Unicorn exits. Poo on the floor. How we pay. 

The 4 H's

Hi there,

In last week’s newsletter, we asked where tech’s biggest startup technologies will come from. Asia won, which is probably not that surprising. Europe got trounced.

Europe is the Rodney Dangerfield of tech.

(Note: I realize about 90% of you didn’t get that reference but I used it anyways. Sorry.)

Europe gets no respect.

But is the lack of respect warranted?

We’ll dig into this with data over the next several newsletters. If you have data points you think we should analyze that will support or refute the idea that Europe is going to be a tech powerhouse, send them over.

Client only: Domo’s price/revenue multiple is insane

In yesterday’s client-only note, we analyzed Domo’s valuation multiple versus some of its business intelligence peers including:

  • Tableau
  • Looker
  • Birst
  • Qlik

Domo doesn’t stack up very well. The data also reveals how public BI companies are valued vs their private peers.

We also dug into the revenue to financing raised ratio (R to R, or revenue to raise). It’s a ratio that should be analyzed more, as it highlights how good a company is at turning financing into revenue. Tableau was next level at this, btw.

Conversely, it also highlights companies whose primary business model appears to be raising VC.

If you’re a paid client, check out the BI multiples here.

Pay it forward

Mobile payment systems like Google Pay haven't caught on with US consumers, who love their credit cards. But mobile payments are wildly popular in countries like China and Kenya.

In the US, a more convenient offering powered by tech companies with massive user bases (think: Apple and Facebook) could put banks at risk. We take a look at how people pay around the world and what's next for payments

Maintaining culture as you scale

Last week, I shared an earlier post titled 54 mistakes of a startup CEO that was written when CB Insights was under 25 people.

That newsletter talked about some of the communication challenges that have cropped up as the result of our growth (we’re now nearly 200).

The other challenge I talked about was maintaining culture, which I wanted to cover today.

First, defining culture. We’ve defined the culture of CBI through the lens of the people we aim to have on the team.  

We describe successful people at CB Insights as having the 4 H’s. They are:

  • Humble
  • Hungry
  • Happy
  • Helpful

Most of the above are obvious. Happy is probably the one that requires some explaining. It doesn’t mean walking around all day with a smile on your face.

It does mean an orientation towards solutions. A “yes, if…” mentality vs a “no, because…” disposition. It’s people who favor creation over criticism.

When I worry about maintaining culture, however, the H that I worry about the most is hunger.

More on that below.

Cutting the cord

5G, the next generation of wireless technology, can transmit massive sums of data in near real-time. Potential applications include autonomous vehicles, robotic surgery, and practically instant downloads.

Corporations are increasingly focused on the new technology, with mentions on earnings calls up 70% in Q1’18. 
Check out our 5G explainer, and see what factors are paving the way for 5G adoption in the next decade.

Stay hungry, my friend

Being hungry means many things.

It is ambition, resourcefulness, scrappiness, having a get-isht-done attitude, etc.

It is very tied to humility as well, because it means realizing that no matter how many nice things people now say about us, we’re still 0.1% of the way towards what we could build. 

Hunger hates complacency. It is allergic to hubris.

But as I look out at what our biggest challenges are, I realize:

It is not the size of the market. It is not some giant dinosaur company waking up and actually getting a clue. It is us waking up and thinking our isht don’t stink.

When you’re in tiny offices where a neighboring tenant poos on the floor in the bathroom (true story), or where you have office mice (also true), or where a $5K deal is the highlight of your month (also true), hunger is part of the DNA of the team.

Only a certain type of masochist joins a company at that stage and enjoys it enough to stay.

But as you grow, things change:
  • The offices get a bit nicer
  • There actually is a pantry
  • There are some perks

This is, of course, natural and expected to some extent.

But insurgents have the advantages of speed and responsiveness to customers, and IMO maintaining hunger is key to these.

So this is our other challenge. How do we maintain hunger even in the face of the modest perceived success we’ve had?

I don’t know the answer.

I imagine having new people join and work out of an office with mice and poo on the bathroom floor for the first month probably wouldn’t be a good look :)

If you know any good examples of companies that have maintained that hunger as they’ve scaled, would love to hear more. If any really good ideas or examples emerge from among the responses, we’ll roll them up and share back with everyone.

Git some

Yesterday, Microsoft announced its acquisition of open-source coding platform Github for $7.5B. 

The acquisition marks the largest enterprise software M&A exit ever, and the second largest exit in the category, after the Dropbox IPO.

This is the fifth acquisition this year for the computing behemoth, with other purchases including AI startup Semantic Machines. See the rest on our Microsoft Acquisition Tracker.

1,000 of our closest friends

We look forward to seeing 1,000 of our best friends at Future of Fintech (June 19 - 21). Participants are 27% C-Suite, 31% VP-SVP, 32% Manager/Director, and 10% other.

We’ll debut a new networking feature to give everybody the opportunity to meet and schedule meetings with each other. We also have a big-time welcome reception at Rockefeller Center to get things started.

Want in on the action? Make sure to register prior to Friday, June 8th so we can get you set up with networking. Save $500 with code twoweeks.


The Industry Standard

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

Forbes. Bijan Khosravi (@BijanKhosravi) writes about the decline in early-stage funding while VC investments hit all-time highs and cites CB Insights and PWC’s MoneyTree report.

Vanity Fair. Maya Kosoff (@mekosoff) looks into the $1B valuation of scooter startup Bird and interviews CB Insights CEO Anand Sanwal about the size of the global transportation market.

Fast Company. Rina Raphael (@rrrins) reports on the fertility startup Ava’s $30M Series B funding round, citing CB Insights’ FemTech market map.

I love you.


P.S. Refer new subscribers using our CB Insiders rewards program and you can win free CB Insights swag that not even money can buy, including our beloved "Data > Opinion" t-shirt.  

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

Caffeinated campaigns. Former Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz is stepping down, sparking speculation he may run for president in 2020.
New York Times

Do not disturb. Apple announces a series of new features aimed at improving digital wellness, including apps to curb mobile addiction in children and teens.

Out of the nest. The Wing, an all-female coworking space and social club, looks to expand its brand by turning to media creation.  
Fast Company

Who am I? Value investors are fundamentally rethinking their strategies as traditional value stocks have underperformed over the past few years.
Wall Street Journal

Don’t @ me. Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting may address concerns regarding Elon Musk’s outsized control of the firm, issues with production goals, and questions raised by Twitter followers.
The Verge

Stay in your lane. Scooters are temporarily banned from the sidewalks of San Francisco.
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