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Venture Capital/ESG: Adam Neumann Co-Founded Flowcarbon Raises $70M Via VC Funding And Token Sale

May 25, 2022

Flowcarbon, co-founded by Adam Neumann, known for WeWork, is a climate technology company seeking to formalize the market for carbon offsets on the blockchain. The startup announced Tuesday its $70 million fundraise comprising token sales and a $32 million Series A round led by a16z crypto and including General Catalyst, Samsung Next, Invesco Private Capital, 166 2nd, Sam and Ashley Levinson, Kevin Turen, RSE Ventures, and Allegory Labs. Notable names that participated in the token sale included Fifth Wall, Box Group, and the Celo Foundation.


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FinTech: BNPL For Businesses Provider Billie Scores $100M Series C Funding

October 25, 2021

Billie, a fintech targeting its BNPL offering at the B2B market, announced today its $100 million Series C raise led by Dawn Capital, and joined by Klarna and Tencent, alongside existing investors Creandum, Speedinvest, Picus and GFC. At $640 million, the startup succeeded in quadrupling its valuation over a previous Series B round that raised $35 million in 2019.

Digital Assets: Crypto Exchange FTX Rakes In $420M At $25B Valuation

October 22, 2021

29-year old billionaire founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is a majority owner of FTX. Just three months after closing a record $900 million Series B round, FTX, the Bahamas-headquartered crypto exchange announced its $420 million Series B-1 raise at a valuation of $25 billion. That valuation is up from $18 billion in July. In Thursday’s…

Artificial Intelligence: Ai-Da, Humanoid And Ultra-Realistic Artist, Detained By Egyptian Security

October 21, 2021

Ai-Da draws using using cameras in her eyes, her AI algorithms, and her robotic arm. Glamorous-looking Ai-Da, a creation of Oxford-based Aidan Meller, is the world’s first ultra-realistic humanoid AI robot artist. She may also be the first robot artist to be at the center of a diplomatic row. En route this week to the…

FinTech: PayPal Looking To Acquire Pinterest At $70 Per Share

October 20, 2021

PayPal Inc (NASDAQ: PYPL) sounded out Pinterest (NYSE: PINS) recently on a takeover, Bloomberg reported. The two companies are said to have considered a potential price of $70 per listed Class A share.

Venture Capital: Delivery Hero Takes $235M Chunk Of Gorillas’ $1B Funding Round

October 19, 2021

Delivery Hero now owns about 8% of Gorillas. Delivery Hero (ETR: DHER), which is headquartered in Berlin, Germany and offers its local delivery services in over 50 countries around the globe, announced today its investment of US$235 million in the Berlin-based on-demand delivery start-up Gorillas Technologies via the latter’s series C funding round. Delivery Hero…

Alternative Investments/Digital: Bitcoin Futures ETF From ProShares To Start Trading Tomorrow On The NYSE [Updated]

October 18, 2021

By a notice on Form 8-A dated October 15 the US SEC has notified registration of the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF for trading on the NYSEArca Exchange. The notice referred to a post-effective amendment number 238 filed on the same date by ProShares in Form N-1A that states the approximate date of the proposed public offering as October 18, 2021.

Artificial Intelligence: Criminals AI-Cloned Director’s Voice To Pull Off $35M Heist In The U.A.E.

October 15, 2021

In an eerily similar replay of a 2019 incident in which the CEO of a UK-based energy company transferred €220,000 (then about US$243,000) based on a telephonic instruction from a person that sounded like his boss, a UAE bank manager in 2020 paid out $35 million based on deep-faked, AI-cloned calls that he believed were from a client’s CEO.

Artificial Intelligence: IBM Launches Environmental Intelligence Suite

October 13, 2021

IBM (NYSE: IBM) has launched an Environmental Intelligence Suite, software that is a combination of AI, weather data, climate risk analytics, and carbon accounting capabilities. The suite helps organizations assess the climate impact of their own operations, assists in regulatory compliance, and to monitor for severe weather, wildfires, and air quality.

Venture Capital: SpaceX Achieves “Centicorn” Valuation In Secondary Share Sale

October 8, 2021

Existing investors in Elon Musk’s space start up SpaceX have agreed to sell up to $755 million in stock at $560 a share, according to CNBC, which quoted multiple people familiar with the deal. The secondary share sale, a transaction in which the company does not receive any capital, valued SpaceX at $100.3 billion and capped the amount of saleable shares at $755 million.

Artificial Intelligence: Alphabet-Owned DeepMind Is Finally In The Black

October 6, 2021

DeepMind, the UK AI unit which Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) acquired in 2014 for £400 million, has reported a maiden pre-tax profit of £46 million in 2020. Commercial revenues at DeepMind emanate from parent Alphabet, and those more than tripled to £826 million. Staffing and other costs surged to £780 million, up from £717 million in 2019.

Digital Assets: Brazil May Soon Vote For Bitcoin As Legal Tender

October 5, 2021

Brazilians may soon be allowed to buy houses, cars, and fries at McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) using bitcoin, according to Federal Deputy Aureo Ribeiro (pictured above). That’s if Bill 2.303/15, which calls for the regulation of virtual currencies, is approved by the country’s Plenary of the Chamber of Deputies this week.

