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From What I've Read This Week...


Weekly Newsletter of what I've read and thought was interesting. I am a Venture Partner at Contrary Capital. Read more at karthiksuresh.me

Issue #11 - July 2, 2018

Note: This summer I am challenging myself to read 1 book everyday for the next 10 weeks. I would greatly appreciate any book recommendations on GoodReads. Thank you to those who have already recommended me some books!

NEWS:
Uber is back in London. After about a 10 month ban due to non-thorough background checks, Uber is finally back in London. How did Uber manage to successfully appeal the ban? By arguing that it has matured as a company and learned its lessons from the many failures and scandals prior to CEO Dara Khosrowshahi stepping in.

Instagram is projected to be worth more than $100 Billion. It is projected to account for 16% of FB's revenue next year (Instagram earned $40B last year). Snapchat, on the other hand, has a market cap of only $16B which pales in comparison to Instagram's valuation...

Lyft is now valued at $15 Billion. Lyft just raised an additional $600M in its series 1 round bringing its post-money valuation to $15 Billion. This is double what it was valued a little over a year ago...

Snap is planning on launching a gaming platform. Snap is trying to follow WeChat's lead by diversifying to e-commerce, gaming, and other capabilities that it hopes will able to gain more users and prop up its declining valuation. I'm predicting mainly AR games as this seems to be the "new" attraction companies are trying to figure out (Apple focused on AR gaming a whole lot in its WWDC).

Facebook and Twitter are meeting with conservative politicians to try and convince them that they are not censoring right-wing news.

Update on US-China Tech investments: The US will not create laws to explicitly restrict Chinese companies from investing in US-based tech firms. Instead they will beef up CFIUS (basically a decree that will investigate foreign investment on the basis of national security issues) and use it to crack down on Chinese investment, similar to when it stopped China-affiliated Broadcom from buying Qualcomm.

VC firm Sequoia is closing its 3rd fund at $8B!!! I guess money grows on Sequoias...


Blog Posts:
Looking at the top apps on the Apple App Store. Facebook is absolutely destroying the app market and it has 4 of its apps on the all-time most downloaded list (Facebook app is #1, Messenger #2, Instagram #4, and WhatsApp #5). That's crazy!

Looking at how Facebook's new newsfeed algorithm has affected news sources.


Startups:
Creator just raised $18.4M in its seed round. Creator is a startup that is trying to create a robot that will prepare customizable burgers. The fast-food industry is in need of workers (Restaurant worker unemployment is at a all time low of 6%) and automation could very well be the solution for these companies. There is already a lot of automation in the fast-food industry right now: Wawa has self-ordering kiosks, Pizza Hut is exploring with computer vision to create "perfect slices" of pizza, etc. The Creator robot plans to be fully customizable so you can specify the amount of ketchup on your burger down to the millimeter of sauce.

VC firm Andreessen Horowitz is opening a crypto fund.

Amazon bought PillPack for $1B. PillPack is an online pharmacy that helps people take their medicine on time. Great move for Amazon who is now moving into consumer-facing healthcare. Special shout-out to my colleague Danny Kim who was a part of PillPack's team!
     
     
 
Cool Image of the week:
 
Analyzing the hype surrounding different technologies.
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From what I've read this week... · 110 8th St · Troy, NY 12180 · USA

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