Month: October 2021

3Q21 Digital Health: Perpetual Motion Machine…

A whirling dervish…a ball rolling downhill. The investment activity in the digital health sector is extraordinary – and arguably overdue given the enormity of the market opportunity and the urgency created by the pandemic to re-architect such an important sector. According to Rock Health data, this past quarter saw $6.7 billion invested in 169 companies for an average deal size of $39.4 million. The investment activity for 2021 is on pace to reach $28 billion, which would effectively double the 2020 highwater mark of $14.6 billion.

And the robust investor enthusiasm is not exclusively a U.S. phenomenon. According to CB Insights data, across all of healthcare globally there has already been $97.1 billion invested, putting this on pace to be nearly $130 billion, which would be nearly 60% greater than last year’s highwater mark of $79.9 billion. Interestingly, CB Insights flags that the 3Q21 investment of $30.5 billion marks a deceleration from the prior two quarters although the number of deals spiked to 1,901, which is 15% greater than 2Q21, and itself the most active quarter ever. 

As highlighted with the Rock Health data, we should pause on the average round size to better understand what appears to be unfolding. Year-to-date there have been 62 “mega rounds” of financing (greater than $100 million) which represents nearly 12% of all financings. Arguably, the digital health sector is entering an “anoint the winner” phase. Entrepreneurs and investors today experience greater urgency than ever as the next few years may well define (Read more...)


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

Facebook, if nothing else, is good at diverting attention away from itself and its pesky public relations nightmares. It doesn’t matter how bad things get – they know that everything becomes the proverbial fish wrap in time.  

Do you even remember that it was not even a week ago when The Facebook Papers dominated the media cycle? Me neither! I had already forgotten what it was all about. The slush of repetitive media coverage based on internal documents was nothing more than just a public relations headache. 

It was an easily solved problem. Change the company’s name (start with a careful leak,) throw in some vision, whip up a slick video, and then on the day of the annual developer conference, rename yourself, Meta. Facebook’s new name comes from Metaverse, which according to its CEO Mark Zuckerberg is the future of the internet where you are “in the experience, not just looking at it,” and “it will touch every product we build.” 

Even if you believe that Zuckerberg has been thinking about this for a few years — I don’t have any doubts about it — the timing of this announcement is expedient and shows that they are and will be masters of media manipulation.  

“It is a political strategy too, part of a broader push to rehabilitate the company’s reputation with policymakers and reposition Facebook to shape the regulation of next-wave Internet technologies, according to more than a dozen current and former Facebook employees,” reported The Washington Post. (Read more...)

New problems, old problems

This post is by Seth Godin from Seth's Blog

Most of the challenges we face are things we’ve faced before. It might be a personal situation or a business one, but it’s not new.

If what you’ve done before works, it’s not a problem any more.

If you need to stick it out because there’s no other way through it, it’s not a problem, it’s a situation.

But if you think it’s a problem, then the hard work is deciding to try something new, as opposed to the predictable but unsuccessful path of doing what you did before.

That’s not the same as the challenge we face when a new problem arises.

A new problem doesn’t need fresh thinking, it needs clear awareness. We can begin by acknowledging we have a problem, identifying the constraints, the boundaries and the assets involved.

And then we can go to work to solve it.

Because ultimately, that’s our job. To solve interesting problems.

Sunday Reads and Listens… Listen To This Podcast With Chris Dixon and Naval on Crypto and Web 3.0

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

Before I get started…

I pushed it hard for two weeks in New York and I am exhausted.

I will be back in New York the week of the 15th and Toronto for my mom’s 80th so I need some rest.

My diet was awful and I feel awful. New York food is my curse.


I do not want to distract your Sunday with reading links today…you just need to listen.

I am flying home right now and I just finished listening to Tim Ferris interview Naval and Chris Dixon on all things crypto, NFT and Web 3.0 and it was FANTASTIC.

I have never listened to a podcast for two hours and I was just blown away and gave the podcast my full attention.

Chris Dixon is the ‘Terminator’ of technology investing (he just keeps at you relentlessly with genius and wisdom and money making ideas and trends and plain english) and Naval is the Master of communication on all things technology investing and startups.

If you invest the time in this podcast you will be a better investor…period.

Tim makes footnotes to the podcast so don’t stress yourself taking notes.

Have a great Sunday.

It’s Mind Blowing That Our Minds Can’t Be Blown

This post is by naval from Naval

Humans can understand every idea given enough time and effort

Brett: Scientifically minded types say, “Perhaps we won’t be able to understand the next set of laws of physics. Perhaps we won’t be able to understand the aliens. It’s nothing but the appeal to the supernatural. It’s logically equivalent to God is out there, and you can’t possibly understand what God is. God is this infinite, omniscient being that is beyond us.”

