fbpx

From the Dow hitting a record 30,000 to Amazon revealing their next level of global domination and the official kickoff of the holiday shopping season…

It was a week worthy of a recap.

Here’s what you shouldn’t have missed (I won’t tell if you did):

  • German Company Doubles Down On Its Takeover of the Publishing Industry
  • Big Players Go Shopping For Food Delivery Startups
  • A Look At This Year’s Supergiant Rounds
  • Mental Health Apps: A New Fixture in Digital Healthcare
  • Tech Company Successes Drive Public Markets Through End-of-Year Rally
  • Amazon Is Taking Over Another Part of Your Life: Healthcare

I’ve made it easy for you and broken each down for you in my latest edition of Angel Insights.

 

Publishing Takeover Leads to Antitrust Concerns

 

Bertelsmann is a media, services, and education company that operates in around 50 countries worldwide.

Now, the German company is doubling down on its takeover of the publishing industry.

Bertelsmann acquired Penguin Random House in 2017. After the deal, it clocked in as the fourth largest book publisher in the world in terms of revenue—$4.15 billion in 2018.

The big news this week is Bertelsmann’s acquisition of publisher Simon Schuster from ViacomCBS for $2 billion. This is another act of consolidation in the publishing industry and one that will swing even more publishing power towards the German giant.

Simon & Schuster publishes some of the world’s bestselling authors, including Dan Brown and Stephen King.

Following the deal, Bertelsmann will hold nearly a third of the US publishing market by revenue.

The deal is so big in the publishing world that critics have raised antitrust concerns and have said that post-acquisition, Bertelsmann will exert too much power in specific genres, particularly hardcover fiction.

Bertelsmann remains confident and unphased and is moving forward with the deal anyway.

Read the full story, here.

 

Big Players Go Shopping For Food Delivery Startups

 

HelloFresh is another German company whose conquest into the U.S. markets has made headlines.

The publicly listed meal kit provider just bought up a relatively unknown food delivery startup called Factor 75 for around $277 million. This marks the third acquisition of food delivery startups by HelloFresh in just two years.

HelloFresh is now the leading meal-kit provider in the U.S. in terms of market share. It, like its competitors, has been rocketed forward by the pandemic. HelloFresh saw 70% year-over-year growth between Q3 2019 and 2020.

There have been many other developments in the booming food delivery space.

Just a few weeks ago Nestlé bought Freshly for a whopping $1.5 billion. Back in June, Takeaway.com beat out its rival Uber in a bidding war for Grubhub.

Right now there are several big names in food delivery that are battling it out for market share. We are seeing loads of consolidation as acquisitions happen left and right.

Read the full story, here.

 

Amazon Is Taking Over Another Part of Your Life: Healthcare

 

Amazon has been testing the waters in the healthcare industry for years, but just this month it decided to cannonball right in.

Its latest service is called Amazon Pharmacy.

If you haven’t heard already, Amazon will now be offering prescription medications on its online marketplace.

Doctors can send prescriptions right to Amazon to be delivered to the patient. Prime users without insurance can land huge discounts on meds—up to 80% on generic ones and 40% on the name brands.

Additionally, patients can call up Amazon pharmacists over the phone 24 hours a day to get info on their conditions and medications.

Previously, Amazon bought a drug-delivery startup called PillPack for $1 billion. Now it’s clear that this was in preparation for Amazon Pharmacy.

Its other steps into healthcare include launching its brand of over-the-counter medications and creating a health-monitoring wristband called Halo.

With e-commerce, direct-to-consumer sales, and all types of delivery on the rise, we can now see Amazon’s plan for the future—to be a one-stop-shop for virtually all of your needs.

Read the full story, here.

 

This Year’s Supergiant Rounds and the Future of Private Funding

 

In 2020 we saw an incredible number of “supergiant” rounds of funding.

VCs and private equity firms have become more comfortable sticking with and investing in late-stage companies that show extreme potential.

We are seeing more and more rounds top $100 million or more as private companies push back the chance to go public to fully establish themselves first.

