The Bulletin
15H
Engageli lands $33m for online teaching platform
Engageli is the latest edtech firm to land a big investment in the wake of COVID-19. Companies who offer innovative, remote tools for learning have attracted VCs over the past 18 months. Engageli hosts a video-based teaching platform and other tools, used mainly by higher education institutions. It has raised $33m from a Series A funding round, co-led by Maveron and Corner Ventures.
19H
National Health Service app to be used as vaccine passport
The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) can be used as a vaccine passport by those who have received both doses of the vaccination. From May 17, the NHS app will show a person’s vaccine status, which is enabled by a GP. Paper versions of the passport will also be available to those without access to smartphones. The app is separate to the NHS’s COVID-19 contact-tracing app.
21H
Toyota teams up with ENEOS on Woven City
Toyota has partnered with Japanese petroleum company ENEOS to develop a hydrogen fuel system for its 175-acre Woven City. Toyota hopes the prototype Woven will be the world’s first programmable city, with people, vehicles, transport and buildings connected through sensors. Based at the foot of Mount Fuji, it will be powered by hydrogen. ENEOS will develop a fully carbon-free supply chain.
21H
Exeger secures $38m to fund solar cell tech
A company which has developed solar cell technology to turn any form of light into energy has raised $28m in new funding. Exeger's Powerfoyle tech could lead to self-powered gadgets and other groundbreaking use cases. The money has been secured through debt financing and a share issue, and will be spent by Exeger on a second factory in Sweden and the wider commercialisation of its product.
1D
Google ramps up efforts to support India against COVID-19
Google is boosting its services in India to support the country in its battle against COVID-19. India is currently reporting over 350,000 infections every day. Google has applied updates to its Search, Maps, YouTube and Google Pay services to better display information in real time. It will show vaccine information and is working on tech to display the availability of hospital beds and oxygen.
1D
StuDocu raises $50m for note-sharing network
StuDocu has raised $50m for its note-sharing network for students. The Dutch startup acts as a portal for students to access student-created class notes, summaries and study guides. It has gained 15 million users since being founded by four students in Amsterdam in 2013, working with 2,000 universities in 60 countries. The Series B round was led by Partech. It will use the cash to further expand.
4D
Google commits $5m to fight financial fraud in the UK
Google has become the first big tech firm to join Stop Scams UK. The programme aims to protect individuals from financial fraud. Google has pledged $5m in advertising credits to support public awareness campaigns. Other members of Stop Scams UK include Lloyds, Barclays, NatWest Group and Vodafone. "We also understand the importance of ensuring people are informed," said Google's UK MD.
4D
Bio research facilitate hit by cyberattack
An unnamed European biomedical research institute involved in COVID-19 related research has been hit by Ryuk, one of the better-known forms of ransomware. This cyberattack has been targeting hospital and healthcare providers over the last year. The hack happened after a university student downloaded a cracked software. The attack costs the institute a week’s worth of vital research data.
5D
Therapy platform ifeel raises $6.6m
A Spanish online therapy company has landed $6.6m in new funding. Madrid-based ifeel offers self-care tools and live therapy, and pitches to businesses that are keen to offer mental health support to employees. It has amassed 400,000 users on the its platform and works with the likes of AXA Partners, Glovo and Gympass. The company's Series A round was led by Nauta Capital.
5D
Online speech therapy startup Expressable launches with $5m
Expressable is a telehealth startup that connects patients to speech-language pathologists via telehealth services and asynchronous support. The company has just launched its service, supported by a new $4.5 million seed round. Currently, over 40 million Americans - 5 of which are children - suffer from speech pathologies, and COVID-19 has greatly limited their access to therapy.
5D
NIO enters European market for the first time
Chinese electric vehicle maker NIO has announced its entry into the European market. The company's ES8 SUV will roll into production in Norway in September. Then next year, four NIO Spaces will open in Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim, and Kristansand. “Launching in the European market will definitively help us grow,” said NIO Chief Executive William Li. Norway has seen a high adoption of EVs.
6D
Tencent Cloud announces tie-up with University of Edinburgh
Tencent Cloud and the University of Edinburgh have revealed the details behind a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Tencent will look to support the university's education and research programmes with technical engagements and cloud capabilities. They will also look to develop cloud skills for students. Tencent recently signed a similar MoU with the National University of Singapore.
6D
Indian tech experts support vaccination campaign amid fairness concerns
Indian tech experts have written software code and designed websites to help people book scarce COVID-19 vaccinations online and help fight the violent wave of the virus that the country is currently suffering. However, the initiative has raised concerns regarding an unfair advantage for the tech-savvy. Only 2% of its 1.3 billion population have been fully immunised in India.
