Unicorns enter, unicorns exit. Amazon's acquisitive phase. AI threatens privacy.


Haute couture is increasingly meshing with high tech. 

In our Future of Fashion deep dive into fashion design, distribution, and merchandising, one of the trends we looked at was thermoregulated clothing. 

This week startup Ministry of Supply launched a Kickstarter for a new thin winter jacket that heats to a desired temperature. The pitch is that it removes the need for a whole wardrobe of jackets for different temperatures and conditions.

In just a few days, it already exceeded its fundraising goal by 5x. 

Meanwhile, sneakers are also incorporating flexible screens to allow wearers to change the design and colors according to mood and preference.

What’s next? Well, for $800, you can also wear this LED robot suit and shoot lasers out of your pits at your next cocktail event.

Or maybe not.

Have a great weekend.


P.S. On March 15, we'll be discussing the top trends to watch in beauty this year. Sign up for the briefing here.

This week in data:

  • $335M: This week, Chinese ed tech company 17zuoye raised $200M in Series E financing in a round led by AI-powered content platform Toutiao, bringing 17zuoye's total disclosed funding to $335M. At a $1B valuation, the company is the latest to make it onto our real-time Unicorn Tracker. Toutiao is also on the list.
  • 3: The number of calls made to 911 from Apple's new headquarters after employees walked into the building's curved glass walls and suffered minor injuries. The building was designed by Apple's Chief Design Officer Jony Ive. The accidents led many in the media to joke that Apple's famous penchant for form over function was clearly to blame for this new "pain point."
  • $10M: Amazon announced its acquisition of GameSparks earlier this week in a deal valued at around $10M. The company provides game developers with cloud services to build various features like leaderboards. The acquisition came days after Amazon announced that it would acquire Santa Monica-based video doorbell company Ring. We dive into Amazon’s acquisition activity in our updated Amazon Strategy Teardown.

  • $550M: The amount finance analytics company Kensho was acquired for by S&P Global in one of the biggest M&A deals targeting an AI company to date. However, the amount was only slightly above the $500M valuation the company had reached in its Series B round three years ago. Kensho was previously featured in our AI in Fintech Market Map.

  • $461M: The amount raised by AR headset maker Magic Leap in a round led by Saudi Arabia's sovereign investment arm. Last December, the company finally unveiled its first product — The Magic Leap One — 7 years after launching in 2010. Magic Leap is one of the most well-funded tech startups across the United States.

    Data as of 01/08/18.
  • 7: Sequoia Capital is looking to raise around $12B across 7 new funds. The firm is planning on one $8B fund, while the remaining $4B+ will reportedly be spread across 6 additional funds. In other financing news, Sequoia Capital participated in funding rounds to DoorDash and Capitolis earlier this month.
  • $5.99: Amazon announced the expansion of its Prime service to Medicaid recipients for $5.99 per month. But it’s not the only big tech giant to get involved in the space. If you want to learn more about what Google is doing with Medicaid, join us for our Google in Healthcare briefing next week. You can also sign up for our weekly Digital Health Newsletter to learn more about big tech in healthcare.

  • -17%: Blue Apron stock dropped by as much as 17% yesterday, following the news that Weight Watchers would be offering “quick prep” meal kits. The kits, which will be rolled out during the second half of the year, will be sold in supermarkets rather than delivered to consumers directly.
  • $1.2B: Healthcare technology company Inovalon acquired health IT company ABILITY Network for $1.2B. Prior to its exit, ABILITY had raised $578M in total disclosed funding from investors including Bain Capital Ventures, Space Center Ventures, and more. Check out our Unicorn Exits Tracker for a list of $1B+ VC-backed exits.

  • 26.5M: On Sunday, the audience for ABC’s annual broadcast of the Oscars declined for a fourth consecutive year, according to data from Nielsen. Viewership dropped to an all-time low of 26.5M viewers, down 19% from 32.9M viewers in 2017.
  • $15B: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced earlier this week that he expects Netflix to grow to $15B in revenue in 2018, a 36% increase over 2017. The announcement comes on the heels of Netflix’s rollout of improved parental controls, which may help the company better compete with Disney’s planned family friendly streaming service, launching in 2019.
  • 918: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) analyzed fatality data from 2016 to identify the deadliest civilian occupations across the United States. The combined category of sales workers who drive and truck drivers was in the No. 1 spot by a stretch, with 918 fatalities. Farmers came in second, with 260 deaths. Fishing workers rounded out the top 9, with a reported 24 fatalities.
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