You can believe that if you like. You can believe the simulation hypothesis. You can believe any one of these things. They’re all metaphysical claims about a reality that we have no access to. Whether or not you want to introduce aliens who will have ideas that we can’t comprehend, that’s all standing on the same footing.

At least in God’s metaphysics you could say, “OK, that’s in a different universe. That’s outside of our laws of physics.” But the aliens presumably would be under the same laws of physics, so I don’t even see what the basis for that is.

Naval: Any species that is smart enough to get off its home planet knows that the limiting factor is ideas. So the thing that they should want the most from any other species they encounter is new ideas. And the trade that they should be making is the trade of ideas.

There’s this Malthusian philosophy in science fiction—now called the Dark Forest Hypothesis—that every human species is like bacteria and we’re going to run out of (Read more...)

Core Venture Studio Questions

Last week I had the opportunity to meet with the team behind a new venture studio. A venture studio, like our Atlanta Ventures, is a meta startup that creates more startups. Similar to an incubator, a venture studio brings all the ingredients together for new company creation.

Like any business strategy, there are unlimited number of permutations with no right or wrong answers. In the venture studio world, there are a series of questions that come up repeatedly. Here are the core venture studio questions:

  • What do you look for in entrepreneurs?
  • How do you find entrepreneurs?
  • How do you come up with startup ideas?
  • How do you decide which ideas to pursue?
  • How much money do you invest in each startup?
  • Do you take outside money for subsequent rounds?
  • How is the equity split with the entrepreneurs?
  • How many new ones do you start per year?
  • What does the recurring interaction with each startup look like?
  • How many will you have going at any given time?
  • What types of startups and business models will you do?
  • How do you define success?

Answering these questions covers the majority of the questions for the general direction of a venture studio. Naturally, the model evolves over time and answers will change, but the basic approach is fairly consistent.

Creating a venture studio is incredibly fun, and terribly difficult at the same time. Free markets and an abundance of capital make for heavy competition, but there’s always more whitespace to invent the (Read more...)

SOHO and Collaborations

This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon

Before I get started , I was up in midtown today to meet with my friends Jason Wild and Todd Harrison and we caught up on the Cannabis industry (it was all talk and no ingest or inhale). Todd took me to P.J. Clarke’s after the meeting and holy shit, the burger and fries were fantastic.


If you have read my blog over the years you know I am fascinated by and love SOHO New York.

I love shopping, I love brands, I love the streets and light of SOHO and I have lived at Prince and Wooster (on Wooster) when we started Stocktwits.

SOHO was devastated during COVID, so it is exciting to see it back and humming. One big reason is ‘pop up retail‘.

The trend of pop-up retail started in Los Angeles and now can be found all over the United States, Canada, China, Japan, Mexico, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia. Pop-up retail has been an increasing factor during the retail apocalypse of the 2010s.

In late 2019, Rachel and I made a small personal investment together in KROST New York. My friend Rob Petrozzo (Rally Rd) knows I love start up fashion brands and introduced Rachel and I to Sam. We were excited about his initial products and vision so we invested.

You can check out his website here. This November and December he will have a pop-up store on Mercer street in SOHO.

Samuel has done some amazing collaborations (Read more...)

Eastern Europe Industry Review: While Political Pressure Mounts at Home, Startups and Investors from the Region Amass Successes on the Global Stage

Crunchbase and East-West Digital News are teaming up to cover key tech and venture trends from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. This column by EWDN Chief Editor Adrien Henni highlights the most notable industry facts and trends in the third quarter of this year (the previous column is available here).

More than with tech innovations, Russia made the news this past summer by staging a merciless war against political dissent and engaging in a power struggle with U.S. digital giants in the run-up to its September parliamentary elections.

The authorities forced Apple and Google to disable Russian users’ access to a pro-opposition app called “Smart Voting.” The pressure was exerted via unprecedented means–from a court marshal visit to Google’s Moscow office, to prosecution threats reportedly targeting local employees of the two U.S.-based companies.

In addition, Google (which is held responsible for YouTube videos) and Facebook could receive record fines for not removing prohibited content. These fines could range from 1/20 to 1/10 of the yearly revenue generated by these companies in Russia–potentially, more than $10 million.

The summer was also marked by developments of two legal matters involving prominent figures of the Russian tech scene. In August, U.S. citizen Michael Calvey and his French and Russian colleagues were found guilty of embezzlement by a Moscow court. Calvey is the founder of Baring Vostok Capital Partners, one of the most established Russian private equity firms, which has invested in some of Russia’s best tech companies since the early 2000s. (Read more...)