June 2017

Science & Technology 

  • Researchers at MIT are developing a non-invasive method for deep brain stimulation, with potential applications that include the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. More.
  • Verizon is developing a system that is designed to capture and analyse data at road intersections in order to identify dangerous spots that can be redesigned. More.
  • Researchers at Caltech have reportedly identified the neural circuit that is responsible for wakefulness. The discovery could lead to the development of more effective treatments for sleeping disorders. More.

Business

New Sources of Funding

  • Germany-based seed investor High-Tech Grunderfonds closed a €245m fund.
  • US-based hardware-focused venture firm Bolt closed an $80m fund.
  • US-based early stage venture firm True Ventures closed a $112m fund to provide further support to existing portfolio companies.
  • UK-based venture firm Draper Esprit raised £160m to back European companies operating within sectors including hardware, digital health, SaaS and consumer technology.
  • Uruguay-based Kaszek Ventures closed a $200m Latin America-focused venture fund.
  • US-based Centana Growth Partners closed a $250m fintech-focused growth equity fund.
  • France-based venture firm Iris Capital closed a €250m fund from which it will invest in European companies operating within sectors including IoT, AI and 5G networks.
  • Germany-based early-stage VC firm Point Nine Capital closed a €75m fund from which it will invest in SaaS and marketplace start-ups.
  • Germany based Capnamic Ventures closed a €115m early stage fund.

New products

  • Germany-based not-for-profit URIDU has developed a voice-activated solar-powered MP3 player that delivers vital information (400 questions and answers on topics including health, nutrition and child care) to users based in emerging markets.
  • Text to Ticket is an app that rewards users for submitting videos of people texting while driving. More.
  • ShotSpotter provides a platform designed to monitor cities to detect gun shots and alert authorities.

New company Fundraising

  • Denmark-based Ulzard Technologies is developing machine learning systems that generate source code to recreate raw screenshots of graphical user interfaces.
  • France-based Julie Desk, which is developing a virtual assistant for scheduling, raised €2.5m from investors including Entrepreneur Ventures.
  • Israel-based Voiceitt, which is developing solutions that enable people with speech impediments to utilise voice-activated devices, raised $2m from investors.
  • US-based visual discovery platform Pinterest raised $150m from investors.
  • Online learning platform provider Coursera closed a $64m Series-D funding round involving investors including Kleiner Perkins and NEA.
  • France-based Algolia, which provides a search engine API for websites and apps, raised a $53m Series-B round led by Accel.
  • UK-based Trint, which provides a platform that facilitates the searching and editing of audio and video content, raised $3.1m from Horizon Lab.
  • US-based Citrine Informatics, which is developing an AI-powered platform that is designed to facilitate product development by predicting and optimising materials behaviour, closed a $7.6m Series-A funding round led by Innovation Endeavours.
  • US-based Osso VR, which is developing virtual reality surgical training tools, raised $2m from investors.
  • Columbia-based Suyo, which leverages technology to improve and automate the process of property formalisation for low-income families in Latin America, secured funding from investors including Omidyar Network.