Amazon’s plan to acquire Whole Foods for $13.7B took many by surprise, but it’s a logical step for a company that has been aggressively expanding its logistics/fulfillment capabilities.
In our Amazon Strategy Teardown, we used our patents search engine to ID 78 logistics/fulfillment patents filed by Amazon in 2016 representing growth of 52% vs the prior year, based on currently available patent data. When trying to understand corporate strategy, patents, as we see with Amazon, provide a great early signal of strategic intent.
$3B: The valuation bestowed upon China’s newest unicorn company Mobike. The Shanghai-based company offers a mobile app that allows users to rent bikes for short distance commutes. The company raised $600M in a Series E round from investors that included Tencent Holdings. Forty-six percent of China’s unicorns are backed by four of China’s largest internet giants — Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, & JD.com (BATJ). Of the four, Tencent has backed the highest number of China-based unicorns, and we mapped out those investments here.
$500M: The amount closed out by UAE-based ride-hailing company Careem in Series E funding from investors including Daimler (whose investment activity we look at here), DCM Ventures, and Rakuten. The company is one of at least 9 ride-hailing companies valued at $1B+ globally (others include Uber, Didi, Lyft, Grab, BlaBlaCar, Ola, Gett, and Go-Jek), and we’ve mapped all the interlocking investments into ride-hailing companies here.
$53M: Sleep tracker developer Hello announced that it will soon be shutting down operations. The company created Sense, a tracker that monitors a user’s sleeping environment (temperature, humidity, etc.) and uses a device placed inside the pillow to track sleeping patterns. Hello raised $53M in total funding and was backed by investors including Horizons Ventures and Temasek Holdings. Check out our recently updated startup post-mortems list, showcasing 232 other startups that have failed.
$310M: Walmart has agreed to acquire Bonobos for $310M in cash. It’s a significant exit for backers including Sandwith Ventures, Peterson Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Forerunner Ventures.
Forerunner’s Kirsten Green, who we chose as the 12th top-ranked VC in our VC rankings with The New York Times, sits on the Bonobos board. According to our valuation data, Bonobos was valued at $57M in its 2010 Series C round.
$3.3B: Digital music service Spotify released its financial statements this week, showing it had reached $3.3B in revenue for 2016, a 52% increase from the previous year. The number of monthly active users also increased, from 91 million at the end of 2015 to approximately 126 million by the end of last year. Additionally, paid subscribers increased over the time period by about 71%. Spotify is one of 202 private companies valued at $1B+ found on our Unicorn Tracker. The Sweden-based company also inspired us to build a better product feature.
$4.1M: The amount raised by Yumi, a subscription-based baby food delivery service, in seed funding. Investors in the round included New Enterprise Associates, August Capital, and Brand Foundry Ventures. We’ll be putting together a market map covering kid tech, so if you are a startup or investor in this space, submit your company data here.
113 years: The 113-year-old New York City subway system spans across 5,000 square miles and has a total of 736 stations throughout and around the city. With an annual ridership of 2.7 billion, lines are subject to overcrowding, thus resulting in an increasing number of delays. Part of the problem is related to the subway system’s communication infrastructure. According to this source, 21 out of the 22 subway lines operate with a block signaling system from 1904. We previously looked at startups focused on improving connectivity and infrastructure in our smart cities market map.
$64M: On-demand storage company Clutter raised $64M in Series C funding from Atomico, Fifth Wall Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and GV. It is the company’s largest financing raise to-date, bringing its total funding to $96M. Clutter can be found on our on-demand home services market map, comprised of startups across 13 different categories.
7%: The percentage of all American adults that believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows, according to an online survey commissioned by the Innovation Center of US Dairy. The number translates to about 16.4 million people. While brown cows are not responsible for chocolate milk, some startups might be. We looked at over 60 synthetic biology startups working to produce next-gen pharmaceuticals, fuels, and even beverages such as cowless milk.
10%: According to the US Energy Information Administration, more than 10% of total electricity generation in the US came from wind and solar power this past March – a historic high. The number is up from the 7% generated in 2016, sourced mostly from Texas, which generates more wind energy than any other state. While wind tends to make up a larger share of electricity generation across most states, California and Arizona had more solar generation in 2016. Our Renewable Energy & The Rise of Solar briefing dives into investment trends across renewable energy startups. Check it out.
220: There are about 220 rotating cast members in Shanghai-based girl band SNH48. The group has risen to popularity as a result of China’s ban on Korean entertainment (e.g. K-pop) last year when South Korea’s government launched a missile defense system without approval from China. SNH48 raised more than $150M from investors last month, and has a team of strategy managers that curate groups and put together performances.