Retail apocalypse victims. The future of clinical trials. Warren's words of wisdom.

The hot takes are coming

Hi there,

SoftBank is getting into early-stage investing with a reported $500M fund.

Of course, the "what does this mean for VC" hot takes have begun.

Several years ago, many of the larger VC funds all started seed funds and/or seed investing activities. Most of them soon deprioritized these efforts (quietly) when they realized what a PITA seed stage investing was.

Perhaps this time is different?

For clients who want to dig into where SoftBank is going, here are a couple of relevant research briefs:

Steadfast > sexy

In his 1996 letter to shareholders, Warren Buffett explains one of the cornerstones of his investing philosophy: avoid investing in anything revolutionary and go for the boring companies that are likely to be around for a long time.

We unpack this and 23 other important lessons from the last four decades of Berkshire Hathaway's shareholder letters. Check them out here

Closing up shop

It's a tough time to be in retail. Retailers are facing struggling physical storefronts, massive debt, and inefficient operations, among other issues. 

Last month, Payless filed for its second bankruptcy in two years. Denim fashion brand Diesel USA filed for bankruptcy just last week. And they're not alone.

We take a look at 68 victims of the retail apocalypse and what brought them down.

Your June 12 itinerary

Here’s who you’ll hear from on the morning of Day 1 at Future of Fintech (June 11-13, NYC):

  • CEO & founder of Affirm on the company's rebranding, expansion into travel, and the opportunities & challenges in point-of-sale lending.
  • CEO & co-founder of Plaid on what it's like to be a unicorn helping unicorns. 
  • CEO & founder of LendingTree on the company's recent M&A binge, growth areas, product road map, and trends in the home equity industry.
  • CEO & co-founder of Chime on how the challenger bank is growing its customer base and which services it’s going after next.  
  • Former FDIC Chair on US fiscal policy and the state of the economy.

Heads up: prices increase (again) on March 15. Save $500 with code goodmorning.

 Get in on this

Waymo announced last week that it will commercialize a version of its lidar hardware to non-automotive partners, including firms working on robotics, security systems, and agriculture tech.

We dig into what that means for direct competitors and smaller-scale lidar players. Clients can read about it here.

Try something new

The $65B clinical trial market needs an upgrade. Trials are costly and time-intensive for patients and stakeholders. Many fail due to enrollment issues.

AI could change all of that. From matching patients and trials to enrollment to data collection, we examine how the technology could streamline every stage of the clinical trial process. Check it out here.

Do it for the children

The coastal elites are it again.

This time, New York City parents are dropping up to $100K on Instagram-friendly luxury nurseries.

If you like the finer things in life, check out our 2019 Luxury Trends Report.

Richard Titus via New York Post

 I need some air

ICYMI, Airbnb has acquired last-minute booking startup HotelTonight — its largest acquisition to date.  

We take a closer look at the transaction to understand comparable M&A, the broader online travel booking landscape, other potential acquirers in the space, and more. Clients can read about it here.

The Industry Standard

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

Bloomberg. Olivia Carville (@livcarville) reports that the CEO of Rumble is being sued at the same time the company is seeking an additional $200M in funding and references CB Insights research.

Business Insider. Erin Brodwin (@erbrod) writes about startups using CRISPR to make “clean meat” and refers to CB Insights research.

Fast Company. Melissa Locker discusses wellness opportunities in airports and cites CB Insights’ latest Wellness Trends Report.

I love you.


P.S. On March 26, we'll be discussing payments trends to watch in 2019. Register for the briefing here.

P.P.S. Are you psyched for that briefing? Want to be a part of CBI? We're hiring a director of fintech research

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

Babies love luxury. New York City parents are spending thousands of dollars on Instagram-friendly nurseries.
New York Post

Mean-muggin’. Facial recognition will reportedly be used for identification at 20 top US airports by 2021.

Something in the water. Here’s how the internet travels around the world through razor-thin wires under the ocean.
New York Times

Redo. The US is mandating that Boeing implement design changes to the 737 MAX 8 plane after the model was involved in two fatal crashes since October.

Truffle kerfuffle. Hunting for desert truffles in Iraq is sometimes a life-threatening venture.
LA Times

Is it cold in here? The US campaign against Chinese company Huawei seems to signal a new tech cold war.
Download the CB Insights mobile app today.


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