The Rise and Fall of Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily Fantasy Sports ("DFS") - a daily version of a typically months-long fantasy sports season - took the sports fan world by storm in 2015, with two companies leading the charge: DraftKings and FanDuel. Investors rushed in: in June 2015 FanDuel raised a staggering $275M in funding, then a month later, DraftKings grabbed $300M of its own. DFS websites exploited a legal loophole classifying them as "skill games", different from plain old "sports betting", which made them legal and easily accessible in most of the U.S. Both companies bombarded fans with non-stop TV commercials, spending a comb…

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Instant Delivery Wars

We looked at our panel of over 3 million credit and debit card accounts to learn how the instant delivery services stack up. Over the last 13 months, Instacart and Amazon Prime Now achieved the fastest growth, with Instacart growing revenue by almost 2X and Amazon Prime Now growing revenue by a whopping 5X: Amazon Prime Now was able to overtake Instacart in terms of number of unique customers, growing its customer base by over 4X: The average Instacart customer, however, spends much more than the average Prime Now customer, though both numbers appear to be growing:…

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Presidential Campaign Fundraising Update

This is our second post tracking the fundraising efforts for the 2016 presidential elections. A note on the data: we are analyzing credit and debit card individual contributions directly to the two candidates' campaigns. This excludes cash and check contributions and money raised by PACs. In essence, these are the "common folk" small scale contributions. Looking at total dollars spent, we see that after catching up in June, the Donald Trump campaign remained flat in July, while the Hillary Clinton campaign credit and debit card contributions in July by more than 20% compared to June: While the…

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The Jet Engine that Could

Wal-Mart is reportedly in talks to buy Jet.com, a billion dollar start internet retailer challenging Amazon.com: Jet, barely a year old, has drawn more than $500 million in capital from the likes of venture firms New Enterprise Associates and Accel Partners, mutual-fund company Fidelity Investments and bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The funding, and a valuation over $1 billion, are massive sums for a company facing the prospect of years of losses and an uphill climb to draw loyal users. Jet projected it would burn through hundreds of millions of dollars in its first few years, spending much o…

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Delivery Apps vs. Foot Traffic

Over the last couple of years we've seen food delivery services explode in popularity: companies like Grubhub Seamless, Eat24, Postmates and DoorDash are rapidly expanding and fiercely competing to deliver your favorite food from any restaurant quickly and cheaply. The innovation of the new breed of food delivery apps is in the fact that this service is being implemented completely independently of the restaurants who actually prepare the food. This begs the question: are these services cannibalizing the restaurant's direct-to-customer business? Do people who use delivery apps just stop visiti…

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