Day: October 23, 2022

3Q22 Venture Activity: Third Time Was Not a Charm…



Obviously, 3Q22 was a very difficult quarter in the capital markets. Of the 115 global stock, bond ETFs, currencies, and commodity indices tracked by the Wall Street Journal, only 13 of them showed gains, paced by the not surprising 24.7% gain in the New York Mercantile Exchange Natural Gas index. Sadly, the Ukrainian hryvnia declined by 20.0%, slightly out ahead of the oxymoronic Lean Hogs index which dropped by 18.2%. The S&P 500 Health Care index dropped by “only” 5.6%.

The venture capital industry was not insulated from this turbulence which underscores a general “risk-off” investor sentiment that has settled in as inflation and interest rates both continue to rise. The level of venture investment activity in 3Q22 totaled $43.0 billion invested (a nine-quarter low) in an estimated 4,074 companies (a seven-quarter low) according to Pitchbook. While activity slowed across all stages, it was particularly acute in the later stage rounds as crossover investors walked away. Late-stage investments declined to $24.9 billion in 3Q22 from $64.7 billion in 3Q21.

Notwithstanding a collapse in exit activity in 3Q22 to $14.0 billion (in 2021, exits totaled $781.5 billion), fundraising for U.S. venture capital funds has already set a new record with $150.9 billion raised by only 593 funds through 3Q22. Notably, the average fund size raised in 2022 is $254 million, dramatically larger than the average fund size of $129 million in 2021. And 2021 was the second greatest year for fundraising with $147.2 billion raised by 1,139 funds. Fewer firms (Read more...)

How Big is the U.S. Cheese Stockpile?


This post is by Omri Wallach from Visual Capitalist


Graphic showing the amount of cheese the U.S. has stockpiled in cold storage

How Big is the U.S. Cheese Stockpile?

As of August 2022, the U.S. had 1.5 billion pounds of cheese in cold storage across the country. That’s around $3.4 billion worth of cheese.

Using data from USDA, this graphic looks at just how big the U.S. cheese stockpile has gotten over the last few years, and compares it to notable landmarks to help put things into perspective.

But before diving into the data, we’ll take a step back to quickly explain why America’s cheese stockpile has gotten so big in the first place.

Why So Much Cheese?

Over the last 30 years, milk production in the U.S. has increased by 50%.

Yet, while milk production has climbed, milk consumption has declined. In 2004, Americans consumed the equivalent of about 0.57 cups of milk per day. By 2018, average milk consumption had dropped to 0.33 cup-equivalents.

In response to this predicament, the U.S. government and dairy companies have been purchasing the extra milk and storing it as cheese for years.

So, where does one store such a large amount of cheese? A sizable portion of the stockpile is stored in a massive underground warehouse (a former limestone quarry) outside of Springfield, Missouri.

The Stockpile Keeps Growing

Apart from a small dip in 2021 during the global pandemic, America’s stockpile of cheese has increased steadily over the last five years:

DateTotal cheese in cold storage (billion pounds)Y-o-y change (%)
April 20181.353.8%
April 20191.403.7%
April (Read more...)

How Big is the U.S. Cheese Stockpile?


This post is by Omri Wallach from Visual Capitalist


Graphic showing the amount of cheese the U.S. has stockpiled in cold storage

How Big is the U.S. Cheese Stockpile?

As of August 2022, the U.S. had 1.5 billion pounds of cheese in cold storage across the country. That’s around $3.4 billion worth of cheese.

Using data from USDA, this graphic looks at just how big the U.S. cheese stockpile has gotten over the last few years, and compares it to notable landmarks to help put things into perspective.

But before diving into the data, we’ll take a step back to quickly explain why America’s cheese stockpile has gotten so big in the first place.

Why So Much Cheese?

Over the last 30 years, milk production in the U.S. has increased by 50%.

Yet, while milk production has climbed, milk consumption has declined. In 2004, Americans consumed the equivalent of about 0.57 cups of milk per day. By 2018, average milk consumption had dropped to 0.33 cup-equivalents.

In response to this predicament, the U.S. government and dairy companies have been purchasing the extra milk and storing it as cheese for years.

So, where does one store such a large amount of cheese? A sizable portion of the stockpile is stored in a massive underground warehouse (a former limestone quarry) outside of Springfield, Missouri.

The Stockpile Keeps Growing

Apart from a small dip in 2021 during the global pandemic, America’s stockpile of cheese has increased steadily over the last five years:

DateTotal cheese in cold storage (billion pounds)Y-o-y change (%)
April 20181.353.8%
April 20191.403.7%
April (Read more...)

Sunday Reads and Listens…It’s All AI (Artificial Intelligence) and DPI


This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon


Happy Sunday…

The weather is finally starting to cool in Phoenix.

I am going to head out on a long ride this morning.

I have a busy week as I head to Vegas tomorrow for Money 2020 and the Cayman Islands for a conference.

I have been down the AI rabbit hole of late and wrote about this last week. Most of the reading is over my head but there are some very fun and practical tools that are getting built and launched all the time.

My friend Mike Marquez and I have these hilarious technology and venture capital calls all the time (too much made up gossip to make them public) where we talk about trends and companies and products. Mike was helping me on the last call understand some of the amazing AI tools he was seeing that I should try. Because I have been working on a new ‘web 3’ business they really struck a chord.

Six I am trying now are ‘Smashing Logo‘, Jasper.ai, Copy.ai, WriteHolo.com, Wombo.art and Brandmark.

I do believe that while web 2 was all about speed, scale and the more money the better (driven by low cost of capital), the next phase of the web will be more inclusive and niche. AI (artificial intelligence) and the blockchain will allow smaller teams with less engineers build profitable businesses fast.

I have NO IDEA what the prices of the S&P or Nasdaq or Dow will be next (Read more...)

Product idea: Talking discs


This post is by Seth Godin from Seth's Blog


Many offices and public settings are putting up clear plexiglas barriers to insulate staff from the spread of disease. While we can easily see through these partitions, it ends up creating a lot of yelling.

What if there were a disc, about the size of a hockey puck and the thickness of a few coasters… it would come in pairs, be low-powered and Bluetooth enabled. Stick one on one side of the glass, one on the other. It’s a microphone and a speaker… boom. At scale, they’d probably be really cheap.

One extension: allow the disc to also hook up to a wifi router or laptop. Now, you can have a disc at your home office and your colleague can have one too. Tap it to turn it on, and if the other person chooses to unmute, you can have a casual conversation the way we might in the old office-bound days.

It’s pretty easy to imagine creating a simple app that could record and create a transcript of every transaction, which could be useful for bureaucracies and public records.

Another extension: Integrate it with real-time translation and now the disk allows you to talk to anyone in any language…