Seeing into the future. Paying with Amazon. Beauty in Asia.

Feast your eyes on the future


Lots of great research today, from SoftBank to healthcare to Amazon's moves in fintech.

Let's get right to it. 

Quick insights

Where is SoftBank investing in Asia? Find out here.

In your eyes

The eye healthcare industry is attracting more attention than ever. Evolving healthcare technology is enabling new, less invasive treatments for common eye diseases and reimagining existing remedies like eye drops.

We dive into the startups tackling eye care, emerging treatments, and how the eyes can provide crucial insights into full-body health. Take a look.

 Glam life

With Eastern beauty practices merging with Western influences, the Asian beauty industry has changed dramatically in recent years — and Asian consumers are changing the way they buy cosmetics.

From on-demand beauty services to the rising popularity of cosmetic surgery, we take a look at the top technology and trends emerging in the Asian beauty ecosystem. Expert Intelligence clients can see them here.

Bank on it

Today, SaaS company Zuora announced that it's teaming up with Amazon Pay to expand its subscription billing options.

This means that Amazon Pay will have direct access to Zuora's customer base, which caters to tens of millions of subscribers.

Our deep dive discusses the evolution of Amazon Pay and everything else you need to know about what Amazon is doing in fin services. Check it out.

 Hot in here

AI startups have raised $44.6B across 5,037 deals since Q3'13 — and we've tracked them all. 

Expert Intelligence clients can see the complete interactive heat map here.

Travel Secrets

The JetBlue Technology Ventures team partners with JetBlue business units to identify big challenges and the startups most well suited to address them.

At TRANSFORM, Amy Burr and Raj Singh will share how they apply their unique method to accelerate JetBlue’s core business and connect portfolio companies with other industry players.

Join us at TRANSFORM to learn how to drive maximum strategic value out of your CVC. Save $750 with the the code TAKEOFF.

Have a great rest of the week.


P.S. On October 18, we'll be discussing the future of real estate tech. Register for the briefing here.

This week in data:

  • 2: This week saw the birth of 2 new unicorns, both based in San Francisco. Payments startup Brex, which offers a corporate credit card for tech companies, reached a $1.1B valuation following its $125 Series C. Popular wool footwear startup Allbirds was valued at $1.4B following a $50M Series C. Last quarter, the US saw the birth of 16 new VC-backed unicorns, including Lime, LegalZoom, and GitLab. For more VC funding trends from Q3’18, check out the latest MoneyTree report from PwC and CB Insights here.

  • -30%: Yesterday, stocks posted their third-worst single-day point decline in history, with the Dow down 832 points. (It fell another 546 points today.) Meanwhile the S&P 500 has plummeted nearly 7% from its late September high and is on its sixth-straight day of losses, representing its longest losing streak since late 2016. Facebook stock is notably down 30% from the high it hit in July, hovering around the levels it was at in the days after the Cambridge Analytica news first broke. 
  • 10M: Google’s driverless car unit, Waymo, said its autonomous vehicles have now driven 10 million miles on public roads. Autonomous vehicles could have wide-ranging effects, potentially upending everything from ride-hailing and food delivery to real estate and child care. Check out 33 industries other than auto that driverless cars could disrupt.

  • 15%: Netflix is responsible for roughly 15% of global internet traffic, according to the new Global Internet Phenomena Report from Sandvine. YouTube isn’t far behind, at 11.4%, while Amazon Prime Video clocks in at 3.7%. In the Americas specifically, Netflix accounts for 19.1% of total downstream traffic, and at peak hours, this number can spike as high as 40%.
  • $10B: Google has announced it will not bid for the Defense Department cloud computing contract JEDI, potentially worth $10B. In a statement to Bloomberg, Google explained that the company would not bid because “we couldn’t be assured that it would align with our AI Principles.” Google is one of many companies considering the ethical questions surrounding artificial intelligence. Read more about how tech companies are confronting ethics in AI here

  • 33: A new Apple patent shows the company is cracking down on spam calls, developing a method to detect spoofed calls. The patent highlights a system where an iPhone could perform checks on an incoming call — such as checking if it’s been passed through a forwarding device — and warn users if a call is problematic, or even prevent the call from coming through at all. Apple is currently involved in an FCC “Robocall Strike Force” of 33 companies aiming to reduce nuisance calls in the US.
  • 9,534 miles: Singapore Airline’s record-breaking 9,534-mile flight from Singapore to New York relaunches today, after being cancelled five years ago due to rising oil costs. The flight, available 3 times a week, will take up to 18 hours and 25 minutes, and economy tickets start at £1,230. Services will include free Wi-Fi, 1,200 hours of available film and TV content, and a menu designed to “counteract minimal body movement and long flight duration.”
One more thing...

This weeek, the US Coast Guard is flying 33 rare whooping cranes from Maryland to Louisiana, where they'll settle into the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center.

The species came dangerously close to extinction in the 20th century, when there were fewer than two dozen of the birds left in the wild.

Teams at the US Geological Survey's Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland have been breeding and rearing the cranes over the last 50 years.

The birds that are alive today are descendants of a flock of just 16 cranes that were wintering in Texas in 1941.
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