Firms that frequently contribute to these supergiant rounds include Tiger Global, Softbank Vision Fund, Temasek Holdings, Alibaba Group, and DST Global among others.

According to Crunchbase, 2020 has seen 539 supergiant rounds so far. This represents $142 billion invested or around 55% of all dollars invested.

Now for some companies that pulled off supergiant rounds this year…

Reliance Jio is an Indian telecom company that raised $20 billion this year with multiple rounds above $100 million. Its investors include Google and Facebook.

Chinese tutoring platform Yuanfundao took the number two spot for total funding—$3.2 billion. This incredible amount was raised in just three rounds, each for $1 billion or more.

Two American companies, Waymo and Rivian, had their own super-years, raising $3 billion and $2.5 billion, respectively.

The future of our private markets is hard to predict.

These long-running funding rounds for hundreds of millions are certainly attractive to the right companies, but with the strong performance of tech stocks on the public market and the surge of SPACs that offer a quick and easy path to public, we could see a shift away from supergiant rounds.

Read the full story, here.

 

Mental Health Apps: A New Fixture in Digital Healthcare

 

Mental health startups have opened up a new opportunity within healthcare.

Spring Health, a startup that helps companies give their workers mental health benefits, just raised $76 million in a Series B round led by Tiger Global.

Meanwhile, a young startup, Matra Health, raised new funding for its remote therapy service for teens and young adults to the tune of $3.5 million.

Mental healthcare system provider, Headway, raised $26 million about a week ago in a Series A round with GV leading the charge.

Finally, Talkspace, an online therapy app, is working on a possible sale.

This pocket of activity shows a niche within healthcare that is incredibly fast-moving. As Amazon has shown us, healthcare is becoming totally digital fast and consolidation is essential to make it work.

Q4 of 2020 has already seen 1,539 rounds of healthcare funding that raised around $21.8 billion in invested capital. This is well ahead of previous records.

And specifically with mental health investments, we have seen a growth in deal volume since last year.

Read the full story, here.

 

Tech Company Successes Drive Public Markets Through End-of-Year Rally

 

We just had a week of broken records and impressive growth for tech companies and their public markets.

Even with Dow Jones futures and S&P Futures seeing a small dip this past Wednesday, Nasdaq 100 futures managed to rise.

The same week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.5%, topping the 30,000 level for the first time in history, in part from great performances from leading stocks like Apple, Microsoft, and Salesforce.com.

Other tech stocks like Tesla, and its Chinese rival Nio, hit all-time highs.

Corsair Gaming and Palantir, both recent IPOs, sailed above 100% of their recent buy points.

And for the year so far, the S&P 500 is up 12.5%, the Dow is up 5.3%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq is up an amazing 34.1%.

The markets have performed exceedingly well through the pandemic due to top-performing technology companies.

Just like in the private markets, the public markets pulled through and even thrived due to this innovation.

Read the full story, here.

Author: Chris Graebe

FoodTech innovation is at an all-time high and as mainstream adoption continues, huge opportunities will open for startups and private markets. Read on to see what’s happening right now and what the future holds for this global shift.

 

Since its debut in 1995, the Tofurky Roast has been served on the Thanksgiving table in millions of households.

What started as a meatless way to celebrate the holidays has turned into an ever-expanding line of plant-based products including deli slices, burgers, sausages, grounds, and more.

Just this year, they saw their biggest uptick with a 22% surge in orders ahead of Thanksgiving and an unprecedented demand.

But they’re not alone anymore.

Meatless powerhouses like Beyond Meat (BYND) and Impossible Foods have helped make meat alternatives acceptable and mainstream.

Heck, Beyond Meat went public at $25/share in May of 2019 and is now trading at well over $125/share.

This year’s mid-March lockdown-induced meat shortages pushed the sales of plant-based foods up by 90%.

I believe it’s the adoption of meatless food options by national food chains like McDonald’s and Burger King and grocers that will continue to grow and expand this sector.

I discuss that in detail and share yet another FoodTech trend to keep an eye on, in today’s Angel Insights edition.

