The Downround Tracker. VC slowdown. Future of Fintech.
CB Insights celebration
Generating alpha

Hi there,

Did you know that Foursquare's global foot traffic data accurately predicted iPhone sales? If you think of their dataset as essentially the world's biggest panel of foot traffic data, it makes a lot of sense.

So I'm excited that Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck will be joining us at The Future of Fintech conference in our discussion of how alternative data sources are being used by institutional investors.

From Foursquare data to satellite imagery to mobile traffic data, there are a host of new data sources that investors are using to generate alpha, and we're going to dig in.

5 more days to get early bird rates.

F'ed Company

For those old enough to remember the dot com boom & bust in 1999-2001, there was an infamous website called f'ed company. It chronicled the travails of the companies of the dot com era (in a humorous, snarky, or mean manner depending on your perspective).

My alma mater,, was regularly on it. It was actually pretty useful to know about the challenges of Kozmo on the site because being on the inside, sometimes, these things weren't as obvious to employees.

For the unicorn era, we just launched our Down Round Tracker to highlight companies who are not living up to the hype. It's purely data-driven so no snark. Sorry.

See all 57 companies on the Down Round Tracker as of today and check back for updates.

Software is eating the bathroom

Dearest wife
 see it's not only me.



A new kind of news app

Quartz just released its first major iPhone app

The app is a whole new way to experience Quartz. It’s an ongoing conversation about the news, sort of like texting. Written by a team of smart journalists, the app will keep you informed and entertained throughout the day. Download it from the App Store now.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods is making a bet on grocery delivery with its investment in Instacart.

We'd highlighted Whole Foods' moves in the space as part of CB Insights on-demand economy research.  

Interestingly, Whole Foods had been working with several players in the space in a test capacity. Does their selection of Instacart drive Postmates and Doordash to team up with Whole Foods' competitors OR is it a sign those two are not doing as well?

The most trusted data. Period.

A sampling of some of the smart folks who featured CB Insights data and commentary on startups, technology, and investment.

New York Times. Mark Scott (@markscott82) uses our data on European venture to discuss the funding challenges now being felt in Europe.

Reuters. Heather Somerville (@heathersomervil) and Jim Finkle (@jim_finkle) use our cybersecurity investment data to discuss the challenges startups in the space are facing on the funding front.

The Kauffman Foundation. Dane Stangler cites our data and periodic table infographics in several places in this look at how policymakers can spur startup growth.

CNN Money. Sara Ashley O'Brien (@saraashleyo) uses our data on deep learning and artificial intelligence as she digs into how AI may solve the world's biggest problems.

VC rankings - get in our research

Want to update your firm's portfolio data on CB Insights to ensure you get a shoutout when we do research? Go here.

Putting on the brakes

We analyzed the activity of the 20 most active VC investors in 2014, and teased out their investment pace in 2015 compared to their activity in the previous year. We find that a large majority of these investors slowed down their investment pace significantly in 2015.

Juno my name?

Last week, we broke the news about Juno, a well-funded stealth Uber competitor in the CB Insights newsletter.

Since then, a number of journalists have dug into the story further including:

Bloomberg. Gwen Ackerman (@gwensahar) - Viber co-founder sets sights on dethroning Uber

Forbes. Brian Solomon (@brian_solomon) - Stealth startup Juno will take on Uber by treating drivers better

Pando. Sarah Lacy (@sarahcudaWhat is Juno and why is it paying Uber drivers to track your rides?

CNBC.  Harriet Taylor (@harri8t) - For Uber rivals, it's all about the drivers


Sundeep Pichu of Felicis mass subtweets #TechTwitter. And he's so right.


I love you.

Lovingly sent from the bathroom,

P.S. Just a couple of spots left for our LA dinner on March 7th for corporations and VCs. Request an invite here.

The Downround Tracker

There have been 57 downrounds since 2015. Check out our Downround Tracker to see which companies aren't living up to the hype.
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The most active VCs slowed down their investment pace in 2015

The majority of active VCs pulled back on the number of companies they invested in last year. See the data.
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The Blurb

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

The experience of being a limited partner in venture capital. Charlie O'Donnell (@ceonyc) of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures says LPs could represent meaningful co-investors on deals and great mentors to founders, and it is beneficial to see past the financials and develop a strong relationship with them.
This is Going to be Big

Burn rate. Jason M. Lemkin (@jasonlk) says your burn rate in SaaS is highly correlated to your chosen competition.

How to become indispensable in your next startup role. Nick deWilde (@ndewilde), program director at Tradecraft, provides insight on how to create value as a team member.

Why is life today going to be so much better tomorrow? Jeffrey Carter (@pointsnfigures) says innovation is game-changing and makes society better.
Points and Figures

My life is just starting at 40. Ginger Makela Riker (@gingerm) talks about how she quit her job at Twitter to pursue a career in photography.

What's next in computing? Chris Dixon (@cdixon) talks about how the computing industry progresses, mostly through financial and product cycles.
Andreessen Horowitz

What if your organization isn't loaded with geniuses like Steve Jobs? George Barbee (@innovationetc), senior lecturer at the University of Virginia, says most of us are far more innovative than we give ourselves credit for.
University of Virginia

The value of venture capital. Thomas Zheng, co-founder and CEO of Luddite Labs, dives into why venture capital firms are difficult to price.
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