Edge computing market map. CEOs eat crow. WeWork teardown.

Mind the gap


The gap is growing. More and more, investment in startups (aka venture capital-backed companies) is flowing to companies outside the United States.

The chart below shows how dollars are increasingly going to companies outside the US. There were 29% more dollars going to companies outside the US in 2017, and 25% more dollars to non-US companies in 2018. 

The main driver of this trend is companies within tech hubs in China, as we noted in our Global Tech Hubs report

This trend should interest everyone from global CEOs to politicians and regulators to you.

If the innovative companies of tomorrow are being increasingly funded outside the US, where does that leave the current superpower in terms of future competitiveness? Who stands to gain?

Especially considering that one dimension of this gap is the growing ascendancy of China with regards to AI, which we recently dubbed "the new missile gap."

Note: This analysis excludes debt financing.

Can you back it up?

WeWork is currently valued at a sky-high $47B. Critics say it's overhyped, and cite the company's ventures like WeGrow, its elementary school, as proof that it's an overly ambitious tech company.

But with its real estate-as-a-service offerings and stash of data on optimal office design, could the company actually have a leg to stand on? We dive deep into WeWork's strategy and examine the health of its business here.

Don't forget

The deadline to get your data in for our NY Times/CB Insights VC rankings is February 11. 

You can submit here.

Mouth, meet foot

Sometimes disruption is staring you right in the face and you just can't meet its gaze.

From Amazon to the iPhone to blockchain, we take a look at 43 innovations that were initially laughed off by big company CEOs.

 Don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge

The amount of annual data generated is projected to grow from 40 zettabytes in 2019 to 175 zettabytes in 2025. Edge computing has emerged to prep our networks and their infrastructure for our data-heavy future.

The global edge computing market is estimated to reach $34B by 2023, and startups want in. From data centers to decentralization to security, we've mapped out 50+ edge computing companies.

Expert Intelligence clients can see them all here.


Canadian VC-backed companies raised a record $3.5B across 471 deals last year. Deals and dollars both increased, up 30% and 35% respectively.

For more on the latest trends in VC deals and funding in Canada, downloand PwC and CB Insights' Canada Venture Capital 2018 report.

 Anything you can do

CPG company Brandless is having a real moment, with $292M in disclosed funding.

But it's not the only startup using minimalist branding, D2C distribution, and organic products.

We compare Brandless and similar companies' pricing and product offerings. Expert Intelligence clients can check it out here.

Have a great rest of the week.


P.S. Prices for Future of Fintech go up tomorrow. This is your final chance to save with our early bird rates.

P.P.S. On February 21, we'll be discussing AI trends to watch in 2019. Register for the briefing here.

This week in data:

  • $15.5T: Alipay and WeChat Pay are leading the cashless transition in China, where mobile payment volumes have surged from $200B in 2013 to upwards of $15.5T. Read about the growing payments trend and 9 other game-changing financial trends in our new report, 2019 Fintech Trends to Watch.

  • 900M: On earnings this week, Apple revealed its worst holiday quarter in a decade, with quarterly sales of its iPhones plummeting 15% (a fall in line with a warning the company released earlier this month). Apple also reported a base of 900 million active iPhone users, the first time the company has disclosed the figure. We wrote about Apple’s earnings call — and trends to watch for the company — in a recent client note. Clients can read about it here.
  • $4B: Health insurer Anthem is cutting ties with rival Cigna, ending its contract with Cigna-owned pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) Express Scripts. Instead, Anthem will work with CVS Health to build a new PBM, dubbed IngenioRx, in a move that the insurer says will save it $4B per year. Corporations assuming multiple roles in the drug supply chain — for example, both pharmacy and PBM — has been a rising trend in the pharmacy world. Learn all about it in our deep dive into the drug supply chain.

  • $418M: Canadian AI companies saw deals and funding jump in 2018, hitting $418M invested across 43 deals (a 51% uptick in funding). Canada-based fintech companies saw similar figures — $456M invested across 47 fintech deals in 2018 — though at a much slower growth rate, with funding holding relatively steady YoY. Learn more about tech funding to the country in the PwC and CB Insights Canada Venture Capital 2018 report.
  • -14%: Computer chip giant Nvidia’s stock dropped by as much as 14% this week after the company cut its guidance for Q4 fiscal 2019, reporting expected revenue of $2.2B, an 18.5% drop from previous guidance of $2.7B. Nvidia management cited “deteriorating macroeconomic conditions, particularly in China” as part of the reason for the cut. CB Insights clients can see Nvidia’s top competitors, business relationships, stock & financial info, and more on its company profile.

  • 36,420 lbs: Tyson Foods has recalled approximately 36,420 pounds of chicken nuggets, due to concerns that the product may be contaminated with rubber. The recall comes following customer complaints of “extraneous material” found in their frozen chicken nuggets. The recall comes on the heels of two more chicken nuggets recalls, both by Perdue Foods, which recalled over 16,000 lbs of the food due to an undeclared allergen and complaints of wood found in the food. Seeking a meat alternative? Check out what options food cos are betting on in our report, Our Meatless Future: How The $90B Global Meat Market Gets Disrupted.

  • $167K/second: Super Bowl LIII takes place this Sunday, with companies shelling out the big bucks for ads to be run during the game. CBS and NBC will charge advertisers about $5M per 30-second ad — or roughly $167K per second of air time.
  • 2.85M: In more unsettling video news, a deepfake video mashup of actors Steve Buscemi and Jennifer Lawrence went viral this week, with a tweet of the video gaining 17,885 retweets and 2.85M views in just 2 days. The video, which puts Buscemi’s face onto Lawrence’s body, was made with the free tool faceswap and an AI trained on hours of footage of Buscemi. We explain how deepfakes work — and how researchers are working to spot altered video — in our report on the Future of Information Warfare.
One more thing...


Memo to people who snuggle and kiss hedgehogs: stop doing that.

The CDC is warning hedgehog owners not to come too close to their pets after finding that 11 people in the US contracted a rare strain of salmonella — and 10 of them had been in close contact with hedgehogs.

The people were spread out across 8 different states, including Missouri and Minnesota. It’s unknown if the hedgehogs in question came from the same supplier.

No deaths have been reported, but just to be safe, you’re probably better off telling your hedgehog that you “just need some space right now.”
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