March 8 – 5 Key Stories From The Digital World

By March 8, 2019 Insight

1.  SoftBank launches $5 billion Latin America tech fund

  • SoftBank has already committed $2 billion to the fund, though no decision has been made yet on where its headquarters will be.
  • The fund’s size is unprecedented in Latin America as it totals the combined venture capital investments of 2017 and 2018
  • …the new fund will focus investments on industries like e-commerce, health care and digital financial services, among others.

2. Denver to Use Mobile Voting Blockchain Platform Aimed at Overseas Voters in Elections

  • …the City and County of Denver will implement a mobile voting platform backed with blockchain tech targeting the active-duty military, their eligible dependents and overseas voters
  • Voters will fill out an absentee ballot request, complete their authentication with the…application, and submit their ballot for the election
  • The same platform was used for casting federal election ballots in West Virginia last November

3. There Are More VC Funds Than Ever, But Capital Concentrates At The Top

  • The overall number of startup investment funds raised per year extended an upward trend through the end of 2018.
  • Although the number of funds announced annually continued to grow over time, the general mix of funds hasn’t all that much….sub-$100M venture funds have accounted for between 55 and 61 percent of new funds announced by U.S. firms.
  • … roughly 84 percent of the capital raised by U.S. venture investors went into funds raising $250 million or more.

4. Designing Products with E.Q.

  • Thanks to NLP and NLU, we are seeing growing experimentation in conversational interfaces, making it easier than ever to communicate more naturally with machines.
  • …ML is helping translate information about our behaviors into deep insight and advice.
  • The core of design thinking is the creation of products that solve real frictions and address real user needs. That won’t change, but as intelligent products enter the most intimate spaces of our lives, this is no longer enough.

5. Are Rentals The Next Frontier For Retail?

  • …the global online clothing rental market was valued at $1.5 billion in 2017 and will increase by 9.4 percent by 2026.
  • Two influential factors account for the increased adoption of a rental/resale model in clothing: the demand created for constant wardrobe variety by social media and the growing consciousness around sustainability, particularly amongst younger generations.
  • The next key phase for companies exploring this undefined section of the retail industry will entail determining demand and establishing logistics infrastructure.