Smart money in ed tech. Unicorn birth and mega-round slowdown. Media giants in AR/VR.
CB Insights celebration
A poem for Silicon Valley

Hi there,

From Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting, this is quite an indictment of active investing strategies.

Of course, the Pundit Industrial Complex is big and strong and they need to push these things. Cuz, well, consultants gotta consult.

As people wake up to this, it may portend good things for folks like Betterment and the robo-adviser movement. The conversations with Jon Stein (@jonstein), the CEO of Betterment, and Josh Brown (@reformedbroker) of CNBC about the changes to wealth management are two of the conversations I'm most excited about at the upcoming Future of FinTech Conference.

Media madness

Recently, many top digital media players and their venture arms have made bets on AR/VR, including Comcast Ventures, Axel Springer, and The Walt Disney Company.

This is not good

Majority of folks in Europe think their children will be financially worse off than they are.

Smart money slowdown

We look at the top smart money VCs and their participation in the ed tech space. Notable investors, including Sequoia Capital, Benchmark Capital, and Accel Partners have participated in over 160 ed tech funding rounds cumulatively since 2011. But they have been decreasing their involvement in the industry over the past two years.

Party's over?

Last year saw the deployment of a 221 $100M+ financings to VC-backed companies. Despite the initial increases, we look at mega-round and unicorn activity over the last five quarters and see a decreasing trend towards the end of the year into 2016.


A poem about Silicon Valley

This is genius. An excerpt of a poem assembled by questions on Quora.

The Industry Standard

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

Financial Post. Incumbent financial services providers in Canada are calling on regulators to “level the playing field,” as upstarts offer new choices to consumers. Barbara Shecter (@BatPost) speaks with regulators and entrepreneurs and cites data from the Pulse of Fintech report.

Quartz. Michael J. Coren (@mj_coren) says the market seems to be yanking on Silicon Valley’s reins of late, comparing data from CB Insights’ Unicorn and Downround trackers.

Seeking Alpha. In his analysis of Grubhub’s stock performance over the past two years, Connor Hailey cites CB Insights’ in-depth research into the overcrowded food-delivery industry.

The Registry. Bay Area landlords are changing how they evaluate tech firms as potential tenants, reports Neil Gonzalez (@maxednews), referring to companies on the CB Insights Downround Tracker that have recorded a drop in valuation.

I love you.


P.S. Tech is invading consumer packaged goods. We'll help you get ready for it.


All the media companies piling into AR/VR in one infographic

Beginning in late 2015, media companies began to race into augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) startups. See the data.
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Smart money VCs lower the grade on ed tech

Smart money VCs decreased their deals to ed tech startups in 2015 and their activity is on track for a further dip this year. Read about it.
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$100M+ mega-rounds and unicorn creation slow to a crawl

Unicorn birth rate slowed to a trickle in Q1'16 as $100M+ mega-rounds fell out of favor with investors. See the data.
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The Blurb

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

Demystifying venture capital economics. Andy Rachleff (@arachleff) believes automated investment services will eventually dominate the market.

Building a data business. Michael Carney (@mcarney) talks about Foursquare's recent success in predicting Chipotle sales in this post about how one builds a data company.

Understanding learning profiles. Angela Tran Kingyens (@atkingyens) says attitude, capacity, and impact characterize an individual's learning profile while challenge and depth characterize a job's learning profile, and the key is to align both profiles in order to keep an employee engaged and happy. 
Version One

Mentorship. Kat Boogaard (@kat_boogaard) says being proactive, networking, and trusting gut instincts have helped her develop a successful career without having a mentor.
Fast Company

Bots are awesome! Humans, not so much. Esther Crawford (@estercrawford) turned her resume into a bot that can tell you about her career, interests, and values. She shares the interactions the bot has had with over 24,000 messages via Facebook Messenger and SMS.

Smarter when you write. Damon Brown (@browndamon) says in business meetings and other contexts, writing notes rather than typing them allows your brain to process the information in a more effective way.

Being an entrepreneur might be contagious. Conor Cawley (@conorcawley) cites a study that shows being surrounded by VCs, Series As, and young CEOs results in an increased desire to start up as soon as possible.

Start a business while in college. Josh Steimle lists the benefits of being a student entrepreneur.
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