Covered in this issue of our daily newsletter: Founder/CEO bracket. Smart money in travel tech. Farm-to-table startups.

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Humans ain’t that bad

Hi there,

First, I wanted to congratulate the Nutanix team on their very successful IPO. I was humbled to not have been part of their Series A round.

Second, in Saturday’s newsletter, I asked folks to recommend our newsletter to 1 friend as we were at 199,600 and needed some help to break through 200k. Thanks to all of you who recommended us as we’re now over 201,100. Love you.

Zuckerberg v Bezos

Imagine Wrestlemania for tech geeks.

Imagine no more.

After the success of the Series A VC bracket (congrats a16z), we’re changing it up.

We’re asking who is the tech founder/CEO you admire most?

Some of the interesting matchups in round 1 include:

  • Ben Silbermann (Pinterest) vs. Travis Kalanick (Uber)
  • Jack Ma (Alibaba) vs. Jeff Lawson (Twilio)
  • Mark Cuban vs. Michael Dell
  • Peter Thiel (PayPal) vs Tony Hsieh (Zappos)

Round 1 closes October 9th. Vote now.

That’s a lot of TV

6% of the US population accounts for 87% of streaming. (h/t @Sub8u)

Traveling light

We look at smart money investment trends across travel tech since 2012. So far this year through 9/13/16, the top two dozen VCs participated in only 5 travel tech funding rounds. In 2015, we saw these 24 leading VCs involved in 18 deals, adding up to nearly $2B.

Let me Google that for you

In last Thursday’s newsletter, we shared a graphic on which mammals most frequently kill their own kind.

Meerkats led the pack with a whole bunch of primates close behind.

And I got 300 emails from people asking me where humans ranked.

I love you all and since you’re all too busy to Google the answer, I did it myself.

We’re not even close to the most violent species. While meerkat deaths occur 19.36% of the time due to other meerkats, humans stand at only 1.3%.

Consumer goods startups are having a moment

In this guest post, Sophie Bakalar (@sophiebakalar) explains why it’s never been a better time for CPG- and retail-focused startups. M&A activity is strong and at an all-time high, with over 1,300 deals projected in 2016.

The 6 minute question

Most conferences handle Q&A horribly.

It goes like this.

To prevent this at our larger events, we curate the questions and our team asks the best ones. Attendees really appreciate it as it keeps the content top notch.

Join us for The Corporate Innovation Summit where we’ll talk about AI, algorithmic medicine, and the future of CPG/retail. We’ll also ensure the Q&A doesn’t suck.

Good eats

Organic food sales are on the rise, but a number of higher-profile farm-to-table startups recently shuttered food operations. We look at 15 early-stage farm-to-table startups that have raised funding within the past 24 months.

The Industry Standard

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

Silicon Valley. Marisa Kendall (@marisakendall) on startup failure with a reference to CB Insights data on startups that raised a seed round only.

The Economic Times. Shelly Singh dives into why Nasscom 10K, a startup accelerator program, has had mixed success in India, and references CB Insights’ global tech exit data.

RetailDive. Daphne Howland (@daphnehowland) discusses compensation changes at Rent the Runway and cites CB Insights investment data.

Hope you had a terrific Tuesday.

I love you.



P.S. Join us October 12 for our Genomics Revolution webinar. We’ll look into the opportunities for pharma, health insurers, and investors as our understanding of the human genome expands.

Which executive/founder do you admire most?

View the matchups and cast your vote. Round 1 ends October 9th.

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Travel tech startups see fewer deals from top VCs

Airbnb has backing from a half-dozen top VCs, including Sequoia, KPCB, and Greylock. See the data.

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6 charts show why it’s never been a better time to launch a consumer goods startup

Sophie Bakalar of Collaborative Fund on how CPG- and retail-focused startups have an opportunity to capitalize on shifting consumer preferences. Read this guest post.

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15 early-stage farm-to-table startups to watch

BrightFarms and Door to Door Organics are among the most well-funded farm-to-table startups. See the list.

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The Blurb

A curated mix of articles on private companies, venture capital, emerging industries, and innovation.

Alphabet has your back. Avery Hartmans (@averyhartmans) details how GV mentored the founders of Flatiron Health while they worked at Google.

Business Insider

Can you get there from here? Lee Hower (@leehower) discusses the path towards autonomous cars and the changes that will need to happen in order to get there.

Agile VC

AI and chatbots. Aiden Livingston (@aidenlivingston) on how AI and chatbots will change startups.


When fear is a competitive advantage. Justin Milano (@justinmilano33) and Dr. Daniel Cordaro break down a 4-step process to transforming fear and anxiety into a competitive advantage.

First Round Review

Mentors. Brad Feld (@bfeld) says if you decide to become a mentor, you must learn to guide people and decisions, not control them.

Feld Thoughts