Probably too soon to call a peak on artificial intelligence.
The “AI for x” trend is still producing early-stage companies at a fast clip.
We recently looked at some of the more silly-sounding startups in this vein, including AI for fishing, AI for sex ed, AI for fishing, and AI for roti.
But on a macro level, deals to AI-focused companies working across all industry verticals dipped in Q2’17 after climbing rather steeply for two-consecutive quarters. It was the second largest % drop in activity since we’ve started tracking AI as a category (see This Week in Data below)
Deals levels are still robust of course especially in spaces like healthcare and cybersecurity, but it’s interesting to note the dip given the backdrop of ongoing AI hype. Meanwhile, AI has seen a notable startup failure in Q2’17: AI in auto company Pearl Automation, which raised $50M last year.
240: The number of deals to AI startups in Q2’17, representing a 19% decrease from the 297 deals seen in the quarter prior. Despite the dip, Q2’17 had the second highest number of deals since the start of 2012. Top verticals for the quarter include healthcare and cybersecurity, while AI in fintech, sales & CRM, as well as commerce saw slowdowns. For a look at the breakdown of AI-related deals across industries, check out our Artificial Intelligence Deals tracker.
$1.2B: This week, news surfaced that fitness tracking company Jawbone is liquidating its assets and shutting down. As part of the news, company founder and CEO Hosain Rahman announced the start of his new company, Jawbone Health Hub, focused on medical software and hardware. Jawbone was last valued around $1.2B in 2016, a fall from the ~$3.2B valuation seen in 2014. We took a look at Jawbone’s valuation history in the chart below.
22,000: This week, Tesla announced that it delivered just over 22,000 vehicles in Q2’17, bringing the automaker’s total vehicle deliveries to approximately 47,100 in in the first half of 2017. While the quarter’s number represents a 53% increase over Q2’16, the company said a shortage in 100 kWh battery packs affected Tesla’s Q2 deliveries. Additionally, production averaged about 40% below demand until early June. Tesla’s shares also fell significantly earlier this week, “dethroning” the company as the most valuable automaker by market cap. The company now falls second to General Motors (which has a ~$53B market cap).
35: The number of game-changing food-focused startups featured in our Feeding the Future report released earlier this week. From seeking alternative proteins to targeting food waste to bioengineering new food sources, these companies are transforming the ways our food gets grown, stored, shipped, and sold. You can also find a list of the companies mentioned in the report in our Feeding the Future Collection on the CB Insights platform.
2x: Amazon’s Alexa voice platform surpassed 15,000 skills this week, giving Amazon’s voice ecosystem an early lead in terms of apps and third-party developer interest. The 15,000 is more than 2x the number seen at the beginning of the year, when the company reported reaching a milestone of 7,000 skills. As of last month, the number well surpassed the skills/voice apps of the Google Home (378) and Microsoft’s Cortana (65), according to a Voicebot analysis. We dug into the Alexa Fund — Amazon’s corporate venture capital unit focused on investing in voice and IoT technology — as part of our Amazon Strategy Teardown.
2040: In an effort to promote the use of electric vehicles and limit global warming, France announced its aim to end the sale of gasoline and diesel cars by 2040. According to the French environment minister Nicolas Hulot, the country will also stop issuing new oil and gas exploration permits and also work to eliminate the use of coal to produce electricity by 2022. We previously explored startups, innovations, and macro trends within the electric vehicle space. Get the report.
$700M: The amount raised by China-based on-demand bike sharing platform Ofo in Series E funding. The company raised from Alibaba Group, CITIC Capital Private Equity, Didi Chuxing, DST Global, and Hony Capital. This is the second mega-round raised by Ofo in 2017, having previously raised $450M in March (which led to its $1B valuation and a spot on our Unicorn Tracker). The company has raised $1.3B in total funding, surpassing other Chinese bike-sharing giant Mobike by a thin margin ($1B).
$10,000: A new drug-free energy product, known as Coco Loko, has hit the market. The substance, described as a “snortable chocolate powder,” contains mostly raw cacao, as well as ingredients commonly found in energy drinks, including gingko biloba, taurine, and guarana. The powder — said to provide an energy boost lasting from 30 minutes to an hour — is a product of Legal Lean, and company CEO Nick Anderson invested $10,000 to create the “raw cacao snuff.” Our market map of vitamin & supplement startups showcases a number of companies focused on creating energy supplements.
$170M: France-based Axereal, a cooperative which collects and sells grain & oilseed domestically and internationally, raised $170M in growth equity financing from Temasek Holdings, Tereos, and Unigrains. The raise comes after the company’s announcement in February that it would build a malt processing factory in Ethiopia and another production facility in Antwerp. We looked at ag tech companies that are unbundling cooperatives in a previous research briefing.