Elon Musk disrupts. Bin packing algorithm. A little inspiration. 

Elon Musk vs all the things

Hi there,

Several of you commented that our Walkie-Talkie Magic Matrix was actually quite good at figuring out which ICOs were scams as well, so wanted to share the framework again.


A little boost from Goldman

Ryan Williams co-founded Cadre as a digital platform to offer pre-vetted commercial real estate opportunities. The company has raised $133.3M at not-quite-unicorn levels (current valuation $801M).

This month the company got a $250M boost from Goldman Sachs, with rumors of more money in the pipeline.

Ryan’s joining us at Future of Fintech 2018. I’m looking forward to hearing more about how he’s disrupting the commercial real estate market and his thoughts on the future of the sector.

The Future of Fintech speaker lineup June 19-21 is stronger than ever. Early pricing ends January 31. Reserve your seat here.

Elon Musk is disruptive

Elon Musk's companies are taking on basically everything. We take a look at how his ventures are (or are not) transforming 8 different industries, from energy to transportation to healthcare.

Getting crafty

Top brewers are hopping on the craft beer bandwagon. Since 2013, the 6 largest brewers in the world have made 55 acquisitions and 10 investments in the private market.

These deals have focused on expanding product lines and geographies. We used CB Insights' Business Social Graph to visualize where the top brewers and their venture funds are going next.

Logo Tetris and the bin packing algorithm

Imagine that you've just made a market map. You're happy with it. Then your boss pops by and makes a "simple" request to add a couple of new companies to the map. 

You say, "sure thing boss," but in your mind, you know this means Logo Tetris. 

Logo Tetris is the mindless act of resizing and moving logos around to make room for these 2 new images. 

It's the type of work your Ivy League education prepared you for.

Our engineering team just solved this problem with a riff on the bin packing algorithm. Now, you can just put your logos into the area of the map and press a button and Smart Image Positioning takes care of it for you.

It's amazing.

If you're interested in how we applied the bin packing algorithm to solve the image positioning problem, check out this post here by our engineering team.

If you're a smart engineer looking to work with one of the best teams in tech, we're looking to double our engineering team and are hiring everyone from data engineers and data scientists to front-end and full-stack engineers.

Check out our open engineering roles here.

If you're not an engineer but know a smart engineer or 12, refer them, and if they get hired, you make $5k.


via Eric Umansky

Demo day champ

Vymo Solutions won the Fintech category at Demo Day last month.

Salespeople hate entering data into their CRM system. CRMs tell you all about your customers, but not about what led to a sale.

Enter Vymo. The company’s “Siri for salespeople” optimizes productivity for field sales teams at financial services companies. The tool can be used on its own or integrated with CRM systems.

See the pitch and the other nine Fintech category finalist pitches here.

Mature corporate seeks 3D printing company

Mature industrial corporates are taking over M&A in the industrial 3D printing industry. Companies like GE and Siemens made 7 out of 9 industrial 3D printing acquisitions in 2017.

Some nice stories

Bill Gates' blog chronicles 5 amazing people doing work in everything from polio to agriculture to pandemics and more. The videos are short, but if you want to hear about some amazing people, check out the link in The Blurb.

The Industry Standard

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

Fast Company. Gwen Moran (@gwenmoran) writes about the steps to becoming self-employed and references CB Insights’ Top 20 Reasons Startups Fail.
Healthcare Dive. Jeff Byers (@jeffpbyers) says reliable data is crucial for AI to impact healthcare and cites CB Insights’ healthcare AI deals research.
OZY. Louise Lucas (@louiseflucas) reports that Asia is gaining on the US as the largest home for venture capital, referencing PwC and CB Insights’ MoneyTree Report.

I love you.


P.S. On January 25th we're digging into fintech's major trends from 2017 and what to watch for in 2018. Save your spot at the briefing.

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

Feel-good stuff. Bill Gates' blog features the inspirational stories of 5 people working to help farming villages grow more food, provide reconstructive surgery for polio patients, and prevent disease epidemics, among other things. 

Money in the bank. Apple is planning on taking advantage of the new lower standard corporate tax rate to bring approximately $245B of its overseas cash back to the US.
ABC News
And the nominees are. Amazon has narrowed its list of possible locations for its second HQ down to 20 cities.
New York Times
Risky business. Chris O’Brien (@obrien) analyzes the risk factor in Spotify’s IPO strategy.
A little less noise, there. HuffPost is pulling the plug on its contributor platform as it launches its new Opinion and Personal sections, which will feature regular paid columnists and guest writers.
Huffington Post

Ride-hailing rivalry. Indonesian ride-hailing company Go-Jek has raised $1.2B from Google, Temasek, and Meituan-Dianping, giving it a boost in its battle with competitors Uber and Grab.

Stop eating Tide Pods. YouTube is removing videos of people doing the Tide Pod Challenge — because that’s necessary now.
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