August 22 – 5 Key Stories From The Digital World

By August 22, 2019 Insight

1. The Series A pitch decks that helped growing startups raise tens of millions

  • Startups raising money in the Series A stage are usually just a few years old
  • But the size of Series A funding rounds has mushroomed in recent years and can now sometimes top $50 million
  • One thing all Series A startups have in common is the need to take a proven product idea and give it traction in the marketplace…means starting to generate revenue, developing a marketing strategy and building a team that’s bigger than just the founders

2. Andrew Ng’s AI companies expand to Medellin, Colombia

  • After his tenure as chief scientist at Baidu, Andrew Ng, the founder of the Google Brain project and former CEO of Coursera, set up a number of different projects that all focus on making AI more approachable
  • chose Medellin after looking at a wide range of cities in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Medellin, he believes, offers a strong talent pool, educational system and business ecosystem
  • It’s important, Ng argues, that we set up AI hubs outside of Silicon Valley and China, in part, because they’ll provide a different perspective

3.  Data Scientists Aren’t Just About The Numbers — And Other Lessons From IDEO About The Collision Between Design And Data Science

  • Include data scientists throughout the design process by inviting them to your research sessions or building out “data-people journey maps.”
  • Let data scientists iterate just like designers and help them prototype the models they use…can be real and tangible or be simulations contained in a virtual world
  • Rather than relying on individual designers to seek out data scientists and ask them questions they might be embarrassed to ask, create an environment where data scientists share their process and what they’re doing at each step

4. Timeline: Every Billion-Dollar Artificial Intelligence Exit

  • Artificial intelligence is a sector that attracts big investor checks: Q2’19 recently saw record quarterly funding to AI startups at $7.4B…included several $100M+ mega-deals to companies like robotic process automation company UiPath and AI-powered insurance startup Lemonade
  • Since 2013, 7 AI companies have exited via IPO or M&A valued at $1B+ — four of which have taken place in the last 2 years
  • NIO is the highest-valued exit…Shanghai-based electric autonomous vehicle manufacturer went public on the NYSE at a valuation of $6.4B in September 2018…still ranks as third on the list of top-funded AI startups ever, with $2.2B in pre-exit equity funding

5. This car vending machine lets you pay for the vehicle with a phone

  • underscored the ability to bypass haggling with the vending machine that uses contactless technology to pay for the car with just one’s phone
  • first vending machine houses a Renault Zoe with a pre-agreed price of £16,000, or about $19,000 at current exchange rates… car comes from a local dealer that Auto Trader said agreed to the final sale price with the company
  • Despite how easy the company makes it sound, a recent study suggested younger buyers actually want dealerships involved…average Gen Z or young millennial shopper visited 3.8 dealerships…83% said they wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it first, and 89% said the test is the most influential part of the process