Momentum is building in the drone industry according to latest data, drone industry insight (DII) has revealed. Venture capitalists are putting significant funding into the segment as world leverage on technologies and related infrastructure. According to the its 2019 report, DII stated that the global market will grow from $14 billion in 2018 to over $43 billion in 2024 at annual average growth rate of 20.5%. Specifically, the drone market which has been evolving, has become clearer as VC funding is focused mainly on drone delivery, security, and mining. This was a year on year growth of 67% with venture capitalist funding standing at $930 million.
When Kumesh Aroomoogan was working in the public finance department at Citigroup, he spent hours looking at financial statements, copying and pasting from one document to the next, arranging and rearranging his Excel sheet, and performing a lot of repeated manual tasks. "They were scaling on labor versus technology," Aroomoogan says. "I thought there has to be a better way to automate this entire process." So in 2014, Aroomoogan, who had an idea for a product, teamed up with Anshul Vikram Pandey, a data visualization PhD student at NYU at the time, and the two started working in Aroomoogan's basement in Queens, NY. What came out of the effort of the two entrepreneurs is Accern, an enterprise whose AI Platform contains ready-made solutions for the financial service industry.
Customer experience automation vendor, ActiveCampaign, has secured US$100 million in its latest series B investment round. Key investors this time include Susquehanna and Silversmith Capital Partners, which was the sole sponsor in the series A funding round in 2016. ActiveCampaign said it will use the funding to develop its CXA category through product innovations to advance beyond legacy marketing automation, traditional CRM and service technology, while continuing international expansion and building on its customer success team and partner ecosystem. ActiveCampaign is pitching its platform across the spectrum of small, midsize, and enterprise businesses and has 90,000 customers spanning 161 countries. Since its last funding round, the company said it had increased annual recurring revenue six-fold to more than $90 million, opened new offices in several locations including Sydney, and grown its employee base to 550 staff.
Oxford University spin-out Navenio has announced £9m in Series A funding for its efficiency-boosting location technology. The funding round was led by QBN Capital and includes G.K. Goh, Hostplus, Big Pi Ventures, Oxford Investment Consultants, as well as existing investors like Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI), IP Group plc and the University of Oxford. Navenio provides infrastructure-free indoor location solutions to power a range of apps and platforms in sectors including healthcare. Hospitals, for example, can use Navenio's artificial intelligence (AI) led'intelligent workforce solution' to assign tasks to healthcare teams based on their location. This helps prioritise workload in real-time.
Robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) provider Covariant is planning to scale up its technology for automated material handling applications across multiple industries, thanks to $40 million in new venture capital funding announced today. Berkeley, California-based Covariant raised the "series B" funding in a deal that was led by Index Ventures, along with Radical Ventures and participation from existing investor Amplify Partners and others. The investment raises the firm's total funding to $67 million, and will be used to accelerate Covariant's partnerships, introduce AI Robotics to new industries, and grow its research, engineering, and commercial teams, the firm said. The latest funding follows Covariant's moves to build partnerships with industrial robotics supplier ABB and with intralogistics systems supplier Knapp, both intended to accelerate the deployment of robotic stations to customers. "As the coronavirus crisis has exposed serious frailty in the global supply chain, we're seeing more demand than ever for our AI Robotics solutions," Peter Chen, Covariant's CEO and co-founder, said in a release.
"Having helped incorporate Paradox less than four years ago, we were proud to represent Paradox in this important financing, which signifies its status as one of Arizona's premier emerging growth companies," said David Lewis, the DLA Piper partner who led the firm's deal team. "Our extensive experience advising high-growth technology companies, like Paradox, as they navigate the evolving legal developments in the AI space, as well as our ability to develop and implement creative solutions to overcome potential roadblocks to the benefit of both parties, were important assets in our handling of this transaction."
Australia's Department of Defence and Gilmour Space Technologies have signed a deal to build a three-stage rocket to launch small payloads and satellites into orbit by 2022. Under a new strategic agreement, the partnership will see Defence Science and Technology (DST) and the Queensland-based company research and develop defence-related technologies including propulsion, materials, and avionics technologies, to help develop the rocket for launch. "The ultimate goal in the first deal is to help us get to space," Gilmour Space Technologies CEO and founder Adam Gilmour told ZDNet. He revealed how the pair have been in "close discussions" about the agreement for a number of years. "Many of [Defence's personnel have] come to visit our factory, we've gone to visit their premises, we've discussed a lot about technology," Gilmour said.
Quizlet, a global learning platform with artificial intelligence (AI) powered study tools, has raised $30 million in a Series C funding round led by growth equity firm General Atlantic. The proceedings from the funding round are expected to help in driving Quizlet's continued product innovation with a focus on data science and machine learning capabilities. Apart from that, the capital will also be used by the learning platform towards its strategic expansion opportunities that are in line with its objective to help people practice and master whatever they wish to learn. Quizlet is said to enable learners to create, share, and consume high-quality user-generated content. The learning platform is said to serve a diverse userbase across geographies and stages of education.
Covariant today announced the close of a $40 million series B funding round to bring its robotic control systems to additional industries and create more systems capable of picking, placing, and unloading objects in warehouses. Until now, Covariant has focused its efforts on ecommerce picking robots in highly automated warehouses. It may be best known for its work in robotic grasping, the task of picking up objects with a robotic hand or gripper. The startup -- whose founders who met at OpenAI and University of California, Berkeley -- has raised $67 million, to date. After emerging from stealth earlier this year with support from deep learning luminaries like Geoffrey Hinton, Jeff Dean, and Yann LeCun, Covariant stated that the Covariant Brain system is capable of picking and packing some 10,000 items with 99% accuracy.