 

A Meatless Revolution

 

We’ve all heard of gluten-free, organic, non-GMO, and the numerous tags that consumers go crazy for.

But do you know about the biggest new food trend?

This is a trend that has already found its way onto the menus of McDonald’s and Burger King and yet still lives in the “health food” aisle of your supermarket…

You already know what it is, I’m talking about plant-based meat.

This food tech product has been around for decades but just now has lost its negative connotations and broken into the mainstream.

And, an even more groundbreaking product, lab-grown or cultured meat, is creeping up fast.

With huge, industry-shaking stories breaking over the past few months, I thought it was time to put you guys onto this niche that is set to disrupt the $1 trillion U.S. meat industry.

 

Plant-Based Vs. Lab-Grown Meats

 

Plant-based meats are made from non-animal sources like soy, grains, algae, lentils, and mushrooms. These foods are cooked and processed to emulate the look, feel, taste, and smell of regular meat.

We aren’t talking about tofu here, these are specialty products that aren’t just high-protein substitutes for vegetarians and vegans. These give the full meat experience and are for anyone concerned about animal welfare, the environment, or their health.

On the other side of the room, we have lab-grown meats.

These products are made of actual animal cells. Muscle cells are collected and grown in a controlled environment. The result is authentic meat from an animal source with all the flavor and texture you’d expect, but without harming any animals.

While the lab-grown meat industry has grown significantly and many investors have taken an interest, the current issue is the price.

To make a single lab-grown burger today costs thousands and thousands of dollars.

While the technology isn’t yet as viable as cheap and easy plant-based meats, in the future the technology will catch up. Lab-grown meat has the potential to fundamentally change the food system.

 

Driving Factors in the Alternative Protein Space

 

Interest in alternative meats is mainly fueled by environmental concerns.

Livestock animals used for meat production are very resource-heavy, especially when it comes to freshwater.

UCLA studied meat production and found that raising a single pound of beef requires anywhere from 2,000 to 8,000 gallons of water. This mostly comes from irrigating the cows’ foods which are grasses and grains.

Compare this to tofu: a pound takes around 302 gallons of water to produce.

Many are also concerned with the greenhouse gas impact of livestock animals. The EPA found that livestock animals produce about 4% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

Beyond the environmental issues, many people just want to cut back or cut out their meat consumption for health reasons.

The market for vegetarians and vegans who need tasty protein sources has been around for a long time, but now we are seeing the growth of a new market—one where regular eaters want to reduce their meat intake without sacrificing their meaty indulgences.

 

Beyond Meat’s Mysterious Deal with McDonald’s

 

Beyond Meat is an LA-based food tech company that makes non-GMO plant-based meat products.

These products offer greater or equal protein levels than their animal counterparts, have no cholesterol, less saturated fat, and are made without the use of antibiotics or hormones.

Kleiner Perkins, Tyson Foods, General Mills, and Bill Gates have all invested in Beyond Meat.

The startup has raised a total of $122 million of capital so far and has already gone public. The IPO was huge and much-anticipated, selling at $25 per share and raising $241 million at a valuation of around $1.5 billion.

That’s just the intro, now here’s the real news…

Beyond Meat has been working with McDonald’s in secret for some time now. After much speculation, it’s now clear that Beyond Meat was involved in the creation of the new meatless burger the McPlant.

In what capacity they are working together is still unclear, but If the two meat specialists made a full-on partnership it could mean huge revenue growth for Beyond Meat.

The implications of this deal created a huge buzz within the industry. Ever since the first whispers emerged, the company’s stock price has been bouncing around like a ping pong ball.

It’s also possible that they are simply offering consultation on the meatless patty or working with McDonald’s in a less hands-on capacity.

Whatever the case, what’s clear is that McDonald’s is developing its meatless line and taking it globally. Beyond Meat is working with McDonald’s on that project, and this has created a huge morale boost for investors and entrepreneurs across the plant-based meat industry.

 

The World’s First Cultured Meat Acquisition

 

In big lab-grown meat news, the Israeli startup Meat Tech 3D is acquiring the cultured fat producer Peace of Meat.

Meat Tech uses 3D printing technology to print cultured meat. It also focuses on research and development within the food tech space and leases tech to major food producers globally.

Peace of Meat has developed a stem-cell-based method for creating animal fats from cattle, chickens, and geese without harming the animals. It was just founded in 2019 and in a very short time earned a $1.33 million government subsidy and $1 million in private investments before finally hitching up with Meat Tech 3D.

This deal marks the very first M&A in cultured meat in history, a huge statement for the industry.

 

Plant-Based Meat Unicorn Continues Burger King Deal

 

Impossible Foods is another plant-based meat company. It takes seeds, greens, and grains and processes them into meat, dairy, and fish products.

This is the biggest name in alternative proteins right now. Impossible has gotten huge investments, exposure, and celebrity endorsements over the past few years.

So far it has raised $1.4 billion in funding from investors like Microsoft, Bill Gates, Khosla Ventures, GV, as well as investments from celebs like Katy Perry, Jay-Z, and Serena Williams.

Impossible Foods took a huge step recently by partnering with Burger King. Together, they produced the Impossible Whopper, a plant-based version of the famous sandwich.

Now, the duo has announced a breakfast addition in the form of the new Impossible Croissan’wich with the startup’s own sausage alternative.

This along with McDonald’s and Beyond Meat’s dealings shows a huge potential for alternative protein startups to break into the mainstream.

The technology is ready and consumers are ready. We are bound to hear more big news out of this industry as it expands into and disrupts the meat industry.

 

Next Step

 

If you want to learn how to get in on the action in the private market, then you must watch this video. You’ll get to hear about our latest 6-figure+ startup investment, why we made it, and how you can join.

Author: Chris Graebe

In 2016, billionaire investor Mark Cuban led the seed round for Relativity Space – the startup behind the world’s first completely 3D printed rocket.

With their first launch expected to come next year, their ultimate plan is to take a rocket to Mars.

So, it turns out that building rockets is expensive.

Earlier this month, Relativity began raising $500 million in a Series D round at a whopping $2.3 billion valuation.

That’s crazy considering they’ve yet to successfully take a rocket to space.

Cuban must see something with them though… he jumped in on this round as well (along with Y Combinator, Fidelity, Jared Leto and others).

While companies like Relativity Space, Virgin Galactic, and SpaceX are in the pursuit to make space exploration mainstream…

The broader Aerospace sector is ripe with innovation – that’s the focus of my latest edition of Angel Insights.

 

 

Today’s Trends In Aerospace

 

Big names like SpaceX and Virgin Galactic are no stranger to headlines. These are some of the biggest names in Aerospace technology today.

But there is much more to watch out for in this space. “The final frontier” has never been closer. Innovation and investment are making things like space tourism and moon bases realistic goals.

Smaller companies benefit from lucrative government and military contracts. And a recent boom of acquisitions also gives them a short path to exit as the industry consolidates.

Let’s take a look at some of the trends in the aerospace industry and cover the biggest stories and startups that you need to know to spot investment opportunities.

 

Biggest Trends in the Aerospace Industry

 

Today, things move fast in aerospace. Entrepreneurs have been focusing on a few big things in particular to find success.

Here is what to look out for:

  • Low-risk digital innovation – Low-risk, high-impact technologies like AI, sensory technologies, and robotics get the most focus for innovation.
  • Electric aircraft – Global sustainability issues, government regulation, and the high costs of fuel make partially-electric and fully-electric aircraft more in-demand each year.
  • 3D printing – Production is one of the priciest parts of aerospace development. With 3D printing, companies can go from R&D to iteration rapidly and without high costs.
  • Simulations – Simulations lower costs by testing and planning out limitations, maintenance, and repairs in virtual environments. Also, simulations are used as a training tool for aerospace personnel in the military.

These are just a few of the big trends in aerospace, but there is so much more going on. Let’s look at some of the biggest news in the space and see what startups are doing to get ahead.

