Equifax data breach. NASDAQ's acquisitions. Cancer-detecting pen.


The hackers are winning. 

The breach at Equifax is just one in a long string of massive hacks — including those at Target, Sony, and many others — that are having existential implications for Fortune 500 companies and their customers. 

We recently released our 2017 Cyber Defenders report, which looks at startups at the cutting-edge of cybersecurity, including predictive intelligence. These startups’ tech can help warn companies about security gaps before they are hacked or earlier during a breach (the Equifax breach for example was not detected for a couple of months). 

The report digs into 30 startups across 6 countries. 

Meanwhile, I’m calling Social Security to see if they’ll reset my SS number. 

Have a great weekend.


P.S. We're diving into Uber's strategy next week in an upcoming briefing. Sign up here.

This week in data:
  • 44%: Yesterday, credit scoring service Equifax reported a data breach. The company says the cybersecurity incident, which includes the leaking of social security numbers, potentially impacts ~143 million US consumers, or 44% of the US population, as well as certain UK and Canadian residents. This news comes shortly after Equifax announced its acquisition of ID Watchdog this past June (currently pending), a cybersecurity company focused on identity protection and resolutions services. Our Cyber Defenders report looks at new cybersecurity tech trends, and we also highlighted over 60 cybersecurity startups working on Identity Management in a recent market map.

  • $705M: This week, NASDAQ acquired enterprise data & analytics provider eVestment for $705M. This is NASDAQ’s second acquisition in 2017 year-to-date, the first of which was of AI-driven regtech company Sybenetix in July. Both can be found in our Capital Markets Tech Collection, consisting of over 580 startups providing software and/or services for investment banks, hedge funds, and investment managers, among others. NASDAQ has acquired 4 capital markets tech startups — eSpeed, SecondMarket, Sybenetix, and eVestment — since 2013.
  • $257M: Blockchain-based storage network and cryptocurrency Filecoin officially completed its initial coin offering (ICO), raising more than $257M. It is the largest closed token sale so far this year, beating the ICO of blockchain governance platform, Tezos, which raised around $230M. Filecoin's sale ended at ~$205.8M, with $52M raised in a presale that included Sequoia Capital, a16z, USV, and others. We previously looked at VC vs ICO blockchain financing history.

  • 85: There have been 85 disclosed M&A deals targeting AI startups in 2017 year-to-date. That’s already more than the 75 we saw in 2016. That includes Facebook’s acquisition of Ozlo and the Nasdaq acquisition mentioned above. This week, agricultural manufacturing giant John Deere acquired ag tech company Blue River Technology for $305M. Blue River Technology — which appears on our ag tech market map — creates farm equipment powered by AI and computer vision that can identify individual plants and automatically react. Blue River Technology was also featured in last year’s AI 100, our list of the most promising private AI startups across the globe. Apply here to be considered for 2018’s AI 100.

  • $1.1B: This week, medical device maker Telefax acquired NeoTract, developer of urological devices, in a deal valued up to $1.1B. This is Telefax’s second acquisition of the year, having previously acquired medical device maker Pyng Medical in April for $8.6M. At a $1.1B+ value, Neotract’s acquisition makes it the latest exit to appear on our real-time Unicorn Exits Tracker, which looks at billion-dollar VC-backed exits since 2009.
  • 10 seconds: Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin developed the MasSpec Pen, a “pen-like device” that identifies cancerous tissues. As part of the process, the pen releases a droplet of water onto suspected cancer tissues. Then, the droplet is transported into a mass spectrometer for analysis of the cells. The study claims an overall accuracy of 96.2%, and is said to be able to identify cancerous tissues in 10 seconds. We identified a number of startups working in diagnostic solutions on our digital hospital market map, available to expert research clients.

  • 2: This week, two companies working on LiDAR sensing technologies raised funding rounds. LeddarTech raised a $101M Series C from investors including Delphi Automotive, Integrated Device Technology, and Osram. Innoviz Technologies raised $65M in Series B funding from investors including 360 Capital Partners, Magma Venture Partners, and Delphi Automotive. We previously looked at startups working on sensing and vision solutions for driverless vehicles. For more on this and other updates in the auto tech space, subscribe to our weekly auto tech newsletter.
  • 1st: Cloudera made its first acquisition since the company went public this past April, acquiring Fast Forward Labs — a machine intelligence research and consulting company. Along with its report of a 46% year-over-year increase in Q2 subscription revenue, Cloudera announced the acquisition would “[deepen] Cloudera's expertise in the application of machine learning to practical business problems.” Cloudera raised $225M at a valuation of $1.9B in its IPO, a steep fall from the $4.1B valuation the company saw in 2014.
  • 500: This year’s UK winner of the James Dyson Award — a global design competition open to engineering students — is Ryan Yasin, developer of Petit Pli, a company that uses patent pending technology to create “clothes that grow with your child.” The clothes are made of lightweight pleated fabric that can grow up to 7 sizes, and are machine-washable, windproof, and waterproof. According to The Guardian, Yasin has developed more than 500 clothing prototypes to date. Join us next week as we dive into next-gen technology in the baby and kids tech space.
  • $4.99: The price of Spotify & Hulus’s newly combined streaming service for students. For $4.99 per month, students will have access to Spotify Premium and the Hulu Limited Commercials plan. According to Spotify News, this is the first step the companies are taking to bundle their services together, with future offerings to come that will be targeted to a broader market. It is also the first movie and TV partnership for Spotify, one of Sweden’s two unicorns, as seen on our map of the private companies valued at $1B+ outside of the US.

  • 10: A recent study of African wild dog packs in Botswana indicates the use of “sneezing” among the animals to make decisions. According to the analysis, sneezes “may function as a voting mechanism to establish group consensus.” In other words, the more sneezes made, the more likely the pack is to get up and hunt, for example. The study also found that ranking matters, and that dominant individuals in the group require fewer total sneezes from the group to initiate collective actions. Lower ranking individuals require a minimum of 10 sneezes to achieve similar success.
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