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First it was warehouses taking over America. Now it's data centers.

Matt Turner,Jordan Parker Erb   

First it was warehouses taking over America. Now it's data centers.
  • This post originally appeared in the Insider Today newsletter.

Welcome back to our Sunday edition. If you have a sweet tooth and some time to spare, I recommend this story about an entrepreneur who tried to scale his artisanal marshmallows.

On the agenda today:

But first: Warehouses were the first to take over America. Now it's data centers.


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This week's dispatch

Data center boom

America's biggest warehouse owner is getting in on the data center game.

Prologis, the $100 billion-plus real-estate giant, has hired a new global head of data centers and could invest more than $25 billion into the sector in the coming years.

Prologis had previously driven a boom in warehouse investment as ecommerce took off during the pandemic. Now, along with Blackstone, it's placing a big bet on data centers.

"There is insatiable demand," Prologis's CEO said on a recent earnings call. "We can see easily 10, 15, 20 years of projects out there."

The data center boom is being supercharged by the growing interest in AI. Big Tech companies and venture capitalists are pouring billions into generative AI efforts based on its potential to reshape our virtual realities.

The building boom is a reflection of the physical infrastructure required to make that virtual world a possibility. And it's having very real-world consequences. Data centers are going up across rural America, impacting communities and placing strains on utilities. It's a story we'll be following in the months to come.


Bitcoin isn't going anywhere

It was a bumpy week for bitcoin. First, the digital currency surpassed its all-time high of nearly $69,000 only to see its price quickly fall again.

We've been here before: Bitcoin has had sudden, exciting price jumps (and falls) in 2013, 2017, and 2021, to name a few. The cryptocurrency's most recent boom is proving that its chaotic, roller coaster nature isn't a bug — it's a feature. And it's here to stay.

What's going on with bitcoin.


Fear the "Walking Dead" VCs

According to PitchBook, the number of VCs in US deals peaked at 18,504 in 2021 and fell to 9,966 last year. Unlike other businesses, venture firms don't suddenly go out of business. Some become zombies, wreaking havoc on startup founders.

Some founders said they have to make sure firms they meet with are still even in business. BI looked at PitchBook's data to identify some of the most inactive VC firms.

See which firms have been inactive.


Sam Altman's expanding empire

Altman, much like Elon Musk, has transcended merely running a business. He's selling a worldview. It's one where private companies and billionaires can solve humanity's problems.

Such a dream will require more money than has ever been spent on any business venture in history. But with a network of startups preparing for the rise of artificial general intelligence, Altman is on it.

Inside Altman's sprawling network of investments.

Also read:


This week's quote:

"It's called embedding with the enemy. It's an age-old military tactic."

Jeff Peticolas, a Michigan man protesting the arrival of a Chinese electric-vehicle-parts manufacturer to his hometown.


More of this week's top reads


The Insider Today team: Matt Turner, deputy editor-in-chief, in New York. Jordan Parker Erb, editor, in New York. Dan DeFrancesco, deputy editor and anchor, in New York. Lisa Ryan, executive editor, in New York.


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