LA tech map. Toyota's AI fund. Getting 'Amazon-ed.'

It's time for the Perk-ulator

Hi there,

When we started CB Insights, we had this naive belief that in order to get clients, we needed to take them to Yankees games and/or fancy dinners.

We couldn't so we started doing data-driven research.

And it worked.

Today, we're making the first big change to that research by beginning to move some of it behind the paywall, making it available to paying clients only.

Here's why.

One of the main reasons is the ability to integrate the CBI platform directly with our research as you can see below, but the biggest reason is to give paying clients an unfair advantage.

The more things change

Last week, we asked if all the recent revelations about harassment in the tech/venture community would lead to real change.

We were expecting a fair amount of optimism.

Didn't really get that.

The full results are below.

Mapping it out

We mapped out the most well-funded companies in each city across Greater Los Angeles. The region is home to two of the world’s highest valued private companies: SpaceX and The Honest Company.

We live in glorious times

Some advanced future of fintech AI here.

Thx to Alex Cohen of Birch Finance for sharing the above.

Flying high

Last year, drone startups saw more than $450M of investments. This Thursday, we'll be digging into financing trends, notable startups, and investors in the drones space. Join us for the briefing.

Toyota's startup bets

Toyota has become the latest OEM to carve out a dedicated venture unit — Toyota AI Ventures. We took a look at Toyota's private market bets as well as the moves of its $100M AI fund.

Uh - no you wouldn't

SoundCloud, which is rumored to have somewhere between 50 and 100 days of cash left, has been having a rough go as of late.

In an article in TechCrunch, I saw this passage about SoundCloud's perks.

And as highlighted in the above image, an employee of SoundCloud said he'd be willing to make sacrifices if he had known the company was in trouble.

Would they be fine without the catered lunches and stocked kitchens and gear?

That sounds nice and all, but TBH, it's probably not true (the vast majority of the time).

I remember working at a company where they got rid of the Keurig on each floor and it almost resulted in a coup. How dare you take my k-cups? The amount of productivity lost discussing and insulting the evil bean counter who got rid of the coffee was mind-boggling.

The reality is that perks over time go from being viewed as perks to becoming entitlements. And to be fair, sometimes candidates are sold on those perks when joining so it's fair they are miffed.

But the idea that folks would be just fine with losing perks is one of those things people fool themselves into believing.

The other reality is that a lot of startups try to act like Google and Facebook in the perks war because they believe it has a causal relationship with success.

Basically, the thesis is that if you give you away lots of cool, free food and other isht, you'll get a billion-dollar company.

The hard pill to swallow is that these startups don't have the insanely amazing business models that Google or FB have. In many cases, they have no business model except raising VC money.

Speaking of coups

Your startup will clearly never be as exciting as Hampton Creek which lost all its board members this week. But the excitement doesn't stop there as this Bloomberg article highlights.

They even had an almost coup.


Getting “Amazon-ed” is now synonymous with disruption, and Amazon entering the grocery market affects both publicly-traded grocers and private food startups alike. With Amazon debuting a private-label meal kit service, alongside the recent Whole Foods acquisition announcement, we look at the companies most likely to be affected by Amazon's latest moves into grocery and meal kit delivery.

Good time to remind you

If you're an engineer working at an NYC startup with more perks than business model or if you want to move to NYC to work at a local startup, you should sign up for our free newsletter where we feature 8-15 high momentum NYC startups who are hiring.

Strictly for engineers. 

Recruiters — don't sign up as we review each applicant and remove the non-devs.

The Industry Standard

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

CNBC. Anita Balakrishnan (@msabalakrishnan) writes about the drop in Blue Apron shares and cites CB Insights unicorn data.

FoodDive. A look at the resignations happening at Hampton Creek with a mention of CB Insights research on well-funded VC-backed food & beverage startups.

South China Morning Post. A look at VC firm First Eastern's bets in China fintech with a reference to CB Insights' investment data.

LinkedIn. Aaref Hilaly (@aaref) writes about cybersecurity platform StackRox and refers to CB Insights investment data.

I love you.



P.S. Sign up for Digital Health Insights, a weekly data-driven newsletter covering digital health tech startups, innovation, and how incumbents are responding. Get the next issue here.

LA tech map: The most well-funded tech startups by city in greater LA

Collectively, these LA-tech startups have raised over $4.1B in disclosed equity funding. See the map.
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AI, robotics dominate Toyota’s startup investment and M&A bets

We analyze Toyota's private markets activity as the automaker readies a $100M AI fund. See the data.
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10 companies that could be hurt by the Amazon-Whole Foods deal

We dissected 10 private and public companies possibly threatened by Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods. See the list.
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