Science & Technology
- Scientists at the University of Manchester have developed a graphene oxide sieve that could be used as a highly efficient desalination membrane. The UN predicts that 14% of the world’s population will face water scarcity by 2025. More.
- Researchers at the National University of Singapore have developed an air filter that utilises nano-technology to block up to 90% of pollutant particles and UV light, with applications including door and window covers. More.
- Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, working alongside GE, have developed a tumble dryer that uses high frequency sounds waves rather than heat to dry laundry more quickly and using c70% less energy than conventional solutions. More.
- MasterCard launched a payment card with an integrated fingerprint sensor. More.
- Scientists at MIT and the Berkeley are developing a system that is designed to draw water directly from moisture in the air, even within extremely dry locations. More.
- Medical researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have developed an artificial womb that could dramatically improve the survival rates of babies born as early as 23 weeks. More.
- Physicists working at Washington State University have created a fluid with negative mass, which exhibits the unusual property of accelerating towards a body that is pushing it. More.
- Scientists in the UK announced the discovery of two drugs that could potentially prove to be effective treatments for all neuro-degenerative brain diseases. More.
- Researchers at MIT have developed a diagnostic test for ovarian cancer that may offer the potential to detect tumours up to five months earlier than existing methods. More.
New Sources of Funding
- US-based Origin Ventures closed an $80m venture fund.
- US-based Growth Street Partners closed a maiden $70m early stage fund.
- US-based DFJ closed a $535m venture capital fund.
- Europe-focused Nauta Capital closed a $170m early stage fund that will be deployed to support software start-ups.
- US-based Zetta Venture Partners closed a $125m venture fund that will target companies developing intelligent enterprise software.
- US-based Obvious Ventures closed a $178m early-stage fund to back companies operating within sectors including energy, agriculture and health IT.
- US-based venture firm Oak HC/FT closed a $600m fintech/healthcare fund.
- MIT startup accelerator The Engine closed a $150m venture fund to back ‘deep tech’ companies.
- US based SV Health Investors closed a $400m fund to back early and growth stage companies developing biotechnology, medical devices and digital health solutions.
- Spain-based Aurica Capital closed a €140m growth equity fund.
- US-based aerospace giant Boeing launched a venture capital arm focused on accelerating ‘transformative’ technologies and business models.
- Datapitch, a European Commission-funded startup accelerator designed to connect startups to organisations with significant amounts of data with unrealised value, launched.
- Blitab is developer a tablet that translates text from digital sources into Braille.
- Photomath is an app that enables users to scan a maths problem written on paper before providing an answer to it.
New company Fundraising
- US-based Sommetrics, which is developing a range of products that are designed to improve sleep quality, raised a $12.3m Series-B funding round.
- Sweden-based Orbital Systems, which is developing a water- and energy-efficient closed-loop shower system in collaboration with NASA, raised a £15m Series-B round
- Holland-based Sensara, which develops intelligent monitoring solutions designed to improve the quality of care for elderly patients within healthcare settings, raised €3.8m in a round led by KPN Ventures.
- US-based Narrative Science, which is developing advanced natural language generation technologies that are able to automatically transform data into articles, raised an $11m Series-D from investors including Jump Capital and Sapphire Ventures.
- US-based Amfora, which is developing technologies to boost the nutritional content of food crops, closed a $5m Series-A led by Spruce Capital.
- US-based Synack, which provides a platform through which users can access vetted ethical hackers to identify security vulnerabilities, raised a $21.5m series-C funding round from investors including Microsoft and KPCB.
- UK-based babylon, which is developing an AI-based platform that is designed to aid medical diagnosis and predict personalised health outcomes, raised $60m funding.
- US-based Shield AI, which is developing AI-powered systems designed to protect civilians within war zones, raised a $10.5m Series-A round led by Andreesen Horowitz.
- Australia-based Qwilr, which provides a platform that enables users to easily turn documents into web pages with embedded features such as videos and interactive charts, raised $1.5m from Point Nine Capital.
- US-based Neural Analytics, which is developing a range of technologies designed to measure brain health, raised $10m in funding from investors including Reimagined Ventures.
- UK-based University of Southampton spin-out Utonomy, which is developing a solution designed to optimise pressure within the gas distribution network in order to reduce leakage, raised £1m from investors.
- US-based question and answer platform Quora closed an $85m Series-D funding round from investors including Collaborative Fund.
- UK-based Farmdrop, which provides a platform that connects farmers and producers with customers located nearby, closed a £7m Series-A round led by Atomico.
- Google added a ‘fact check’ feature to search results in an attempt to counter the spread of fake news. More.