While much has been made of tech’s unwillingness to work with the Pentagon, start-ups are still plumbing the industry’s decades-long ties to the military.
Nio can tap an extensive supply chain that Beijing has built to achieve its dream of dominating the manufacture of electric cars.
Carmakers, government agencies and investors are pouring money into battery research in a global race to profit from emission-free electric cars.
The 11-month-old app has exploded in popularity, even as it grapples with harassment, misinformation and privacy issues.
The social network, which has a history of cloning its competitors, has started working on an audio chat product.
The device, a wearable night light that can minimize disturbances for sleeping patients, is the brainchild of a University of Pennsylvania senior and a neonatal I.C.U. nurse.
The start-up, which was at the center of a recent stock market frenzy, was valued at $6 billion in the new funding round.
Vlad Tenev has incited the fury of the trading app’s fans amid a stock market frenzy. His lack of preparedness on nuts-and-bolts issues was part of a pattern, former employees and analysts said.
Silicon Valley techies and Wall Street titans have bought homes and moved businesses there in the pandemic, coaxed by an eager mayor.
The no-fee trading app, which is popular with young investors, has been strained by the high volume of trading this week in stocks such as GameStop.
Designers and tech start-ups are working to improve sustainability and interrupt the path to the landfill.
Substack is the breakout newsletter platform media insiders are watching. Its chief executive says he has big plans — and an open door.
Rivian, which has raised another $2.65 billion, plans to sell a pickup truck and S.U.V. it has worked on for more than a decade.
The chaos of the last two weeks offers an opportunity to rethink the role of technology in our lives.
Tim Berners-Lee wants to put people in control of their personal data. He has technology and a start-up pursuing that goal. Can he succeed?
A Beltway school of journalism wants to get back to just-the-facts-ma’am reporting. But how do you cover this Republican Party?
An analysis of internal pay data at the San Francisco company Coinbase shows disparities that were much larger than those in the tech industry.
The obituary for California’s tech industry has been written before, and it will be rewritten again and again and again.
Beijing’s drive to free itself from reliance on imported semiconductors has lifted start-ups and big firms alike. Some have flamed out. But there has been progress.
Investors are betting that small companies like Workhorse will help popularize electric commercial vehicles. And Tesla aims to extend its reach.
With her latest venture, the Bliss founder Marcia Kilgore is selling high-end beauty products at prices closer to what the factories charge. Will consumers want a slice of Beauty Pie?
The home-rental company’s blockbuster I.P.O. followed that of the delivery company DoorDash. Investors piled into both.
The delivery company’s shares started trading at $182 each, 78 percent above its initial public offering price of $102, in a sign of investor appetite.
A day after handing its autonomous car project to a Silicon Valley start-up, Uber is ridding itself of another expensive operation.
Harry Destecroix co-founded Ziylo while studying for his PhD at the University of Bristol. Ziylo, a university spin-out company, developed a synthetic molecule allowing glucose to bind with the bloodstream more effectively. Four years later, and by then a Phd, Destecroix sold the company to Danish firm Novo Nordisk, one of the biggest manufacturers of diabetes medicines, which had realized it could use Ziylo’s molecule to develop a new type of insulin to help diabetics. He walked away with an estimated $800m.
Destecroix is now embarking on a project, “Science Creates”, to repeat the exercise of creating deep-tech, science-based startups, and it will once more be based out of Bristol.
To foster this deep tech ecosystem it will offer a specialized incubator space able to house Wet Labs, a £15 million investment fund and a network of strategic partners to nurture science and engineering start-ups and spin-outs.
The Science Creates hub, in partnership with the University of Bristol and located in the heart of the city, is aspiring to become a sort of ‘West Coast’ for England, and the similarities, at least with an earlier version of Silicon Valley, are striking.
The Bay Area of old was cheaper than the East Coast of the US, had a cornerstone university, access to capital, and plenty of talent. Bristol has all that and for capital, it can access London, less than 90 minutes by train. But what it’s lacked until now is a greater level of “clustering” and startup-focused organization, which is clearly what Destecroix is planning to fix.
In a statement for the launch, he explained: “Where a discovery is made has a huge bearing on whether it’s successfully commercialized. While founding my own start-up, Ziylo, I became aware of just how many discoveries failed to emerge from the lab in Bristol alone. No matter the quality of the research and discovery, the right ecosystem is fundamental if we are going to challenge the global 90% failure rate of science start-ups, and create many more successful ventures.”
