Retailers vs the apocalypse. Fintech funding gets a boost. Top venture partners.

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Hi there,

Today we've got surviving the retail apocalypse, predictions of a Microsoft spinoff, really good VCs, the supply chain, and drunk people creativity.

Read every link and share them with loved ones.

Surviving and thriving

Nearly 7,000 stores in the US have fallen victim to the retail apocalypse. Big-name retailers like Radio Shack and Toys R' Us are collapsing under the pressure of e-commerce, changing consumer preferences, and debt.

But others are planning to open hundreds of new stores this year. From cultivating new niches to repurposing the physical store, we look at how brands like Dollar General and Ikea are surviving the retail apocalypse

Why do you read Harvard Biz Review?

For the articles, of course.

Note: this was a study done at Mississippi State University and is based on the professors serving vodka cranberry cocktails to 20 male subjects. #science

Listen to the money talk

In Q1'18, fintech funding saw a boost from 12 $100M+ investments — a quarterly record for mega-rounds. Investments of $100M+ spanned 4 continents and included N26, eToro, Oscar Health, and C2FO.

We cover this and more in our new Global Fintech Report. You can download it here.

A big move for Microsoft

Want to understand where the competition is going? 

Facts matter.

We follow the evidence that suggests a Microsoft spinoff of Xbox might be in the cards.

Welcome to the top

For the third year in a row, we partnered with The New York Times to rank the top 100 venture capital professionals from around the world.

We also added a little something special this year — we analyzed the backgrounds of the top 20 venture partners to understand their secrets to success. Learn about them and our selection criteria here.


I've said this before, but it's worth restating.

The phrase is "nip it in the bud."

It is not "nip it in the butt."

Be careful.

Smaller, better, faster, stronger

For Kohl's, speeding up its manufacturing supply chain is valuable to its survival. It orders small test samples of inventory that can be adjusted based on demand.

Fast fashion retailer Zara uses a similar method, and can get an item from design to the rack in only 25 days. We discuss this and more in our new deep dive.


We sent out our fourth client note yesterday. The note covers:

  • Is Amazon’s fulfillment robot advantage going to be eroded?
  • Every tech giant is now going after Intel and Nvidia for AI chips
  • How credit unions are fighting back against banks with the help of fintech companies
  • China’s electric vehicle boom — a government, corporate-led push to modernize transportation
  • How SoftBank will carve up the global ride-hailing market

If you're a client, log in to your account to read the entire note.

There’s more

At this year's Future of Fintech, we’ll present our research on key fintech categories onstage. Offstage, in the briefing room (limited seats!), we’ll dig into the strategies of benchmark companies that should be on any fintech player’s radar.

Bring a colleague via our pair tickets (only 14 remaining). Or save $500 off an individual ticket using code morecontent. Prices go up May 1.

The Industry Standard

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

Business Insider. Oscar Williams-Grut (@oscarwgrut) reports that deal activity for US-based fintech companies hit a record high but slumped to a 5-quarter low in Europe and cites CB Insights’ Global Fintech Report.
Becker’s Hospital Review. Jessica Kim Cohen (@jessicakimcohen) discusses 8 ways Google could enter the healthcare space, referencing CB Insights’ Google In Healthcare Report.
Forbes. Niall McCarthy (@statistacharts) lists the most well-funded marijuana startups in America and references CB Insights’ Marijuana Trailblazers Report.

I love you.


P.S. On May 1, we'll analyze WeWork's strategy and the health of its business. Sign up here to join us at the flash briefing.

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The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

I spy. Google has unveiled an AR microscope that uses machine learning to detect cancerous cells in real time.
Questioning this. The EU is investigating Apple’s acquisition of Shazam, citing concerns that Apple could use Shazam’s data to unfairly target its rivals users.
The Verge
Milk money. The science behind A2 milk is disputed, but some big dairy companies are working towards introducing their own versions following a startup’s success in marketing the product.
Wall Street Journal
Bro out. Katie Notopoulos (@katienotopoulos) wore a fleece vest to work for a week to channel her inner tech bro.
AR vs. ART. A group of artists have taken over MoMA’s Jackson Pollock gallery to showcase their own work using an AR app.

Showdown in Mexico. Didi Chuxing is launching its service in Mexico, which happens to be an Uber stronghold.
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