Time to unicorn valuation. Costliest startup failure. Early-stage truck tech startups.
View this email in your browser
Sign up for our newsletter

Let's get it started

Hi there,

Kicking off this Monday with some very sad news.

I have wondered if this fake news kerfuffle surrounding Facebook may make recruitment/retention of talented folks more difficult for FB. Time will tell.

Investor Elad Gil seems to think so and spits some fire at Facebook in his post entitled "Facebook must really suck at machine learning" which you'll see below in The Blurb.

Buzzfeed gives protections to NBCUniversal in an IPO

On Friday, our private company valuation alerts spotted a filing for Buzzfeed authorizing more shares at a flat per share price and with some material investor protections for NBCUniversal (ratchets) if the company's IPO doesn't meet certain minimums. 

ReCode, Fortune, Business Insider, TechCrunch, and Fast Company all dug into the filing and the financing as you'll see highlighted in The Industry Standard section below.

Unicorn gestation period

We used our Enhanced Valuation data to map out how long it took for the 20 most highly valued US-based unicorns to get to a billion dollar valuation after their first-ever equity financing.

AI has gone too mainstream

For a while, we've been advising founders that they should sprinkle some AI (artificial intelligence) into their pitch decks to get funding cuz investors eat that isht up. (note: see related post by Jason Black of RRE digging into the hype around artificial intelligence and its cousin machine learning in The Industry Standard section below).

Using CB Insights Trends, we see that media attention to artificial intelligence and machine learning has now caught up to the buzziest of buzzwords, big data.

AI has basically gone mainstream. Kinda like the Black Eyed Peas after Fergie joined. 

So the question now is, where is the love?

Versus AI and machine learning, deep learning still isn't getting as much media hype as CB Insights Trends reveals, so this looks to be one non-mainstream pick for your pitch deck.

And if you want to go a bit more indie, use the words neural net or machine vision which are getting even less attention than deep learning.

Pick your jargon wisely young Jedis.

For more jargon tips, check out our detailed analysis of thousands of startup company descriptions to see what is in and what is out.

If you want to see some real AI companies and top founders in AI, come to The Innovation Summit where we'll be unveiling the Artificial Intelligence 100.

High-end failure

We’ve identified the most well-funded startup companies that ultimately failed or that had an undesirable exit. The reasons for failure vary, including running out of money, inability to generate sustainable revenue, bad product-market fit, and losing to competitors.

Ambassador of entrepreneurship

If you've read this newsletter for a while, you know that I'm a fan of Dave McClure and 500 Startups. I have no idea if their thesis on VC (investing in tons of companies) will work, but Dave and the 500S crew are trying something actually innovative in venture land.

And I appreciate that in a world that is typified by excessive amounts of same-ness.

Dave also travels everywhere to find startups. From Beirut to Vietnam, McClure has probably done more to export US entrepreneurship and hustle to other parts of the world than anyone else.

And so I'm excited to have Dave join us at The Innovation Summit. Dave and team have invested in over 1600 startups and have a unique vantage point into what is trending not just within Silicon Valley but around the world.

Check out The Industry Standard for a great in depth review of 500 Startups that recently appeared in Wired.

Truck tech

We look at 12 notable, early-stage startups developing software platforms specifically aimed at disrupting the trucking industry. Cargomatic, which connects shippers and truckers, is featured below.

Let's chat about Snap

Is Snap’s expected IPO value irrational? We tracked Snap’s value rise against other high-flying unicorns, and benchmarked the expected IPO valuation against comparable social media companies.

The Industry Standard

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

Forbes. Jason Black (@itsjasonblack) of VC firm RRE dives into the artificial intelligence and machine learning hype and refers to CB Insights research on how to get funding in AI.

The time of the merchant wallet. Alberto Jimenez of IBM Watson says the single most important development for mobile payments is the emergence of the merchant-centric wallet and references CB Insights' market map on transforming brick and mortar retail.

Recode. Jason Del Ray (@delray) reports on details of the Series G investment into Buzzfeed by NBCUniversal and references CB Insights Enhanced Valuation data.

Business Insider. Nathan McAlone (@nmcalone) on NBCUniversal's investment into Buzzfeed with a reference to CB Insights Enhanced Valuation data.

TechCrunch. Katie Roof (@katie_roof) covers the NBCUniversal funding round into Buzzfeed and references CB Insights Enhanced Valuation data.

Fortune. Erin Griffith (@eringriffith) writes about the latest Buzzfeed financing with a reference to CB Insights Enhanced Valuation data.

Fast Company. A report on Buzzfeed's latest $200M round of funding with a reference to CB Insights Enhanced Valuation data.

VentureBeat. Paul Sawers (@psawers) discusses IoT startup Particle's $10.4M Series A and cites CB Insights data on IoT funding.

Fresno Business Journal. Brandon Bailey (@brandonbailey) writes about Airbnb's move to add tours and activities to its travel services and cites CB Insights investment data.

Skift. Dave Montali (@davebit_) writes about the state of travel startup investment in 2016 and refers to CB Insights financing data.

Wired. Rowland Manthrope (@rowlsmanthrope) discusses Dave McClure's investment strategy and references CB Insights venture capital funnel research.

I love you.


P.S. The world's most active VC will be at The Innovation Summit. You should be there too.

New at CB Insights
Stay up-to-date on reports, webinars, events, and more.
  • We just issued our 2016 Game Changers report. Get the report here.
  • Did you miss our deep dive on China's investment activity in Silicon Valley? Get the presentation.

From first financing to billion dollar valuations

Snapchat and Magic Leap are among the companies to achieve unicorn status the fastest. Read about it.
Tweet this

101 of the biggest, costliest startup failures of all time

From financial fraud to just running out money, we scanned our database to identify 101 of the most expensive startup flameouts in history. Check them out.
Tweet this

12 trucking tech companies to watch

Many of these trucking tech companies focus on connecting truckers and shippers more efficiently, and providing real-time status updates. See the list.
Tweet this

Why Snap’s expected IPO valuation is fair

In comparison to private and publicly traded social media companies, Snapchat doesn't look cheap but it doesn't look unfairly valued at above $20B either. Read about it.
Tweet this

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles on private companies, venture capital, emerging industries, and innovation.

Why you can't search for a job from a remote location. Mark Suster (@marksuster) says it takes "on-the-ground" work to find the right job.
Both Sides of the Table

Facebook must really suck at machine learning. Elad Gil (@eladgil) on Facebook's ability to use machine learning and tackle the problems that come with it.
Elad Blog

Fake news. Mark Zuckerburg denies Facebook has a problem with fake news.
The Shovel

Startup shootaround. Lee Hower (@leehower) shares insights from a team discussion on autonomous vehicles.
NextView Ventures

'Find your Oprah.' 
Highlights from a conversation with TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot.
Lightspeed Venture Partners

Going public. Fred Wilson (@fredwilson) shares his thoughts on Snap confidentially filing to go public.

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 © 2016 CB Information Services, All rights reserved.