Startup Monday: Latest tech trends & news happening in the global startup ecosystem (Issue 50)

Episode 43


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Top startups news to follow this week:

1. Rise in prevalence of chronic diseases to help Digital Health market gain Valuation of US$ 1.2 Trn by 2028, States TMR Report.

The global digital health market is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 18.3% during the forecast period from 2021 to 2028, according to a study by Transparency Market Research (TMR).

Advancements in certain segments of the healthcare industry, including electronic health records (EHRs) are projected to favor the growth of the global digital health market in the upcoming years. Several IT companies are collaborating with research & industrial systems engineering organizations in order to introduce technological advancements in EHR systems. Furthermore, government authorities of many countries around the world are incentivizing different IT firms that are working to advance EHRs.

Digital Health Market Driving Forces Are:

  • Players in the digital health market are focusing on the use of medical deep learning techniques in order to foresee potential risks of Parkinson’s disease and dementia in people. Besides, several new entrants are increasing focus on the medical artificial intelligence (AI) to diagnose potential disease patterns in patients.
  • Many healthcare organizations are collaborating with researchers in order to work on projects that are focused on the use of medical AI to study non-invasive connections between different parts of the human brain and identify mental disorders at early stage
  • Mental health doctors are depending on key data from wearable devices while studying illness of a patient. This factor is creating sizable revenue streams for enterprises operating in the global digital health market.
  • Surge in cases of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and other chronic disorders is offering promising business prospects in the global digital health market
  • Rising trend of paid video consultations using latest technologies such as telemedicine is creating lucrative prospects in the global digital health market

The market is prognosticated to gain sizable business opportunities in America and Europe, owing to many factors such as rise in investments in the digital health market through merger & acquisitions, funding, and government funding. Moreover, technological advancements in these regions are anticipated to play a key role in market growth in these regions. The Asia Pacific digital health market is expected to observe promising growth avenues during the forecast period, owing to rise in adoption of digital health products in many developing countries such as Australia, India, and New Zealand along with increase in penetration of Internet and smartphones in the region

2. BUSINESS WIRE reports that the global market for Biorefinery estimated at US$553.7 Billion in the year 2020, is projected to reach a revised size of US$979.5 Billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 9.8% over the analysis period.

In the recent years, various companies have moved ahead with encouraging developments that are anticipated to shape and drive the domain. While some of the companies are looking forward to set up new biorefineries, others are coming up with innovative technologies intended to exploit biomass for desirable bio-products.

In a major development in this direction, Petron Scientech, Inc. and SBI Bioenergy, Inc. have joined hands for licensing of differentiated, sustainable, integrated and energy-efficient technologies for conversion of biomass into clean hydrogen along with production of low-carbon biofuels.

The Biorefinery market in the U.S. is estimated at US$168.6 Billion in the year 2021. The country currently accounts for a 28.3% share in the global market. China, the world’s second largest economy, is forecast to reach an estimated market size of US$155.2 Billion in the year 2026 trailing a CAGR of 11.2% through the analysis period.

Among the other noteworthy geographic markets are Japan and Canada, each forecast to grow at 7.6% and 8.6% respectively over the analysis period. Within Europe, Germany is forecast to grow at approximately 10.6% CAGR while Rest of European market (as defined in the study) will reach US$137.9 Million by the end of the analysis period. Strict government regulations, particularly in North America and Europe, that discourage the use of synthetic and chemical-based lubricants is expected to act as a demand driver.

While the US and Europe are expected to remain the key markets for biolubricants in the near future, developing regions such as Asia-Pacific and Latin America are poised to generate the fastest demand growth for these bio-based products.

Thermochemical Segment to Reach $107.2 Billion by 2026

Thermochemical biorefineries convert biomass feedstock into pyrolysis oil or synthesis gas. The thermochemical conversion process is known for high degree of complexity and uses specific operating conditions, components and configurations. The process concerts biomass into syngas that can be converted into ethanol-rich blend. In the global Thermochemical segment, USA, Canada, Japan, China and Europe will drive the 12.2% CAGR estimated for this segment.

These regional markets accounting for a combined market size of US$42.3 Billion in the year 2020 will reach a projected size of US$99.4 Billion by the close of the analysis period. China will remain among the fastest growing in this cluster of regional markets. Led by countries such as Australia, India, and South Korea, the market in Asia-Pacific is forecast to reach US$9.7 Billion by the year 2026.

3. Over the past few years, AI startups have showcased a lot of growth with various noteworthy innovations and revolutionary artificial intelligence concepts. With the emergence of Covid-19, these startups also faced several challenges along their evolutionary journeys that have even impacted their business potential. Impact-driven investors and customers look for business potential. So, AI accelerators and incubators can prove to be efficient partners for these AI startups.

