Good morning. Today I’m sharing your best macro and tech predictions for 2017.
MACRO: Readers agree that interest rates are going up. Predictions around what effect that’ll have, as well as the future of jobs, growth, inflation, tax repatriation, and the bond market, varied.
-“ Bond ETFs are not as safe nor liquid as advertised.”
-“Trump proves to be a moderate, middle of the road president, but the USA becomes more insular.”
-“At least 50% of the American dough held abroad by corporations will come home as a result of tax reform”.
-“ Tax + regulatory reform lead to further economic stimulus and job growth.”
-“It will be hard to outpace the liquidity-fueled growth (and multiples) of yesteryear.”
-“Automation that displaces jobs will happen faster than expected, resulting in Trump Tweeting about universal basic income.”
-“Your New Jobs section stole my thunder for my business prediction for 2017: No new jobs today.
-“Labor rate participation increases to 63.1% average for next year, up from 62.7% today.”
– “’Made in America’ will carry more weight with consumers.”
-“ The United States gets an image as a more pro-business country.”
Raj Ganguly of B Capital Group sees fintech companies moving to Germany as a result of Brexit. “We can expect more shifts as tech’s two largest hubs (US/UK) concede to populism and a retreat inward. Singapore, Canada, India, China, Ireland and other countries will double down on tech-friendly policies to fill all potential vacuums.”
Many readers predict doom and gloom.
-“In the US, we are at the end of the business cycle by conventional measures (profit margins have peaked, employment nearing full). But because of massive private market deleveraging since 2009, there is still capacity to expand. These two forces will battle until we reach a peak and end of business cycle.”
-“Chinese banks to finally start to address their non-performing loans.”
-“Geo-political uncertainties will continue to dominate the headlines, causing unprecedented levels of opacity for businesses.”
Greg Sands of Costanoa Venture Capital predicts a trade war with China will lead to a global slowdown with unintended consequences including currency movement and shrinkage of capital flows.
TECH: Readers have mixed feelings about VR and AR.
–“Alternative proteins will replace VR as the current hype.”
-“Apple will launch an Augmented Reality device.”
-“ Applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence will gain wide acceptance across industries, leading to an immediate push for regulation due to fear of the unknown, a parallel of the Trump-esque xenophobia.”
-“Machine learning and AI will finally from hype to adoption and disruption in the enterprise.”
-“Heavy investment into VR/AR content creation.”
Cack Wilhelm of Scale Venture Partners believes mobile and headset VR will converge faster than we think: “I predict that Snap Spectacles will prove to be a second cultural milestone showing AR acceptance (the first being Pokemon Go).”
Elsewhere in tech, readers predict continued growth in Asia, continued demand for data analytics and cloud services, more enterprise drone strategies from Fortune 500 companies, more risk-taking, and a transition to “voice-first” apps from “mobile-first” apps.
Blake Bartlett of OpenView predicted the hype over chatbots will disappear “as quickly as it arrived in 2016.” And one reader believes the next legacy business to be disrupted will be elevators. Okay!
Regarding your answer to the second question – have you made any changes to your business as a result of Trump or Brexit? – the vast majority of readers said “no.”
HOLLYWOOD IN THE VALLEY: Last week when Term Sheet reported on Leonardo DiCaprio becoming an advisor to Data Point Capital, we noted that he had one more relationship in Silicon Valley. Readers quickly pointed out that it was Obvious Ventures. But there’s another one that hasn’t been public: He also advises 8VC, alongside his friend Tobey Maguire, who is publicly listed as an advisor. Correction: This item has been updated to remove incorrect information stating the actors were previously involved with the venture capital firm Formation 8. They were not.
THE LATEST FROM FORTUNE...
• The Fortune Unfiltered podcast features serial entrepreneur and author James Altucher. Listen here.
• Wearable smart devices can’t meet the hype.
• Quitting Oracle in protest.
• Twitter loses its CTO.
• Big tech has the supply chain blues.
• Yeahmobi, a Chinese mobile advertising network, raised RMB ￥639 million ($100 million) in funding at a ￥5 billion ( $720 million) valuation, according to VentureBeat. Investors include Beijing Bohai Tongxin Private Equity Fund, Nanjing Huawen Hongsheng Startup Investment Fund, and Shenzhen Qianhai Bochuang Private Equity Fund. Read more.
• Optoro, a Lanham, Md.-based logistics provider that helps retailers and manufacturers recover and resell returned merchandise, raised $30 million in Series D funding. Investors include UPS (NYSE:UPS), Revolution Growth, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Generation Investment Management, Tenfore Holdings, SWaN and Legend Venture Partners and the Maryland Venture Fund.
• Revolution Medicines, a Redwood City, Calif.-based developer of cancer drugs, raised $25 million in funding from The Column Group and Third Rock Ventures.
• Dynamic Yield, an Israeli SaaS company that helps clients understand user engagement dynamics, raised $22 million in Series C funding, according to TechCrunch. Vertex Ventures and ClalTech led the round, with participation from Baidu, Global Founders Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Marker LLP and Innovation Endeavors. Read more.
