Silicon Valley Funding News - Week of February 5, 2024. Watershed Raised $100M Series C

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Happy Monday! 

Here are a few great things to read/watch this week:

  • 🥽 Why Tim Cook Is Going All In on the Apple Vision Pro - I went to the Apple Store on Friday to check out the latest device.  It is about 1.3 lbs and it's heavy!  The store manager even told me about his "religious experience" with it. As an investor who invested in a few VR startups in 2016-2018 (which have all shut down since) I am excited about this launch, but I remain skeptical. The key is to pay attention to DAU, MAU, active time spent, churn of this device in the next 90 - 180 days. Can Apple really pull this off? It's remain to be seen. Enter the era of spatial computing.
  • 📚 The Complete History & Strategy of Novo Nordisk - I really enjoy listening to this podcast on Novo Nordisk. This incredible 100+ year old company behind Ozempic that overtook LVMH to become Europe’s most valuable company. It's really smart that they position Ozempic as a cardiovascular drug, not for weight loss. Yet the research shows the weight-loss addressable market (WLAM?) of Ozempic will reach $100 billion by 2035. Listen here.
  • 🤖 I Don't Think AI is Truly Ready for the Enterprise...Yet. It was fun to learn and watch all the AI demos this past week at the AI User Conference San Francisco. Even though the venue was in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, there were well over a thousand people in attendance! The whole industry still feels early and most of the tools are very tactical.  Most of users / audience I talked to are still trying to fit these AI tools into their existing workflow.  Most regulated industries (health, finance, manufacturing and legal) are still skeptical about hallucination. I did enjoy this discussion on LLM Optimization: Best Practices for Choosing Between RAG and Fine-Tuning.  
  • 🗳️ PR 101 for Founders - Techcrunch's Founders Summit is coming up, and in I am one of the finalists for audience choice to host a talk on the topic of PR 101 for Founders: Branding Strategies to Win Over Investors, Customers and Partners. Please vote for me by clicking this upvote button to bring this talk to life in Boston this April.
  • 🛒 Companies are Bought, not Sold - Wattpad's Allen Lau and I spoke recently on a FoundersHK livestream about his experience getting bought by Naver for $600M.  Webtoon and Wattpad were a match made in heaven, but it was not the case for most startups. In 2023, only 1,738 venture-backed startups were acquired globally — the lowest amount since 2015, when 1,687 startups were bought (per Crunchbase data.) M&A dropped 31% for startups in 2023

This week a total of 11 startups raised $363.7M in funding, 1 M&A:

  • $137.4M goes to 4 Enterprise startups
  • $3.7M goes to 1 FinTech startup
  • $34M goes to 1 Web3/Crypto startup
  • $40M goes to 1 Media and Entertainment startup
  • $33M goes to 1 Restaurant startup
  • $10M goes to 1 Healthcare startup
  • $5.6M goes to 1 BioTech startup
  • $100M goes to 1 Environment startup
If you love this newsletter, ask your best friends to sign up.

Edith

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Funding (300 miles radius from Silicon Valley)

Enterprise FinTech Web3/Crypto Media and Entertainment  Restaurant Healthcare BioTech Environment IPO & M&A (300 miles radius from Silicon Valley)  
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