Neil here. Happy Friday!

One of the best ways to decide where to invest your hard-earned cash is by taking a look at the week’s headlines. What’s going on in the world? What companies are doing well? And where are the big guys investing their money?

This week, I caught three major stories that each spell some major opportunity for angel investors over the next few months and years.

And today, I want to dive into exactly what’s going on, my own takeaways, and what it might mean for your wallet down the line.

So, with that, let’s get started…

Waymo Just Bagged Another $2.5 Billion

The Takeaway: Self-driving car companies need angel investors.

This week, self-driving car company Waymo announced a brand-new $2.5 billion funding round (yes, billions). Waymo is the sister company of Google, and it plans to use this capital to make key hires and advance its autonomous driving tech.

That brings the company’s total amount raised over the last year and half to over $5.5 billion. Last year, Waymo raised over $3 billion in venture funding. This year’s funding round was led by major industry names like Andreessen Horowitz, Fidelity Management & Research Company, and Alphabet (Waymo’s parent company).

Waymo Is Just the Beginning: The tech world loves self-driving cars, and venture capital does too. The entire market is worth around $24 billion, with an expected growth rate of around 18% through 2025.

But numbers aside, it’s clear to see that this technology is beginning to take the world by storm… And Waymo isn’t the only company making waves. Established vehicle companies and autonomous vehicle startups alike are trying to get their hands on a piece of the industry. Even more established companies like Volvo and GM are working on their own self-driving car tech.

But it costs a whole lot of money to create even one self-driving car, let alone a country full of them. Companies have spent a combined $16 billion on the tech alone… or, almost enough money to buy 320,000 self-driving Tesla Model 3s.

To keep that momentum going, companies will need to rely on influxes of capital to access the resources they need to grow, meaning the opportunity here for angel investors and VCs is endless.

Google’s Going Brick-and-Mortar

The Takeaway: Get ready for a brick-and-mortar revival.

Speaking of Google, the company just opened a retail store this week in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. It’s the company’s very first brick-and-mortar location, and it occupies an entire block of the city.

Customers will have access to Google hardware products like the Pixel, Nest, Chromebook, Fitbit, and more. However, the space was designed as both a store and an interactive experience, showcasing Google’s latest tech and allowing customers to try it out.

Google Is No Apple: Apple has 511 different retail locations around the world. And while the stores themselves are sleek, they were built solely for retail. Google’s store focuses more on the customer experience. The company sees the store as an extension of their entire brand, rather than just a spot to go buy a Chromebook.

It’s too early to say what the store’s success will look like. Where Apple has seen incredible success, Microsoft shut down its 83 physical locations in 2020.

But it still begs the question… Could this be a way to bridge the gap between the tech world and the real world? I think so. Google is pioneering a brand-new retail model that, if more tech-based companies adopted, could kick off a brick-and-mortar renaissance. In other words, brick and mortar isn’t dead.

Clubhouse Has a New(ish) Competitor

The Takeaway: It’s tough being the new guy.

Clubhouse quickly became a social media mainstay following its founding in March 2020. It’s an invitation-only app allowing users to drop in on live, audio-only chatrooms. By May 2021, the app had over 10 million users… including familiar faces like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and even most of the Angels & Entrepreneurs team and Advisory Board.

But Clubhouse has faced plenty of competition from the industry’s bigger names, including Twitter, Facebook, and now… Spotify. This week, Spotify launched its new social media app, Greenroom, which works similarly to Clubhouse. Users can download the app to drop in on live conversations about music, art, culture, sports, and more.

An Uphill Battle: Spotify has over 356 million users, around 35X more than Clubhouse. Plus, Greenroom isn’t invitation only, meaning more people can join faster without holding out for an invite.

What’s in the cards for Clubhouse? I think it certainly has the exclusivity factor going for it, but its model is too easily replicable across the social media world. Twitter even reportedly entered talks to acquire Clubhouse a couple of months back.

To make it big on your own in the tech world, you’ve got to create something so unique and nonreplicable that you’re necessary to the market. Clubhouse doesn’t seem to have that locked down… and I think an acquisition may be its best bet.

While we’re here… A little bonus for you, too. The World Economic Forum has projected that one tiny currency market will get a $14.2 trillion boost in the next four years.

Hint, it’s not Bitcoin. It actually has the potential to beat Bitcoin by up to 100X.

It could be a once-in-a-generation opportunity, and as soon as I heard about it, I wanted to pass it along.

Get more details by tuning into my friend Tom’s report. Click here to check it out.

That’s all from me for today, but have a great weekend. We’ll talk again soon.

Until next time,

Neil Patel