Global VC funding trends. Buffett’s sage advice. Flying cars.
As of this morning, electric company PG&E has cut power to over half a million customers in northern California. The precautionary shutdown is an attempt to avoid sparking wildfires during high winds and dry weather conditions this week.
What’s more, the SF weather is also attracting thousands of male tarantulas. As a warm fall extends tarantula mating season, Bay Area officials are encouraging residents to be on the lookout for migrating spiders.
The furry spiders are not dangerous to humans, but … yikes.
Both the spiders and the blackout are effects of weather events (namely, higher temperatures this fall). Tracking and measuring weather conditions is an area where tech is making headway — and it’s underappreciated how fast innovation is moving in this niche.
3: A trio of companies became unicorns this week. Fintech startup Next Insurance, writing aid platform Grammarly, and energy workforce marketplace RigUp all reached billion-dollar valuations. See the entire unicorn herd using our tracker.
$10B: India-based room-booking platform OYO Rooms raised $1.5B at a $10B valuation — more than 2x its valuation at a prior funding round in April. The company has now raised $3B+ in disclosed funding.
$845M: Japanese beauty giant Shiseido announced that it will buy skincare brand Drunk Elephant for $845M. We identified Drunk Elephant as a prime acquisition target last year. Clients can look at the other top candidates here.
48+ hours: California power utility company PG&E has turned off power in northern parts of the state, including the San Francisco Bay Area, due to a heightened fire risk from dry conditions and high winds. The company has warned residents that power outages could exceed 48 hours.
2.5 inches: Warm weather in northern California has extended the mating season of local tarantulas, leading to reports of thousands of male tarantulas roaming the San Francisco Bay Area looking for female companions. The spiders, which reportedly grow up to around 2.5 inches long, are said not to pose a threat to humans.
$2.7B+: UK-based vacuum maker Dyson announced that it would cancel its electric car project. The company said that the initiative, reportedly costing upwards of $2.7B, was not commercially viable. Check out the remaining contenders in our Race For The Electric Car report.
97-years-old: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to 3 scientists whose work contributed to the development of the now-ubiquitous lithium-ion batteries. The recipients were Akira Yoshino, M. Stanley Whittingham, and John Goodenough — who, at 97, is the oldest ever winner of a Nobel Prize.
1,100+ Ibs: Giants pigs are being bred in China to help boost pork production, with some specimens topping weights of 1,100 pounds — almost 6x an average American man. China is expected to see shortages of pork in the coming year as supply struggles to meet demand.
One More Thing
Source: Urchinomics via Fast Company
The purple urchin population in the Pacific Ocean near Mendocino, CA has exploded recently, and they’re devouring kelp forests in the area.
This is bad news, as kelp is crucial to healthy marine ecosystems and help mitigate climate change by storing carbon.
But the Nature Conservancy has a plan: harvest the urchins to make uni, a delicacy sometimes used in sushi.