The Equity of the Crowds
Crowdfunding began as a cool way for your college roommate to raise money to finally record his first album, but has quickly gone on to be a bigger part of how the tech industry does business.
CB Insights, a research analytics firm that bills itself as the “OkCupid for venture vapitalists,” has released the first study of crowdfunding’s growing role as a serious part of the tech business. The survey took a look at every crowdfunded tech hardware project on either Indiegogo or Kickstarter, which came out to 443 projects.
At first, bitcoin was just the purview of cryptography nerds and libertarian redditors. Since then, digital currencies have been used to fund everything from World Cup betting rings to congressional elections. Now that bitcoin is out in front of legislators and safer than ever to use, investors are starting to pour record amounts into bitcoin startups.
From April through June of this year, bitcoin startups pulled in a record $76.8 million in investments, which is almost as much as the entirety of 2013, CB Insights reports.
Every day, we hear more from investors and founders about the growth of the New York startup ecosystem — hell, it seems like there’s a new Demo Day every time we get back from the last one. And wherever there are promising startups to fund, you can bet the money will follow.
NYC firm Lerer Read More
Brave New Ventures
Millennials are often accused of being irresponsible and non-committal. We can’t commit to a relationship, a mortgage or a job for more than a year. How appropriate then, that a news site meant for millennials can’t commit to a name.
PolicyMic has changed its name to Mic (Stylized “.Mic”). “Policy.Mic” is now just a section, like Arts.Mic or World.Mic. Distancing themselves from using the word “Policy” in their masthead is meant to chase broader appeal.
Tech Bubble Watch
The tech scene in Tel Aviv is booming, and many Israeli tech founders see New York City as their best opportunity to go global. But even with talent, product and a great plan, startups are struggling to lay down roots in New York.
A new microfund and accelerator want to help top Israeli tech startups transition to New York. Founded by Eyal Bino, Accelerant Ventures is striving to help Mr. Bino’s countrymen conquer the global scene without selling out early.
Internet of Things
A new CB Insights report shows that big corporations are pouring into the tech investment scene. While many might fear this means we’re headed for a second tech bubble, the report’s authors insist that’s not the case.
Major corporations like Intel and Comcast have become a third of the V.C. landscape. The deal sizes are getting bigger and bigger, and the last quarter saw the highest valuations we’ve seen since the last major tech crash. It’s not hard to see why people think history could repeat itself.
When people hear “Internet of Things,” their first inclination is to think of Google-owned talking thermostats. But it’s the less-buzzworthy global communications titans like Intel and Cisco who have been building up their portfolio of Internet of Things companies over the past few years — and they’re only getting started.
Intel recently bought up Basis Systems, which makes health tracking bands, and Cisco’s portfolio includes companies that put sensors in home utility meters and bicycles. These are companies that made their multinational empires building satellites and wireless networks — and now they want to develop consumer products that put sensors in alarm clocks, hearing aids and thermostats.
FINsix, the company behind Dart — billed as “the world’s smallest, lightest laptop adapter” — launched a Kickstarter campaign last Monday. Their goal was $200,000, and they raised it in 12 hours.
But while FINsix was launched by recent college graduates from MIT, they aren’t some plucky little company in need — Read More
Startup Food Chain
Facebook’s recent acquisition of Oculus revealed some cracks in Kickstarter’s armor. It highlighted a number of issues arising from the way backers view their contributions and how Kickstarter campaigns sell themselves to backers. Coverage of Oculus’ Kickstarter debacle spanned from misunderstanding the issue completely to focusing on the outrage.
But much of Read More
Since GrubHub Seamless went public with a valuation of $2.67 billion, venture capitalists are racing to find the next hit food delivery app for their portfolios.
According to the report on the CB Insights blog, investments in food tech in the first quarter of 2014 (Q1) were the highest they’ve been in five years. Over $200 million went to food and grocery apps during those three months, which was the biggest VC investing boom in over a decade.
Most of these are small, local apps that focus on a particular set of stores and services, whereas GrubHub and Seamless are nationwide giants with a combined 25 years under their belts. The two companies merged last year, and served over three million customers nationwide in 2013 alone.