Here comes the Austerity Panda
Today's newsletter is one of contrasts — austerity and excess.
Let's start with excess.
If you've not read The Guardian piece on the Further Future festival, check it out in the blurb below. It's Burning Man for the 1%.
Here is my favorite picture from it featuring entrepreneurs Loic Le Meur and Gary Mueller festooned in some sort of ritualistic tech garb.
If you're not sure what Burning Man for the 1% looks like, here is a description of the aesthetic of the conference which should clarify.
That was the excess.
Read on for the austerity.
But first, some data.
IIoT takes over
The industrial IoT (IIoT) accounted for more than one-third of all IoT investment last quarter. We look at the connections between key players in IIoT to visualize how top investors and target companies are related.
To prepare for next-gen commerce conference Shoptalk on May 15-18, we put together a list of 12 high-momentum companies in attendance. You can access the full, publicly available company list on our platform by searching "Shoptalk 2016."
Phew — we're safe (for now)
Automation and artificial intelligence haven't hurt knowledge workers yet.
16 tickets left...
...to the Future of FinTech Conference. That's it.
The last 10 will be $3,995. If you were going to attend, now would be a good time to get your ticket.
We have an absolutely amazing speaker lineup of 42 folks. Here's just a few.
Sizing up Stemcentrx
In one of the largest-ever VC-backed sales for a private company, cancer therapeutics startup Stemcentrx announced it will be acquired by pharmaceutical giant AbbVie.
We look at the largest mergers and acquisitions of VC-backed companies from 1999 to present in order to see how Stemcentrx stacks up.
Unicorn just met the Austerity Panda
Business Insider has an article on Dropbox's perk cuts (Industry Standard below). Included in the article is the story of a 5-foot Panda made of chrome that cost $100,000 and sits in the Dropbox office.
While it seemed perfectly reasonable and prudent when initially purchased, it now serves as a cautionary example of excess to Dropbox employees.
Gabe Rivera of Techmeme dubbed it the Austerity Panda. Here it is in all its glory.
The article also highlights the cost of Dropbox's perks, and they are eye-popping.
Of course, in a slower financing environment, these cuts make sense especially given Dropbox's relative overvaluation vs peers.
The cuts also underly one of the challenges with perks.
They quickly become expectations or entitlements and so when they're cut, they become a bitter pill to swallow for the team. I remember in a former job where they got rid of the coffee stations and there were several meetings cuz people were so upset.
But maybe it's a good way to weed out the worst folks as VC Bryce Roberts of OATV suggests.
Expect the Austerity Panda to visit many other unicorns in the coming months.
The Industry Standard
CB Insights data is the most trusted by those in the industry and the media. A few recent hits.
Bloomberg. Didi Kuaidi is close to raising a new round that would move the company up to fourth on the CB Insights Unicorn Tracker, report Shai Oster (@beijingscribe) and Lulu Yilun Chen (@luluyilun).
Business Insider. Eugene Kim (@eugenekim222) of Business Insider digs into perk reductions at Dropbox and references the CB Insights downround tracker and downround data (graphic below). Beyond Dropbox, he details cost reductions at Anaplan and a sinister and subtle snack reduction at Kabam.
Conde Nast Traveler. Caitlin Moscatello (@caitmosc) cites CB Insights data on the 30 corporates working on driverless cars in her report on a pilot program by Lyft and General Motors.
Springfield Business Journal. There’s a two-horse race for on-demand food delivery services in Springfield, Missouri. Eric Olson (@EricOlsonSBJ) profiles one of the local leaders, citing CB Insights data on food tech funding.
Reuters. Point72 Asset Management has made its first VC investment into a Fintech company, reports Elzio Barreto (@ReutersLZO), citing the Pulse of Fintech report from CB Insights and KPMG.
I love you.
P.S. Where are the top real estate VCs investing? Join us on May 24th to find out.