The Bulletin
1D
Pledge raises $4.5m for API that helps companies reduce emissions
Pledge has secured $4.5m in seed funding for its climate impact measuring tools. The company - founded by ex-employees of Freetrade and Revolut - will offer an API for carbon measurement and removal. Investors include Visionaries Club and Lowercarbon Capital. "We believe that in the near future every company will have to report on their environmental footprint," Pledge said in a statement.
1D
Stellantis and Samsung to set up EV battery joint venture
Stellantis is to team up with Samsung in the United States to produce electric vehicle battery cells and modules. It follows a similar announcement last week regarding a partnership with LG Energy Solution. Stellantis, formed after the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA, now has annual battery production capacity of up to 80 GWh. It wants 40% of its U.S. sales by 2030 to be EVs.
2D
Via Separations raises $38m to drive industrial decarbonisation
A startup which has developed a solution to drive decarbonisation in manufacturing has raised $38m. Via Separations, a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been backed by NGP ETP - a specialist in the space - along with a number of other investors. Its filtration system fits into the middle of a manufacturing process and is deployed primarily in the pulp and paper sector.
2D
Tesla’s November production start at German factory looking unlikely
Tesla will repeat an online consultation with local citizens before they can get the go-ahead to begin production at Gruenheide. Tesla CEO Eon Musk said earlier this month that he hoped the factory would start production in November, but that now appears unlikely. The consultation will be repeated between Nov 2-22 after the environmental ministry raised concerns it didn’t comply with regulations.
2D
360Learning closes $200m round
Edtech firm 360Learning has raised $200m from SoftBank and other high-profile investors. The company's platform allows professionals to learn from peers through shared courses. Silver Lake and Sumeru joined the investment round. 360Learning has deployed artificial intelligence to improve its offering by identifying courses that can be improved. The French now aims to explore new markets.
3D
Searches for digital health products in the UK up 343% during lockdown
Searches for digital health products rose by 343% in the UK during lockdown, according to the BMJ. Research led by the Organisation for the Review of Health and Care Applications found that the number of people looking for digital alternatives rose sharply during the pandemic. 92% of medical conditions areas saw an increase in searches. Data was collected from January 2019 to December 2020.
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3D
Foxconn will build EVs in Europe, India and Latin America - chairman
Foxconn's chairman Liu Young-way says the company will build electric vehicles in Europe, India and Latin America. The Taiwanese tech giant is making a major strategic pivot towards EVs. Liu also revealed that it will cooperate "indirectly" with Germany manufacturers in EV production. In May it joined forces with Stellantis to create a joint venture to supply in-car and connected-car technologies.
4D
Cognizant makes 2030 net-zero pledge
Cognizant has made a commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. The tech services giant announced the new target as part of a renewed environmental, social and governance agenda. "We take seriously our responsibility to leverage our expertise and resources to help address climate change," said CEO Brian Humphries. Longer-term, Cognizant wants to reduce emissions by 90% by 2040.
4D
Stellantis and TheF Charging collaborate on Europe-wide EV charging network
Car manufacturer Stellantis is to work with TheF Charging, an Italian e-mobility startup, to build a Europe-wide public electric vehicle charging network. They aim to cover over 15,000 locations in Europe with two million parking spaces. The network will be accessible to all electric vehicles but Stellantis customers will have "exclusive conditions". They aim to complete the work by 2025.
4D
UK scientists use infrared light to help dementia patients
Infrared light therapy could potentially be used to help people living with dementia, scientists have said. A team of UK researchers from Durham University have conducted a pilot where they used a helmet to beam infrared light into healthy volunteers' brains. The results showed improvements in their memory, motor function and processing skills. The helmet can also be used by patients at home.
5D
Pharma AI startup Quris launches and raises $9m
Quris Technologies has launched with an AI platform which can predict the drugs that will work best on humans. It has also closed a funding round from angel investors worth $9m. "AI-driven drug discovery has become the leading frontier for pharma innovation," said Quris' CEO. The company has worked with the leading independent non-profit research institute, The New York Stem Cell Foundation.
5D
Ford invests $316m to build electric car parts in the UK
Ford will invest $316 million to build electric car components at its Halewood factory in northern England. The plant will produce around 250,000 power units a year from mid-2024 and bring 500 jobs tp Merseyside. The commitment is part of Ford's pledge to make its European car line-up all-electric by 2030. The UK government will contribute financially as part of its Automotive Transformation Fund.
5D
Founders Factory and Nesta partner to solve the UK's social and sustainability challenges
UK startup studio Founders Factory and UK innovation agency Nesta have joined forces to create Mission Studio, a collaborative partnership that will support startups working on solving the UK's social and sustainability challenges. The project will look at problems like obesity rates, loneliness, and household carbon emissions. It will aim to generate three new startups a year until 2024.
