Let's get it started
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.
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.
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.