US of tech startups.
Revitalizing nuclear. Hug a robot.
Aggregate valuations of venture-backed companies are still at an all-time high.
But our quarterly deep dive MoneyTree report — created in partnership with PwC — shows deals and funding down almost across the board (in the geographical and industry-specific sense).
Looks like the money and dealmaking is pulling back.
We had a media dinner in Feb 2016, not long after the last time this happened, and the prompt for one discussion was: Is the dip in VC just a blip? At the time we had seen 1742 deals and $27B going to VC-backed companies in the previous quarter.
$3.2B: Australia-based Canva raised $85M at a valuation of $3.2B — a $700M increase in valuation since its prior raise just 5 months ago. Investors in the latest round include Mary Meeker’s Bond, General Catalyst, and Sequoia Capital China. The design platform is one of Australia’s highest-valued private companies since Atlassian, which went public in 2015 at $4.4B valuation.
90%: Researchers from NYU say that they used AI to boost the accuracy of detecting breast cancer from analyzing mammogram images to 90%, outperforming radiologists working alone. AI has broad applications across healthcare — we identified 90+ AI startups working on everything from genomics to diagnostics to drug discovery. Check it out.
440m diameter: New research indicated an underwater volcano near Alaska was producing bubbles up to 440m in diameter, 1.4x the length of the Eiffel Tower. The volcano reportedly drew attention after passing ships witnessed enormous black domes appearing from the ocean.
13,000: Researchers created an artificial “skin” for robots with around 13,000 sensors. The layer is intended to make machines more aware of the world around them and has been used to create a robot that can give hugs. This enhanced sensitivity could eventually be useful for boosting machines’ bedside manner as more robots are deployed in medicine.
40%: The UK generated more electricity from renewable energy sources than fossil fuels last quarter — reportedly for the first time since the industrial revolution. The country produced 40% from renewables compared to 39% for fossil fuels, according to research by industry watcher Carbon Brief.
1 hour, 59 minutes: Eliud Kipchoge became the first person to run a marathon in less than 2 hours. The 34-year-old Kenyan ran 26.2 miles in 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds. The feat has drawn comparisons to Roger Bannister’s 4-minute mile completed 65 years ago. Expert Intelligence clients can take a look at 75+ companies looking to transform fitness here.
$200M: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched a $200M program to support an international effort to map the functions of the body’s individual cells. The initiative is no small task, as human bodies are estimated to contain an average of 37.2T cells each.
One More Thing
Xerox has chosen its inaugural color of the year for 2020: Clear.
Predictably, there are ongoing debates about whether or not “clear” is actually a color.
But the company says it “stands by its choice,” and that clear “showcases the importance of creating a fresh look into an unobstructed future, in hopeful yet clear-eyed anticipation of what lies ahead.”