6D
StudySmarter raises $15m to globalise its learning platform
StudySmarter has raised $15m for its online learning platform. The German startup's algorithm can convert any kind of text or content into an interactive course, offering "lifelong" learning to its users. It was only founded in 2018 but has amassed a user base of more than 1.5 million. This Series A funding round, led by Owl Ventures, will fuel its ambition to become a "global learning hub".
7D
Brain tech company Neuroelectrics raises $17.5m
Neuroelectrics, a Barcelona-based company that specialises in non-invasive brain technology, has raised $17.5m. It will fund a Phase 3 clinical trial to reduce seizures in epilepsy patients, using Neuroelectrics’ electrical headcap, which a pilot study showed significantly reduces seizures in patients who don’t respond to medication. The Series A funding will also help study depressive disorders.
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7D
Solid Power backed by Ford and BMW
Solid Power, a startup in the solid state battery space, has raised $130m from some high-profile investors. Ford and BMW are among those to have backed the company because of its relevance in the production of electric vehicles. Carmakers are keen to lower the cost of EVs as production and demand ramps up. Solid state battery technology offers more capacity than lithium-ion batteries.
7D
Uber and Arrival partner to develop ride-hailing EVs
UK-based EV startup Arrival and Uber are partnering to develop an electric car that will be “purpose-built” for ride-hailing. According to the companies, the design of the cars will be revealed by the end of the year and production will start in late 2023. Arrival has revealed that the design it will not be exclusive to Uber. Uber drivers have been invited to give feedback in the design.
11D
Healthtec company Caresyntax raises £100m in funding
Caresyntax, which uses AI to to analyse risk factors in operating rooms, has raised £100m in Series C funding. The Berlin-based company, founded in 2013, uses machine learning to alert surgeons to potential early warning signs that might be missed by humans. Caresyntax is used globally in 8,000 operating rooms. The funding round included investment from Intel Capital and Optum Ventures.
11D
Biden proposes the creation of a new health research agency to help "end cancer"
In his first major speech to Congress, Joe Biden announced his plan of creating a $6.5 billion new health research agency within the National Institutes of Health to "end cancer as we know it". The agency would be modelled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa, and initially focus on treating cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. but with a view to expanding beyond these.
11D
Healthtech accelerator launches in Dubai
The United Arab Emirates has launched an accelerator specifically for healthtech businesses. Ztartup has been launched by Dubai SME, which is part of the Department of Economic Development of the Government of Dubai. It will also look to incubate new businesses in the healthtech space. "Our aim is to develop a new ecosystem that supports tech entrepreneurs," said Ztartup's founder and CEO.
12D
Salesforce to ask suppliers to set carbon goals
Salesforce will ask its suppliers to set carbon reduction goals as part of new measures to tackle climate change. It will also demand of partners to deliver products and services in a carbon neutral way. Business travel is a key area of focus for Salesforce after accounting for 146,000 tonnes of carbon in 2020. The company is working with the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance in this area.
12D
Remote healthcare startup Kry raises $300m
Digital healthcare company Kry has raised over $300 million to fuel its European expansion plans. Kry provides video consultations with healthcare professionals. The Series D funding round was led by CPP Investments, and Fidelity Management & Research LLC with participation from existing investors, including the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Index Ventures, Accel, Creandum and Project A.
12D
Facebook approves ads encouraging children to gamble, drink and smoke
Facebook has been accused of approving advertisements that target children interested in gambling, smoking and extreme weight loss, by Reset Australia. Reset Australia is the local arm of a global initiative working to "counter digital threats to democracies". It accused Facebook of harvesting children's data and selling it to advertisers, who offered the products for as little as $3.
12D
Huawei makes strategic push to electric vehicle market - report
Huawei is deepening its commitment to electric vehicles with a domestic deal, reports Reuters. The telecoms company is in talks to acquire the EV unit of automaker Chongqing Jinkang New Energy Automobile. According to the report, the deal would allow Huawei to manufacture electric vehicles bearing its own nameplate. Neither company responded to Reuters to confirm the story.
13D
Indian IT companies set up COVID-19 "war-rooms"
The biggest IT companies of India have set up COVID-19 "war rooms" to manage the latest wave of the pandemic. The country is suffering a shortage of oxygen, medicine and hospital beds and IT giants are struggling to care for infected workers and maintain backroom operations for the world's biggest financial firms. Workers at Accenture, Infosys and Wipro are reportedly working 13 to 14 hours a day.
