5 Key Stories From The Digital Worlds

July 3

BY NABYL CHARANIA

1. 

FROM SEED TO SERIES A: SCALING A STARTUP IN LATIN AMERICA TODAY

  • Latin America’s exceptional growth in VC funding over the past 12 months speaks to the growing number of later-stage rounds startups are raising across the region.
  • Exits to Latin American and U.S. corporates…These deals reveal a growing concern from large companies in Latin America about competition from startups.
  • Copycats — or startups that copy a successful business model from another market — are a good business in Latin America.

2. 

UK REGULATORS APPROVE FIRST CRYPTOCURRENCY HEDGE FUND

  • Prime Factor Capital was the first crypto hedge fund approved as a full-scope alternative investment fund manager by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Firm will be allowed to hold more than 100 million euros in assets under management….first agency to be approved to invest exclusively in the cryptocurrency asset class.
  • Firm manages funds for professional and institutional investors including high net worth individuals, family offices, and private wealth managers.

3. 

WAYMO IS NOW ALLOWED TO CARRY PASSENGERS IN ITS SELF-DRIVING CARS IN CALIFORNIA

  • Allows Waymo to carry passengers in autonomous vehicles on California highways, though the Google spinoff cannot charge them for rides, and the vehicles must have a safety driver behind the wheel.
  • Navigant Research, ranked Waymo first among companies developing self-driving technology in strategy and execution.
  • Its safety drivers had to manually take over their test cars, because of safety concerns, about once every 11,000 miles in 2018 — the best rate of any company testing autonomous vehicles on public roads in California.

4. 

MOONSHOTS HIT CLOSE TO HOME: PLANT-BASED MEATS ARE NO LONGER MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 

  • Beyond Meat has been one of the hottest stocks in the world, topping out at a sizzling $200 a share and even now still in the stratosphere at $150.
  • Burger King recently hopped aboard, launching its meatless “Impossible Whopper” in partnership with Impossible Foods…In St. Louis, participating restaurants outpaced BK’s national foot traffic average by an impressive 18.5%.
  • Companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are capitalizing on rapidly changing sentiments about food.

5. 

MIT DEVELOPS TINY ‘WALKING’ MOTOR THAT HELPS MORE COMPLEX ROBOTS SELF-ASSEMBLE

  • Little more than a magnet and coil with some structural parts, but it can “walk” back and forth or make the gears of a more complicated machine move back and forth.
  • Its real potential lies in what could happen were it to be assembled with others of its ilk, and with other building-block robotics components made up of simple parts.
  • Working with MIT graduate student Will Langford on a machine that combines 3D printing with automated circuit builds, but that can handle much more sophisticated creation of fully functional robots using only digital blueprints as input.