5D
Our Next Energy raises $25m, BMW among backers
Our Next Energy (ONE), the company behind advanced batteries for electric vehicles, has raised $25m in new funding. Among its backers were BMW and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which is supported by Bill Gates. ONE's technology can double the range of electric vehicles but it also comes cheaper than standard EV batteries because of cobalt-free chemistries. Production begins at the end of 2022.
8D
AI to have "bigger role" in global diplomacy - expert
The influence of artificial intelligence in global diplomacy will continue to grow, an expert has told The Guardian. Michael Ambühl, a ex-chief Swiss-EU negotiator, says advances in AI and machine learning can aid the diplomatic process. "These technologies are partially already used and it will be the intention to use them more," he said. He also said traditional methods will still be deployed.
8D
Researchers develop AI to prescribe liver cancer treatment
Researchers have built AI which can suggest the best treatments for liver cancer. Teams from King’s College Hospital and Queen Mary University of London have developed the system. It classifies the drugs used to treat bile duct cancer. "Patients who are diagnosed with primary liver cancer often have a very poor prognosis," said Professor Pedro Cutillas of Queen Mary University of London.
8D
Drone delivers lungs to a transplant patient in historical moment for medicine
For the first time in history, an unmanned drone has transported a set of two lungs between two hospitals in Toronto. The University Health Network and Unither Bioelectronique have completed the flight between Toronto Western Hospital and Toronto General Hospital in six minutes. The lungs transported saved the life of 63-year-old engineer Alain Hodak, who has an interest in drones.
8D
Interactive dolphin game could help repair stroke patient's brains
Dolphin videogame MindPod could give stroke patients an "espresso-like jolt" that stimulates more effective brain repair, say researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The game uses motion-sensitive cameras to track the movements made by a patient's arm to direct a dolphin across a floor-to-ceiling screen to catch fish, helping patients regain control of their nervous systems.
8D
McDonald’s to serve McPlant burgers in the US from November
McDonald’s will sell its plant-based Beyond Meat burgers in selected US locations from November 3. The McPlant has been trialled in Europe, including the UK, and will hit eight McDonald’s restaurants in the US. Beyond Meat has existing deals with the lies of KFC and Pizza Hut. Rivals Burger King has had a plant-based burger on its menu for over two years.
9D
Mayd gets $15m seed funding for medicine delivery platform
Mayd, a German company with ambitions to use tech to supercharge the speed of medicine deliveries, has raised $15m in seed funding. It partners with small-scale pharmacies and aims to deliver supplies to customers in under 30 minutes. The platform has launched in Berlin but will soon be available in more cities across the country. 468 Capital, Earlybird and Target Global have put in the cash.
9D
Scotland makes digital therapeutics for anxiety and insomnia available nationwide
Scotland has become the first country in the world to offer digital therapeutics to all citizens through its health service. People will have access to Daylight and Sleepio, Big Health’s digital therapeutics for anxiety and insomnia. "Digital technologies have massive potential to help people manage and support their mental health," said Mental Wellbeing and Social Care Minister Kevin Stewart.
9D
Airpods could become a health-monitoring device - reports
Apple is studying ways to make its AirPods into a health device, The Wall Street Journal has reported. The company's earphones could be used as hearing aids and include tools to monitor core body temperature and as sensors to correct posture. The features would have to receive regulatory clearance before being launched, and they will likely not be available earlier than 2023.
9D
Volvo reveals the first fossil-free steel vehicle
Volvo Group has revealed what it claims to be the first vehicle in history made using fossil-free steel. The vehicle - a load carrier - has been constructed using mostly ‘green steel’ supplied by Swedish manufacturer SSAB. Volvo says that 70% of a truck’s weight comes from steel and cast iron. The load carrier is driven by a battery-electric powertrain and can operate autonomously.
10D
TikTok and Instagram accused of introducing teens to antisemitism
TikTok and Instagram are introducing teenagers to antisemitic content, research has found. The group Hope Not Hate, which campaigns against racism, said it could not find a single social media platform where antisemitism was not easily accessible. The group highlighted the role of TikTok and Instagram in introducing a “new generation of social media users” to hateful content about Jewish people.
10D
IBM offers AI that helps companies predict and mitigate climate change
IBM has launched the Environmental Intelligence Suite, a set of AI-powered software tools that allow customers to prepare for climate risks that could disrupt operations. The service combines AI, weather data, climate risk analytics, and carbon accounting capabilities to help organisations assess their environmental impact while reducing the complexity of regulatory compliance, IBM says.