• Visedo, a Finnish company that manufacturers powertrain systems for commercial vehicles, heavy-duty machinery and the marine vessels, raised €20 million ($20.8 million), according to Tech.eu. Emerald Technology Ventures led the round, and was joined by Ilmarinen, LähiTapiola, Suffice International, Sinituote, Finnish Industry Investment, VNT Management, Green Campus Innovations and Visedo employees. Read more.
• Appetize, a Playa Vista, Calif.-based maker of point-of-sale tools, raised $20 million in funding. Shamrock Capital Advisors led the round, with participation from Oak View Group and other investors. As part of the deal, Shamrock Capital Advisors partners Andy Howard and Alan Resnikoff will join Appetize’s board of directors.
• LeanData, a provider of lead management solutions, raised $10 million in Series B funding. Sapphire Ventures led the round, with participation from existing investors Shasta Ventures and Correlation Ventures. As part of the deal, Sapphire Ventures managing director David Hartwig is joining LeanData’s board of directors.
• LaunchDarkly, a San Francisco-based platform that enables software teams to test and measure new features, raised $8.7 million in funding, according to TechCrunch. DFJ led the round, and was joined by Softech and Bloomberg Beta. Read more.
• Vida Diagnostics, a Coralville, Iowa-based provider of precision pulmonary imaging services, raised $5.1 million in funding. Chartline Capital Partners led the round, with participation from Rittenhouse Ventures, Next Level Ventures, Rural Vitality Fund II, Iowa Seed Fund, and Northern California Investment Fund.
• Azur Drones, a Paris-based company that offers drone inspection and surveying services, raised €3.5 million ($3.6 million) from an undisclosed investor.
• Ditto Labs, a Cambridge, Mass.-based company developing image recognition technology, raised an undisclosed amount of Series C funding. Red Fort Capital led the round.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Natural American Foods, backed by Peak Rock Capital, has acquired Sweet Harvest Foods Company, a Cannon Falls, Minn.-based producer of honey, peanut butter and syrup products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
• Lightyear Capital LLC, a New York City-based private equity firm, invested $95 million in Ygrene Energy Fund Inc., a Santa Rosa, Calif.-based provider of turnkey Property Assessed Clean Energy programs.
• The Silverfern Group and Arroyo Energy Investment Partners have acquired Broad River Power Holdings, a Gaffney, S.C.-based gas turbine electric power plant. Financial terms were not disclosed.
• Halyard Capital has acquired StratEx, a Chicago-based provider of human resources software and services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
• Bridgepoint has agreed to acquire Hill International’s Construction Claims Group, a provider of services that include claims consulting, management consulting, litigation support, and expert witness testimony and cost/damages assessment, for $147 million in cash.
• TorQuest Partners has acquired Can Art Aluminum Extrusion, an Ontario-based maker of aluminum extrusions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
• The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) has agreed to purchase Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (ENXTBR:ABI ) 54.5% stake in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa for $3.15 billion.
• TDK Corp (TSE:6762) has agreed to buy InvenSense Inc. (NYSE:INVN) for $1.33 billion, according to Reuters. At $13 per share, TDK’s offer represents a 19.9% premium on InvenSense’s closing price Tuesday. Read more.
• SoFi, a San Francisco-based company that provides student loan refinancing services, is delaying plans for an initial public offering, according to Bloomberg. The company is attempting to close a $500 million funding round. Read more.
• Hachette Livre, a French publisher owned by Lagardere SCA (ENXTPA:MMB), has acquired a majority stake in Peak, a London-based brain training app. Financial terms were not disclosed. Peak raised $10.49 million from investors including Creandum, Qualcomm Ventures, and London Venture Partners.
• TPG Capital, a Fort Worth, Texas-based private equity firm, has agreed to acquire Mediware Information Systems, Inc., a Lenexa, Kansas-based developer of clinical and performance management software systems used in hospitals and other medical facilities, from Thoma Bravo. Financial terms were not disclosed.
• Wabtec Corp. has acquired Workhorse Rail, a Pittsburgh-based provider of steel castings and forgings for railroads and railcar builders, from Hammond Kennedy Whitney & Co. Financial terms were not disclosed.
• Veronis Suhler Stevenson, a New York City-based private equity firm, has sold Thomsons Online Benefits, a London-based developer of employee benefits administration and engagement software, to Mercer, a Marsh & McLennan. Financial terms were not disclosed.
• AGC Asahi Glass has agreed to acquire CMC Biologics, a Copenhagen, Denmark-based manufacturer of monoclonal antibodies, coagulation factors and other therapeutic proteins from shareholders including Monitor Clipper Partners, European Equity Partners and Innoven Partenaires.
• Brentwood Associates, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, has sold K-MAC Holdings Corp.,a Fort Smith, Ark.-based operator of Taco Bell, KFC, and other Yum! Brand (NYSE:YUM) restaurants. Financial terms were not disclosed.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• HPS Investment Partners, a New York City-based private equity firm, raised $6.6 billion for its third fund, Mezzanine Partners Fund III.
• Green Courte Partners, a Lake Forest, Ill.-based real estate investment firm, raised $503 million for its fourth fund, Green Courte Real Estate Partners IV.
• Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) is winding down its hedge fund Senfina Advisors LLC, a spokeswoman confirmed to Reuters. The fund gained 20% last year, but lost 24% on its investments this year. Read more.
• Josh McFarland is joining Greylock, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, as a partner. McFarland is currently the vice president of product at Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).