Supply chain & logistics investors. Chinese investment in US. HR tech startups to watch.
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Forget customers. 

Hi there,

Sean McCormack, the CTO of Harley-Davidson, will be joining us at The Innovation Summit. The entire speaker lineup is insane.

Get your tickets. The hotel block is now full except for a handful of suites.

Jobs for the 1%

FYI - Tomorrow's newsletter will have VC and M&A jobs from our clients.  If you are a client with a position you'd like featured, please send to me by 2pm ET.

Taking on insurance

Sequoia Capital-backed Lemonade, the NYC-based peer to peer insurance provider, which raised a monster $13M seed round last December looks to have raised an additional $33M per a filing unearthed by the CB Insights Cruncher on Friday evening.

Lemonade CEO Dan Schreiber had some choice words for the insurance industry at CB Insights Future of FinTech conference last year.

Be sure to get our insurance tech newsletter for more insurance industry insights.


We inadvertently caused some issues in one subscriber's marriage.

Stocked shelves

Supply chain and logistics tech has seen a big funding bump this year. We look at the investors that have done the most deals into the space. SV Angel, FundersClub, KPCB, & NEA top the list.

Married: thought leadership AND dealflow

Our friends at KEC Ventures, an early stage firm in NYC, worked with Kerry and Britie on the CB Insights team for some data as part of this great post on freight trucking. The post by Brian Laung Aoaeh (@brianlaungaoaeh) and John Azubuike (@jnazubuike) of KEC is data-rich and worth a read.

In a note to our team after, Brian wrote, "Thanks for showing us how to use CB Insights to get data for the post. It's already helped generate some additional dealflow for us in the space."

And the post just got blasted to the 220k on our newsletter.  Dealflow-in-a-box.


Investors first, customers second.

As we highlighted in Friday's newsletter, First Round Capital just came out with their great state of startups report. One of the questions FRC asks founders is why they might not be successful. 

Look at how far down customers are on this list.

It's a good reminder of this conversation on the show Silicon Valley between Richard Hendricks and Action Jack Barker, the CEO brought in to run Pied Piper.

Jack: Do you know what Pied Piper’s product is Richard?

Richard: Is it me? 

Jack: Pied Piper’s product is its stock. Whatever makes the value of the stock go up is what we are going to make. Maybe sometime in the future, we can change the world and perform miracles and all of that stuff. I hope we do. But like I told you before, I am not going to mortgage the present for that.


Bryce Roberts of has a good article about this in The Blurb below.


While investors overall are pursuing fewer new tech investments in the US, investors from China have ramped up. Between 2012 and 2015, deal activity rose over 4.5X. We look at Chinese investors' participation in US tech deals since 2011.

Where the stock isn't the product

Not all founders view their product as the stock.

Case in point is Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio. Check out the video that Fred Wilson posted on his AVC blog (in The Blurb) and see how many times Jeff mentions and talks about customers. At the 15 min mark, he actually says "investors don't matter. Customers are what matters."

Love it.

Help me help you

We identified 10 companies to watch offering solutions aimed at flexible workforce recruitment and management. Scheduling and management company Skedulo is featured below.

Retail future

Funding to startups offering technologies for use in-store is rising to an all-time high this year, even as overall investment to e-commerce contracts. We look at the 8 most important trends shaping retail going forward.

The Industry Standard

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

Bloomberg. Yuji Nakamura (@ynakamura56) and Hiroyuki Nakagawa write about "the Laundroid," a robot that is being developed to assist with laundry-related tasks, and cite CB Insights funding data.

CNBC. Jeniece Pettitt (@jeniecep) discusses driverless car company Seegrid and references CB Insights research on autonomous vehicles.

Lexology. A look at how fintech deals are reshaping financial services with reference to CB Insights global investment data.

I love you.


P.S. Want to know about the latest tech moves by automakers? Sign up for our newsletter and keep up.

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Stay up-to-date on reports, webinars, events, and more.

The most active investors in supply chain & logistics tech in one infographic

SV Angel topped the list with 7 unique investments since 2012. Check out the graphic.
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The rise of Chinese investment in US tech startups

Since the start of 2011, Chinese investors have participated in 679 US tech deals totaling $18.2B. See the data.
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HR tech startups enabling the gig economy

General Catalyst, Greylock, and CRV are among the investors backing HR tech companies helping temporary workers find jobs. See the companies.
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The changing state of retail in 8 charts

Even as investors are pulling back on e-commerce, retail corporates are making big acquisitions. Read about what's happening.
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The Blurb

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

Honk honk. In this deep dive, Brian Laung Aoaeh (@brianlaungaoaehlooks at the massive freight trucking industry and identifies the areas where tech startups see the most opportunity for disruption.
Innovation Footprint

Raising is the game. Bryce Roberts (@brycezeroes in on findings from a survey by First Round Capital suggesting that startups care more about raising financing than about making a product that works for customers.

Conviction thesis. Jeff Lawson talks about his early experience at internet startups and why having conviction about the product you're building is critical. 

OK computer, write me a song. Google says its AI software could make creative suggestions to help musicians, architects, and visual artists.
MIT Technology Review

IPO ready. Nicole Irvin (@nicolejoi21) shares a list of what public investors look for to determine whether a business is "working."

The swing man. Golden State Warrior Andre Iguodala (@andre) on what it takes to succeed on the court and how his personality extends from basketball to business.
Modern Luxury

The web is and will always be the most popular operating system. A viewpoint that browsers, not apps, are the future of mobile.
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