We’re doing our part here to track the Initial Coin Offering craze. An ICO is whereby an entrepreneur with a dream to change the world blasts his LinkedIn contacts and raises tens of millions of dollars because he figured out how to launch a coin on the blockchain.
We mapped some of them out in a market map that is only available to our Expert Research clients.
But we couldn’t help but notice there were some truly out-there ideas as well.
Dentacoin – Dentacoin aims to improve dental care worldwide and make it affordable by utilizing the blockchain.
PotCoin – PotCoin is an ultra-secure digital cryptocurrency, network, and banking solution for the $100B global legal marijuana industry.
BitCoen – Vyacheslav Semenchuk, a Russian entrepreneur, created the world’s first kosher crypto currency.
PutinClassic – PutinClassic (PUTIC) is digital souvenir. Digital versions of this coin are made unique by use of the blockchain. Truly, who wouldn’t want one of these beauties.
KarmaCoin – By supporting good causes and helping others through Karma, Karma developers aim to make it the primary digital currency for rewarding good deeds and spreading good karma. I suspect there’s an overlap between users of KarmaCoin and Potcoin, #synergy.
Whoppercoin – Whoppercoin is the new cybercurrency of Burger King Russia, launched this week, according to local news reports. The company has released 1 billion Whoppercoins using Waves, a cryptocurrency platform. You get one every time you buy a Whopper.
Coinye – This was made to honor Kanye West but it was sued and so it is no longer trading 😢
7 minutes: The approximate amount of time it’ll take to complete our first-ever State of Innovation Benchmark Survey. If you are part of an innovation, strategy, or corporate venture team, take the survey to get the results. Survey closes at midnight.
2: The number of private companies valued at $1B+ that entered the unicorn club this week. Vipkid, an ed tech company, and VistaJet, a Malta-based global aviation company, both raised rounds at $1B+ valuations. Check out our real-time Unicorn Tracker for a full list of companies valued at $1B+. There are now 215 unicorns on the tracker.
$4.4B: This week, WeWork received a $4.4B investment from Softbank Group and the SoftBank Vision Fund. The round follows the company’s $760M raise last month, also backed by SoftBank Group, among other investors. In this third tranche of a Series G round, $3B will go towards WeWork while the remaining $1.4B will be put towards three new subsidiaries — WeWork China, WeWork Japan, and WeWork Pacific. The move puts SoftBank Vision Fund closer to its $100B investment goal. We recently looked at what top VCs and other players in the tech ecosystem are saying about the fund here.
$450: Speaking of SoftBank, Pepper — SoftBank Group’s “human-shaped robot” — has a new set of responsibilities. Japan-based plastic molding maker Nissei Eco Co has developed chanting software that transforms the robot into a “Buddhist priest for hire at funerals.” The funeral robot costs less than $450 per service compared to the ~$2,200 needed for a human priest. We previously identified over 50 consumer robotics startups that are doing everything from household chores to providing educational services.
$200,000: The dollar amount that prominent venture capitalist John Doerr considers a single hour of his time to be worth, according to an excerpt from Ellen Pao’s new book “Reset.” Doerr, who joined Kleiner Perkins in 1980 and was named its chair last year, spearheaded the firm’s early bets on Google, Amazon, Intuit, and others.
$36.6M: AbleTo, a platform connecting individuals to licensed online therapists and coaches, raised $36.6M in Series D financing. The round was led by Bain Capital Ventures and Aetna Ventures, with participation from .406 Ventures, HLM Venture Partners, Horizon Healthcare Services, and Sandbox Industries. AbleTo is one of over 235 companies on our Mental Health & Wellness Collection. We’ll also be diving into the financing trends, startups, and investors in the space on during an upcoming research briefing. Sign up here.
$8.7B: Uber disclosed its Q2’17 financials to Axios this week, reporting a 17% increase in gross bookings to reach $8.7B in the second quarter. Adjusted net revenue also increased from the prior quarter, reaching $1.75B in Q2 compared to the $1.5B seen in Q1’17. In addition, global trips increased 150% year-over-year. We recently dug into Uber’s M&A and investment activity to see how the company behaves as a strategic investor.
2,000: The Tanzanian government has partnered with San Francisco-based Zipline International, a builder of delivery drones for medical supplies. As part of an initiative that will kick off in 2018, the government has announced it will use more than 100 drones to make up to 2,000 deliveries each day. The drones will deliver “vaccines, medicine, or blood on request from health workers operating in hard-to-reach areas.” Zipline is backed by investors including a16z, Sequoia Capital, and SV Angel, and is one of 70+ startups on our drone market map.
300 miles: According to Reuters, Tesla plans to release an electric big-rig truck with a working range between 200 to 300 miles per charge. The prototype as it stands will be be able to travel the “low end” of what transportation vets consider to be “long-haul” trucking. While it might not be able to compete with conventional trucks that can travel up to 1,000 miles on a single tank of fuel, it might be able to deliver on smaller, regional trips, which could prove to be beneficial. Tesla is one of at least 44 corporations working on autonomous vehicles.
$100M: The amount raised by mortgage tech startup Blend in Series D financing from Greylock Partners and Emergence Capital Partners. The round puts the company’s total disclosed equity funding at $143M, making it the most well-funded startup in the mortgage processing/workflow category on our mortgage tech market map.
$46,000: Over the weekend, German police seized roughly 5,000 ecstasy pills from a 51-year-old man and his 17-year-old son. As reported earlier this week, the pills had a street value of nearly $46,000. Furthermore, authorities noted the orange pills were disguised to resemble the shape and features of President Donald Trump.