May 2017

Science & Technology

  • Researchers at the University of Rochester are developing a technique that utilises light to guide immune cells towards and then attack cancer tumours. The approach could potentially lead to the development of a cancer treatment with no toxic side effects. More.
  • Scientists at Jerusalem Hebrew University have developed a bacteria that glows in the presence of land mines. It is hoped that the development could speed-up the clearance of minefields, which kill or injure an estimated 20,000 people each year. More.
  • Researchers at Oxford University have created a synthetic soft tissue retina for the first time, a development that could pave the way for more effective treatments for degenerative eye conditions. More.

Business

New Sources of Funding

  • France-based venture capital firm Elaia Partners raised a €115m fund.
  • Apple announced that it  will be launching a $1bn venture fund that will support US-based advanced manufacturing companies.
  • US-based Visionary Venture Fund closed a $30m opthamology-focused fund.
  • US-based Xiang He Partners raised a $261m maiden venture capital fund.
  • Israel-/US-based YL Ventures closed a $75m venture fund that will be invested in Israeli companies looking to expand into the US.
  • US-based Fifth Wall Ventures, closed a $212m fund that will be used to back companies developing technologies  that are transforming the built world.
  • UK-/China-based Silk Ventures closed a $500m fund from which it will seek to back companies that are planning to expand either into China or from China to new markets.
  • US-based Osage Venture Partners close a $90m fund that will be used to back B2B software companies.
  • US-/Singapore-based B Capital Group closed its maiden $181m technology-focused venture fund.
  • UK-based Pentech closed a £88m fund that will be used to back early-stage software companies.

New company Fundraising

  • US-based RapidSOS, which is developing technologies that link numerous data sources to help people and authorities respond to emergency situations more effectively, closed a $14m Series-A round led by Highland Capital Partners.
  • US-based Abundant Robotics, which is developing fruit-harvesting robots, raised $10m from investors including GV and KPCB Edge. 
  • Canada-based Invenia, which is developing a machine learning platform that is designed to boost the efficiency of electricity grids and therefore reduce emissions, raised a $5m Series-A led by Zetta Venture Partners.
  • US-based Orbital Insight, which provide geospatial analytics based on satellite imagery and other data, closed a $50m Series-C round led by Sequoia.
  • CrowdJustice, which crowdfunds public litigation, raised $2m from investors including First Round Capital.
  • US-based Viz, which is developing AI-based medical imaging analysis solutions that are designed to improve and speed-up diagnosis (and thus treatment) of emergency medical cases, raised $7.5m from investors including Innovation Endeavours.
  • UK-based University of Bristol spin-out Ultrahaptics, which is developing a technology that utilises ultrasound to create novel user interfaces, closed a £18m Series-B round led by IP Group and Woodford Invesment Management.
  • US-based online petition platform for social causes Change.org closed a $30m funding round from a number of prominent individual investors.
  • Italy-based BeMyEye, which provides a platform through which clients can crowdsource location-specific real world data, raised a €6.5m Series-B funding round from investors including Nauta Capital.

Other

  • China announced that it plans to launch an online version of its national encyclopedia. Which will be created and curated by selected scholars from state-run universities. More.