5B: On Tuesday, Amazon revealed that the company had shipped over 5 billion items worldwide with Prime in 2017, and additionally announced that more new paid members joined its Prime subscription service in 2017 than in any other year. You can read more about Amazon’s initiatives, acquisitions, investments, and patents in our Amazon Strategy Teardown.
$1,000: This week, one of the most popular cryptocurrencies — ether — crossed the $1,000 mark for the first time. Ether is the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency, following Bitcoin and Ripple’s XRP token. If you have no idea what we’re talking about, it’s worth checking out our ethereum explainer for a more detailed explanation on the subject.
$8.8M: Apple acquired Canada-based Buddybuild, a cloud service for building, testing, and deploying mobile apps. The company previously raised $8.8M in total disclosed funding from investors including First Round Capital, Amplify Partners, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. We recently dug into Apple’s top acquisitions. Its $3B acquisition of Beats Electronics in 2014 was far and away its largest deal.
$86M: Microsoft also made an acquisition this week, buying cloud solutions and data platform Avere Systems. The company, previously valued at $146M, raised $86M in total disclosed funding from investors including Menlo Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Google. All of Microsoft’s acquisitions are featured on CB Insights’ real-time Microsoft Acquisitions Tracker.
$75M: The amount raised by robo-advisor Wealthfront in Series E financing from Benchmark, Greylock Partners, Index Ventures, Social Capital, Spark Capital, and Tiger Global Management. The round brings the company’s total disclosed funding to $205M. We recently dug into 4 of the earliest and fastest-growing robo-advisors in the market: Acorns, Betterment, Wealthfront, and Stash. Get the slides here.
0: The number of fatalities on commercial passenger jets in 2017, in the commercial airline industry’s safest year ever. This means that the rate of fatal accidents in commercial flights in large airplanes is one per 16 million flights. Commercial jets are also bringing passengers new offerings, such as in-flight workouts, as we highlight in our fitness and travel brief.
8: This week, the White House banned the use of personal cell phones in the West Wing, citing security concerns. According to CNN sources, the ban does not apply to the President and has been “in the works for the past six months.” After a rash of leaks earlier last year, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer reportedly warned White House staffers against using secure messaging apps like Signal and Confide. We previously identified 8 private companies providing encrypted or self-destructing messages, including Signal and Confide.
29: The number of orbital launches from the United States in 2017, all of which were successful. SpaceX (found on our space tech market map) led the way with 18 missions with its Falcon 9 rocket. Before last year, Russia had been the global leader in orbital launch attempts since 2003.