Digital media competition. Hulk robot. New unicorn.

When I say jump, you say...

Hi there,

I'm surprised that copywriting isn't a more prominently taught skill in business.

Given the sheer number of emails everyone sends to colleagues, customers, prospective customers, partners, etc, it should be.

After we raised a round of financing two years ago, we got inundated by emails from salespeople. I analyzed the sales emails and found that...

...93.9% were absolute isht.

They were terrible for many reasons, including having terrible copy.

Note: As a result of this analysis, I realized that there should be a special place in h3ll for recruiters and real estate people whose email game is hot garbage.

But copywriting goes beyond salespeople.

A high percentage of emails everyone sends for work are "marketing."

You're trying to convince somebody (a colleague, your boss, a customer) of something.

There is an excellent article in The Blurb today by Pete Boyle on the power of precision writing. If you send emails that need to convince people of anything, read it just for the beginning alone (excerpt below).

Now for some data on what's next...

The competition is real

As smaller digital media startups focus on short-form video, the big 4 subscription streaming services — Amazon, HBO, Hulu, and Netflix — are competing for market share by doubling down on long-form original content.

Media companies are also up against these giants, and are trying to vie for the small amount of free time or empty moments in people’s daily lives when they consume entertainment or news.

The alpha dog

The VC-founder power dynamic is an interesting thing.

Hunter Walk of Homebrew penned a post in which he relays a great anecdote (see The Blurb for Hunter's piece) about a founder-investor meeting.

Investors have a right to ask hard questions. But the framing of those questions is important.

In this example, the framing was terrible, and I love the fact that the entrepreneur wasn't afraid to say they're not playing this game.

The Next Big Thing

A look at the research coming out of universities, corporate R&D teams, and government research labs that CB Insights thinks you should know about.

Hulk robot is coming

A new 3D printed "synthetic muscle" is three times stronger than natural muscle (and could be used to create robots that move and work independently).

The next blood testing tech is here

A team of MIT scientists have found a way to use sound waves to separate the nanoparticles in blood and analyze them as biomarkers of disease.

On the reg

We dug into deal and funding trends to regtech startups since 2013. Early-stage (seed / angel and Series A) deals accounted for approximately 48% of deal share in 2016 and 50% in 2017 year-to-date.

New unicorn alert

Today, Indigo Agriculture — developer of plant microbiome technology — raised $156M in Series D financing from Activant Capital Group, Alaska Permanent Fund, Flagship Pioneering, and Baillie Gifford & Co. The round brings the company's valuation to $1.4B, making it the newest addition to our real-time Unicorn Tracker.

Indigo is also featured in our Feeding the Future report, which looks at the startups and technologies transforming the way our food gets grown, stored, shipped, and sold. All the companies in the report can be seen in the CB Insights Collection featured below.

The Industry Standard

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

SupplyChain Dive. Kate Patrick (@katepatrick_) writes about e-commerce investment and cites CB Insights research on deals to e-commerce subscription startups.

Eater. Daniela Galarza (@superdaniela) writes about Nestlé's acquisition of Blue Bottle Coffee and quotes CB Insights analyst Natan Reddy (@natan_reddy) on investment into the coffee space.

Zee Business. A look at unicorn startups in India with a reference to CB Insights research on $1B+ companies outside of the US.

I love you.


P.S. We'll be diving into Apple's moves in the health care space next Tuesday. Sign up for the briefing here.

Can digital media startups break through, as Amazon, Facebook, Netflix turn up the heat?

Facebook is partnering with companies to produce short-form video series like those from digital media startups including food-centric Tastemade and animal content-focused The Dodo. Read about it.
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Regtech startups on pace for record deals, against backdrop of shifting regulatory landscape

Regtech deals have hit 100+ for four consecutive years, and are on pace to reach a new high. See the data.
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The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

Build vs buy. Albert Wenger (@albertwenger) says building machine learning systems in-house is what every engineer wants to do — but in many instances, that's the wrong choice, compared to using a specialized service provider.

Diversification. Fred Wilson (@fredwilson) shares advice on how to survive a crash.

Convince me. Hunter Walk (@hunterwalk) shares a story about a founder who said "no" to an investor during a pitch.
Hunter Walk

The power of precision writing. Pete Boyle (@p_j_boyle) on how to write less and say more.
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