Here are AI accelerators and startup incubators to follow in 2022:

Digital Catapult is highly experienced in applying AI to new emerging systems and operations. The company specializes in machine learning, edge computing, edge computing, and general adversarial networks. Digital Catapult is also known for bringing the best in businesses, accelerating new possibilities with digital technologies. 

Y Combinator provides seed funding for startups. The company’s primary goal is to enable the startups to pass through the first phase and help to get to a point where they are able to innovate something revolutionary and cutting-edge

Antler focuses on redefining future companies. The team seeks the right team that will understand early-product market fit validation and pre-seed capital because that increases the chances of a new company to make profits. 

Analytics Ventures is a venture studio fund dedicated to establishing new ventures that look forward to harnessing the power of artificial intelligence. 

AI Seed offers pre and post-investment support specialty, tailored to the unique needs of emerging artificial intelligence and machine learning startups.

AI2 Incubator is an initiative of the Allen Institute for AI. The organization helps entrepreneurs create their first AI startups through leading AI research, support, and funding. 

Hero House is an entrepreneurship hub that combines the specific potential of local leading universities with that of the expertise and network of business leaders in entertainment, aerospace, bioscience, and other advanced technologies. Hero House has also established its own in-house venture capital fund called SmartGateVC.

NextGrid’s mission is to accelerate the pace of innovation by investing in startups, talent, and ecosystems that are driven by artificial intelligence. To enhance AI acceleration facilities, the company has also launched the AI Slingshot program that enables steady growth and success of early-stage AI startups.

AIVL’s mission is to positively impact the world by accelerating cloud-based AI startups with the potential to transform and upend industries. With the help of one-of-a-kind acceleration, the company’s innovative industry labs help promising AI startups to boost growth and productivity. 

Nvidia Inception is an accelerator program that focuses on cutting-edge startups, providing critical market support, expertise, and technology. Nvidia explores the potential of global startups through enhanced computing, from the concept of reality. 

4. Cloud is the big buzzword these days, with people talking about why it’s a smart move for companies, and lots of venture-backed startups developing easy ways for companies to make the shift.

Artisanal Ventures, a Bay Area venture capital firm investing in B2B cloud startups, closed on its first fund, the oversubscribed $62 million Artisanal Ventures I. The inaugural fund is backed by more than 50 founders and senior executives from companies like Square, Atlassian, CrowdStrike, AppDynamics, Snowflake, Splunk, UiPath and MuleSoft.

The firm is led by Andy Price, general partner, and also founder of cloud-focused executive search firm Artisanal Talent. He has brought in Andrew Van Nest as a partner. Van Nest was previously a venture investor at Blumberg Capital.

Meanwhile, Price expects most of the check sizes to be between $500,000 and $1.5 million for early-stage companies and $2 million to $3.5 million in later-stage companies.

“We sit in a unique spot in the B2B software landscape as both investors and recruiters,” Van Nest said. “Our lens into the flow of great talent allows us to monitor and invest in spaces that are truly at the cutting edge. We’ve been focused on ML/NLP, cloud security and automation. We’re excited to be supporting companies leading the charge.”

5. Tech Crunch reports that a seven-month-old fintech app that is helping millions of Indians to begin their investment and saving journeys has raised $32 million in its Series A financing round, just months after securing its seed funding.

The New York-headquartered investor led the new round, with participation from scores of investors, including Rocketship.vc, Stonks, Force Ventures, Arkam Ventures, Klarna founder Victor Jacobsson, Suleman Ali of Ali Capital, Shamir Karkal of Sila Money, Byron Ling of Cannan Partners and Joel John of Ledger Prime.

Nearly a billion Indians have bank accounts today, but they have never made any investment. Part of the reason is confusion, said Nishchay Ag, co-founder and chief executive of Jar. “Their world is littered with ads of different financial instruments,” he told TechCrunch in an interview.

For decades, banks and mutual funds have been trying to tap India masses with their products. Despite the hundreds of millions of dollars they have sunk in to win the market, they have been able to court fewer than 30 million individuals.

“Manufacturing a product is one thing and being able to sell it is another. All these institutions are good at manufacturing. For selling, you have to be aligned with the individual’s persona, idiosyncrasies, insecurities, cognitive load and the cultural significance. That’s an art and science by itself,” he said.

6. EU-Startups reports that the Enterprise forensics platform Binalyze has just raised €9.1 million in its mission to enable companies to respond more efficiently to cyber threats. The funding was led by OpenOcean with participation from Earlybird Digital East which led Binalyze’s pre-seed round last year.

Cybercrime is one of the primary concerns for enterprises in the digital age. It’s claimed that over half of large companies now deal with hundreds, if not thousands, of cybersecurity alerts every day. It’s now becoming accepted that 100% breach prevention is no longer a realistic expectation for most businesses. 