Artificial Intelligence: China Unveils Guidelines For Ethical AI

October 4, 2021

China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has released a document titled “New Generation Artificial Intelligence Ethics Specifications” that specifies six ethical guidelines for the implementation and use of AI, rests all decision-making with humans, and addresses issues such as fairness, security, discrimination, privacy and data leaks.

Venture Capital: Sundrive Develops The World’s Most Efficient Solar Cell

September 30, 2021

Founded in a garage in 2015 by David Hu and Vince Allen, Sundrive, a solar energy startup, has successfully developed the world’s most efficient solar cell. Their cell generates solar-sourced power at an efficiency of 25.54%, breaking the previous world record of 25.26%. More importantly, the startup did it while replacing the silver in solar cells with copper.

Digital Assets: Swiss Regulator FINMA Approves First Swiss Crypto Asset Fund

September 29, 2021

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA has approved the first crypto fund according to Swiss law. The “Crypto Market Index Fund” by Crypto Finance (Asset Management) AG is restricted to qualified investors and will invest primarily in cryptoassets, or assets based on the blockchain or distributed ledger technology, the FINMA said in a statement.

Artificial Intelligence: According To AI, “Samson And Delilah” In The National Gallery Is Fake

September 29, 2021

Artificial intelligence firm Art Recognition alleges that Samson and Delilah, the renowned painting by Peter Paul Rubens on display at London’s National Gallery, is a forgery. The antecedents of the work have long been questioned by critics, and now AI technology has debunked its authenticity with an accuracy of over 91%.

FinTech: Mastercard Enters BNPL Fray With ‘Installments’ Product

September 28, 2021

Credit cards have a new rival in BNPL, and on Tuesday, global card giant Mastercard announced its own instalments product for the U.S., Australian and U.K. markets. BNPL has become a highly competitive fintech sector marked by extensive deal-making between large companies eager to muscle into the space.

Artificial Intelligence: Clearview AI Hits Advocacy Groups With Subpoenas

September 27, 2021

Clearview AI, the facial recognition company that has earned the ire of privacy, human rights, and civil liberties advocacy groups, has subpoenaed internal documents from some of the organizations that first exposed its activities.

Artificial Intelligence: FDA Clears AI-Powered Tool From Paige To Detect Prostate Cancer

September 24, 2021

Paige Prostate – “The first and only AI-based pathology product to receive FDA approval for in vitro diagnostic (IVD) use in detecting cancer in prostate biopsies.” Paige, which was founded in 2017 by Thomas Fuchs, Dr.Sc., David Klimstra, M.D. and colleagues from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), has achieved the distinction of receiving the first ever FDA approval for an AI product in digital pathology.

Artificial Intelligence: AI Finds Potential Drug Treatment For Rare Cancer In Children

September 23, 2021

A team of scientists, doctors, and data analysts at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, used AI to achieve a potential breakthrough in the treatment of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a rare and fast-growing type of brain tumor in children. This cancer is difficult to remove surgically because it does not have well-defined borders (is “diffuse”) and therefore, survival rates have not improved for over 50 years.

Venture Capital: Mexican Used-Car Platform Kavak Scoops $700M At $8.7B

September 22, 2021

Mexican used-car platform Kavak said it had raised a $700 million Series E round at a valuation of $ 8.7 billion which more than doubled from its previous funding. The round was led by U.S. venture capital firm General Catalyst, while SoftBank Group Corp, billionaire Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Singapore-based gaming and e-commerce company Sea Ltd, Tiger Global, Spruce House, hedge fund D1, and Ribbit Capital also participated.

FinTech: JPMorgan Chase Acquires College Financial Planning Platform Frank

September 22, 2021

JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) has acquired Frank, a very popular college financial planning platform for undisclosed terms. Frank enables students to locate, apply and obtain financial aid, find scholarships, and enroll in online courses. According to CNBC, JPMorgan bought up the fintech to enhance relationships with students and their parents.

Venture Capital: Gates-Founded Breakthrough Energy Raises Over $1B From Top US Companies

September 21, 2021

Breakthrough Energy, the non-profit founded in 2015 by Bill Gates to advance the cause of net-zero emissions, has raised hundreds of millions of dollars from U.S. firms for its Breakthrough Energy Catalyst project to support innovation in the field.

Artificial Intelligence: Mossad Used AI-Powered Gun To Kill Iranian Nuke Scientist Fakhrizadeh (NYT)

September 20, 2021

A New York Times article on Saturday said the Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency, used an AI-powered, Belgian-made FN MAG machine gun attached to an advanced robotic apparatus to remotely kill Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the scientist leading Iran’s nuke program, on November 27, 2020.

FinTech: JPMorgan Chase To Unveil UK Digital Bank Next Week

September 17, 2021

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), the largest bank in the US, may disrupt the UK banking market with its launch next week of a digital lender retail arm offering, in the first instance, current accounts with a reward program.