Cars get chatty. Execs don't say this. The future of blockchain.

Disrupting the moon

Hi there,

Chinese scientists have plans to put a man-made moon into orbit over the city of Chengdu by 2020. The hope is that it will help light up the city streets after dark, saving an estimated 1.2B yuan ($173M) in annual electricity costs.

The scientists say the artificial moon, which is basically an illuminated satellite, could be up to 8x brighter than the real one.

Take that, nature.

Let me tell you a story

After we named the inaugural Fintech 250 in 2017, they went on to raise $23B, including 30 rounds of over $100M. Twenty-two of last year's Fintech 250 have already exited, with half going public. 

This year, we've added 113 new companies. Since 2017, the 2018 Fintech 250 have raised $31.8B. This includes 51 mega-rounds ($100M+), 33 of which happened in 2018.

If you're a CB Insights client, view the entire 19 page Fintech 250 presentation here, which breaks down the companies, their top investors, where they are based, and more. 

If you’re not a CB Insights’ client, sign up for a free trial here and then view the Fintech 250 here

Note: if your free trial has already expired, you won’t be able to access the Fintech 250 presentation.

Learn more about how to create presentations with our new Stories feature here.

Mediocre founder friendly

All VC websites say they partner with exceptional founders.

There’s a large, untapped, blue ocean opportunity for a VC to come along that partners with average — and perhaps mediocre — founders.

Who will own this space?

Shake it up

Customers are changing their shopping habits, from the products they buy to the technology they use to make purchases.

Also facing pressure from investors, startups, and VC firms, the CPG industry can no longer rely on traditional business practices.

We dig into the short- and long-term challenges facing the industry, and how CPG brands are planning to adapt

 Talk that talk

As vehicles become more connected, they rely on an increasing number of sensors, which are limited to the vehicle's own line of sight.

Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) tech could change that in the next several years by allowing cars to identify and communicate with each other on the road.

We break down how V2X systems work to make autonomous vehicles safer. Expert Intelligence clients can read it here.

The “R” word

Nobody is saying “recession” on earnings calls anymore.

Even other phrases that can suggest a downturn aren’t being said. Here are the trends for “overheated” and “pullback” on earnings calls:

Of course, execs are seeing more “headwinds” for their businesses than “tailwinds,” because when things are not going well, we like to blame other factors. But when they’re going well, we like to take all the credit.

Wonder what happened in Q1’15 that made “headwinds” such a buzzword?

Still waters

Earlier this year, the blockchain hype machine largely ground to a halt. Prices of major cryptoassets dropped, media interest thinned, and the public seemed to turn its attention elsewhere.

But under the surface, blockchain technology is still rapidly developing. We take a look at financing trends, earnings transcripts, partnerships, and much more to see what the future might hold for blockchain.

 Trust your gut

The microbiome is said to hold the key to treating ailments from digestive distress, to acne, to anxiety and depression. But that's not all.

From agriculture to diagnostics to nutrition, we take a look at 40+ startups using the microbiome to change the way we manage our health. Clients can check them out here.

Moviemaking for nerds

Consumer businesses can learn a lot from the approach WarnerMedia’s Applied Analytics group takes when making greenlight, casting, and marketing decisions for TV and movies.

President of Applied Analytics at WarnerMedia Matthew Marolda will join us on stage at TRANSFORM. He’ll share his unit’s secrets for leveraging data and machine learning.

Hear Matt at TRANSFORM, December 4-5 in NYC. Use discount code dataisforlovers and save $500. Prices go up by $1,000 on November 1.

The Industry Standard

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

CNBC. Yen Nee Lee (@yennee_lee) writes about how Jack Ma keeps up with his goals and refers to CB Insights research.

Bloomberg. Saritha Rai (@saritharai) reports that India has hit a record number of unicorn companies this year and cites CB Insights data.

Entrepreneur. John Rampton (@johnrampton) writes about how founders sometimes kill their companies and references CB Insights research.

I love you.


P.S. On November 1, we'll be discussing global fintech trends from Q3'18. Sign up for the briefing here.

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

Man in the moon. Chinese scientists are planning to launch a man-made moon into orbit above the city of Chengdu by 2020.

Like and subscribe. A group of millennials used their YouTube audiences to win seats in Brazil’s federal and state elections.

Fries with that? More than one-third of Americans eat fast food every day.
New York Times

Educate yourself. The cost of attending college is plateauing as more schools are giving away more scholarships to appeal to a shrinking pool of applicants.
Wall Street Journal

#tbt. General Mills is using “throwback farming” to combat climate change.
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