13D
Kaia Health lands $75m in new funding
Kaia Health, the company which can treat chronic pain remotely via its app, has raised $75m in new funding. The firm's AI-assisted digital therapies support patients with musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders. Kaia, which is backed by leading golfer Rory McIlroy, raised $26m only last summer. This latest round was led by an unnamed growth equity fund. MSK conditions affect one in two Americans.
13D
China to build new space station
China is to start an orbital construction of a new space station, with the first section expected to start this week. China hopes to complete the entire build next year. The 11th crewed station ever built, it will be China’s first permanent station. Built to carry out scientific experiments, it will be about a quarter of the size of the International Space Station, and will house three astronauts.
13D
Safehub raises $9m for earthquake monitoring technology
Safehub, a company whose technology can be used to deliver real-time earthquake damage information, has raised $9m from its Series A funding round. The company claims its IoT-based analytics platform can reduce business interruption losses from earthquakes. Its sensors are designed to be cheap and easy to install for businesses. Safehub was founded in 2015. Its Series A was led by A/O PropTech.
14D
Moscow details smart city projects
Moscow has launched a catalogue detailing its smart city projects. The Russian capital has 68 ongoing projects, as detailed by ICT.Moscow and the city's government. "The key goal of innovation is to improve the safety and quality of life of citizens," said Eduard Lysenko, minister of the Moscow Government. A number of the projects explore use cases of 5G and artificial intelligence.
14D
Russian hackers threaten to leak US police informants data
Washington DC's Metropolitan Police Department has revealed that its database has been breached in a targeted cyber-attack. The hackers, which are reported to be Russian, would have threatened to share the obtained information with criminal gangs unless it pays an unspecified ransom. The data is said to be sensitive information on police informants. The FBI is currently investigating the breach.
14D
China launches debris-removal robot into space
Origin Space, a Chinese space mining start-up, has launched into low Earth orbit a robot that can catch space debris with a net. Named NEO-01, the prototype will also be used to observe small celestial bodies in deeper space. The company hopes that the robot will pave the way for future technologies capable of mining on asteroids, solving one of the greatest challenges of the space industry.
14D
Snam to work with Red Hat on sustainable business models
Red Hat is to help Snam, one of the world’s largest gas networks, to deploy more sustainable business models. Using Red Hat's open hybrid cloud solutions, Snam aims to more efficiently manage and scale applications. The company wants to develop new businesses and technologies for a low-carbon future, such as H2 and biomethane. "Red Hat is a cornerstone of our transformation," said a spokesman.
15D
Tesla will add EV components recycling facilities at Shanghai factory
Electric vehicle maker Tesla has revealed its plans to add facilities at its Shanghai factory to repair and reproduce key components such as electric motors and battery cells. Tesla will also add manufacturing capacities for car structures and electric motor controllers. Last year, China sold over 1.3 million electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles and the country continues to support the industry.
15D
United Nations uses AI to support peacekeeping efforts
The United Nations is using artificial intelligence to support its peacekeeping efforts in war-torn countries. Alongside AI startup Remesh, the UN has developed an algorithm that helped negotiate peace agreements across Yemen and Libya. The tool allowed over 1,000 people to submit responses, helping the UN understand the population's concerns during live discussions with political leaders.
15D
NHS taps Faculty to predict patient requirements with AI
Faculty has won a contract with the NHS to help make better predictions about patient requirements. Using COVID-19 data, Faculty will help the NHS improve its Early Warning System. They will also address new areas where AI forecasting tools can improve service delivery and patient care. Faculty also worked with NHSX as a partner for the NHS AI Lab and has other public sector contracts in the UK.
15D
Kenyan startup Kidato raises $1.4m for K-12 "online school"
Kidato, a startup which aims to bridge the education gap in Africa, has landed $1.4m in funding. Kidato's "online school" offers private-level education through its platform. Schools in Africa are often overcrowded and don't cater to individual needs. Kidato's founder Sam Gichuru founded the company after observing the experiences of his own children. His firm has been backed by a number of VCs.
18D
Nokia and NewCore partner to bring 5G to US tribal nations
Nokia and NewCore Wireless have partnered to bring 5G wireless networking and 4.9G/LTE service to tribal nations in the US, who historically have been underserved. The network uses the 117MHz part of the Tribal Educational Broadband Service radio band, made available last year by the FCC to serve tribal lands. Thanks to the partnership, over 400 Native American tribes will get internet access.
