As UK Gov reaches out to tech, investors threaten to ‘pull capital’ over M&A regulator over-reach

Rishi Sunak in a meeting

As the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer engaged with the tech industry at a ‘Chatham House’ style event today, the Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec) think-tank released a survey of over 50 key investors which found startup investors are prepared to pull capital over the prospect of the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) new Digital Markets Unit (DMU) becoming a “whole-economy regulator by accident”. Investors are concerned after the CMA recommended the DMU be given ‘expanded powers’ regarding its investigations of M&A deals.

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Vector.ai’s productivity platform for freight forwarders raises $15M A round led by Bessemer

Vector AI

n November last year, digital freight forwarder Forto raises another $50M in a round led by Inven Capital. In April this year, Nuvocargo raised $12M to digitize the freight logistics industry. In May, Zencargo, with a freight forwarding platform, raised $42 million. In June, freight forwarder sennder raised $80M at a $1B+ valuation. In July Freightify landed $2.5M to make rate management easier for freight forwarders.

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Rezilion raises $30M help security operations teams with tools to automate their busywork

Rezilion

Guggenheim Investments is leading the round with JVP and Kindred Capital also contributing. Rezilion said that unnamed executives from Google, Microsoft, CrowdStrike, IBM, Cisco, PayPal, JP Morgan Chase, Nasdaq, eBay, Symantec, RedHat, RSA and Tenable are also in the round. Previously, the company had raised $8 million.

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AI-driven voice assistant PolyAI raises $14M round led by Khosla Ventures

PolyAI

“Conversational AI” startup PolyAI, based out of London, has raised $14 million in a funding round led by Silicon Valley’s Khosla Ventures, with participation from existing investors (Point72 Ventures, Amadeus Capital, Sands Capital Ventures, Passion Capital and Entrepreneur First). This follows their $12m Series A, and will provide resources for further US expansion beyond its existing US team. The startup has now raised $28m to date.

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Seqera Labs grabs $5.5M to help sequence Covid-19 variants and other complex data problems

Seqera Labs

Seqera Labs, a Barcelona-based data orchestration and workflow platform tailored to help scientists and engineers order and gain insights from cloud-based genomic data troves, as well as to tackle other life science applications that involve harnessing complex data from multiple locations, has raised $5.5 million in seed funding

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Mobius Labs nabs $6M to help more sectors tap into computer vision

Mobius Labs

Berlin-based Mobius Labs has closed a €5.2 million (~$6.1M) funding round off the back of increased demand for its computer vision training platform. The Series A investment is led by Ventech VC, along with Atlantic Labs, APEX Ventures, Space Capital, Lunar Ventures plus some additional angel investors.

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[Paper Summary] An AI system trained by Loughborough University researchers recognizes the pre-movement patterns from an EEG

A group of researchers from the Intelligent Automation Center at Loughborough University has published a research paper focussed on possible results for training robots to ferret out the intention of arm movement before humans articulate the movement.

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[Report] Financial Institutions are increasingly adopting AI for supporting AML as Fintech adoption rises

Payments and standards

As noted in the report, almost £18 billion in Fintech investments were made in H1 2021, which is another record for the UK’s total investments in the financial technology space, and it now puts the country in second place, trailing only the US.

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[Paper Summary] Google and Mayo Clinic Researchers propose a new AI Algorithm to improve Brain Stimulation devices to treat disease

lectrical simulation has the potential to widen treatment possibilities for millions of people with movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy. In the future, this technology may help further treat psychiatric illness or even assist in recovery from brain injuries like stroke.

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UK-based Heroes raises $200M to buy up more Amazon merchants for its roll-up play

Heros

Heroes, one of the new wave of startups aiming to build big e-commerce businesses by buying up smaller third-party merchants on Amazon’s Marketplace, has raised another big round of funding to double down on that strategy. The London startup has picked up $200 million, money that it will mainly be using to snap up more merchants.

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Israel’s DiA gets $14M to expand AI-driven ultrasound analysis

Dia analysis

Israel-based AI healthtech company, DiA Imaging Analysis, which is using deep learning and machine learning to automate analysis of ultrasound scans, has closed a $14 million Series B round of funding.