Science Creates is be grown out of the original incubator, Unit DX, that Destecroix set up in collaboration with the University of Bristol in 2017 to commercialize companies like his own.
The ‘Science Creates ecosystem’ will comprise of:
Science Creates Incubators: Unit DX houses 37 scientific and engineering companies working on healthtech, the environment and quality of life. The opening of a second incubator, Unit DY, close to Bristol Temple Meads train station, will mean it can support 100 companies and an estimated 450 jobs. The Science Creates’ physical footprint across the two units will reach 45,000 sq ft.
Science Creates Ventures: This £15 million EIS venture capital fund is backed by the Bristol-based entrepreneurs behind some of the South-West’s biggest deep tech exits.
Science Creates Network: This will be a portfolio of strategic partners, mentors and advisors tailored to the needs of science and engineering start-ups.
Destecroix is keen that the startups nurtured there will have more than “Wi-Fi and strong coffee” but also well-equipped lab space as well as sector-specific business support.
He’s betting that Bristol, with its long history of academic and industrial research, world-class research base around the University of Bristol, will be able to overcome the traditional challenges towards the commercialization of deep tech and science-based startups.
Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President at the University of Bristol, commented: “We are delighted to support the vision and help Science Creates to build a thriving deep tech ecosystem in our home city. Great scientists don’t always know how to be great entrepreneurs, but we’ve seen the impact specialist support can have in helping them access the finance, networks, skills, and investment opportunities they need. Working with Science Creates, we aim to support even more ground-breaking discoveries to progress outside the university walls, and thrive as successful commercial ventures that change our world for the better.”
Ventures in Unit DX so far include:
– Imophoron (a vaccine tech start-up that is reinventing how vaccines are made and work – currently working on a COVID vaccine)
– Cytoseek (a discovery-stage biotech working on cell therapy cancer treatment)
– Anaphite (graphine-based science for next gen battery technology).
In an exclusive interview with TechCrunch, Destecroix went on to say: “After my startup exited I just got really interested in this idea that, where discovery is actually founded has a huge bearing on whether something is actually commercialized or not. The pandemic has really taught us there is a hell of a lot more – especially in the life sciences, and environmental sciences – that has still yet to be discovered. Vaccines are based on very old technology and take a while to develop.”
“Through this whole journey, I started trying to understand it from an economic perspective. How do we get more startups to emerge? To lower those barriers? I think first of all there’s a cultural problem, especially with academically-focused universities whereby entrepreneurship a dirty word. I had to go against many of my colleagues in the early days to spin out, then obviously universities own all the IP. And so you’ve got to go through the tech transfer office etc and depending on what university you are at, whether it’s Imperial, Cambridge or Oxford, they’re all different. So, and I put the reason why there were no deep terch startups in Bristol down to the fact that there was no incubator space, and not enough investment.”
“I’ve now made about 14 angel investments. Bristol has now catapulted from 20th in the league tables for life sciences to six in the country in the last three years and this is largely due to the activities that we’ve been helping to encourage. So we’ve helped streamline licensing processes for the university, and I’ve helped cornerstone a lot of these deals which has resulted in a wave of these technology startups coming in.”
“I thought, now’s the time to professionalize this and launch a respectable Bristol-based venture capital firm that specializes in deep technologies.”
Company executives once said having cars that can drive on their own would be a salvation for their business. But the effort turned into a legal and financial headache.
Investors are tripping over one another to give hot start-ups money. DoorDash and Airbnb are going public. The good times are baaack.
The approval for a U.S. start-up’s “cultured chicken” product is a small victory for the nascent laboratory meat industry. Less clear is whether other countries will follow Singapore’s lead.
The social network was said to be paying close to $1 billion for the maker of customer relationship management software.
Small-business owners are having to learn approaches like “fail fast,” course-correcting and going virtual — and some are succeeding.
Coinbase, the most valuable U.S. cryptocurrency company, has faced many internal complaints about discriminatory treatment.
AI startup RealityEngines.AI changed its name to Abacus.AI in July. At the same time, it announced a $13 million Series A round. Today, only a few months later, it is not changing its name again, but it is announcing a $22 million Series B round, led by Coatue, with Decibel Ventures and Index Partners participating as well. With this, the company, which was co-founded by former AWS and Google exec Bindu Reddy, has now raised a total of $40.3 million.
