Despite recent reports of Chinese VCs pulling back AI investment, many top AI players continue to raise large amounts of cash. ByteDance, the $75bn unicorn that has now surpassed Uber’s valuation, is in talks to raise another $1.45bn. The use of proceeds is to pursue their aggressive global expansion plans.
Meanwhile in the U.S., Republican Senator John Thune and Democratic Senator Gary Peters circulated a draft of a revised self-driving vehicle bill aimed at breaking a legislative stalemate. With the pace of innovation in the field, let’s hope they get this passed sooner rather than later.
Major highlight this week was Blackberry’s acquisition of cybersecurity AI startup Cylance for $1.4bn. Stuart McCulre, CEO of Cylance, has struck gold again having previously sold a cybersecurity startup to McAfee for $86mm. This is another example of how important major tech companies value cybersecurity. In addition, this also demonstrates that applying AI to the field adds tremendous value when done properly.
Big week for Samsung as they announced an acquisition of Spanish AI company Zhilabs to bolster their 5G capabilities, and separately opened an AI research center in Montreal (their 4th AI center in North America).
Meanwhile on the partnership front, Baidu became the 1st major Chinese tech company to join the American-led Partnership for AI (PAI). Current members include Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft, who also collaborate with government entities like the UN and Human Rights Watch.
Highlights this week include two big autonomous vehicle partnerships and some heavy fundraising rounds. Honda and GM, in addition to Toyota and Softbank, launched autonomous vehicle partnerships with major commitments. The space continues to build and scale based on who partners with who. On the fundraising side, ZipRecruiter and Hopper both had over $100mm fundraising… Read More »
Big week across the board in the AI world. To start, there were a few developments related to social good including Microsoft’s $40mm fund dedicated to developers focused on solving humanitarian problems and Google using its AI to predict floods in India. We definitely to see more of this. For the major company developments, look no further than DeepMind partnering with Unity to develop simulated AI training environments and Ford potentially eyeing an IPO for its self-driving car unit.
Quite a few interesting trends this week in AI. On the fundraising side, we saw three different AI startups focused on infrastructure raise capital. I can see this trend continuing as there is no shortage of energy, transportation, and other infrastructure-related assets that could benefit from improvements in maintenance efficiencies through the use of AI.… Read More »
Quite an interesting week in AI. To start, Anthony Levandowski is rumored to be back in the game through Kache.ai, an autonomous trucking startup. This comes after the infamous legal headaches he created for Waymo and Uber’s autonomous vehicle programs. In China, Baidu had a very busy week adding Daimler trucks to Project Apollo, which… Read More »
Big week for fundraising and autonomous vehicle related partnerships. Highlights include Kroger’s partnership with Nuro for driverless grocery deliveries, Ford’s partnership with Baidu, Nvidia/Bosch/Volkswagen partnership, and Audi’s partnership with Cognata. It’s becoming obvious that these partnerships are vital to stay competitive in the space. Meanwhile, both Microsoft and IBM have made progress with eliminating bias… Read More »