18D
Ban facial recognition tech - EU watchdog
The EU's privacy watchdog has called for facial recognition technology to be banned. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) said facial recognition presents a "non-democratic intrusion" into people's private lives. Its position comes two days after the EU published draft rules that permit the technology to be used in some circumstances. "A stricter approach is necessary," said the EDPS.
18D
Honda to target 100% electric vehicles by 2040
Honda Motor Co's new chief executive Toshihiro Mibe has announced its plans to increase its ratio of electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles to 100% of all sales by 2040. According to the company's timeline, Honda would progress from sales of 40% electric vehicles by 2030 and 80% by 2035 until reaching 100% in 2040. Honda also plans to launch a new series of EV models with new e:Architecture.
18D
UK Met Office and Microsoft team up on weather forecasting supercomputer
The UK will be home to the world's most powerful weather forecasting supercomputer after an agreement was struck between the Met Office and Microsoft. Data will be used to provide more accurate warnings of severe weather and to feed climate change modelling. The supercomputer, which is set to be up and running by summer 2022, will leverage Microsoft Azure cloud capabilities.
19D
Medchart scoops $17m for its healthcare data platform
Medchart has secured $17m in seed funding for its healthtech platform. The company offers businesses secure access to patient-approved digital health information, giving industries like legal and insurance the chance to make processes far more efficient. The Series A round was led by Crosslink Capital and Golden Ventures. Medchart is now expanding across a number of different verticals.
19D
Satellite Vu raises $5m in funding for thermal imaging satellites launch
Satellite Vu is a startup focusing on analysing infrared and heat emissions to measure the impact of climate change. The company has raised $5 million in its latest funding round to support the launch of its first satellite, tentatively scheduled for 2022. The company will need to launch seven satellites over the next year in order to provide global coverage, which will cost $100 million.
19D
Founders Factory Africa and Small Foundation partner to support 18 agritech startups
South African investment company Founders Factory Africa has partnered with Small Foundation to support 18 agritech startups for an acceleration and incubation program. As part of the partnership, Small Foundation will make an undisclosed investment in FFA to build and scale agritech startups on Africa. The selected startups will receive up to $250,000 in funding and hands-on technical support.
19D
US Department of Justice forms cybercrime task force
The Justice Department has formed a Ransonware and Digital Extortion Task Force to combat the rise of cybercrime in the US. The task force will include officials from the FBI, National Security Division, Criminal Division, Executive Officer of US Attorneys and Civil Division. The move means the Justice Department sees ransomware attacks, which surged in 2020, as a priority.
20D
Global project launches to monitor oceans with robots
A project which aims to use floating robotic monitors to assess the health of our oceans has launched. The Global Ocean Biogeochemistry Array has recently launched 500 of its monitors worldwide after years of study in the Southern Ocean. Sensors will measure acidity or pH levels, salinity and other characteristics. Data will then be made available for free to researchers and schools.
20D
Regent raises $9m to develop electric flying ferries
Boston start-up Regent is currently working on developing an "electric seaglider" that will make travel between coastal cities faster and more sustainable. This electric ferry would motor out of a harbour on a hydrofoil, take off at a low speed using the water as a runway and fly over the waves at 180 miles per hour. The startup has raised $9 million in seed funding to develop the technology.
20D
Instagram takes steps to tackle hate speech and abuse
Instagram is rolling out a new feature which aims to tackle hate speech and abuse. The tool will filter offensive words, phrases and emoji. It will be able to be customised by users, and activated or deactivated via an individual's settings. Instagram also plans to make it harder for blocked users to contact individuals through new accounts. The features will be rolled out in the coming months.
20D
Tiktok sued on behalf of millions of children over data protection practices
England's former children's commissioner Anne Longfield has filed a lawsuit against Tiktok claiming that the social media app illegally collects the personal information of its child users. The claim was filed on behalf of 3.5 million UK and EU children under 13 that use the platform. If successful, the children affected could each be owed thousands of pounds. Tiktok has denied the accusations.
21D
UK government launches public sector innovation plan
The UK government has published a strategy to "get greater value from public sector knowledge assets". It is creating the Government Office for Technology Transfer, which will work with public sector organisations to identify knowledge asset opportunities. A report last year said that government faces "several barriers" to managing its knowledge assets. A key focus will be put on the use of data.
21D
CoLearn lands $10m for edtech platform
CoLearn, the Indonesian edtech platform with financial backing from Sequoia Capital, has raised $10m from a new funding round. Its app has one million active users after launching last August. CoLearn initially began life as an offline business but its app now offers pre-recorded videos to help learners with homework. The Series A was co-led by Alpha Wave Incubation and GSV Ventures.