In addition to the new funding, Abacus.AI is also launching a new product today, which it calls Abacus.AI Deconstructed. Originally, the idea behind RealityEngines/Abacus.AI was to provide its users with a platform that would simplify building AI models by using AI to automatically train and optimize them. That hasn’t changed, but as it turns out, a lot of (potential) customers had already invested into their own workflows for building and training deep learning models but were looking for help in putting them into production and managing them throughout their lifecycle.
“One of the big pain points [businesses] had was, ‘look, I have data scientists and I have my models that I’ve built in-house. My data scientists have built them on laptops, but I don’t know how to push them to production. I don’t know how to maintain and keep models in production.’ I think pretty much every startup now is thinking of that problem,” Reddy said.
Since Abacus.AI had already built those tools anyway, the company decided to now also break its service down into three parts that users can adapt without relying on the full platform. That means you can now bring your model to the service and have the company host and monitor the model for you, for example. The service will manage the model in production and, for example, monitor for model drift.
Another area Abacus.AI has long focused on is model explainability and de-biasing, so it’s making that available as a module as well, as well as its real-time machine learning feature store that helps organizations create, store and share their machine learning features and deploy them into production.
As for the funding, Reddy tells me the company didn’t really have to raise a new round at this point. After the company announced its first round earlier this year, there was quite a lot of interest from others to also invest. “So we decided that we may as well raise the next round because we were seeing adoption, we felt we were ready product-wise. But we didn’t have a large enough sales team. And raising a little early made sense to build up the sales team,” she said.
Reddy also stressed that unlike some of the company’s competitors, Abacus.AI is trying to build a full-stack self-service solution that can essentially compete with the offerings of the big cloud vendors. That — and the engineering talent to build it — doesn’t come cheap.
It’s no surprise then that Abacus.AI plans to use the new funding to increase its R&D team, but it will also increase its go-to-market team from two to ten in the coming months. While the company is betting on a self-service model — and is seeing good traction with small- and medium-sized companies — you still need a sales team to work with large enterprises.
Come January, the company also plans to launch support for more languages and more machine vision use cases.
“We are proud to be leading the Series B investment in Abacus.AI, because we think that Abacus.AI’s unique cloud service now makes state-of-the-art AI easily accessible for organizations of all sizes, including start-ups. Abacus.AI’s end-to-end autonomous AI service powered by their Neural Architecture Search invention helps organizations with no ML expertise easily deploy deep learning systems in production.”
The home rental service gave the first comprehensive look at its finances on Monday as it moves to go public.
Coinbase, Expensify, Soylent, Clubhouse and others are embroiled in a culture war over politics and the workplace.
Noise. Damages. Safety questions. Airbnb is racing to address the risks posed by partying guests before it goes public.
Labs closed in the pandemic, but innovation doesn’t stop. So while some workers have the home office, engineers have the garage.
Ultranauts has been developing creative ways to hire, manage and motivate a far-flung and diverse work force for seven years.
Ten years after state agents raided his home, an engineer fights to prove he was wrongfully attacked over a computer chip start-up.
The data storage company is among several prominent start-ups going public this year as the tech industry thrives in the pandemic.
“Black Founders Matter” started out as a T-shirt design. Now, a once-jilted start-up founder is trying to turn it into a moneymaking strategy.
Current and former workers at Carta, a hot Silicon Valley fintech company, said they were belittled, excluded and punished if they spoke up.
Many start-ups and big-idea companies have rediscovered an alternative to a traditional I.P.O.
A tech start-up named for objects in “The Lord of the Rings” has become a major government contractor. But what it does is not easy to understand.
Special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, are helping them and other fledgling companies raise money and gain coveted stock listings.
It was the first known time that regulators directly interviewed a chief executive of one of the tech companies being scrutinized for potential antitrust violations.
The home rental company, which was privately valued at $31 billion, is trying to go public after its business was crushed by the pandemic.
Millions of children have flocked to the online gaming site Roblox since March. That’s helping game developers, some as young as 16, make a lot of money.
Ben Silbermann, the C.E.O., had few answers to allegations that the social media company has a culture of discrimination.
The doomsday warnings about tech start-ups failing in the pandemic have not yielded the shakeout that many expected a few months ago.
The therapy-by-text company made burner phones available for fake reviews and doesn’t adequately respect client privacy, former employees say.