Posts tagged with "PitchBook"

Bloomberg: California and Massachusetts are the most innovative U.S. states

June 25, 2020

For the second consecutive year, California and Massachusetts have taken the first and second spots, respectively, in Bloomberg’s annual State Innovation Index.

According to a report by The Boston Globe, the ranking is based on six equally weighted metrics: research and development intensity, productivity, clusters of companies in technology, STEM jobs, residents with degrees in science and engineering, and patent activity.

California and Massachusetts’ success dates back more than 150 years ago with the creation of land-grant universities under the Morrill Act, according to New York University Stern School of Business economist Paul Romer.

The Morrill Land Grand Act of 1862 helped boost higher education in America by granting states public land. That land could be sold and the proceeds earned could be used to establish colleges. Massachusetts Institute of Technology was among the earliest recipients of the act, which served as the basis for many other institutions, including the University of California and Washington State University.

These schools “and their counterparts in every state created a new type of university—distinguished by a practical focus on problem solving that the world had never seen,” Romer, co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, said in a telephone interview with The Boston Globe.. “The success of California and Massachusetts is a sign of the high level of investment that those states have made in their university and research systems.”

California ranked number-one in the Bloomberg index for patent activity and second for both technology-company density and concentration of science- and engineering-degree holders. Its state university system and pre-eminence in research—along with private Stanford University—have been influential in building Silicon Valley headquarters for established tech companies and budding startups.

Last year, entrepreneurs there received more than $67 billion in venture-capital funding, according to data from PitchBook. That’s more than three times New York, the second-highest state for deal flow.

According to a joint report from PwC and CB Insights, the top five highest-valued private U.S. tech companies are all California-based: JUUL Labs, Stripe, Airbnb, SpaceX and Palantir Technologies.

In addition, among U.S. companies that went public last year, the five reaping the highest year-to-date returns also are in California: Zoom Video Communications, IT-service provider Fastly and life-science specialty businesses Vir Biotechnology, Livongo Health and IDEAYA Biosciences.

Second place Massachusetts took the crown for tech-company density. General Electric, Raytheon, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Biogen are headquartered in the Northeastern state. Prior to the pandemic, Boston-based Toast—a restaurant-management platform— was a venture-capital favorite. The startup raised $400 million at a $4.9 billion valuation in February.

Rounding out the top five are number three, Washington State; number four, Connecticut; and Oregon, which jumped two spots to number five.

Research contact: @BostonGlobe

Bono-backed Beautycounter is bringing its clean makeup to the masses at Sephora

June 23, 2020

On August 7, Beautycounter—a beauty brand with a much-hyped “Never List” of 1,800 ingredients that are not used in the production of its clean products—is launching some of its most popular confections at the stores of makeup retail giant Sephora in a bid to bring its clean mission to the masses.

The products will hit Sephora’s website even sooner, on July 7, for a limited time only, CNBC reports.  “It’s an opportunity to really validate the movement for clean,” CEO Gregg Renfrew told the cable news outlet in a phone interview, adding, “We have an army of advocates, and we want more voices to our movement.”

For LVMH-owned Sephora, the partnership advances its commitment to stocking its shelves with more clean beauty products, building on the trend toward using only safe and sustainable personal-care products. Beautycounter’s merchandise will be featured online on Sephora’s “Clean Makeup” page, alongside brands such as Kosas and Supergoop.

“We also know our clients continue to seek high-performing, clean beauty products,” Artemis Patrick, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Sephora, said in a statement.

Beautycounter’s business has been unconventional from the start — in that it eschewed the first-floor makeup counters of traditional department stores in favor of a model more akin to the cosmetics giant Avon.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, it launched as a direct-to-consumer business in 2013, selling through its own website and web of consultants—of which it has more than 60,000 today. It was first founded by Renfrew in 2011.

Many of these consultants are so-called micro-influencers, according to Renfrew, and they tout Beautycounter’s merchandise through their social media accounts with thousands of followers, or over virtual Zoom gatherings. They receive up to 35% commission on their retail volumes, she said. And many of the consultants will actually build out their own teams and sell together, Renfrew added.

According to CNBC, Beautycounter currently has three boutiques—in Denver, in New York City, and a seasonal pop-up in Nantucket— with another set to open in Los Angeles later this year.

Beautycounter has raised $106.9 million to date, according to PitchBook. The privately held company, whose roster of investors includes the U2 frontman Bono and the private-equity firm TPG, was most recently valued at about $400 million.

Research contact: @CNBC

60% prefer traditional offices to co-working or ‘open plans’

November 27, 2017

As the economy shifts to encourage the engagement of more contractors and fewer full-time employees, professionals who savor a sense of community as well as a comfortable workspace at a comparatively low cost—many of them Millennials—are increasingly turning to co-working providers.  But is that what they really prefer?

Top among the co-working providers is WeWork, a seven-year-old New York City-based collaborative space that offers such amenities as a loft-like locations, catered lunch, IT support, healthcare insurance, payment processing and more—and in doing so, has become the third biggest U.S. startup by valuation ($21.06 billion), after Uber ($68 billion) and Airbnb ($31 billion) and before SpaceX ($21 billion), according to a report by Recode, based on PitchBook data.

But there are a number of similar providers springing up cross-country—among them, Regus, Carr, and Spaces.

If not in a co-working space, many offices are turning to open floor plans. In fact, 70% of U.S. offices now have an open office layout, according to The Washington Post. And while these spaces are supposedly meant to foster collaboration; they offer a distinct lack of privacy, which can lead to poor productivity for those who are easily distracted.

And there’s the rub: Indeed, according to findings of a recent Civic Science poll, fully 60% of U.S. adults prefer to work in a traditional office space (such as a law office).

Even when the polling organization considered that co-working spaces and open office spaces are much more geared towards Millennials, it seemed that a similar story holds true: While there is a definitive correlation between age and the type of office space a person prefers to work in, the researchers said, most Millennials still prefer to work in a traditional office space. Only 15% of Millennials prefer an open office space – which is slightly higher than the general population – and only 13% prefer to work in a co-working space.

Despite this low preference for open and co-working spaces, Civic Science did find another interesting correlation—job happiness. In fact, adults who prefer to work in a co-working space or an open office space are roughly twice as likely, the pollsters said, to say they are “very happy” in their current job. Those who prefer to work in a traditional office space are most likely to answer, “very unhappy.”

Since suburban households have more room for a private office, it is little surprise that people who prefer co-working spaces are more likely to live in a city.

Companies might want to think twice before jumping on the co-working and open layout bandwagon. Although these spaces provide many benefits, and although they may be fun, it looks like most people are content with traditional office spaces. They might not be as loud, or as collaborative, but the numbers don’t lie.

Research contact: Jordan@civicscience.com