VC-backed bots startups. Unicorns in Q2 2016. Payments startups financing trends.
Wedding robbery

Hi there,

Median wedding gift costs $49. Really?

I went to weddings 10 years ago and spent more than this. I'd like a refund.

Got bot?

Advances in artificial intelligence algorithms have put chatbots and voice assistants in the spotlight, with investor interest in the space increasing in recent months. We put together a timeline of major VC-backed bot startups according to date of first VC backing since 2014.

Best weeks ever

You know who is on a roll as of late?

Forerunner Ventures.

Two billion dollar+ exits in the last 3 weeks as they were investors in both Dollar Shave Club and Congrats to Kirsten Green, Eurie Kim, and the Forerunner crew. Check out the Forerunner Ventures profile on CB Insights. And here's their un-exited portfolio companies sorted by Mosaic score so you can spot their next billion dollar exit, which by my calculations will come around August 29th (Note: subscription must have Mosaic score access to see this).

For those unfamiliar with Mosaic scores, they are like a FICO score for startups. We developed this with support from the National Science Foundation.

The unicorn herd stumbles

In the Q2’16 Venture Pulse Report from KPMG and CB Insights, we recorded a slight rebound in the emergence of new private companies valued at $1B+ or more in Q2'16, though the rate remains far lower than the double-digit quarterly pace of new unicorns seen in mid-2015.

Speak now

Got lots of inquiries for speaking opportunities at The Corporate Innovation Summit yesterday. You can nominate yourself or someone here.

Please note that the few speaking slots we have remaining will go exclusively to (1) Fortune 1000 executives, i.e. C-level or those heading innovation, strategy, M&A, or ventures (2) a select set of general partners from prominent VC funds. 

Payments on the rise

We look at quarterly financing trends and deal activity for payments startups since 2012. After seeing funding plunge at the end of Q4’15, payments startups have made a strong recovery raising $912M across nearly 150 deals in the first half of 2016.

The Trump slump

The folks at Foursquare used their data to understand foot traffic patterns at Trump properties since he announced his run for president. Based on their data, foot traffic growth has not been huge.

The CEO of Foursquare, Jeff Glueck, was a speaker at our Future of Fintech Conference this past June. On a panel about alternative data with Point72 Asset Management, Bank of America, and App Annie, Jeff talked about Foursquare becoming the Nielsen of the real world. It's worth a listen.

Get our alternative data presentation from the conference here.

Stay classy

Here's a landscape of 100+ companies in the key categories shaping ed tech, from online learning platforms to learning-management systems to study tools, and more.

The Industry Standard

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

WSJ. Don Clark (@donal888) reports on recent AI acquisitions by Intel and Apple, referring to CB Insights research on the artificial intelligence industry.

Money Morning. Harje Ronngard calls autonomous vehicles the biggest investment trend of the century, citing CB Insights research on companies working on this technology.

Silicon Valley Business Journals. Cromwell Schubarth (@SVBizCrom) covers the latest Corporate Venture Capital report from CB Insights, highlighting the category leaders.

Mashable. Kerry Flynn (@kerrymflynn) uses CB Insights data and charts in this coverage of the Corporate Venture Capital report, including most-active investors and overall funding trends.

Have a great rest of the week. 

I love you.


P.S. Our corporate VC activity and trends research brief is coming up on August 18th. Register.

Geographic Spotlight
Silicon Valley doesn't have a monopoly on innovation. Here's a look at startups, emerging industries, and deals elsewhere in the US and the world.

We revisit Brazil, host of the ongoing 2016 Summer Olympics and a thriving startup scene. The country's largest city, São Paulo, is home to Cubo, a co-working space launched by Redpoint in 2011. Other active investors within the Brazilian ecosystem include 500 Startups and Qualcomm Ventures. There were over 35 deals to VC-backed companies in Brazil in 2016 year-to-date. Here is an updated look at the 5 largest.
  • XP Investimentos, an independent brokerage firm from Rio de Janeiro, raised a $130M private equity round.
  • Nubank, a fintech startup, raised a $52M Series C.
  • iFood, an online food delivery platform, raised a $30M Series F.
  • Dr. Consulta, a provider of primary care to low income, uninsured families, raised a $25.9M Series A.
  • GuiaBolso, a personal financial management platform, raised a $17.3M Series C.

A timeline of major VC-backed bot startups

15 VC-backed bot startups have raised their first VC rounds so far this year. See the timeline.
Tweet this

Unicorn births and $100M+ rounds remain low in Q2'16

Q2'16 saw 7 new unicorns valued at $1B+ emerge, higher than the 5 seen in Q1'16 but a plunge from unicorn creation rates seen in mid-2015. See the data.
Tweet this

Funding to payments startups rises for second-straight quarter

Both deals and funding to payment tech startups increased in Q2'16 with funding rising 59%. The quarter saw Affirm raise a $100M Series C. Read about it.
Tweet this

108 ed tech startups across learning management, language teaching, and more

Our market map also includes classroom management systems, and next-gen study tools like digital audiovisual flash cards. See the infographic.
Tweet this

The Blurb

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

Fat protocols. Joel Monegro (@jmonegro) on the relationship between protocols and applications and how it differs between blockchain and the internet.

Walmart and the multichannel trap. Ben Thompson (@benthompson) says Walmart's original approach was confusing, complicated, and confined, and believes the Jet purchase was a sensible decision.

How TaskRabbit's new CEO is changing the game. An interview with Stacy Brown-Philpot (@sbp04) on her professional experience and what she hopes to accomplish at TaskRabbit.
Marie Claire

How the US Forest Service can save your company from a crisis. In this interview, Krista Berlincourt (@kberlincpr) shares the principles and practices she's honed over the years to help her navigate painful pinches in even the most highly regulated consumer industries.
First Round Review

VR will be huge in China. Amitt Mahajan (@amittm) believes high-end VR adoption will be primarily driven by VR arcades, and partnerships with real estate developers will accelerate the build out of these arcades.

What you have to get right in a startup. Jason Lemkin (@jasonlk) on what you do and don't have to get right in order to build a successful startup.

Why Uber might IPO. Christopher Mims (@mims) says a big factor that might lead Uber to IPO sooner rather than later is the likelihood that revenue growth will soon slow significantly, if it hasn't already.
The Wall Street Journal
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.