The Changing State of Retail and eCommerce

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In honor of Amazon Prime Day, I thought it would be fitting to dust off the blog and shed some light on the state of consumer and retail from my viewpoint.

It’s no secret that retail as we know it has underwent some drastic changes the past few years.  Online shopping, Amazon winning on convenience and delivery, Stitch Fix pioneering data science + fashion, the direct to consumer movement, the rise of Instagram and other media platforms combined with heavy discounting and a race to the bottom for the retailers has led to record store closings and bankruptcies.

Speaking of Instagram, Kylie is out here valued at $900M and here I am trying to get 25 likes per post…

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Jokes aside, I put together a few slides on this phenomenon and a few of the key metrics and a framework I used to evaluate companies in this space.  I may do a deeper dive into some of the metrics and what patterns and indicators for success look like at a later post.

 

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Enterprise Security: So Hot Right Now!

IT Security = Hansel?  We think so!

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With the recent onslaught of Enterprise Security investments (25 in February alone!), we decided to turn to our friends at Crunchbase to see just how hot this market really was.  Let’s just say, the numbers did not disappoint. Below are the key takeaways from the study:

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Rising Round Size:   Average round sizes are up almost 50% since this time last year which we hope translates into companies receiving higher valuations (and not higher founder dilution…).

The Rich Get Richer:  Follow on funding rounds have been increasing in both size and quantity in the past year. This bodes well for the industry because it means more firms are putting good use to earlier rounds and leveraging that success into future investment.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Buy Them:  There have been 10 acquisitions this year alone so there seems to be a theme of consolidation at work (Looking at you Bit9…).

Finally, we couldn’t write an entire piece about Enterprise Security and NOT mention the darling of 2013; FireEye. After their successful IPO last fall and recent purchase of Mandiant (bonus points for it being a majority stock deal and limiting the cash impact!), they have clearly revealed their plans on how to take share in this market.  Now if only they would do the same for profitability