It’s not their fault! Seriously.

"Millennials aren’t shunning luxury goods; they’re just renting them. They’re not abandoning gyms; they’re opting into studio classes. And they’re not killing casual dining. In fact, millennials eat out more often and spend more on restaurants than any other generation."

We analyze 12 different markets millennials are accused of killing (RIP, American cheese) and why these failures are actually more about corporates and their missteps than they are about millennial fickleness.

By the way, some definitions of millennials stretch back to people born in 1980, which means that several will turn 40 next year. Strange. 

Please, no e-mails about why millennials are actually to blame for everything bad, including antivaxxing, social media addiction, and chem trails.

Consider the cricket

The meat industry is facing a slew of business, ethical, and environmental challenges.

Meanwhile, startups are developing protein alternatives, from lab-grown meat to plant-based products — and they're becoming more popular.

We dig into how food giants like Tyson and Cargill are working to navigate a meatless future. Read about it here.

 Get smart

Cities in Southeast Asia are growing fast, which means urban development is at the top of their list of priorities.

From parking to public safety to energy management, we map out 30+ startups developing technology to make these cities smarter as they expand. Clients can see them all here.

Try something new

Artificial intelligence is changing how healthcare data is collected and used. From federated learning to fake MRIs, we take a look at some of the trends in the space.

Check them out here.

 Gone global

SoftBank has invested in companies across 18 countries and 5 continents. We break down the firm's regional footprint and what that means for its global stategy.

Clients can read all about it here.

Young blood

Engineering departments often focus on recruiting developers from big-name companies, thinking that junior developers won't deliver value for their first several months.

We dig into why experience isn't everything in tech — or in the broader business world.


Some of our friends are hiring:

Have a great rest of the week.


P.S. We're hiring a VP of product marketing. Check out the job description here. If this sounds like you, we'd love to chat.

This week in data:
  • 3: The recent unicorn streak continued this week as 3 companies joined the $1B+ valuation club. Airwallex, an Austrailia-based payments startup, reached a $1B valuation after raising a $100M Series C from investors including Sequoia Capital China and Tencent Holdings. Airwallex was featured in our 50 Future Unicorns for 2019, made in collaboration with the New York Times. Cloud company Vlocity raised a $60M Series C at a $1B valuation, while D2C mattress company Capser raised a $100M Series D at a valuation of $1.1B. See all 334 unicorns on our real-time unicorn tracker.
  • $300M: McDonald’s announced that it would acquire AI-powered personalization startup Dynamic Yield for a reported $300M. This deal marks the fast food giant’s largest acquisition in 20 years. The company stated it will use Dynamic Yield’s technology to automatically update drive-thru menus in response to factors like weather, time of day, and restaurant traffic. Dynamic Yield was featured in our 2018 AI 100 cohort — check out which startups made 2019’s list.

  • 13K: Harvard researchers announced that they had used CRISPR-based techniques to make over 13,000 edits to a single cell. The method they used avoided cutting out DNA, instead replacing one genetic letter with another. The team sees a potential application of the technique in removing “junk” DNA from genomes. Not sure how CRISPR works? Check out our explainer.

  • $3.1B: Ride-hailing giant Uber is set to acquire Dubai-based Careem for $3.1B. Careem, which had raised $772M, is the largest ride-hailing company in the Middle East and will continue to operate under its own brand. This deal represents Uber’s largest acquisition to date and its first in 2019. Here’s how Uber makes money.
  • 1 in 281 trillion: A 40-year-old neuropsychologist from Ohio correctly predicted 48 games in a row for his March Madness bracket, beating the previous best of 39 games set in 2017. The chance of achieving the new record through 50:50 guesswork is 1 in 281,474,976,710,656.
  • 2: Pinterest and Zoom both filed to go public this week. Social media platform Pinterest previously raised over $1.4B of disclosed funding and was last valued at $10.4B in a 2017 Series H round. Video communications company Zoom, which states it is profitable, previously raised about $142M in disclosed funding, reaching a valuation of $991M in 2017. We included Pinterest and Zoom in our tech IPO pipeline for 2019 — see the rest here.

  • 12M: Health insurer Centene is planning to buy Wellcare, a competing insurance provider, for around $15.3B. The new entity would have a strong portfolio of government health programs, including 12M Medicaid members, and will become the 4th largest medicare provider. We recently explored the Medicare Advantage landscape. Expert Intelligence clients can read about it here.
  • 9.8 tons: A Tyrannosaurus rex unearthed in Canada has been identified as the largest specimen found to date, according to a new study released this week. Working from a 65% complete fossil, researchers estimated that the dinosaur weighed 9.8 tons in life, measured 42 feet long, and died at the age of 28. The enormous 68M-year-old T. rex was reportedly nicknamed “Scotty” after a bottle of scotch used to celebrate the remains' initial discovery in 1991.
One more thing...

UMA via Fast Company

Sweden's classrooms are in short supply because the population is growing at such a rapid rate. Many schools are turning to portable, prefab trailers as a solution — but they're not very pleasant to look at.

So Swedish architecture firm UMA has designed six creative facades to spruce them up. The concepts include a forest with mountains and a giant wave.

One of the six designs will be selected for production this summer.
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