February 2018

Science & Technology

  • University of Oxford spin-out Bodle Technologies is developing ultra-thin flexible colour screens that use nano-pixles capable of reflecting natural light to reduce energy consumption.
  • US-based Openwater is developing advanced MRI technologies that offer the potential of cheaper and more accurate disease detection, as well as thought-based communication.
  • Google DeepMind is working in partnership with the NHS to develop software capable of more accurately analysing retinal scans. More.

New Sources of Funding

  • US-based seed investor Homebrew closed a $90m fund.
  • Israel-based venture firm TLV Partners closed $152m fund. 
  • US-/Singapore-based B Capital Group closed a $360m venture fund from which it will invest in companies operating in sectors including healthcare, financial services and industrial.
  • US-based Activant Capital closed a $130m growth-stage fund that will focus on software and IoT companies.
  • Netherlands-based Goodwell Investments, which invests in companies developing high quality basic products that meet the needs of currently un-/under-served people in Africa and India, closed a €20m fund.

New products

  • Tarjimly is an app that helps aid organisations quickly connect with bi-lingual volunteers in order to more effectively administer assistance. 
  • Nutrigene provides bespoke vitamin supplements informed by DNA and lifestyle analysis.
  • SignAll is developing automatic sign language translation technologies.

New company Fundraising

  • NYC-based Furnishare, which provides a platform through which users can buy and share used furniture, raised $2m from investors including Lerer Hippeau Ventures.
  • US-based UiPath, which is developing enterprise-focused ‘software robots’ designed to automate back office processes, cloed a $120m series-B funding round from investors including KPCB.
  • UK-based advanced eco material manufacturer ELeather raised $70m from investors.
  • UK-based Ditto, which develops AI-powered advisor bots, raised £4m from investors including IP Group.
  • Israel-based Aperio Systems, which develops tools that are designed to protect power plants from cyber attacks, raised $4.5m from investors.
  • US-based Everipedia, which is developing a publicly editable online encyclopaedia that leverages distributed ledger technology, raised $30m from investors.
  • US-based nOCD, which is developing an app that is designed to help those with obsessive compulsive disorder, raised $1m from 7wire Ventures.
  • US-based Singularity University, which provides educational courses designed to teach participants how to engage with ‘exponential technologies’ including AI and nanotechnology, raised $32m from investors including WestRiver Group.
  • Germany-based indoor vertical farming technology developer Infarm closed a $25m series-A funding round led by Balderton Capital.
  • Norway-based Boost.ai, which develops ai-based chatbots and virtual assistants, raised $5m from Alliance Venture.
  • US-based Joby Aviation, which is developing electrical vertical-take off passenger aircraft, raised $100m from investors including Intel Capital.
  • Sweden-based Anyfin, which is developing a platform through which users can easily refinance / consolidate existing loans, closed a $4.8m Series-A round led by Accel and Northzone.
  • UK-based Factmata, which is developing machine learning-based tools that help to identify fake news, raised $1m from private investors.
  • US-based Beta Hatch, which is developing industrial-scale insect rearing techniques as a source of protein for animal feed, raised funding from Cavallo Ventures.
  • UK-based One Utility Bill, which enables property owners/managers to group all utility services into a single monthly bill in order to simplify payment and save money, raised £650k from investors including Pi Labs.
  • US-based Lambda Schools, which provides immersive computer science courses, closed a $4m seed round from investors including Y Combinator.

Other

  • A study of 1.7m people across 164 countries conducted by researchers at Purdue University suggests that the optimal level of earnings for an individual is $95k p.a. for ‘life-evaluation’ (overall life satisfaction, influenced by overarching goals and comparison with others) and $60k-$75k for ‘emotional well-being’ (i.e. day-to-day feelings). More.