NEA's new fund. Textio raises. Snap's acquisition.
Cryopreservation is a fad in Silicon Valley and even offered as a perk by at least one startup (see This Week in Data, below).
Cryopreservation refers to people paying to be stored in deep freeze when they die in the hopes of being somehow revived in the future. If you freeze just your brain, it’s cheaper since it’s easier to store just the brain, but obviously you don’t get to keep your body.
What’s not widely known is that in many cryopreservation facilities around the world, pets outnumber people.
This includes cats, dogs, and birds.
In case you were ever wondering how much it’d cost to freeze your passed pet indefinitely, we found the data for you.
Speaking of frozen people and animals, news broke this week that cryonics fan Peter Thiel has yet another strange hobby. He’s quietly funded well-known Harvard researcher George Church who plans to use frozen tissue samples and gene editing to bring back the Woolly Mammoth to Siberia (see This Week in Data, below). It’s actually a pretty cool idea, and possibly would help against climate change.
We found a rare image of Thiel checking in on the lab’s progress.
3: The number of days until we kick off our Future of Fintech conference. We have a couple of tickets left, so use code lastchance to get $2000 off. If you can’t make it to the event, make sure you sign up for the livestream here.
10.5 million: The number of jobs at high risk of automation, including those of restaurant workers and warehouse workers, as per our State of Automation report released today. The report digs into the technology, innovation, and changing employment landscape across various sectors.
$3.3B: This week, New Enterprise Associates closed its 16th fund. The new $3.3B fund is the largest venture fund ever according to our funds data. NEA has participated in 69 deals in 2017 year-to-date, with nearly half made in Q1’17 alone.
1.2M: Crowd-sourced algorithmic hedge fund Numerai launched 1.2 million tokens this week known as numeraire, but bucked the current trend in Initial Coin Offerings, by which startups raise funds by launching cryptocurrency to investors. Instead data scientists competing to create trading algorithms on Numerai will earn them through their work. San Francisco-based Numerai also made news in May when it announced it would 100% cover the cost of employees seeking to cryopreserve their bodies after death as a job benefit.
$77M: This week, ready-made meal delivery service Freshly raised $77M in Series C funding. The round was led by Nestle with participation from Highland Capital Partners, Insight Venture Partners, and White Star Capital. As part of it, Nestle will also gain access to Freshly’s data and analytics. The round follows a host of other meal delivery financings from earlier this month, including investments to Yumi and Chewse. For a full list of startups in the space, check out our meal delivery Collection on the CB Insights platform.
90%: Chinese bike-sharing firm Wukong Bikes shut down this week after claiming that 90% of its bikes went missing in the first five months of operation. Out of 1,200 total bicycles, only about 120 can be located, probably because the company did not put GPS trackers on its bikes as rivals have done. This was a much smaller company, but the news comes after mega-rounds raised earlier this year by Chinese bike-sharing giants, Mobike and Ofo, both valued at $1B+. Check out our startup post-mortems list, showcasing 232 other startups that have failed.
$20M: The amount raised by Textio, an AI platform that analyzes the effectiveness of job listings and recruiting emails, in Series B funding. The company raised from investors including Cowboy Ventures, Emergence Capital Partners, and Scale Venture Partners, among others. Textio is found on the AI 100 — a list of the top artificial intelligence startups across industries including healthcare, auto tech, and fintech. For more on deals to AI startups, check out our Artificial Intelligence Deals Tracker, updated earlier this month.
$3.4M: As per the US Department of Labor, HR tech company Zenefits has violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by “misclassifying 743 account executives and sales development representatives” throughout California and Arizona, which led to them being underpaid. As a result, the company has agreed to pay $3.4M in unpaid overtime to employees that were affected. Last year, the company slashed its valuation after failing to hit revenue goals, as shown on our Downround Tracker. This year, it’s already been through a series of CEO change-ups and several rounds of layoffs.
$250M: It was reported this week that Snap acquired Zenly — a location-sharing app backed by investors including IDInvest Partners, Kima Ventures, and Benchmark — for a rumored price tag between $250M and $350M in late May. The acquisition may be key to Snap’s latest “Snap Map” feature, which lets users share locations and see where others are sharing stories in real-time. According to our recent analysis, many of Snap’s patents have originated from the company’s M&A moves, including its Geofilters technology.
$100M: The amount raised by cybersecurity startup Cybereason in Series D financing from Japanese telecom giant SoftBank Group. The investment marks SoftBank’s third investment to the cybersecurity space in 2017 thus far. Mobile security company Zimperium raised a second $15M Series C tranche from SoftBank in January and cloud security company Dome9 Security raised $16.5M from the corporation in April. All three companies can be found on our cybersecurity market map, which contains over 100 companies across 11 major categories, from IIoT security to quantum encryption.
3: Drinks holding company Diageo has agreed to acquire the Casamigos tequila brand from a group of co-founders and investors who include actor George Clooney for $1B. This is the third disclosed acquisition of a tequila company for Diageo since 2014 as it seeks to capitalize on the cactus-based liquor’s popularity, the others being California-based Peligroso and Mexico-based DeLeon.
$100,000: Author Ben Mezrich’s new book Woolly, to be released early next month, reveals that VC Peter Thiel is among the backers of Harvard scientist George Church’s effort to recreate the Woolly Mammoth and reintroduce it to Siberia. Thiel donated $100,000 to the project, according to the book. Church has plans to help introduce mammoths in Siberia to restore grasslands and create ideal conditions for permafrost, which would help against global warming.