Amazon's beehive. Costly startup failure. Indian tech trends.

A-holes and snipers

Hi there,

Credit Karma CEO Kenneth Lin will take the stage with Nathaniel Popper from The New York Times next week at The Future of Fintech. We're excited that Ken will be announcing some much-awaited news on company revenue and how Credit Karma Tax did in its first year at the conference. Stay tuned.

Dude, you're so disruptive

In November 2014, there was a Vanity Fair profile of Travis Kalanick, the former CEO of Uber, of whom one investor stated "It's hard to be a disrupter and not be an asshole."

We asked our newsletter subscribers at the time (we only had 48,000 then) whether you have to be an a-hole to be a disrupter.

Here are the results. I wonder if and how these results would be different today.

Warehouses galore

Today, Amazon was granted a patent for a multi-level "beehive"-like fulfillment center that would deploy and receive delivery drones. We dug into the retail giant's patent activity which shows its steady focus on supply chain & logistics, including its various formats for warehouse networks.

Billionaire's bitcoin bet

4 days until The Future of Fintech, and I'm happy to announce that we've just added hedge fund billionaire Michael Novogratz (formerly of Fortress Investment Group).

Novogratz has bet 10% of his net worth on cryptocurrencies including bitcoin and ethereum. He says we're in the "3rd inning" of the digital asset revolution and calls it the best investment of his life.

He's joining us to talk about why he's so bullish on crypto, where he sees it going, and when he thinks institutional money will make a big move into cryptocurrencies.

Join us at The Future of Fintech.

The Oscar for "Best Thought Leadership" goes to...

You need not write any more thought leadership pieces about Uber.

We officially have a winner.

In the red

We look at 111 of the most well-funded startup failures of all time.

The reasons for failure are varied, but a few common threads do emerge such as the inability to generate sustainable revenue, bad product-market fit, and losing to competitors.

Return of the mack

So there is a narrative and some data that suggests that founder-led companies do better in the long-term.

And today, there was news of a petition to the board of Uber by Uber employees asking for Travis Kalanick's return.

So our poll of the day question is:

When will Travis Kalanick come back as CEO (or as a senior executive) to Uber? (Click to vote)

 Within 1 year
 Within 2 years
 Within 3 years
 Never. No chance

Like shooting fish in a barrel

We have an amazing lineup of media attending The Future of Fintech next week. Here are the publications sending 1 or several journalists to cover the event.

  1. The Financial Times
  2. The New York Times
  3. The Wall Street Journal
  4. Bloomberg
  5. Reuters
  6. Fortune
  7. Techcrunch
  8. CNBC
  9. Forbes
  10. Business Insider
  11. Fast Company
  12. Entrepreneur
  13. Digiday
  14. American Banker
  15. Corporate Counsel
  16. Institutional Investor
  17. The Financial Brand
  18. Bank Innovation
  19. IEEE Spectrum
  20. Chosun Ilbo
  21. Nikkei
  22. The International Business Times
  23. Yahoo! Finance

Canada — land of snipers, eh?

According to The Sun UK (don't judge me), the world's longest sniper kill-shot traveled over 2 miles and was fired by a Canadian sniper to take out some ISIS crazy in Iraq.

Interestingly, 3 of the top 5 sniper shots were by Canadians.


India tech

We analyzed financing trends and deal share distribution in India's tech ecosystem since 2012. In Q1’17, there were 226 deals compared to the quarterly high of 278 seen in Q1’16.

Industry Standard

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

Reuters. Anna Irrera (@annairrera) writes about American Express' investment in Next Insurance and refers to data found in CB Insights and Willis Towers Watson's Insurance Tech report.

Business Insider. A report on Vice Media's latest round of financing with a mention of CB Insights valuation data.

Times of Israel. Shoshanna Solomon writes about SoftBank's investment in Cybereason and cites CB Insights investment data.

I love you.


P.S. If you can't make it to the Future of Fintech, sign up for the livestream.

Amazon’s ‘Beehive’ patent reinforces focus on fulfillment & logistics

Amazon now has patents for a flying warehouse, an underwater warehouse, a multi-level beehive-like warehouse, and more. Read about them.
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111 of the biggest, costliest startup failures of all time

From financial fraud to just running out money, we scanned our database to identify 111 of the most expensive startup flameouts in history. See the list.
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India tech: Early-stage activity dominates as the industry develops

Funding totals are skewed by mega-deals to major startups in the region, including Snapdeal, Olacabs, One97 Communications, and Flipkart. See the data.
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The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

Seed funds. Samir Kaji (@samirkaji) on whether there is an ideal portfolio construction for seed funds.


Where have all the IPOs gone? Scott Kupor (@skupor) digs into the theories behind the decreasing number of IPOs.

Burn rate. Mark Suster (@msuster) on the right burn rate for your startup.
Both Sides of the Table

The power of profitability. Bryce Roberts (@bryce) weighs in on the topic of growth vs profitability.
Strong Words

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