FoundersGrid 410 News Update Across the Globe

SpaceX is now raising $500m in funding at a $25b valuation
The space exploration firm has just launched a Series I round of funding aimed at raising around $500m in capital to fund further research in development for its next generation of reusable rockets. Around $100m in funding will come directly from Elon Musk, while the remaining $400m will likely come from other investors (led by Fidelity Investors).A massive rise in VC investment from Asia is challenging America’s dominance in startup funding
Just a decade ago, 75% of funding for new tech startups came from American VC firms. But that narrative is being rewritten today, as VC funds in Asia continue to grow at an exponential rate. Much of this funding is coming from Chinese investment firms, which are becoming ever more competitive with US VC firms in most funding rounds.After investment from Alibaba, SenseTime is now the world’s most valuable AI startup
Chinese startup SenseTime has just closed a $600m round of funding led by Alibaba, giving it a $4.5b valuation and making it the world’s most valuable AI startup. The image recognition firm is the most recent recipient of China’s massive investments in AI technology, which have now surpassed that of the US for the time being.

Transportation-as-a-Service is the future of smart commuting
According to a team of analysts at market research group CB Insights, the future of commuting will likely lie in a synergy between various “transportation as a service” platforms, which include ride-hailing services, bike sharing options, autonomous vehicles, and other startups focused on solving for the ever-present “last mile” problem.

Payments startup Revolut is now valued at $1.5b after its recent $250m funding round
The online banking startup recently closed a $250m round of funding led by DST Global (the investment firm backed by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner), leading to a 5x growth in valuation. The firm plans to use its fresh round of capital to invest aggressively in overseas growth, while building out its suite of digital banking products.

Meet the first AI healthcare solution that doesn’t need a doctor to interpret results
In a world first, a piece of AI-driven software has received FDA approval for medical use. AI diagnostics startup IDx-DR has received this certification for its proprietary software, which can diagnose eye disease simply by looking at pictures of one’s retina and can be used without the help of a specialized doctor.

Ant Financial is in talks to raise a massive $10b ahead of its highly-anticipated IPO
The financial services startup is in talks to raise an unprecedented $10b in a funding round led by Singaporean state investment fund Temasek. If the funding round is successful, it would value Ant at ~$150b, making it the world’s most valuable startup. The firm is making a push for additional funding ahead of a prospective IPO, which could be one of the largest this year.

This startup is looking to close the logistics gap between Amazon and other online retailers
Shippo is a startup that’s looking to solve one of the most pressing needs for small retailers that are competing with the likes of Amazon – specifically, how to close the logistics gap and ship packages quickly and efficiently. The startup does this through a turnkey solution that allows merchant to pre-select every aspect of fulfillment, leading to a seamless buyer delivery process.

The world’s first electrified road for charging vehicles has just opened in Sweden
A strip of road connecting with Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport has become the world’s first fully electrified road for charging electric vehicles. Dynamic charging is performed by electrified strips embedded in the road surface, which are able to charge a vehicle only when in motion. The road will initially be used by logistics firms shuttling cargo to and from the airport.

 

COMMUNITY NEWS

  • Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator, shares his tried-and-proven productivity tips. Link
  • All Raise has announced the launch of Female Founder Office Hours, for startup mentoring and advice. Link
  • Here’s how PixelMe grew from 10 to 200 paying customers in less than 6 months. Link
  • Apply for TechCrunch’s Disrupt and Startup Battlefield startup programs in one application. Link
  • Greylock shares how its founders find success digging moats in non-networked products. Link
  • This radio hacker found a way to hijack emergency sirens and play any sound.
    Link
  • A great list of 10 common writing mistakes you should avoid. Link
  • Lessons from when Citymapper started a bus network in London.
    Link
  • Attacking machine learning with adversarial examples. Link
  • 4 reasons why startups fail, according to 14 international accelerators. Link

Edited by Chris Osborne in Bangkok. Want to sponsor an edition of FoundersGrid? More info here. Interested in crypto/bitcoin news? Consider subscribing to CryptoWeekly.

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