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August 2017 fundings, acquisitions, IPOs and failures

Robohub

Auris Medical Robotics, the Silicon Valley startup headed by Dr. Frederic H. Moll who previously co-founded Hansen Medical and Intuitive Surgical, raised $280 million in a Series D round led by Coatue Management and included earlier investors Mithril Capital Management, Lux Capital, and Highland Capital. Ambient Intelligence Technology, a Japanese underwater drone manufacturer spin-off from the University of Tsukuba, raised $1.93 million from Beyond Next Ventures and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital, SMBC Venture Capital, and Freebit Investment. Auris Medical Robotics, the Silicon Valley startup headed by Dr. Frederic H. Moll who previously co-founded Hansen Medical and Intuitive Surgical, raised $280 million in a Series D round led by Coatue Management and included earlier investors Mithril Capital Management, Lux Capital, and Highland Capital. Ambient Intelligence Technology, a Japanese underwater drone manufacturer spin-off from the University of Tsukuba, raised $1.93 million from Beyond Next Ventures and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital, SMBC Venture Capital, and Freebit Investment.


Where Major Corporations Like Salesforce And NVIDIA Are Investing In Artificial Intelligence

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Citi Ventures, Salesforce, Tencent Holdings, and NVIDIA GPU Ventures were frequently spotted in the deals we investigated, while VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and private equity firm Warburg Pincus were common co-investors. The unicorn startup (valued at $1.2B) welcomed Roche Venture Fund -- the CVC arm of the healthcare company Roche -- into its ownership in its $175M Series C, which is the company's largest raise to date. At the heart of the platform is "Neuralytics" -- the company's big data, predictive analytics, and artificial intelligence engine -- which leverages sales interaction data from across the company's global network to make predictive and prescriptive recommendations (with the aim of shortening sales cycles and improving internal sales processes). In the startup's $100M Series C in Q3'15, IT firm Rackspace Hosting participated alongside CVC capitalG (formerly Google Capital) and follow-on investors Accel Partners and Warburg Pincus.


Where Major Corporations Like Salesforce And NVIDIA Are Investing In Artificial Intelligence

#artificialintelligence

Citi Ventures, Salesforce, Tencent Holdings, and NVIDIA GPU Ventures were frequently spotted in the deals we investigated, while VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and private equity firm Warburg Pincus were common co-investors. The corporate and CVC investors that participated in the round don't come from the auto industry; rather, all three -- Baidu Capital, Lenovo Ventures Group, and Tencent Holdings -- are investment arms of well-known Chinese technology giants. Tencent and Lenovo were follow-on investors, with Tencent having participated in the NIO's earlier Series A and B rounds and Lenovo in its Series C. New York-based ad tech startup Taboola offers a personalized discovery and monetization platform for online content. At the heart of the platform is "Neuralytics" -- the company's big data, predictive analytics, and artificial intelligence engine -- which leverages sales interaction data from across the company's global network to make predictive and prescriptive recommendations (with the aim of shortening sales cycles and improving internal sales processes).


Where Major Chip Companies Are Investing In AI, AR/VR, And IoT

#artificialintelligence

We dug into the private market bets made by major computer chip companies, including GPU makers. Our analysis encompasses the venture arms of NVIDIA, Intel, Samsung, AMD, and more. Meanwhile, the vast application of graphics hardware in AI has propelled GPU (graphics processing unit) maker NVIDIA into tech juggernaut status: the company's shares were the best-performing stock over the past year. Also included in the analysis are 7 chip companies we identified as active in private markets, including NVIDIA, AMD, and ARM.


Amazon: AI To Drive Competitive Advantage

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In my view, though impossible to quantify exactly, Amazon's AI investments and capabilities should sustain and increase its competitive advantage over time, leading me to believe that the stock has a much longer runway than what investors are giving it credit for. Looking at Microsoft's Q2 call (CYQ4), Nadella, MSFT's CEO, began by briefly summarizing earnings and then described FY17 as "a tremendous year of customer momentum with Cloud, AI, and digital transformation". In the press release, the only direct mention of machine learning and AI came in bullet number 20: "AWS customers continue to ramp their use of Amazon Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence services…" Even sell side analysts do not fully appreciate how important AI is to Amazon. For example, in the Q2 earnings call last month, AI was only mentioned towards the end of the call and it came from a sell side analyst: "As you continue to scale operations and you bring data to bear and robotics and Kivas and AI machine learning, are you finding that kind of new fulfillment center optimization curve is accelerating?"


A $19 Investment in the Most Lucrative AI Stocks - Investment U

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So far this year, a lot of the big-name AI companies are obliterating the market... Shares of Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), Facebook (Nasdaq: FB), NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA) and Alphabet (Nasdaq: GOOG) are all up double digits in 2017. The Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence ETF (Nasdaq: BOTZ) is keeping pace with more expensively priced AI plays... Year to date, the Global X ETF is up 24%. The largest holding in the ETF is Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG). Investors can play this massive trend by targeting companies individually - both big and small... Or they can use a much more affordable approach with an ETF like Global X Robotics & Artificial Intelligence.


The New World Order Of Artificial Intelligence

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In July 2017, UK startup, Graphcore, closed a $30 M investment round for Niklas Zennstrom's venture capital firm, Atomico. Other investors in this funding round include Draper Esprit, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Amadeus Capital, C4 Ventures, Foundation Capital, Pitango and corporate investors Dell Technologies Capital and Samsung Catalyst Fund. The total investment for the company is $62 M. Graphcore's investment comes on the heels two recent global AI milestones. "NVIDIA's chips are designed for parallel computing – previously for gaming and imaging processing – and therefore companies are switching over to NVIDIA's GPU to accelerate deep learning applications," said Tang.


Nvidia CEO: "Software is eating the world, but AI is going to eat software"

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Nvidia has benefitted from a rapid explosion of investment in machine learning from tech companies. Can this rapid growth in the use cases for machine learning continue? Recent research results from applying machine learning to diagnosis are impressive (see "An AI Ophthalmologist Shows How Machine Learning May Transform Medicine"). Your chips are already driving some cars: all Tesla vehicles now use Nvidia's Drive PX 2 computer to power the Autopilot feature that automates highway driving.


NVIDIA Invests in Cyber Security Startup Deep Instinct The Official NVIDIA Blog

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In the latest of a series of investments in deep learning startups, NVIDIA is investing in Deep Instinct, an Israeli-based startup that uses deep learning to thwart cyberattacks. Deep Instinct was recently named a "Technology Pioneer" by The World Economic Forum, and the "Most Disruptive Startup" at NVIDIA's 2017 Inception Awards. NVIDIA recently expanded its portfolio of startup investments, adding eight companies in four countries over the past year. NVIDIA's investment portfolio is only one element of the company's extensive involvement in the AI ecosystem.


Canadian AI company raises historic amount of funding

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The funding will be used to ramp up research, accelerate enterprise AI adoption, invest in large-scale AI projects globally, and create 250 new jobs in the Canadian high tech sector by January 2018. Despite these global goals, Gagné commends the strong Canadian AI industry and the federal government's recently announced support for it. "I think we're at this moment in time where something finally clicked, because we've seen the community and the government fall in line and start to communicate with each other, which has resulted in new programs and financing for fundamental AI research, business development, and talent investment" he says. Prominent investors in Element AI include Intel Corporation, Microsoft Corp., and the National Bank of Canada, as well as Data Collective (DCVC), a venture capital fund backing entrepreneurs in the tech industry, early-stage investor Real Ventures, Fidelity Investments Canada, Hanwha Investment, and gaming technology company Nvidia.