Google also has a patent application pending for teleportation in VR, which users can use to turn themselves into giants walking on the fog alongside the Golden Gate Bridge.
We dug into VR earlier this week in a 53-page presentation (click here to download the slides and live recording of an analyst briefing).
One interesting trend underpinning VR that we explored is the creation of powerful simulation engines like one being created by UK-based Improbable. These engines are enabling complex simulations in VR that will create not just tomorrow’s video games, but also help corporations run simulations to inform decision-making and strategy.
67%: Our Enhanced Valuation capability picked up a new filing this week related to Unity Technologies’ recent raise from Silver Lake Partners. The filing shows that the VR/AR and game development platform saw its valuation jump to between $2.6B and $2.8B in the round, up from its previous $1.56B valuation reached in mid-2016. That’s a valuation jump of at least 67% in just one year. Unity raised $400M in the May 2017 round. Unity is also one of 4 companies in our recently published analysis of a new generation of simulation engines being developed for gaming and other applications.
2: The number of private companies that reached unicorn status this week. The companies that gained $1B+ valuations are DT Dream, a cloud-based computing and data analysis platform, and AvidXchange, provider of automated bill payment and accounts payable solutions. Check out our Unicorn Tracker to see the 200 other still-private companies in the unicorn club.
2,000: Scientists who had used CRISPR to edit out a gene that caused blindness in mice later returned to the genome and found 2,000 unintended mutations also caused by the intervention, according to a letter to Nature Methods. The letter caused a wave of concern in the scientific community over CRISPR’s accuracy. But some scientists told Wired this week that the concern was overblown and more research needs to be done, since this was just one result. We recently spotlighted 7 key startups working on CRISPR tech.
59,000: In 2016, approximately 59,000 to 65,000 people died from drug overdoses (resulting mostly from opioid addiction) in the United States, as per The New York Times. According to preliminary data, the number rose 19% from 2015, making drug overdoses the leading cause of death among Americans under 50. In addition, there were large increases in these drug-related deaths among East Coast states, particularly Maryland, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Maine.
$125M – $200M: This week, Snap acquired Placed — a provider of location-driven insights and mobile ad intelligence backed by investors including Madrona Venture Group and Two Sigma Ventures — for a rumored price tag between $125M and $200M. According to our recent analysis, many of Snap’s patents have originated from the company’s M&A moves, including its recognition technology for 3D selfies (Placed itself has 7 patent applications and grants).
$65M: Cadre, a real estate investment platform cofounded by Jared Kushner, raised $65M in Series C funding from investors including a16z, General Catalyst, Khosla Ventures, and Breyer Capital. With the round, the company reached an $800M valuation and $383M in total funding. Cadre is also found on our market map of fintech companies that have received early-stage investments by smart money investors.
28th: Across the globe, the United Kingdom has the fastest mobile internet speeds, averaging about 26 megabits per second (Mbps). The data — which was pulled from Akamai’s State of Internet report and covered by Recode earlier this week — shows that Germany (24.1 Mbps) and Finland (21.6 Mbps) round out the top three spots. The United States failed to make the top 25 and secured the 28th spot at 10.7 Mbps.
$30M: This week, direct-to-consumer (D2C) men’s apparel brand Untuckit raised $30M in Series A. The company raised from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which previously backed other D2C companies Everlane and Dollar Shave Club. In our upcoming Future of E-commerce briefing, we’ll be diving into D2C players and how they have fared against traditional e-commerce platforms. Sign up here.