September / October 2017

Science & Technology

  • Scientists at the US National Institutes of Health, working in conjunction with pharmaceutical company Sanofi, reported that they have developed an antibody that attacks 99% of HIV strains and is capable of preventing infection within primates. More.
  • Scientists at Sun Yat-sen University in China have performed ‘chemical surgery’ on a human embryo for the first time, successfully altering its genetic code to remove a potential disease. More.
  • Researchers at the Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center are developing bacteria-resistant plastics that may help to reduce the spread of infections within hospitals. More.
  • Researchers at the University of Antwerp have developed a robotic hand that can convert text into sign language gestures. More.
  • Scientists at the US Army Research Laboratory are developing a lithium-ion battery that offers enhanced safety relative to existing designs. More.

Business

New Sources of Funding

  • US-based Lightstone Ventures closed a $250m fund to back early-stage therapeutics companies within the life sciences sector.
  • US-based S2G Ventures closed a $180m fund that will focus on opportunities in the food and agricultural sector. 
  • US-based Costanoa Ventures closed a $174m fund, which will be used to invest in early stage enterprise technology companies.
  • London/Antwerp-based Hummingbird Ventures closed a $95m fund to back ‘late seed / Series-A’ technology startups.
  • France-based venture firm CapHorn Invest closed a €130m funds to back B2B digital companies.
  • US-based Illumina Ventures closed a $230m early-stage fund focused on the health sector.
  • US-based Icon Ventures closed a $265m venture fund.

New products

  • Fat Lama is a site through which users can rent any item. More.
  • The Seabin Project is developing innovative solutions for the capture of ocean rubbish.
  • The GoodSam app directs first responders to emergency situations when an ambulance is called.
  • Digital Social provides a map of global ‘tech-for-good’ projects.

New company Fundraising

  • UK-based Factmata, which is developing an AI-powered platform designed to automatically check facts within online content, raised £600k funding from a number of angel investors.
  • Inductosense, a University of Bristol spin-out that is developing ultrasonic sensors designed to efficiently detect structural defects, raised £11m from investors including IP Group.
  • UK-based incubator Entrepreneur First raised $12.4m from investors including Greylock.
  • Infostellar, which develops a platform that connects satellite operators to potential customers, raised $7.3m from investors including Airbus Ventures.
  • US-based Rani Therapeutics, which is developing techniques that enable injectable drugs to be converted into pills and therefore provide needle-free treatment to patients with chronic conditions, closed a $39m series-D funding round from investors including Google Ventures.
  • US-based Mapbox, which develops mapping and location technologies for web and mobile applications, raised $164m from investors including SoftBank Vision Fund.

Other