January 2018

Science & Technology

  • Researchers at Stanford are developing an algorithm designed to predict the best places for refugees to resettle. More.
  • Scientists at the Chinese Academy of Scieneces successfully cloned two macaque monkeys, the first time that a non-human primate has been cloned using the DNA transfer process. More.
  • Researchers at Stanford University are developing a cancer ‘vaccine’ that could result in an inexpensive and side-effect-free treatment. More.

Business

New Sources of Funding

  • Paris-based VC firm Ring Capital closed a $170m fund from which it will invest €5m-€10m per deal to address the perceived Series-A and B gap in France.
  • US-based VC firm Sequoia Capital closed a $180m seed-stage fund that will focus on companies operating in sectors including AI, autonomous vehicles, blockchain and genetic engineering.
  • US-based VC firm Accomplice closed a $205m fund.
  • Sweden-focused seed investor Luminar Ventures closed a €50m fund that will be deployed to support technology companies.
  • Europe-focused venture firm DN Capital closed a €200m early-stage fund to back companies operating in sectors including fintech, digital health and marketplaces.
  • US-based Aspect Ventures closed a $181m early-stage fund.
  • Partech Ventures launched a €57m Africa-focused fund, which will be used to back pan-African digital companies.
  • Machine learning pioneer Andrew Ng announced the launch of a $175m AI incubator / venture fund. More.

New products

  • Dual Good Health is developing a virtual reality app designed to provide CPR training.
  • The Dot Watch is a smart braille watch that works in tandem with smart phones to enable users to receive and check notifications.
  • Water UK is helping to develop an app that guides users to the nearest water refill stations, in an effort to reduce plastic waste associated with bottled water. More.
  • US-based Cocoon Cam is developing a camera / computer-vision system that enables parents to monitor babies, receive instant alerts and analyse sleep patterns.

New company Fundraising

  • UK-based CityStasher, which provides a platform through which travellers can locate and book temporary luggage storage in major cities, riased $1.1m from investors including Howzat Partners.
  • US-based Bolt Threads, which is developing high-performance sustainable materials inspired by spider silk, closed a $123m series-D funding round led by Baillie Gifford.
  • China-based Rokid, which is developing smart devices with an AI-powered voice assistant, closed a reported $100m series-B funding round from investors including Temasek.
  • US-based Good Buy Gear, which provides an online marketplace through which parents can bay and sell used baby equipment, raised $750k from investors including Access Venture Partners.
  • US-based Stem, which is developing AI-powered energy storage solutions, closed a $80m series-D funding round led by Activate Capital.
  • US-based Omni, which is developing an operating system for physical things that allows users to easily share and rent unused items, raised $25m from investors including Highland Capital Partners.