11D
RSPCA taps Google to support animal welfare
The UK's Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is tapping Google to improve its work. It has deployed Google Workspace tools and has even trialled digital rehoming initiatives for animals. "We stand in admiration of the dedication of those involved with the RSPCA," wrote Thomas Remy from Google Cloud. Last year, the RSPCA dealt with 140,000 suspected incidents of cruelty.
11D
mPharma to open 100 virtual centres across Africa
Ghanaian health tech startup mPharma is set to open 100 virtual centres across seven markets in Africa over the next six months. mPharma's end goal is to deliver quality primary care in communities they serve by providing medical examinations. The company said the centres will allow patients to “get examined remotely during a virtual consultation", making its approach to telemedicine "unique”.
11D
ThoughtFull announces $1.1m funding for mental health support in Asia
Startup ThoughtFull has netted $1.1m seed funding for its digital mental health platforms. It provides one app that helps users find mental health professionals, and a pro version that allows mental health workers to scale their digital practices. Used predominantly in Malaysia and Singapore, it has expanded into 43 countries and is tailored to the local markets. It is available in five languages.
11D
CATL plans $5bn recycling plant to supercharge EV battery supply
Chinese electric vehicle battery maker CATL is set to build a $5bn plant to recycle battery materials. The facility will help the firm keep up with demand for EV batteries. It will be built in the central Chinese province of Hubei, CATL confirmed on Tuesday. China has introduced policies and standards to promote battery recycling and save materials. CATL supplies the likes of Tesla and Volkswagen.
12D
Yoodli gets cash injection for AI that helps people overcome public speaking anxiety
A startup which uses artificial intelligence to support individuals who suffer from public speaking anxiety has raised $1m. Yoodli deploys machine learning and deep learning to analyse video clips of a speaker. It then offers advice to improve the speaker's effectiveness. The company was founded by ex-senior managers from Alphabet and Apple. Its technology is still a "few months" away from launch.
12D
UK government expects over 50,000 new tech jobs in West Midlands
A report by the UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport predicts the West Midlands region will be boosted by 52,000 new technology roles over the next four years. The report states that the West Midlands, which includes Birmingham, is seeing the fastest growth in the tech sector in the UK, and believes it will result in a £2.7bn boost to the local economy by 2025.
12D
Atlantic Labs spins-out FoodLabs to fund climate and healthcare initiatives
Atlantic Food Lab is relaunching as FoodLabs, with a dedicated €100m FoodTech fund to invest in food, health, and sustainability startups. The company has been an investor in Infarm.com, SanityGroup.com, Formo.bio, Mushlabs.com, Mitte.co and Stenon.io. With the new fund, FoodLabs is doubling down on the sector and taking part in the wider industry turn towards sustainable development.
12D
Facebook to ban the sale of protected Amazon rainforest land on Marketplace
Eight months after the story was first reported by the BBC, social media giant Facebook has announced it will take action to ban the illegal sale of Amazon rainforest land on its Marketplace platform. The new measures will apply only to conservation areas and not to publicly owned forests and it will be limited to the Amazon, not affecting other rainforests and wildlife areas across the world.
12D
Pod Point set for UK IPO
Pod Point, the electric vehicle charging firm owned by EDF, is set for a UK IPO. It is planning a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange with a free float of at least 25%. The company says it is the leading provider of home charging points in the UK, earning $45m in cash last year. Pod Point was acquired by EDF in February 2020. It was founded in 2009 by Erik Fairbairn and Peter Hiscocks.
12D
Google and YouTube ban ads on climate denial content
Google and YouTube have announced a new policy by which they will ban the monetisation of content that promote climate change misinformation. The policy will apply to content "referring to climate change as a hoax or a scam, claims denying that long-term trends show the global climate is warming, and claims denying that greenhouse gas emissions or human activity contribute to climate change".
15D
Biotech firm Pluton Biosciences raises $6.6m
Pluton Biosciences has been boosted with a $6.6m seed funding round. The company's mission is to discover new microbes which can drive environmental sustainability. Its current products focus on agriculture and climate change. "With this new round of capital, we’ll be able to build Pluton’s value as an innovative force," said its founder. The money came from angel and institutional investors.
15D
Tesla moves to Texas
Electric carmaker Tesla has revealed its plans to move its headquarters from Silicon Valley, California to Austin, Texas, where it is building a massive car and battery manufacturing complex. With this move, Tesla follows the lead of Oracle, HP and Toyota Motor, who have already announced similar moves. Compared to California, Texas has lower tax policies and more affordable living costs.
