Science & Technology
- Israel-based Stratysys reportedly made a significant breakthrough in the development of 3D printing technology by making a device capable of printing a range of materials and colours, which should reduce the time and cost of producing a prototype. More.
- Space X successfully delivered a cargo load to the International Space Station before safely landing its reusable rocket component on a barge.
- A team including Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking launched the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative, a $100m venture designed to develop small spacecraft capable of traveling at 20% of the speed of light, which would enable them to reach the closest star systems within 20 years (versus 30,000 years with today’s leading technologies). More.
- Scientists at Bristol University have developed a drone-based imaging solution that assesses light emitted from plants (a phenomenon affected by leeching material from metal devices) for the safer and more efficient identification of land mines. More.
- Researchers at MIT have developer a 3D printing technique that enables solids and liquids to be printed at the same time, and thus used to make robots controlled by hydraulic bellows. More.
- Researchers at the University of Michigan are developing an artificial placenta intended to boost the survival rates of prematurely born babies. More.
- Researchers at Oxford University have reported encouraging results for a treatment that employs gene therapy to treat vision loss. More.
- Engineers at the University of Washington are developing a system through which digital data can be stored using DNA molecules, which offer data storage capacities that are millions of times greater than currently available technologies (e.g. flash drives and hard drives) and far more durable. More.
New Sources of Funding
- The Column Group closed a $270m biotechnology-focused venture fund.
- US-based Menlo Ventures closed a $250m special opportunities venture fund.
- US-based Sunstone Partners closed a $300m growth equity fund that will focus on technology-enabled service businesses in healthcare, internet / marketing services, enterprise IT and cybersecurity.
- US-based Mayfield raised $525m across two funds that will target early and later stage consumer and enterprise IT companies.
- Netherlands-based Forbian Capital Partners closed a €180m life sciences fund, from which it will invest in companies developing novel drugs, medical devices and diagnostics in Europe and North America.
- France-based CapHorn Invest raised a €100m venture fund from which it will invest in early stage companies involved in the digitisation of industries.
- India-based Saama Capital raised a $30m venture capital fund
- US-based Peppertree Capital Management raised a $224m growth equity fund.
- Denmark-based Seed Capital closed a $125m venture fund.
- Accel Partners closed a $500m fund that will focus on digital European start-ups.
- Grishin Robotics launched a $100m fund that will invest in early stage hardware and software companies in the robotics sector.
- US-based DNA sequencing company Illumina launched a $100m venture capital fund that will support early stage companies utilising genomics to improve human health.
- US / China-focused GGV Capital raised $1.2bn across three new funds, which will be used to support early / growth stage companies in sectors including mobile commerce, the internet of things and robotics.
- London-based VC firm Octopus Ventures raised a further £100m for its early-stage fund.
- US-based Draper Associates closed a $190m early stage fund, which will target companies in sectors including FinTech, EdTech and GovTech.
- London-based Backed VC launched a €30m seed fund from which it will invest in European companies operating in sectors including music and Fint=Tech.
- US-based Felicis Ventures closed a $200m venture fund to target companies in sectors including e-commerce, EdTech and digital health, as well as groundbreaking technologies.
- NexDock is a laptop shell that is designed to connect to and extend a smart phone. More.
- The Volocopter is an 18-rotor ‘multicopter’ that offers greater redundancy (and thus safety) than traditional helicopters. More.
New company Fundraising
- Italy-based Silk Biomaterials, which develops technologies to produce implantable silk medical devices designed to regenerate human tissue, raised €7m from Principia SGR.
- US-based team communication platform developer Slack raised $200m from investors including Thrive Capital and GGV Capital.
- Norway-based Sonitor Technologies, which develops ultrasound-based high definition indoor positioning systems, raised $9.5m from investors. Current applications of its technology include enhancing the efficiency of hospital operations.
- France-based TargEDys, which is developing technologies that regulate appetite for the treatment of obesity and eating disorders, raised €5.8m from investors including Seventure Partners and Pontifax.
- Berlin-based Junomedical, which is developing an online platform that enables patients to discover affordable medical treatment options globally, raised funding from Project A Ventures.
- China-based Ant Financial Services Group, which provides a range of financial services focused at small businesses and consumers, raised $4.5bn from investors including the China Investment Corporation.
- Electric Imp, a developer of a chip designed to provide internet connectivity to electronic devices, raised $21m from investors including Redpoint Ventures.
- US-based Organogenesis, which is developing a range of technologies based around advanced wound care, raised $30m from investors.
- UK-based Saberr, which develops software tools designed to help companies forecast team performance based on cultural fit, raised £1m from angel investors.
- US-based Human Longevity, which is applying large scale genome data analysis to generate novel medical discoveries, raised $220m from investors including Illumina and GE Ventures.
- Belgium-based iSTAR Medical, which is developing innovative ophthalmic implants for the treatment of glaucoma, raised €10m from investors including Capricorn Venture Partners.
- US-based EverlyWell, which provides an e-commerce service for at-home health testing kits, raised $2.5m from investors.
- A study conducted by researchers at Caltech suggests that susceptabiltiy to risky behaviour is influenced by the observed behaviour of others. More.
- A study conducted by researchers at the University Copenhagen suggests that maintaining weight loss for a period of one year may be sufficient for reprogramming the body to accept the new weight (e.g. through recalibrating appetite-suppressing hormones) and therefore make sustained weight loss less challenging. More.
- A study conducted by researchers at MIT has shown that the richest 1% of men in the US live an average of 14.6 years longer than the poorest 1%. The corresponding figure for women is 10.1 years. For both sexes the gap appears to be growing, having widened by more than 2.5 years within the past decade and a half (a figure equal to the expected increase of average life expectancy that would result from curing all forms of cancer). More.
- A study by the Centre for Performance Studies suggests that an hour of choir singing a week can improve wellbeing and immune system strength. More.