Science & Technology
- Neuroscientists at University College London have developed a ‘game-changing’ brain probe that promises to offer greater insights into conditions such as Alzheimers. More.
- Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a smartphone-connected microscope that can be used to quickly and effectively detect river blindness. More.
- Researchers at Purdue University are developing an AI-based system that helps to identify cracks in nuclear reactors and thus improve safety and maintenance. More.
- Ford is developing a smart hat that monitors and alerts truck drivers to signs of drowsiness, in doing so addressing one of the major causes of road traffic accidents. More.
- Engineers at the University of British Columbia are developing an engineered concrete that promises to materially improve the earthquake resistance of buildings. More.
New Sources of Funding
- Brighteye Ventures closed a €50m Europe-focused EdTech fund.
- France-based Jolt Capital closed a €83m growth-stage, technology-focused fund.
- France-based venture firm Aster Capital closed a €240m fund to back companies developing technologies in the energy, mobility and industrial sectors.
- London-based Balderton Capital closed a Europe-focused start-up fund.
- Brazil-based global micro-VC Mindset Ventures held the first close of its new fund. The firm intends to invest up to $1m in companies operating within sectors including AgTEch, healthcare and education.
- US-based early-stage VC firm Defy Partners closed a $151m maiden fund.
- Europe-focused venture firm Seedcamp raised a £41m fund, which will be used to back up to 100 potentially disruptive start-ups.
- US-Israel-focused VC firm NFX launched a $150m fund that will be used to back early-stage companies operating in sectors including robotics, blockchain and fintech.
- The NeuroPlus is a headset that has been clinically proven to improve focus and reduce anxiety among users. More.
- France-based Lyspackaging is developing a sustainable bottle using a bioplastic that is entirely plant-based, recyclable and biodegradable. More.
- UK-based Plumis is developing smart fire suppression systems that use just 10% of the water required by traditional sprinklers.
- University of Oxford spin-out OxSight is developing augmented reality smart glasses that are designed to help people with low / partial vision.
New company Fundraising
- UK-based Graphcore, which develops chips designed specifically for machine learning applications including self-driving cars and robotics, raised $50m from investors including Sequoia.
- France-based Demander Justice, which provides a platform through which users can resolve legal disputes without involving a lawyer, raised €2.8m from investors including Partech Partners.
- US-based Ecological Service Partners, which is dedicated to the acquisition and restoration of wetlands, streams and habitats for endangered species, raised $250m from investors.
- US-based Bay Labs, which is developing AI-based technologies to improve the analysis of cardiovascular imaging, closed a $5.5m series-A round.
- US-based Andela, which provides a platform through which companies can build engineering teams by supporting the development of African software developers, closed a $40m Series-C round from investors including CRE Ventures, GV and Spark Capital.
- A study conducted by researchers at Stanford University suggests that people tend to favour online products with many reviews even though these are often statistically likely to be worse than alternatives. More.
- A report published by consulting firm McKinsey estimates that as many as 800m workers globally will be replaced by robots by 2030.