15D
Edtech Riiid buys Langoo to expand into Japan
Riiid, an edtech startup from South Korea, has bought its distribution partner Langoo. The acquisition will allow Riiid to expand into Japan. Riiid's AI-powered app specialises in tutoring and has rapidly grown in popularity in the region. In May, the company raised $175m in new funding from SoftBank's Vision Fund 2. Japan is seen as one of the biggest education markets in the world.
16D
Children to receive malaria vaccination across Africa
The World Health Organization (WHO) says the RTS,S malaria vaccine should be rolled out across sub-Saharan Africa following successful trials in children. WHO says it is a “historic moment” that could save “tens of thousands of young lives each year.” In 2019, more than 260,000 children died of malaria in Africa. Trials show the vaccine is safe and reduces severe malaria by 30%.
16D
Entity Academy scoops $100m in fresh funding
Entity Academy has raised $100m for its women-focused edtech platform. It provides training and job coaching in areas like data science and software development. The money has come from Leif, which exists to provide financing services to edtech platforms. Entity founder Jennifer Schwab says this raise will help it works towards a more conventional venture capital round in the future.
16D
Google updates products to help users make more sustainable choices
Google has introduced a raft of changes to its products to help users make more sustainable choices. CEO Sundar Pichai revealed the changes in a blog. They include Maps defaulting to the most eco-friendly route, and Google Flights showing the carbon footprint of each journey. Changes have also been made to Search and other products. "Climate change is no longer a distant threat," wrote Pichai.
16D
Japanese healthtech startup Bisu raises $3.2m to create portable labs
Tokyo-headquartered healthcare startup Bisu has raised $3.2m on a seed round for the development of its lab-on-a-chip product. The company has built a lab-grade testing device that can be used at home for diagnostics that translate into actionable health data. The round was led by QUAD, with participation from ASICS Ventures Corporation, 15th Rock Ventures, Pacifico Investments and SOSV.
17D
Google Maps goes greener with new features
Google Maps has unveiled a suite of new sustainability features focused on helping consumers cut their greenhouse gas emissions. The company has started providing information to users about the most eco-friendly routes - based on congestion and fuel usage - and information about the causes of global warming. In addition, Google aims to enable a "billion sustainable actions" by 2022.
17D
Thales and Google partner to secure France's sensitive data
Thales and Google have announced a strategic partnership to protect sensitive public sector data in France. They will build a sovereign, hyperscale cloud platform meeting France's criteria for a "trusted cloud". The criteria have been set by the Information Systems Security Agency. "We will be able to help power digital transformation," said a Thales spokesperson. Private companies can also apply.
18D
Honor becomes the latest healthtech unicorn after raising $370m
Honor, the senior care startup, has raised $370m in new financing. The cash, which pushes its valuation beyond the $1bn mark, came from two sources: $300m from debt financing and $70m from a Series E investment round. Honor's care network and technology platform serves more than 100,000 older adults following its acquisition of Home Instead in August. Baillie Gifford led the equity financing.
18D
Artrya cleared to bring AI heart disease detection tool to market in Australia
Artrya will market its AI heart disease detection tool in Australia early next year after satisfying regulators. The tool, called "Salix", creates a 3D image of a patient's heart and generates an assessment of issues within 15 minutes. Salix has been developed in partnership with researchers from the University of Western Australia. Artrya is set to raise as much as $40m from an IPO next month.
19D
Siemens gets FDA clearance for ground-breaking CT technology
FDA has granted 510(k) clearance to a Siemens Healthineers' photon-counting scanner. The device is designed to boost the spatial resolution of computed tomography while reducing the dose. The device is able to create accurate 3D images with greater detail than current methods. The FDA has said it is "the first major new technology for computed tomography imaging in nearly a decade".
19D
AlmavivA and Aruba present joint proposal for Italy's cloud hub
Italian IT group AlmavivA and cloud provider Aruba have put presented a joint proposal to the Italian government to develop the country's new National Strategic Hub. The cloud-based infrastructure is part of Italy's strategy to accelerate digital transformation and guarantee national data security. The proposal rivals another one presented last week by a consortium led by Telecom Italia.
22D
SoftBank-backed Oyo files for $1.2bn IPO
Indian hotel chain Oyo has filed for an initial public offering, where it plans to raise about $1.16bn, according to draft papers submitted to the country’s market regulator. The Indian-based startup is backed by SoftBank Vision Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital India. It offers a platform that helps hoteliers accept digital bookings, price rooms and manage payments.
22D
Google and DeepMind face lawsuit over collection of NHS patient data
Alphabet’s Google and sister firm DeepMind are facing a class-action style lawsuit over the collection of over a million UK patients' health records without consent. The data was collected in 2015 as part of an effort to develop a patient monitoring app called Streams, developed alongside the London-based Royal Free NHS Trust. Google pulled the clinician support app last month.