Traditional digital forensic tools are slow and require technical knowledge that is in short supply – meaning it can take weeks, or even months, for an enterprise the understand the full extent of a cyber breach. Cyberthreats, though, require a speedy response. This is where Binalyze is targeting its focus – redefining how enterprises respond to cyber security breaches. 

Emre Tinaztepe, CEO and founder of Binalyze said: “100% breach prevention is no longer a realistic expectation. Forensic visibility is an integral part of an investigation. Enterprises need to be prepared with the right tools to mount an effective and quick response once a suspected breach is detected.”

“Speed is of the essence. Cybercriminals work quickly once they gain access to a corporate network. Binalyze is designed to be fast, capturing the most comprehensive forensic snapshot and creating a detailed digital forensics report in less than 10 minutes. It dramatically speeds up all stages of incident response, from identification to remediation.”

Looking for Funding?

iFund Lab helps startups to raise non-dilutive funding through SBIR & other federal programs.

7. Marvel Fusion, a Munich-based fusion energy startup, has just got a €35 million funding boost to accelerate the commercialization of fusion tech, overcoming some of the hurdles of producing clean energy at scale. The Series A funding round was led by Earlybird. 

Founded in 2019, Marvel Fusion is developing a novel energy source that is based on laser-driven fusion. The fusion process releases large amounts of zero-carbon emission energy that can be converted into electricity – a timely innovation in the age of energy crises and climate change. 

 Fusion technology combines the advantages of clean energy sources with the possibility to produce baseload energy at a large scale – without having the disadvantages of traditional power generation in terms of carbon emissions or long-lived problematic waste. Marvel FUsion are completely changing the game with their solution, offering a promising approach for a truly clean and safe fusion tech that can be a global game-changer for energy production. 

Moritz von der Linden, CEO of Marvel Fusion, said: “Fusion technology has the potential to disrupt energy production at large scale and to significantly contribute to fighting climate change, one of the biggest challenges for mankind”

8. Urban mobility startup Dott has raised an extension to its Series B round. Originally announced in the spring of 2021, the company raised an $85 million Series B round — it was a mix of equity and asset-backed debt financing. And today, the company is adding another $70 million to this round —once again, it’s a mix of equity and debt.

Dott is a European micromobility startup that is better known for its scooter-sharing service. More recently, the company added an electric bike-sharing service in some cities.

Abrdn is leading the Series B extension with Dott’s existing investor Sofina. Other existing investors put more money on the table, such as EQT Ventures and Prosus Ventures.

Dott competes with several micromobility startups in Europe. Its most direct competitors are Tier, Lime and Voi. They are quite similar when it comes to pricing and scooters — most of them work with Okai to design their scooters — but they don’t necessarily operate in the same markets.

Right now, Dott covers 36 cities across nine European countries. The company manages 40,000 scooters and 10,000 bikes. While Dott isn’t sharing revenue numbers, the startup processed 130% more trips in 2021 compared to 2020.

9.A live-stream video of a 76-year-old woman pottering about her kitchen plays on Li Hong’s phone. Li is in London, 8,700km from her mother in the Chinese city of Kunming. Li has narrowed the distance between them by installing cameras in her mother’s apartment, where she lives alone. The system has built-in microphones and speakers, enabling the pair to discuss the latest readings from the blood pressure monitor of Li’s mother, who has a heart condition. “It’s like I am back in China with her. The technology is so convenient,” says Li.

China has been quick to deploy a range of new technologies to relieve the burden on hospitals, care systems and families caring for the sick and elderly. But it is in medical artificial intelligence that the country’s early adoption of new solutions has been particularly notable, says Eric Topol, a US doctor and author of Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again. China has shifted faster than the US in medical AI from research to implementation, driven in part by the availability of high-quality data, says Topol. “China has a massive data advantage when it comes to medical AI research,” he says, explaining that Chinese researchers can train AI models on data sets covering entire provinces. In contrast, their US counterparts are restricted to working with information from single hospitals — largely operated by private businesses that keep records on internal servers.

Financial Times reports that Airdoc, a Beijing-based medical AI group, recently became the first company to gain regulatory approval for its retina-scanning software to be deployed in Chinese hospitals.

10. Bitcoin mining is the process of creating new digital tokens and adding past transaction records to a public blockchain ledger. This energy-intensive process is a heavy greenhouse gas emitter.

Some startups encourage crypto miners to use clean energy sources. Texas tech startup Lancium recently raised $150 million to power bitcoin mining with renewable energy. The Houston, Texas company will create bitcoin mining sites across Texas.

Hanwha Solutions, a clean energy company, led Lancium’s latest funding round. Most of the financing round participants were power companies.

Lancium’s CEO, Michael McNamara, said “I think the fact that it’s all energy companies investing suggests that we have a shared vision of the role bitcoin mining should play in the grid.”

Lancium, founded in 2017, describes itself as a carbon neutral cloud computing company. It plans to build and operate technologically advanced data centers that will promote renewable energy growth.

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