Happy unicorn anniversary. Israeli exits. Funding to AR/VR companies on the rise.
CB Insights celebration
The Final 4

Hi there,

So we're down to the Final 4 in our Unicorn Bracket. We're close to identifying the most undervalued unicorn as you'll see below. But first...

The kill switch

Driverless cars are all the rage these days, but they present software developers with some interesting ethical challenges. Does the car's software algorithm kill the owner if it'd prevent the car from killing a group of pedestrians? Here's a great article from MIT Technology Review on why self-driving cars must be programmed to kill.

And then there are more everyday concerns like the issue of motion sickness in autonomous vehicles. Maybe we should go long Prestige Brands (ticker: PBH), which makes dramamine? 

Of course, that's not stopping everyone and their mom from trying to get into autonomous vehicles

We're going to go deep on autonomous vehicles on November 5th. Join us.

Day of the Dead

November 1st is the day of the dead so in honor of el d
ía de los muertos, here's our compilation of 135 startup failure post-mortems as well as 76 of the costliest startup failures of all time.

Google Ventures is 2nd most active investor in AR/VR

We dig into the investment activity into AR/VR startups and identify the top investors in the space. Google is #2 behind an unusual suspect.

Last call - Live in San Francisco

Speaking of AR/VR, we'll be hosting a few live research briefings in SF on Nov 11th on frontier tech (including AR/VR, drones, space) as well as corporate innovation and fin tech trends.

Sign up by Monday, November 2nd to request an invite.

2015 has been a good year for Israel's VC-backed exits 

We dig into the largest VC-backed exits in Israel in 2015 and see that exit activity has already surpassed all of 2014 in just the first nine months of the year.

VC tweets o' the week

In response to the suggestion that Google's M&A activity has fallen because they don't want to pay VC prices, Josh Hannah of Matrix Partners says it well.

Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures offers a new, more sensible definition of unicorn. Unfortunately, the market doesn't seem to have time for sensible right now.

Keith Rabois of Khosla Ventures (one of the best follows on Twitter) suggests stress is good for your health and that doctors don't know what they're talking about.

If late-stage funding dries up, Jason Calacanis argues that 9 of 10 unicorns would be fine by cutting costs by 20% and they'd continue to print money. Seems a tad optimistic. What do you think?

A unicorn post about our unicorn posts

On November 2nd, 2013 Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures coined the term unicorn and since then, it's been all unicorns, all the time.

Here is every unicorn post we've ever done covering everything from how most VCs actually never invest in a unicorn to 50 future unicorns you should know.

The gloves are off

There has been a palpable shift in the media's handling of startups with a lot more criticism as of late. There is, of course, Theranos which has a number of questions surrounding it (and has become a poster child for how to poorly manage a crisis).

But earlier this week, Adam Satariano of Bloomberg dug into Flipboard's struggles and executive departures.

And the criticism hasn't been limited to the startups. While discussing Y Combinator's new Continuity Fund, Douglas MacMillan and Rolfe Winkler of The Wall Street Journal offer this up about Sam Altman, the current head of YC.


It's showtime

Lyft's Cinderella story came to an end in Round 4 as they ran into hotel disrupting juggernaut Airbnb. The upset of Round 4 come from a Uhticorn (a Utah unicorn) who bested Github.

The semi-finals feature Airbnb vs Buzzfeed and Slack vs Domo.

Vote on the semi-final round and the eventual winner through Nov 4th.

Who is the most undervalued unicorn?  You decide.

Have a fantastic week ahead.

I love you.


P.S. Don't miss our auto tech webinar where we'll show you how folks are re-inventing the wheel.


Los Angeles' booming tech startup scene is on track to break $4B of investment

Our LA tech breakdown lists all the trends, investors, and companies that you need to know. Check out the trends shaping LA's tech industry.
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Exit hotspot: Israel sees exits rise for three years straight

Mobileye leads Israeli exits since 2013 with its $5.3B IPO. The mobile & telecommunication sector accounted for 30% of exits in 2015. Read about trends in Israel's VC-backed exits.
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Rothenberg Ventures, Google Ventures, and Intel Capital are among the most active investors in AR and VR

Augmented reality and virtual reality startups reach $100M+ in funding for the fourth-straight quarter.
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Two years of unicorns: every post we've done on unicorns since the term was coined

We crunch the numbers to see how much we've written about unicorns and list all our unicorn posts. Happy unicorn anniversary.
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Notable Deals From This Past Week

We tracked hundreds of financings and exits in the last week. Here are 10 notable deals. To see them all, login to CB Insights or create an account here.

1. Karhoo raises $250M to compete with cab-hailing giants
10-month-old Uber challenger Karhoo raised a $250M round of funding, with plans to raise over $1B. Karhoo, which won't launch until January 2016, is a price-comparision platform for licensed taxi companies.

2. Fintech company Equiniti holds IPO
Financial services tech company Equiniti went public at a $758M valuation. Private equity firm Advent owns the group after spinning it out from Lloyds TSB in 2007.

3. Indian carrier InterGlobe Aviation holds IPO at $4.2B valuation
Low-cost Indian airline InterGlobe Aviation turned to the public markets to raise $482.4M. The carrier's IPO puts the company at a $4.2B valuation. 

4. Online-booker HostelWorld goes public
In another big travel deal this week, online-booking platform Hostelworld raised an $190M IPO at a valuation of $270M.

5. ReNew Power Ventures raises $255M in private equity
Indian solar and wind energy company ReNew Power Ventures raised $270M in equity from a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Goldman Sachs, and the Global Environmental Fund, along with previous investors. With this new round, ReNew Power has raised total equity of $655M.

6. EdgeMarc Energy Holdings announces $300M equity round
EdgeMarc Energy Holdings announced a $300 million equity commitment bringing total equity commitments to over $750 million. The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan joined existing investors through Goldman Sachs' Private Capital group.

7. SoFi raises $150M from Chinese social network Renren
Online lending platform SoFi raised $150M in additional capital from Renren Inc. (NYSE: RENN), a Chinese social network. Renren intends to obtain up to $130 million loans from several financial institutions to partially finance this investment in SoFi.

8. Alteryx raises $85M Series D
Data analytics platform Alteryx raised an $85M Series D round led by Iconiq Capital and Insight Venture Partners. 

9. Indian wealth manager IIFL raises $173M in growth equity
India-based private wealth managment firm IIFL Wealth Management raised $173M in growth equity from American buyout firm General Atlantic at a $801M valuation. 

10.  Uptake Technologies joins the Unicorn Club
Predictive analytics company Uptake reached unicorn status by raising $45M at a $1.1B valuation this week. The Chicago-based startup raised capital from GreatPoint Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Lightbank and Caterpillar. 


The Blurb

A curated mix of articles on tech, media, what's next, and recent news.
PayPal outage may have cost merchants millions. Merchants impacted by Thursday evening's PayPal outage took to Twitter to share their outrage.

The new retirement age? The current average retirement age is 62, but according to a new study, new college graduates wont be able to retire until age 75.

Accounting for taste. How packaging can make food more flavorful.
The New Yorker

The first female space crew might be going to the moonRussia, which has sent only a handful of women into space, plans to fix that in 2029.
The Atlantic
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