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Nvidia-ARM takeover raises serious antitrust concerns, finds UK’s CMA

Nvidia

The UK’s competition watchdog has raised serious concerns about Nvidia’s proposed takeover of chip designer, ARM. Its assessment was published today by the government which will now need to decide whether to ask the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to carry out an in-depth probe into the proposed acquisition.

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Cardiomatics bags $3.2M for its ECG-reading AI

Cardiomatics

Poland-based healthtech AI startup Cardiomatics has announced a $3.2M seed raise to expand use of its electrocardiogram (ECG) reading automation technology. The round is led by Central and Eastern European VC Kaya, with Nina Capital, Nova Capital and Innovation Nest also participating.

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xentral, an ERP platform for SMBs, raises $75M Series B from Tiger Global and Meritech

Xentral

Enterprise Resource Planning systems have traditionally been the preserve of larger companies, but in recent years the amount of data small medium sized businesses can generate has increased to the point where even SMEs/SMBs can get into the world of ERP. And that’s especially true for online-only businesses.

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[Paper Summary] Deepmind introduces PonderNet, a new AI Algorithm that allows Artificial Neural Networks to learn to “think for a while” before answering

Deepmind introduces PonderNet, a new algorithm that allows artificial neural networks to learn to think for a while before answering. This improves the ability of these neural networks to generalize outside of their training distribution and answer tough questions with more confidence than ever before.

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Employee talent predictor retrain.ai raised another $7M, adds Splunk as strategic investor

Retrain AI

Automation will displace 85 million jobs while simultaneously creating 97 million new jobs by 2025, according to the World Economic Forum. Although that sounds like good news, the hard reality is that millions of people will have to retrain in the jobs of the future.

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[Paper Summary] IBM and Earlham Institute Researchers demonstrate the power of AI and Machine Learning (ML) based models for deeper insight into the Circadian Clock

The research on the power of AI and machine learning-based approaches for better understanding the circadian clock and its regulation has been published by the IBM and Earlham Institute scientists in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). Anyone who has gone a long distance by plane will tell you that jetlag is the most frustrating part of the trip. While there are numerous ways to deceive the body, it’s challenging to go against our natural, inner rhythm, which governs our 24-hour sleep-wake cycles.

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Siga secures $8.1M Series B to prevent cyberattacks on critical infrastructure

Siga OT Solutions

Siga OT Solutions, an Israeli cybersecurity startup that helps organizations secure their operations by monitoring the raw electric signals of critical industrial assets, has raised $8.1 million in Series B funding.
Siga’s SigaGuard says its technology, used by Israel’s critical water facilities and the New York Power Authority, is unique in that rather than monitoring the operational network, it uses machine learning and predictive analysis to “listen” to Level 0 signals. These are typically made up of components and sensors that receive electrical signals, rather than protocols or data packets that can be manipulated by hackers.
By monitoring Level 0, which Siga describes as the “richest and most reliable level of process data within any operational environment,” the company can detect cyberattacks on the most critical and vulnerable physical assets of national infrastructures. This, it claims, ensures operational resiliency even when hackers are successful in manipulating the logic of industrial control system (ICS) controllers.
Amir Samoiloff, co-founder and CEO of Siga, says: “Level 0 is becoming the major axis in the resilience and integrity of critical national infrastructures worldwide and securing this level will become a major element in control systems in the coming years.”
The company’s latest round of funding — led by PureTerra Ventures, with investment from Israeli venture fund SIBF, Moore Capital, and Phoenix Contact — comes amid an escalation in attacks against operational infrastructure. Israel’s water infrastructure was hit by three known cyberattacks in 2020 and these were followed by an attack on the water system of a city in Florida that saw hackers briefly increase the amount of sodium hydroxide in Oldsmar’s water treatment system. 
The $8.1 million investment lands three years after the startup secured $3.5 million in Series A funding. The company said it will use the funding to accelerate its sales and strategic collaborations internationally, with a focus on North America, Europe, Asia, and the United Arab Emirates. 
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Smart money Fintech app Snoop Secures £15M via Series A with participation from US investment firm Paulson & Co. Inc

Snoop

Fintech app Snoop has secured £15 million in capital in order to support its global expansion efforts. Established by ex- Virgin Money Chief Executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia, the smart money app Snoop closed its Series A round with contributions from US investment management company Paulson & Co. Inc.

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