July / August 2017

Science & Technology

  • Researchers at Imperial College London are developing a system that utilises a flameless combustion process in order to reveal land mines. At present, more than 26,000 land mine-related injuries are reported each year. More.
  • Researchers at Boston University are developing a lightweight ‘bionic walking aid’ that can help stroke sufferers regain mobility. More.
  • Scientists at McGill Unviversity have developed an algorithm that is capable of identifying the signatures of dementia as much as two years before its onset. More.
  • Researchers at Arizona State University have developed a low-cost disposable de-mining robot. More.

New Sources of Funding

  • Globally-focused Cathay Innovation closed a $320m inaugural venture capital fund.
  • UK-based venture capital firm Felix Capital closed a $150m fund.
  • France-based Partech Ventures closed a $400m fund that will be deployed to support European and American start-ups.
  • India-based Seif Partners closed a $350m venture fund to back companies in sectors including education, healthcare and the internet.
  • Canada-based Round13 Capital closed a $95m tech-focused venture fund
  • Google launch Gradient Ventures, an AI-focused venture capital fund.
  • US-based Upfront Ventures closed a $400m early stage venture fund.
  • Luxembourg-based Mangrove Capital Partners closed a $170m venture fund to back European / Israeli companies developing ‘unproven or unusual technologies’.
  • Global venture firm Canaan Partners closed a $800m that will be used to invest in early stage companies operating within sectors including fintech, marketplaces and biopharma.

New products

  • The Handbag Dyetonator is a smartphone controlled dye bomb fob that fits within a handbag and can be detonated if stolen. More.
  • Orai is an app that helps users develop public speaking skills.
  • Qwake Tech is developing an augmented reality headset designed to help emergency services personnel navigate through dangerous environments. More.

New company Fundraising

  • US-based Huddle, which is developing an app through which sufferers of mental health conditions can access peer-to-peer support, raised $1.2m from investors including Thrive Capital.
  • US-based Auris Surgical Robotics, which is leveraging a number of technologies to develop minimally-invasive treatments for a range of diseases, closed a $280m Series-D round led by Coatue Management.
  • Switzerland-based Roivant Sciences, which commercialises biomedical research that has been ‘abandoned’ by pharmaceutical companies, raised $1.1bn from SoftBank.
  • US-based Plenty, which is developing technology-enabled indoor farming solutions, closed a $200m Series-B funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund.
  • US-based Clara Labs, which is developing technologies that automate the process of meeting scheduling, closed a $7m Series-A round from investors including Sequoia.
  • US-based Grabr, which is developing a peer-to-peer market place through which shoppers can connect with travellers to gain access to international products, raised $2.7m in a round led by SignalFire.
  • The Mednet, a US-based platform through which a community of physicians can gain access to expert answers to real world clinical questions in oncology, raised $1.3m from investors including Endure capital.