Promaxo, an AI-powered medical imaging enhancement platform, announced the closing of an investment round of $4.17 million led by Huami. The medical technology company plans to use the new funds to accelerate its data strategy as it continues to incorporate artificial intelligence in imaging and image-based interventions. Using a combination of linear and genetic optimization algorithms, the company's medical imaging system forms the magnetic field within the field of view to maintain linearity and uniformity constraints while being thermally stable, the company said. "As an industry, we are just scratching the surface of how powerful MRI is poised to become in guided interventions, and we are proud to have Huami as a strategic investor as we introduce our truly open MRI system to the masses," said Dr. Amit Vohra, founder, and CEO of Promaxo. "Huami's mission is to connect health with technology, and we see tremendous opportunity in imaging to expand our growth opportunities. Companies such as Promaxo are disrupting the locations, applications, and costs of medical imaging. Huami has resources, such as miniaturization engineering expertise, that can help accelerate Promaxo's scaling, growth, and success, and we look forward to what our partnership can develop," said Huami Chief Operating Officer Mike Yeung.
In 2012, economist Robert Gordon published a controversial paper in which he argued that economic growth was largely over, due in no small part to our failure to maintain the engines of innovation in recent decades. A study from the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research supported his general thesis and argued that while we're spending even more money on creativity and innovation, our returns are flatlining. And this investment is not only in dollars, as the research revealed roughly 20 times as many people work in R&D today as did in 1930. Why has creating things become so difficult? Researchers from Northwestern University attempt to answer this in a paper that shows a growing percentage of today's creation is what's known as recombination.
Equifax said Friday that it has signed a deal to acquire Kount, providers of digital identity and fraud prevention software, for $640 million. Equifax said it plans to use Kount's technology to bolster its footprint in digital identity and fraud prevention market. Kount's software relies on artificial intelligence to link trust and fraud data signals from billions of digital interactions, devices, and annual transactions. The signals are collected and combined with Kount's AI-driven predictive insights to help businesses prevent digital fraud and protect against account takeovers in real time. Applied to business transactions, Equifax posits that Kount's technology can help facilitate faster and more accurate identity trust decisions, including payments, account creations and login, while also reducing fraud, chargebacks, false positives, and manual reviews.
A driverless-vehicle startup has become the first company approved to make deliveries in in California using an autonomous vehicle. Mountain View, California-based Nuro says it plans to begin commercial service as early as next year. Nuro started testing its fleet on California roads in 2017 and, during the pandemic, has shuttled medical goods to a Sacramento field hospital. The permit, however, will allow the company to charge for its service. Founded by two former Google engineers, Nuro will first launch a fleet of autonomous Toyota Priuses, then introduce its own low-speed R2 vehicle.
RunwayML, a Brooklyn-based startup building a library of AI-powered tools for designers, artists, and other creators, has raised $8.5 million in venture capital. The company says the funds will be used to accelerate its go-to-market efforts as looks to increase the size of its product development teams. Runway CEO Cristóbal Valenzuela argues that for decades, the over $2.1 trillion media industry has relied on "incremental iterations" of familiar old tools. While some of those tools have become "smarter" in recent years, they're rooted in an outdated paradigm reliant on expensive, time-consuming processes. Corporate videos of all types range from $500 to $10,000 per finished minute -- minutes that take days, weeks, or even months to produce.
The fourth-annual Midas List Europe, produced by Forbes in partnership with TrueBridge Capital Partners, has arrived, and we're excited to share the top companies that drove the portfolios of this year's top European venture capitalists. The outlook for the European venture market may have been cloudy at the beginning of the global pandemic as recessionary cutbacks loomed and the IPO window narrowed, but European startups and investors have since bounced back. A wide variety of tech-based startups have been able to ride the tailwinds of the crisis, with new areas of everyday life benefitting from the transition to a technology-driven environment. Evidentially, investors remain clear-eyed and eager to invest in growth and innovation on either side of the pond with European VC deal value – and potentially fundraising – on pace to set new annual records. Here are the top ten companies that acted as key drivers behind this year's Midas List Europe: It's been a boom year for Stockholm-based Spotify, which is making its third consecutive appearance as the #1 driver on the Midas List Europe and fourth appearance overall.
Truera, a startup developing a machine learning model intelligence platform, today announced it has raised $12 million. The company says it will put the funds toward product R&D and expanding its geographic footprint. According to a McKinsey survey, while 39% of executives say their companies recognize the risks associated with lack of "explainability," or the ability to explain how AI models come to their decisions, only 21% say they're taking steps to actively address the issue. But a separate report implies that "trustworthy AI" is fast becoming a business imperative. An IDC report found that business decision-makers believe fairness, explainability, robustness, data lineage, and transparency -- including disclosures -- are "critical requirements" in AI that need to be addressed now. Truera's technology builds on six years of AI explainability research undertaken at Carnegie Mellon University.
At the RISC-V Summit today, Art Swift, CEO of Esperanto Technologies, announced a new, RISC-V based chip aimed at machine learning and containing nearly 1,100 low-power cores based on the open-source RISC-V architecture. Esperanto Technologies, headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., with other sites across the U.S. and Europe, was created in 2014 "with the goal of making RISC-V the architecture of choice for compute-intensive applications such as AI and machine learning." Swift traced the history of the new chip back to 2017, when Dave Ditzel – the founder and chairman of Esperanto – laid out the vision for Esperanto at the seventh RISC-V workshop. At that workshop, Ditzel set a goal of "laying down 4,000 or more cores on a single device." Ditzel called for both a simple instruction set through RISC-V and innovation in the realms of custom microarchitectures and proprietary low-power design techniques.
Update Friday 11 December: As per an official Hyundai press release, the South Korean company and SoftBank Group agreed today on the main terms of the transaction. Hyundai Motor "will acquire a controlling interest in Boston Dynamics in a deal that values the mobile robot firm at $1.1 billion," read the statement. The exact financial terms were not disclosed, but the deal will bring Hyundai Motor's mobility expertise into the world of robotics technologies. This move brings Hyundai Motors one step closer to its vision of transforming into a Smart Mobility Solution Provider. "We are delighted to have Boston Dynamics, a world leader in mobile robots, join the Hyundai team. This transaction will unite capabilities of Hyundai Motor Group and Boston Dynamics to spearhead innovation in future mobility," stated Euisun Chung, Chairman of Hyundai Motor.
Hyundai has purchased Boston Dynamics from SoftBank Group in a deal valued at $1.1 billion. Announced on Friday on the back of rumors of the purchase that first began to circle in November, Hyundai Motor Group and Chairman Euisun Chun said that they had agreed to acquire an 80% controlling stake in Boston Dynamics, while 20% will be held by SoftBank through one of its affiliates. Financial terms beyond the valuation of Boston Dynamics at $1.1 billion were not disclosed. Hyundai says the deal will "mark another major step toward its strategic transformation into a smart mobility solution provider," and will complement existing investments in sustainability, eco-vehicles, smart factories -- otherwise known as Industry 4.0 -- artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics. Founded in 1992, Boston Dynamics focuses on advanced robotic designs suitable for commercial applications.