AI in Canada. Funding to US food delivery startups. Facebook's VR patent.

Oh...Scoble, Scoble, Scoble

Hi there,

Robert Scoble has written the playbook on how not to address claims of exual'say arassment'hay (sorry spam filters). It's in The Blurb.

Here is Scoble on Scoble.

AI engineers are the new mobile developers

In 2013 and 2014, Yahoo acqui-hired early-stage mobile companies for their mobile developer talent. Acqui-hire is a term that was coined at the time for acquiring companies for their talent.

As the graph above illustrates, that flurry of activity ended in 2015, and soon thereafter, so did Yahoo.

Today, the hunger for AI developers is eerily reminiscent, as evidenced by M&A activity in the AI tech space ramping up.

The NY Times reported salaries in the $400-500k range earlier this week (see The Blurb).

I wonder who will be the Yahoo of the current AI zeitgeist. Below are the top acquirers of AI startups.

Hail, hail 180 days of change

New to the A-ha! lineup: Head of Uber Driver Product, Aaron Schildkrout.
aaron NL.PNG

Aaron’s a former venture capitalist, company founder, and school teacher. Since 2015, he’s been responsible for the Uber driver experience.

In June of this year, Aaron announced a “180 days of change” program to evolve Uber’s relationship with its drivers. Some of the innovations include:

  • Launching a new tipping feature
  • Reshaping how UberPool trips work
  • Implementing new pricing structures

We looked at our calendars this morning. 180 days = 6 months. December is 6 months after June. Now we want to know — what happens day 181 and after?

We look forward to hearing some of those answers from Aaron.

Prices for A-ha! go up November 1. Save $500 using discount code After180. Save your spot here.

O Canada

We just released our 41-page Q3'17 Canada MoneyTree Report with PwC, which highlights the latest venture capital financing trends across Canada.

So far in 2017, Canadian AI companies have received $191M in financing across 22 deals. Both annual funding and deal totals already represent a record amount on the year, and at the current run-rate, 2017 is on pace to exceed $250M across 25+ deals.

Are you concerned you might be a Scoble?

We found a great post by Anne Victoria Clarke that provides a hack so you never pull a Scoble. (See The Blurb).

Food coma

We updated our timeline of first fundings to US food delivery startups since 2011, which features food delivery startups that have raised at least $5M in total funding. We also highlighted any subsequent mergers, acquisitions, IPOs, or deaths among these companies.

2017 year-to-date has seen only 3 new entrants, the lowest number across the time period, falling dramatically from the 12 seen in 2013.

Facebook's VR audio tech patent

A new Facebook patent involves a method for using “bone transducers” to deliver sound directly through the vibration of bones in a VR user’s head.

By laying out how transducers could work in collaboration with headphones and speakers, the patent provides a framework for potentially offering bone conduction as an add-on element of traditional VR audio, which could make it easier to understand the position of sounds in a virtual environment.

The Industry Standard

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

Skift. A look at the launch of travel-focused accelerators with a mention of CB Insights corporate venture capital investment data.

Financial Times. Yuan Yang (@yuanfenyang) writes about the tech scene in China and refers to data found in the CB Insights Q3'17 MoneyTree report with PwC.

Nasdaq. A look at Baidu's efforts in the self-driving vehicle space with a reference to CB Insights financing data.

I love you.


P.S. Tomorrow we're digging into all things blockchain along with Fortune Magazine. Join us.

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

No, of that I'm innocent. Robert Scoble responds to the media and accusations.

Tech giants and AI. Nearly all big tech companies have an artificial intelligence project, and they are willing to pay experts millions of dollars to help get it done.
NY Times

The Rock Test. A hack so that you never pull a Scoble.

How money became the measure of everything. Two centuries ago, America pioneered a way of thinking that puts human well-being in economic terms.
The Atlantic

The future of banks is probably not banks. Andy O'Sullivan (@lemarquisofandy) says banks should try to heavily diversify, align, and collaborate with other companies, and try to become more than just a company that their customers are used to using.

Cringe-worthy mistakes. Amanda Richardson (@amandarich01) on the trends and approaches to data that aren’t just lazy, but also ineffective, misleading, and costing companies a ton of opportunity.
First Round Review

TBH. Ben Thompson (@stratechery) on why Facebook shouldn't be allowed to buy TBH.
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