Atmosphere Inspires is our regular curation of news and views from the digital sphere; the lead stories that are affecting you and your business. In this edition we follow the money; furthering digital pursuits through funding rounds that are making waves.
Tech firm FiveAI has received £14m in series A funding as well as £12.8m in government funding towards its StreetWise project which, along with key parties, aims to trial driverless cars by 2019. In the same week the UK government has launched a “coordination hub” to test out driverless cars, which shows significant support. As this develops, the autonomous effect on business will be considerable, exemplified by Amazon’s “Prime Air” drone delivery, promised in the coming years.
Chatbot mortgage broker Habito has raised £18.5m in funding: a key contributor was technology investment firm Atomico (known for helping the most disruptive technology companies to upscale). Habito’s advanced algorithm has been developed by listening to and analysing real life mortgage broker interviews. Intelligent algorithms are likely to have a huge impact on business: technology will no doubt redefine and reshape current roles and the significance of human value will need to be continually reviewed and evaluated.
Innoviz, maker of LiDAR sensors has raised $65m in series B funding to move towards mass production. Funds were raised by a number of confident and key supplier investors which is good news for Innoviz. A good example here of how building links with the right businesses can be beneficial: securing confidence and interest in the company's vision and output can help attract a plethora of investors.
Yext helps other businesses to get on the digital map and they are growing quickly, although their quarterly results are unlikely to inspire buying. Nethertheless, Yext enjoyed a successful $1billion IPO earlier in the year which is a positive indicator, and the company is now aggressively investing in both sales and marketing. We think Yext is one to watch, they recognise intense growth in the digital market and realise that businesses will want to retain control of how consumers view them online.
Airobotics, maker of automated industrial drones has acquired $32.5M to expand into defense. Exec Director Jiajie Wu says Airbiotics’ vision goes beyond industry and defense and aims to move into cities. Safety and security hurdles will remain for now, but advancements in drone technology continue to develop at an impressive speed, particularly with government backing.
Introduced at a consumer event in Germany, this smart refrigerator from Panasonic has been developed to respond to voice commands: it uses a continuously-updating mapping system to navigate around your home to your every beck and call and even keeps an inventory of your food. There are endless possibilities when it comes to smart white-goods and the popular ones will not only be here to stay but will irreversibly change domestic homelife as we know it today.
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