 

Mark Cuban Doubles Down on Relativity Space Investment

 

Relativity Space creates the world’s first entirely 3D printed rockets.

The Terran 1 rocket is a new take on how rockets are designed and manufactured, resulting in a lightning-fast turnaround. Modern and streamlined, these rockets have 100 times fewer parts than a normal one and take just 60 days to print.

The long-term goal is to use this technology to develop interplanetary life, improving life here on Earth and getting us to Mars.

Years after leading the startup’s seed round, Mark Cuban doubled down and joined Relativity’s Series D round of funding at a $2.3 billion valuation.

This round saw a half of a billion given by Cuban, Y Combinator, Fidelity, and Tiger Global, among others.

 

SpaceX Just Changed Space Projects Forever

 

In what is by far the biggest aerospace news today, SpaceX’s privately funded and designed capsule, Resilience, just successfully brought four astronauts to the international space station.

This was the first of six commercial launches that NASA has purchased from SpaceX.

The success of this mission marks the end of an era of huge and clunky government-run projects fueled by politics and ushered in the age of commercially-viable projects run by private companies.

For investors and entrepreneurs in the space, this is incredible.

SpaceX has steadily crunched down costs over the past few years to create a capsule that puts previous efforts to shame.

With NASA’s former Space Shuttle program, it cost $55,000 to put a single kilogram into orbit.

To do the same with SpaceX’s Falcon 9, it costs just $2,700. That’s 95% cheaper.

SpaceX’s founder, CEO, and CTO Elon Musk promises that his next spacecraft, Starship, will bring that price down to $200.

With NASA’s openness to private companies throughout the new Commercial Crew Program and with the rapidly decreasing price of launches, “the sky is the limit” just doesn’t do justice to the huge potential here.

 

Zephyr Brings Customer-Centric Designs to Economy Air Travel

 

Zephyr is trying to change the experience of “economy class.”

By retrofitting existing Boeing and Airbus commercial aircraft, Zephyr can create a more luxurious economy experience that increases revenue for airlines.

The new cabin features lie-flat seats to allow comfortable sleeping without having to pay more for business class. These seats are social distancing compliant and allow for more privacy than normal economy seating.

 

OneWeb Gets $1 Billion Rescue Deal to Compete With SpaceX

 

OneWeb is building a global communications network that will orbit Earth providing high-speed internet across the globe.

The startup was set back when its biggest investor, SoftBank, suddenly pulled out funding. After restructuring, the company earned $1 billion in equity investment from the UK Government and Bharti Enterprises.

This puts OneWeb back on track to compete with SpaceX’s Starlink in the race for global satellite internet coverage.

Now the company is set to resume its satellite launches in December 2020, bring its connectivity services to the UK and the Arctic in late 2021, and expand globally in 2022.

 

European Space Agency-Backed Startup Plans to Harvest Water On the Moon

 

Ispace Technologies is a Japanese company that develops a lander for making deliveries to the moon. More broadly speaking, Ispace develops solutions for space mining.

Despite its foreign origin, Ispace has decided to plant its roots in Colorado and establish a headquarters there.

Colorado has grown into a global aerospace capital. It earns the largest number of NASA and U.S. Government contracts other than Washington D.C.

Ispace relocated to Colorado to leverage the highly skilled workforce and the multitude of aerospace programs.

Along with the move, Ispace was given a Tax Credit from the Colorado Economic Development Commission worth $1.13 million. Along the way, the team picked up SpaceX veteran Kursten O’Neill who will come on to lead engineering.

If the idea of moon mining seems a bit far fetched to you, keep in mind that in just three years, Ispace has earned around $125 million in funding.

On top of that, Ispace was chosen by the European Space Agency to be a part of PROSPECT, a program for extracting frozen water on the moon.

Listen, if you want to learn how to get in on the action in the private market, then you must watch this video here. You’ll discover one of our most attractive investment ideas in 2020 and why we dropped more than 6 figures into the company.

Author: Chris Graebe