Uber loves cheeseburgers. Still don't get Ethereum? New insurtech report.

Gradually, then oh isht

Hi there,

Kraft Heinz's stock price and market cap got obliterated last week.

Who’d have thought that cost-cutting your way to glory wasn’t an effective strategy after all.

Yup — gradually, then suddenly in action.

More on the disruption of CPG below.

Break that down for me

Samsung's new Galaxy S10 series smartphones will reportedly have wallet functions for four cryptocurrencies including Ethereum.

If you're still not sure what exactly Ethereum is or how it works, don't worry — just read our What Is Ethereum explainer here.

2 new conferences

There are a couple of new big events I’m really happy to announce that CB Insights will be hosting.

They have the same formula as our other events:

  • Phenomenal speakers & content
  • Amazing networking via 1:1 lounge and app
  • Fantastic venues

On June 11, we’re hosting The Future of Insurance conference. We’ve already got 2 public company insurance company CEOs joining us as speakers, and a host of great startup founders in insurtech (with many more to be announced).  

Get your ticket here.

It’s right before Future of Fintech, so there are package bundles if you attend both. You can see bundled ticket pricing for both events here.

Here’s a selection of the topics we’ll be covering at The Future of Insurance (click to enlarge):

Prices go up March 1.

Keep scrolling to learn about our other new event.

The fast food diet

Uber's food delivery app Uber Eats is its fastest-growing and most profitable unit. In Q4'18, Uber Eats reportedly generated nearly 20% of the company's total gross bookings for the quarter.

We take a closer look at how Uber Eats became a powerhouse business line. Check it out here.

The disruption of CPG

In The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, the following question is posed:

“How did you go bankrupt?”

The apt response was:

We’ve demonstrated before how corporations experience disruption gradually then suddenly, and the disruption of CPG was on full display last week when The Kraft Heinz Company took a $15B charge related to the value of its Kraft and Oscar Mayer trademarks.

If CPG incumbents were not already woke to the threats they face, this should serve as their “oh isht” reminder that "suddenly" has arrived.

A couple of notes:

  1. Maintaining relevance will not come from cost cutting. Sorry private equity/activists.

  2. I’m also sorry to report that starting a direct-to-consumer (D2C) offshoot for your existing brands is not going to miraculously save you. “Let’s be the Dollar Shave Club of kitchen cleaning supplies” is not the solution.

  3. Building a skill for Alexa that allows people to buy your old-school, outdated brands is also hardly sufficient.

CPG firms are facing a multi-front war in which every part of their business is changing and needs to be defended, fortified, and reinvented.  

Yup — everything:

  • The products they build
  • How they identify changing consumer tastes (traditional market research isn’t working)
  • How they market
  • The channels through which they distribute
  • The technologies that underpin their supply chain
  • The business models they’re using
  • The competitors they worry about (small brands and insurgent models are the ones to watch)

This requires fundamental changes to every aspect of your business.  

Let’s hope folks in CPG wake up (for their own sake).

Here is our Gradually, Then Suddenly presentation.

Some related client-only research below:

 New brands vs new tech: Where major food companies are investing

How Amazon is forcing retailers to reinvent their loyalty programs

Which brands L’Oréal, Estée Lauder, and Coty should acquire next

Bigger risk = bigger reward

The latest CBI and Willis Towers Watson insurance tech report focuses on how insurtech companies are tackling cyber risk — and opportunity.

Download the report here.

The Future of Health

I’m excited to announce that we’re also going to be hosting The Future of Health in NYC on October 2-3, 2019.

We’ll be talking about health with leading VCs, healthcare giants, and unicorn startups, covering everything from disease prevention to smart foods to wearables to how AI is reinventing clinical trials.  

And of course, we’ll be discussing the many moves of Apple, Google, Alibaba, Tencent, and others into healthcare.

We will also have a startup exhibitor hall for the first time, which we’re very excited to unveil.

Get your tickets here. Early bird rates expire February 28.

Don't hate the player

Executives from seven major pharma companies, including Merck and Pfizer, were questioned about pricing practices in a Senate hearing today.

The execs cited the complicated pharma supply chain as a key reason for dramatic price increases.

We examine why the supply chain is opaque and inefficient, and what startups are doing to try to fix it. Check it out here.

 I'm worth it

Lidar's high costs have made it difficult to scale. But as startups are working to build the technology in a way that's affordable and reliable enough for mass-market production, the space is becoming more competitive.

We dig into how lidar works, where major auto players are placing bets in the space, and more. Expert Intelligence clients can read more here.

The Industry Standard

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

VentureBeat. Kyle Wiggers (@kyle_l_wiggers) reports that edge computing startup Zededa has raised a $16M Series A funding round and references CB Insights research.

Business Insider. This article highlights Insilico Medicine’s upcoming online hackathon and refers to CB Insights’ AI 100.

Glossy. This article discusses Glossier’s new sub-brand Glossier Play and quotes CB Insights senior CPG analyst Anagha Hanumante (@anaghahanumante).

I love you.


P.S. We're hiring customer success managers. If you're happy, helpful, humble, and hungry, we'd love to talk to you.

P.P.S. This Thursday, we'll be discussing the bank of the future. Register for the briefing here.

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

It ain’t me. Seven major pharma companies testified today in a Senate hearing about the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs.
Washington Post

I want to be a part of it. The 2008 recession sparked New York City’s journey to reach tech hub status.
New York Times

Don’t @ me. Kids born after the development of social media are now old enough to realize how much of their lives have been put online by their parents.
The Atlantic

Put a pin in that. Pinterest has a plan for methodically removing misinformation from its site.
Fast Company

Family matters. Support groups are cropping up for people who have been unpleasantly surprised by the results of their DNA kits.
Boston Globe
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