Skip to Content

Data Sheet—Sunday, November 13, 2016

Most people were stunned by Donald Trump winning the presidential race on Tuesday. His victory was followed by waves of questions like “how did this happen?” and “what policies will he implement?”

In Silicon Valley, one big question is what does Trump in the Oval Office mean for startups? Let’s take a look, with the disclaimer that the in-coming Trump Administration is still working on its agenda after sticking to a mostly vague platform during the campaign:

Lots of VC funds have money to invest, but you’ll still have to be careful. While funding won’t dry up overnight and shouldn’t be a huge concern for startups, uncertain macroeconomics might make some investors more cautious for a little while.

Regulations may or may not change. Trump has said he wants to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act, among other regulatory changes. But then again, he may not in its entirety, as he’s now hinted. Trump made many promises during his campaign, but now we have to wait and see what materializes. Other areas that he has promised to address that could impact startups include immigration, cybersecurity, financial services, taxes, and international trade.

Startups can make the world a better place. Now, more than ever, is the time for the tech industry and entrepreneurs to get to work and tackle important challenges like education, increasing healthcare access, and providing access to jobs. And you don’t even need a for-business model. Check out my profile of a startup accelerator that exclusively works with non-profit tech startups, and whose alumni have tackled food donations, education, reporting sexual assault, donations of medication, and even making voting more transparent.

One thing you can’t easily do is secede from the U.S., as some Silicon Valley investors who oppose Trump have quickly jumped to suggest. Not only is it incredibly difficult given our current laws, but that’s exactly the attitude that led to the economic divide at the center of this election.

Kia Kokalitcheva


This is the Startup Sunday edition of Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily tech newsletter, edited by reporter Kia Kokalitcheva. You may reach me via Twitter, email, or an entirely new platform that your startup developed. Feedback welcome.

Everyone’s Talking About

Zipline. This week, the drone startup announced $25 million in new funding. The company made headlines last month when it debuted a drone delivery program for medical supplies in Rwanda in partnership with the UPS Foundation, the parcel service’s charitable arm, and Gavi, a vaccine fund backed by Bill Gates. In the U.S., however, Zipline and others still have regulatory challenges when it comes to commercial deliveries by drones. (Recode)

Unicorn Watch

Snap’s Spectacles are finally here. Snapchat’s parent company is beginning to sell its connected eyewear, but only through a traveling vending machine. (Fortune)

Walgreens sues Theranos. The drugstore chain filed a lawsuit for breach of contract against the embattled blood-testing company, though confidentiality agreements mean few details are publicly available. (Fortune)

Airbnb loses main argument against San Francisco law. A judge struck down the home-sharing company’s argument that the U.S. Communications Decency Act protects it from any responsibility when it comes illegal listings. (Reuters)

Ben Horowitz joins Lyft’s board of directors. The famed Silicon Valley investor joined the ride-hailing company’s board to replace Scott Weiss, a partner at Horowitz’s firm. (Fortune)

The Week in Startups

Allstate Spins Out New Startup Focused on Flagging Risky Drivers (Fortune)

Meet the Woman Working to Make Delivery-by-Drone a Reality (Fortune)

Online Fashion Retailer Nasty Gal Will File for Bankruptcy (Fortune)

Facebook Live Is About to Get a Bunch of Funky Filters From Russian App Prisma (Time)

Colombian Startup Rappi Wants to Deliver ‘Everything’ (Fortune)

The Copyright Law Behind $600M Startup Giphy and Millennials’ Favorite Form of Expression (Fortune)

Soylent Blames Algal Flour for Consumer Complaints (The Verge)

Uber Rival Karhoo Closes Amid ‘Dire’ Financial Problems (Bloomberg)

Even Juno — Known as the Driver-Friendly Ride-Hail Service — Has Self-Driving Ambitions (Recode)

Hired, the Recruiting Platform, Raises Another $30 Million (TechCrunch)

Words of Wisdom

“If you were excited about your business yesterday, you should be excited about your business today.”—Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson, on how startup founders should feel as we head into a new presidency. (Wilson’s blog)