When the three founders of the “microbial-genomics” startup uBiome began collecting human poop, they kept it in an erstwhile storage closet, inside secondhand freezers from a discount-lab-supply website. It was a far cry from a state-of-the-art facility.
So starts Erin Brodwin’s inside story on uBiome, a startup that convinced Silicon Valley it was worth $600 million before the FBI came knocking. Hers is a great report on how a citizen science project became a clinical-testing company with big-name backers, and the corners some say it cut along the way. You can read the full story here.
We’ll be hosting more events like it, focused on specific industries, across the US in the coming months. If you have any ideas for live events you’d like to see or feedback from our event on Monday, let me know.
Quote of the week
“Unicorns are amazingly deflationary vehicles. They’re deflating rents, they’re deflating driver salaries, they’re deflating all kinds of things.” — Famed short-seller Jim Chanos explains how Silicon Valley unicorns have pushed prices lower.
- Alex Nicoll and Dan DeFrancesco talked to Monzo CEO Tom Blomfield about the UK digital-only bank’s decision to launch in the US.
- Meghan Morris talked to Clare Flynn Levy, the founder of Essentia Analytics, which gives traders as much performance feedback as athletes so they can make better decisions. She explained why it can be hard to convince some veteran traders to look in the mirror.
- Rosalie Chan talked to RapidAPI founder and CEO Iddo Gino about how he turned a tool he made for newbie programmers into a product used by over a million developers.
- Megan Hernbroth talked to Scott Tierney, cofounder and former partner of CapitalG (formerly Google Capital), about his $175 million fund for his venture firm, Valo Ventures.
- Shona Ghosh talked to Markus Villig, founder and CEO of Bolt, a major European Uber rival backed by Daimler and China’s Didi Chuxing. He said the company has profitable quarters because it doesn’t set cash on fire.
- Lucia Moses talked to Andrew Morse, the executive vice president and general manager of CNN Digital Worldwide, about its decision to pull its high-performing Anderson Cooper news show off Facebook Watch.
- Emma Court talked to Dr. Sheila Gujrathi, CEO and cofounder of $1 billion biotech Gossamer Bio, about the three jobs that prepared her to be a first-time CEO.
- Tanya Dua talked to The Hershey Company’s CMO Jill Baski about the company’s decision to launch its own in-house ad agency. She said overhead costs are down 25%, output is up fivefold, and there’s been over $4 million saved in agency fees.
Finance and Investing
Rob Casper stands up and takes a piece of laminated paper from behind his desk. Standing in his 39th floor office in JPMorgan’s glass-walled midtown Manhattan headquarters, the bank’s chief data officer wants to make a point.
Hedge funds are sifting through so much data that they might just turn to random people online to help with it.
The wealth management division at Bank of America Merrill Lynch had an explosive year in 2018, and 2019 is off to a torrid pace as well, adding thousands of new millionaire clients.
Tech, Media, Telecoms
Michael Duda knew from the first time he met John Foley that he wanted to make a bet on Foley’s fitness equipment startup, Peloton.
As the advertising establishment heads to Cannes for the annual, rosé-soaked ritual of making deals and collecting awards on the French Riviera, Gary Vaynerchuk wants the marketing world to know there’s a new type of agency holding company in town.
Healthcare, Retail, Transportation
Out the window of Northwell Health’s New Hyde Park, New York, offices sits an expansive 1.4-million-square-foot building.
As the legalization of medical cannabis has swept the globe, it’s also paved the way for another new health frontier: psychedelic medicine.
Uber has struggled to attain the same dominance in the tricky region of the Middle East that it’s built in places like the United States.