Feb 19 – 5 Key Stories From The Digital World

By February 19, 2019 Insight

1.  These Are The Most Active Fintech Investors In 2018

  • In 2018, VC-backed fintech companies raised more than $39B across 1,707 deals
  • Deals in 2018 were up 15% compared to the previous year, while funding levels surged 120%… Of note is the expanding role of corporate VCs, which participated in 33% of deals, a 5-year high.
  • Ribbit was 2018’s most active unicorn hunter. The VC participated in deals for 5 of the 16 new fintech unicorns, including Brex, Root Insurance, Nubank, Revolut, and Viva Repbulica’s Toss.

2. AI, ML and Big Data in Healthcare

  • research from Accenture found that key clinical health AI applications can potentially create $150 billion in annual savings for the US health care economy by 2026
  • Google DeepMind is reducing the time it takes to plan radiotherapy treatment while IBM’s Watson is making treatment recommendations based on patients’ medical records around the world, including in China, Thailand and India.
  • According to Gartner, AI will have eliminated 1.8 million jobs by 2020. At the same time, it will create 2.3 million new jobs, leading to an overall increase of 500,000

3. Investor momentum builds for construction tech

  • Historically, the multi-trillion-dollar sector has been slow to adopt new technologies, as builders rely on a variety of disparate systems to manage projects, traditional building methods to construct homes and non-smart materials.
  • The industry continues to see M&A activity. Larger software companies are recognizing that it makes more sense to acquire companies in this space rather than try to reinvent the wheel from within.
  • Funding in U.S.-based construction technology startups surged by 324 percent, to nearly $3.1 billion in 2018 compared with $731 million in 2017, according to Crunchbase data. While the 2018 numbers are impressive, it’s important to note that a few large rounds did take place last year and thus skewed the results

4. Rapid Experiments are Key to Making AI Technology Buy vs Build Decisions

  • Cost, time-to-market, ROI, criticality to business success, and quality of solution are common factors that must be considered between the buying versus building decisions, and they apply to AI initiatives as well.
  • Even with a strong in-house data science team, one of the core reasons for AI initiative failures is the difficulty companies face in breaking down business problems into the right AI building blocks. These building blocks must subsequently integrate the solutions seamlessly into the workflow.
  • observed several enterprises embarking on large scale AI projects, struggling to get the desired accuracy and precision levels due to lack of quality training data.

5. How the Marshall Islands Envisions Its National Digital Currency Dubbed ‘Sovereign’

  • new national digital currency set to be released through an initial coin offering (ICO), with an initial total amount of 24 million units in order to avoid inflation. Some cash raised from the ICO will purportedly go toward health care
  • will differ from most digital currencies, as it will have measures built-in to discourage misuse, outlining the need to closely cooperate with regulators, financial institutions and exchanges to ensure that Know-Your-Customer [KYC] rules are well implemented, and that AML features cannot be circumvented
  • As the SOV supply will increase broadly in line with world GDP [Gross Domestic Product], it should tend to lead to relatively stable exchange rate against goods over time.