Startup tech trends. Top celebrity investors. Wearables funding and deals.
Gimme some of that deep learning

Hi there,

We just added Jay Walker, the founder of Priceline, to our amazing lineup of speakers at The Innovation Summit outside of LA (Jan 10-12th). Use code "AIsummit" for $500 off.

Downrounds and valuations

First, we've updated our downround tracker with lots of new companies not living up to expectations in the unicorn era. 

A lot of these downrounds were not publicly disclosed and were uncovered by digging into state filings which CB Insights now does. These filings include franchise tax statements, certificates of incorporation, annual reports, LOENs, EPENs, etc. These filings are expensive. To date we've invested over a million dollars to start acquiring this data and are continuing to invest aggressively.

This data along with the associated filings is currently available on CB Insights to Expert level plan subscribers

In honor of this new data and the downround tracker, here is a drawing of a wounded unicorn.


We know words. We have the best words

Sometimes, really good analyses done by the team don't get the fanfare they deserve.

This is one of those times.

We analyzed startup descriptions from 2010 to 2016 to see which tech trends were falling out of favor and which were gaining.

While apps & social declined, the uptick in AI and deep learning kicked off a couple of years ago. This highlights how startups are a great early indicator of where tech is going.

The uptick in AI-related terms made me think of this comic.

We'll be digging into AI at our next big event in January outside of Los Angeles.

Ch, ch, ch, changes

Just a heads up that in the near future (and alongside a price increase), we may be reducing the amount of free research and infographics we give away. More details to come.

Wall of fame

We compiled a list of the top 22 most active celebrity investors and ranked them against one another. The individuals on our list have helped back a handful of unicorns including Spotify, Gusto, Lyft, Airbnb, and more.

Saving democracy for y'all

you can't make this stuff up.

Interestingly, I do wonder if all this Y Combinator / Thiel / Trump chatter is damaging the YC brand. Not because of their stance on Thiel (there are arguments there on both sides).

But because of what folks like respected Valley investor Michael Dearing of Harrison Metal calls the "YC self-adulation, absorption." 

Back in style?

We examine private market investment into wearables since 2012. At the current run-rate, 2016 will end the year basically flat in deal activity but with a 332% increase in funding.

Making the people happy

When we've included stats about animals and killing in the past, they've done well. Go figure.

But to satiate your need for blood and death, we present the animal most likely to kill you by US state. This graphic makes me glad to be from NJ.


The Industry Standard

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

Vanity Fair. Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) on what's next in the technology industry with a reference to CB Insights research on food delivery apps.

InformationWeek. Yoav Leitersdorf and Ofer Schreiber (@ofer_schreiber) dive into how to become a cybersecurity entrepreneur in a crowded market and cite CB Insights data on investment to the space.

The Wall Street Journal. Newley Purnell (@newley) writes about the merger between Indian travel booking platforms MakeMyTrip and Ibibo and refers to CB Insights data on investment to Indian startups.

New York Times. Elizabeth Paton (@lizziepaton) discusses Yoox Net-a-Porter's decision to centralize its Britain-based technology operations in West London and cites CB Insights investment data.

Have a great rest of the week. 

I love you.


P.S. Do you like long walks on the beach while talking about AI, advanced manufacturing, and algorithmic medicine?

Us too.

Let's meet up

Geographic Spotlight
Silicon Valley doesn't have a monopoly on innovation. Here's a look at startups, emerging industries, and deals elsewhere in the US and the world.

South Korea is home to unicorns Coupang, an e-commerce company; Yello Mobile, a mobile lifestyle platform provider; and CJ Games, an online gaming company. Other companies to come out of the country include Memebox, an e-commerce cosmetics company, and Ticket Monster, a daily deals site. There were over 15 deals to VC-backed companies in South Korea in 2016 year-to-date. Here are the 5 largest.

Ranking the top 22 celebrity startup investors and their investments in one infographic

A list of the top 22 most active celebrity startup investors since 2007, including Shark Tank vets, quarterbacks, and rappers. See the list.
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Wearables funding is way up, but deals remain erratic

At the current run-rate, 2016 will see a slight increase in deals but a big increase in funding, mostly due to Florida-based Magic Leap. See the data.
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The Blurb

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

When vision blinds traction. Stefano Zorzi (@stefanozorzi) dives into the challenges that come with having a clear vision, but no market "entry point."

The autonomous vehicle founder conundrum. Michael Dempsey (@mhdempsey) on how an engineer imbalance, difficulty of deploying, and VC dollars are creating what he believes to be a perfect storm for autonomous vehicle founders.

Who should a startup hire first? Roy Bahat (@roybahat) says to take the "cell division" approach when hiring new people.
NewCo Shift

Your database is your prison. David Barrett (@quinthar), CEO of Expensify, explains how startups fall into damaging defaults when it comes to database architecture and deconstructs the specific mistakes to avoid.
First Round Review

Developer platform investing. A discussion on how to successfully invest in developer platform companies.
The Full Ratchet

Time. Jason Lemkin (@jasonlk) says that while time doesn't kill all deals, it puts them at risk.

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