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1.Are Startup Investors Weary Of The American Consumer?
The recent study highlights a significant decline in venture funding for non-food consumer products in the US, with just over $150 million raised this year across surveyed categories, on track for the lowest quarterly total in years. Funding has dried up for direct-to-consumer brands and e-commerce aggregators, two areas that were red-hot a little over a year ago. Despite a potentially temporary slump, investors seem to be less confident in startups' abilities to convince consumers to try out new brands or products, or they may be pulling back after heavily capitalizing companies a year or two ago.
2.China's ChatGPT-rival platform MOSS crashes hours after launch
Chinese AI company, Moss, has launched its own language model similar to OpenAI's GPT, but the platform crashed just hours after its launch. Moss's language model, known as GPT1, was designed to compete with ChatGPT, a Chinese version of OpenAI's GPT-3 language model. However, technical issues have caused the platform to shut down shortly after its release. The company has not yet provided a timeline for when the platform will be up and running again.
3.Robot Cars Are Causing 911 False Alarms in San Francisco
The increasing use of self-driving cars in San Francisco is causing a rise in 911 false alarms. According to a report, sensors on the cars are mistaking police lights, flashing lights from other vehicles, and even reflections on buildings as emergency signals, triggering the cars' emergency response systems. This has led to an increase in unnecessary emergency calls and diversion of resources. The issue highlights the need for self-driving car companies to refine their technology to better distinguish real emergency signals from false ones.
4.Klarna wins over the US
The CEO of fintech company Klarna recently discussed the company's growth momentum in the U.S. market. According to data from the company, Klarna has seen a 329% year-over-year increase in volume in the U.S. since 2022, with over 35 million transactions processed in January 2023 alone. Klarna's CEO attributes this growth to the company's focus on providing a seamless user experience and expanding its merchant partnerships. The company is also reportedly planning to introduce new features and expand its product offerings in the U.S. market in the coming months.
5.AI-created images lose U.S. copyrights in test for new technology
A US court ruling has stripped AI-generated images of copyright protection, challenging the traditional understanding of creative authorship. The landmark decision raises important questions about the future of intellectual property rights and the role of AI in the creative process, with some hailing it as a victory for openness and others concerned about the impact on creators.
6.Female check-writers alone aren’t enough to close the female fundraising gap
Despite the push for gender diversity in tech, women founders still face obstacles in securing venture capital funding, with female-led startups receiving just 2.2% of all funding in 2022. A new study shows that having female check-writers alone is not enough to close the gap, and other factors such as industry and geography also play a role.
7.Cooling trend: 2022 European VC valuations in 6 charts
In the world of European venture capital, 2022 is poised to be a year of significant change. As startups continue to attract record levels of funding, investors are becoming increasingly focused on identifying the most promising companies and opportunities. PitchBook takes a closer look at six key trends that are likely to shape European venture valuations in the coming year. From the rise of SPACs to the increasing importance of sustainability, these charts provide a detailed snapshot of what investors can expect in the months ahead.
8.Family office spinout with $10 billion builds private credit team
A new team with $10 billion in assets under management set to focus on private credit. Former employees of a well-known hedge fund are joining forces with a family office to create a new independent investment firm, which will specialize in providing bespoke financing solutions to companies in need of capital. The team will have access to significant capital to deploy in the private credit space, and with an experienced and skilled team at the helm, it will be interesting to see how they approach this area of the market. Overall, this is a noteworthy development in the investment world and worth keeping an eye on as the new firm takes shape.