C2V Dec 2020 Notes from the Trenches

Welcome friends!   Last newsletter of the year.  Weren’t sure we’d get here, but we’re feeling pretty good now that we have.  So before we get into the usual fanfare, some things to be optimistic about over the next couple of weeks:

  1. The blizzard that’s about to hit the northeast! Why, you ask? Because “sledding” adds a long-awaited fourth option to the covid-friendly family activity list. That’s a 25% bump!  (Sorry, California, you’ll have to make do with surfing, golf, and lying on the beach watching the beautiful people walk by). 

  2. The blizzard again! Why this time? Because when you find yourself completely defeated at 2 pm, you don’t have to power through it. Just park the kids in front of the TV. It’s not your fault, it’s a blizzard! (Apologies again to our California readers -- you’ll just have to grab some burgers from In-N-Out and cruise the PCH with the top down for a few hours instead)

  3. Rumor has it that movie studios are scrambling to make pandemic adjustments to the “feel-good” endings for A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone, and a few other holiday classics by reordering the scenes so that they now culminate with the protagonists finding themselves alone in their quiet houses, having finally gotten rid of their families.

Happy Holidays, indeed.  

C2V is Excited to Announce our 12th Investment - Driver Tech

We’re pleased to welcome our newest portfolio company, Driver Tech, a platform for collecting and monetizing driver behavioral data.  Much of the current innovation in the mobility industry requires massive amounts of video and telematics data, such as image and video data for testing and training autonomous cars, advanced driver assistance systems, autonomous delivery bots and other road-aware robots, and telematics and video data for training usage-based, in-vehicle, plug-in hardware and mobile app insurance models. 

Current methods of data gathering (e.g., data gathering fleets, aftermarket hardware) are expensive, biased, and limited in terms of geography and capabilities.  Driver Tech solves these issues by collecting its data through a free app that provides consumers with numerous user incentives such as a dashcam, advanced driver assistance features (e.g., collision alerts), and insurance savings, allowing DriverTech to build an anonymized, diverse, and continuously updating data and analytics platform for its enterprise mobility customers. 

For those of you who want to try out the free app, click on your app store of choice below, and if you’re still not convinced, check out this recent review.

2021 Tech Predictions

It’s that time of year again! Annual tech startup and funding predictions for the coming year. However, before we look ahead, let’s first take a look back at the 2020 predictions. Despite 2020 being, well, different to say the least, most held up. The highlight: correctly predicting that Apple would reduce their 30 percent app commissions, but have a look and let us know if you agree! Now the reason why you are here — what lies ahead in 2021? Without further ado here are some shots in the dark that needed to be etched in digital stone – on the internet – forever.

  1. We will see a mega bubble burst in 2021, including a bankruptcy from at least one late-stage, private “unicorn.” We’re overdue for enough of the late-stage market accepting that some of these companies only exist because they can raise hundreds of millions of venture money every six months to trigger a game of musical chairs that will leave at least one of these cash-hemorrhaging consumer darlings without a seat. 

  2. Mass consolidation of large media-tech companies, and those startups that could not get funding in 2020 or lacked product. Big and medium-sized deals/soft landing clean-ups from 2020.

  3. Masterclass meets next-generation mentorship platforms to support a dispersed tech and founder community looking for guidance and answers. With no conferences to attend or coffee shops to park-up and meet people, look for subscription services that match those who have been in the trenches and have built companies with first- and second-time founders excited to listen and learn based on past experiences. 

  4. All aspects of insurance, home, life, and auto get challenged by new players.  It turns out that the most data-driven of the old economy industries has fallen way behind the recent data revolution.  More companies will apply modern AI/ML and data science to various insurance segments and uproot legacy underwriters. 

  5. Did somebody say 5G?  With advertised speeds rivaling or exceeding current broadband options, cord-cutting will accelerate, and cable companies will be in serious trouble.

  6. The robots are coming. Advances in AI/ML software will drive increasing autonomy and robotics companies will find more of the 3-D (“dirty, dull, dangerous”) jobs to replace. 

  7. Did you hear that?  Voice commerce is knocking on your door and probably already inside your house. Why pick up a pen (or even your phone) after you use the last of the milk when you can just holler at your virtual assistant to add a carton to your next delivery order (from any vendor you like)?  The app is dead, long live the virtual assistant.

  8. AR, VR, and XR adoption for brands and advertisers continues to be slow.  Once touted the future of it all, mass adoption, cost, and use cases not fully proven outside of gaming experiences. 

  9. Consumers take back their privacy rights.  Consumer sentiment around privacy post-election, social networking mistakes from Facebook, will encourage more people to use private meeting rooms and chat like a Telegram – don’t know about you, but continue to see my close friends in droves sign-up.  

  10. Finally, COVID-19 will force the increased use and acceptance of surveillance technologies as governments around the world use the excuse of controlling the spread of the virus and tracking vaccinations to ramp up citizen tracking. We are already seeing this at scale in China.

Press & Social Updates

  • After achieving initial success with media firms, Advisr announced it closed $5.2 million in Series A funding. As they expand, Advisr continues to execute on its mission of helping sales teams increase deal size and accelerate their sales velocity through technology and automation. 

  • Covid has no doubt influenced the way we look at the world. One thing’s for sure, everything feels dirtier than before. Somatic technology continues to impress as they revolutionize commercial cleaning robotics. Their 3-step process allows robots to autonomously clean and disinfects entire restrooms. With a post-covid mindset, we’re not just excited about this technology but hopeful that it can change how we operate while staying safe.

  • With the year coming to an end we’ve done quite a bit of reflection on multiple fronts, including on our socials channels. Recently, we reshared one of our earliest videos with Hotel Tonight CEO, Sam Shank, where we pitched his business idea.. but with a twist. This is still one of our favorite conversations from the C2V Studios archive. Head over to our youtube for our full catalog of interviews, promos, and more. 

C2V Quotes from 2020

You’ve probably picked up on it by now, but our love language is words of affirmation. So, we of course had to send off this year with our top C2V quotes of 2020.

Head over to our Instagram for our full look back at our 2020 highlights, with plenty of classic C2V quotes. 

That’s a wrap on 2020! This year offered incredible opportunities and we’re excited for what’s to come in the New Year. We are incredibly grateful for our C2V community and sincerely thank you all for your support throughout the year. We hope you have a happy and healthy holiday and wish you the best in 2021.

As a reminder, you can always get the latest words of inspiration (and much more) on our social channels: