CES 2018. RIP retail brands. Startups we barely knew.
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The outrage mafia

Hi there,

Banana tech is here.

And of course, it's using the blockchain. 

Please make it stop.

via Zack Bloom


The greatest show on earth

CES 2018 was pretty lit (except for when the power went out), with featured technologies ranging from voice-operated autonomous cars to smart toilets to ping-pong playing robots. 

After attending dozens of demos and digging through data, we rounded up a few trends that tell us where categories from auto to consumer hardware to AI are going in 2018.

Stairway to heaven

In 2017, 21 retail brands passed on to the great shopping mall in the sky. We made a timeline that shows how the pace of retail bankruptcies sped up in 2017, and highlights 2018’s first victim.

Pivoting to blockchain

In this recent Winners & Losers brief for clients only, we dig into everything from pivots to blockchain to Barry's Boot Camp.

This winners & losers brief also covered:

  • Soulcycle
  • Wealthfront
  • EMR startups
  • Uber for flowers
  • First Round Capital
  • Auto tech startups
  • PracticeFusion
  • Menlo Ventures
  • Flywheel
If you're a paying client, log in and read this Winners & Losers brief here.

Or click the Winners & Losers tag to see all the W&L briefs we've already published.


With 383,400+ on the CB Insights mailing list, I'm surprised by how many folks get mad or outraged by things in every newsletter.

Last week, we talked about "logo Tetris" in a newsletter and in that passage, someone thought we said that we hire only Ivy League grads and got riled up. We said nothing like that, but that doesn't matter.  

Person was offended and voila — outrage.  

The funniest and scariest thing I've seen about the "anger factory" was a piece penned by Tom Phillips of Buzzfeed. Check it out in The Blurb. It is exactly where technology (esp Twitter) has helped to take us.

It's a really hilarious article, and it all starts with this t-shirt.

More death 

Life is fleeting, especially for startups: 70% of upstart tech companies fail, usually around 20 months after first raising financing.

We compiled 242 post-mortems for some of the most notable startup failures in the CB Insights database. RIP.

A-ha! moments: life at Walmart, post-acquisition

Walmart controls 16% of US retail spend — but in 2016, the company wanted a larger slice of consumers in urban, affluent areas. 

So it acquired Jet.com, an urban, millennial-friendly retail commerce platform, for $3.3B.

At our A-ha! Conference in December, Jet.com President Liza Landsman told Bloomberg Businessweek’s Brad Stone that Jet is a “brand-friendly place inside a large stable company.” She also talked competition, speculating about an Amazon vulnerability. Full session here.

Backstage, we posed some questions from CB Insights clients, and she called one highly-popular type of business “a dying breed." Hear more of what she had to say here.

The Industry Standard

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

Medical Design & Outsourcing. Danielle Kirsh (@danielle_kirsh) reports which medtech companies raised the most venture capital funding in 2017 and cites PwC and CB Insights’ MoneyTree Report.

Food Dive. Cathy Siegner writes about Walmart’s recently filed patent for a system that would allow customers to see fresh produce before buying and references CB Insights research.

Silicon Angle. Kyt Dotson (@kytsune) reports that Paris-based Ledger has raised $75M in a Series B venture round and cites CB Insights blockchain research.

Happy Monday.

I love you.


P.S. You can keep up with and sign up for all of CB Insights' events here.

The Blurb

A curated mix of articles worth sharing.

Kicking the habit. Bruce Nussbaum (@brucenussbaum) has ideas about how to make non-addictive UX.
FastCo Design
We apologize for our apology. Tom Phillips (@flashboy) walks through the 29 steps of a Twitterstorm. 

Silicon Valley soap opera. Eric Newcomer (@ericnewcomer) and Brad Stone (@bradstone) write about Travis Kalanick’s downfall.

Blockchain’s true calling. Steven Johnson (@stevenbjohnson) says Bitcoin might prove to be a distraction from blockchain’s true significance.
New York Times

In the spotlight. Ahead of its IPO, Spotify is releasing a feature with photo, video, and text news content, called Spotlight.
Sick of this. A group of major US hospitals is over high drug prices, so they’re forming a nonprofit generic drug company run by health systems.
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