Science & Technology
- A study conducted by researchers at Emory University suggests that analysis of brain scans may help medical professionals to identify the most effective treatments for specific cases of depression. More.
- Researchers from Imperial College London have developed a method that can boost short term memory by stimulating the brain with a weak electrical current applied through the scalp. More.
- The University of Oxford launched a £10m research programme to investigate the use of medical marijuana within treatments for pain, cancer and inflammatory disease.
- Facebook is now utilizing algorithms to identify potentially suicidal users through analysing their posts. More.
- US-based Nektar Therapeutics announced successful trials of an opioid painkiller that is less addictive than existing drugs. According to the CDC, 26m people in the US alone are being treated for addiction, with drug overdoses now responsible for more deaths than car crashes or guns. More.
- Portal Instruments is developing a needle-free injection system, which works by firing a jet of liquid thinner than a human hair into the skin. More.
- Researchers at Brandeis University have developed a drip-free wine bottle design, achieved through the addition of a groove below the lip. More.
- Scientists at the Erasmus University Medical Center (Netherlands) have conducted successful animal trials of a drug that can reportedly reverse some aspects of aging. More.
- US-based SpaceX successfully reused parts of its Falcon 9 rocket within a subsequent launch. More.
- Israel-based Utilis is developing a system that enables detection of underground water leaks through analysis of satellite imagery.
- Researchers at the University of Glasgow are developing a graphene-based synthetic skin that could ultimately result in improved pressure measurements, and thus a better range of motion, within prosthetic limbs. More.
- Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have developed a reusable foam that can easily absorb oil from water and could be used to address large scale oil spills. More.
- Researchers in the UK reported a significant breakthrough in the diagnosis of TB, using genome sequencing to provide diagnosis (and thus treatment) much more quickly. More.
New Sources of Funding
- 500 Startups launched a $10m fund focused on Latin America.
- US-based Blumberg Capital closed a $206m early stage venture fund.
- TTV Capital closed a $93m fintech-focused fund.
- Germany-base Digital+ Partners closed a €131m growth-stage technology fund.
- US-Based Biomatics Capital Partners closed a maiden $200m venture fund that will target companies innovating at the intersection of technology and health care.
- US-based Rethink Impact closed a $110m social impact fund that will invest in technology-enabled companies that are addressing global challenges aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
- US-based Phoenix Venture Partners, which focuses on investing in companies developing advanced materials, closed a new fund.
- UK-based Octopus Ventures closed a £120m fund that will be used to back UK-based AI companies.
- US-based Spark Capital closed a $606m growth fund.
- US-based Pivotal bioVenture Partners closed a $300m maiden fund that will be used to back early stage biotechnology companies.
- US-based Javelin Ventures closed a $125m fund from which it will invest in early stage companies working in areas including big data, enterprise software and health.
- Europe-/Israel-focused venture firm 83North closed a $250m early stage fund.
- UK-based Forward Partners closed a £60m fund that will be sued to invest in pre-seed and seed-stage start-ups.
- Be My Eyes is an app that creates a video link between the phone of a blind person and sighted volunteers in order to help them with daily tasks. More.
- London-based Pariti provides an app that helps people manage personal debt. More.
- For Me is an app designed to help bullied teenagers access support.
New company Fundraising
- US-based Evlov Technology, which is developing technologies that enable rapid security body scans of people that do not require them to stop or slow down, raised $18m from investors including General Catalyst and Lux Capital. The solution works in conjunction with facial recognition software to check people against databases of known suspects.
- UK-based Utonomy, a University of Southampton spin-out developing technologies that optimise pressure within gas distribution networks and therefor reduce the leakage of gas, raised £1m from investors.
- US-based Grail, which is developing blood tests that are designed to identify cancer in its early stages, raised more than $900m though a Series-B round involving Arch Venture Partners and Tencent, among others.
- China-base Ofo, which operates urban bike sharing platform, raised $450m from investors including Citic.
- US-based accommodation rental platform AirBnB raised $1bn at a $31bn valuation.
- Sweden-based Optolexia, which provides a novel early screening test for dyslexia among children, raised $5.6m from investors.
- US-based Rigetti Computing, which is developing a ‘cloud quantum computing platform for AI and computational chemistry’, closed a $40m Series-B round from investors including Andreessen Horowitz.
- US-based NeuraLace Medical, which is developing non-opioid pain treatments (involving the application of pulsed magnetic fields to restore the ability of damaged nerves to manage pain), raised $2m from investors including FusionX.
- US-based Bayshore Networks, which develops cyber security solutions for industrial infrastructure, closed a $11m Series-A funding round led by Nenhamou Global Ventures.
- US-based Kinsa, which is developing smartphone-connected smart thermometers that are designed to more effectively record patient data and make suggestions on treatments, raised $17m from investors including GSR Ventures, KPCB and FirstMark Capital.
- UK-based Flourish, which provides solutions that enable users to create visuals to help understand and explain data, raised £800k from investors including LocalGlobe.
- UK-based Wazoku, which is developing a cloud-based idea management software platform that is designed to help organisations crowdsource ideas from employees and business partners, raised £2.3m from investors including Cambridge Angels.
- Netherlands-based Landmapp, which provides a mobile platform that helps smallholder farmers to document and protect their land holdings in emerging markets, raised funding from investors including Omidyar Network.
- Israel-based LawGeex, which is developing an AI-powered solution to review contracts against pre-defined criteria, closed a $7m Series-A.
- A study published by PwC predicts that robots and AI will replace up to one third of UK jobs by 2030. More.