Future of Fintech. Microsoft plays games. Amazon in finance.

Thank you so much

Hi there,

On April 17, 2017, my dad died.

And so for the last 13 months, I've been working at CB Insights while also running his chemical manufacturing company based in India.

On June 1, 2018, his company was acquired.

I wrote up my thank yous, lessons, and observations on M&A, India, CB Insights, and more here in an essay titled How To Manage And Sell A Company In An Industry And A Country You Don't Know.

Add to cart: financial services

Amazon is attacking financial services from payments to lending to insurance to checking accounts — but it isn't building a traditional bank.

We take a look at Amazon's product and market strategies to see how it's offering financial tools to boost customer participation in the Amazon ecosystem. Add it to your pre-Future-of-Fintech reading list.

For the love of the game

At this year's E3 convention, Microsoft's Xbox announced its acquisition of 4 game development studios and the formation of a first-party game studio, The Initiative. The briefing was Twitch's highest-watched live stream ever.

Microsoft has acquired a total of 5 gaming companies this year — as many as it has acquired across the last 9 years.

We take a look at Microsoft's acquisition strategy and what the company has said about gaming on earnings calls. Check it out.

You all

The one constant since my dad's death has been this newsletter.

I didn't miss a single day.

So I wanted to also say thank you for reading, for the kind words, and for the terrible data visualizations you send.

It has been incredibly helpful.

Thank you.  

Live from New York, it's Future of Fintech

Future of Fintech is here! With speakers from Bank of America, Nasdaq, FDIC, SoFi, Ripple, and much more, you won't want to miss a minute of the action.

So if you can't make it to any of the sessions — which start tomorrow — don't worry. You can catch them all on the Future of Fintech livestream.

Dolla dolla bills

Last month, Amazon Cash extended its partnership with Coinstar to allow customers to deposit spare change at Coinstar kiosks and cash out with the Amazon Cash app. 

Amazon hasn't said how many customers are using Amazon Cash, but with 33.5M US households underbanked or unbanked and 190M citizens in India unbanked, the market opportunity is large at home and abroad. 

We look at other ways Amazon is getting into payment services here.

The Industry Standard

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

Wall Street Journal. Mayumi Negishi (@meiyume) and Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) report that Japanese flea market app Mercari’s valuation hit $6.5B on its first day of trading and cite CB Insights unicorn data.

VentureBeat. Neil Lustig (@nzlustig) writes about how personalization can save brands from the retail apocalypse and refers to CB Insights research.

Food Dive. Patti Zarling (@pgpattizarling) discusses how fresh foods are driving growth across consumer goods categories and references CB Insights patent research.

I love you.


P.S. On June 28, we'll be discussing enterprise blockchains and the future of decentralization. Sign up here.  

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

Come at me, bot. IBM has revealed an AI system it calls Project Debater, which digests debate questions and scans billions of online sources to craft arguments in debates.

Because you watched. Netflix is making more TV shows than any network ever has, and leveraging internal susbscriber data to determine what material is a good fit.

Delete, delete, delete. Returning to your emails after being away for a few days can be stressful — what if we just deleted them all?
The Atlantic

Got milk? The “got milk” campaign is now 25 years old. Here’s how it came to be one of the most famous ad campaigns in history.
Fast Company

“It’s called survival.” A Macy’s in a vacant shopping mall outside Washington has been transformed into a homeless shelter.
New York Times

Not a game. The World Health Organization says that compulsively playing video games now qualifies as a mental health condition.
AP News
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