October 10 – 5 Key Stories From The Digital World

By October 10, 2019 Insight

1. As Billions Flow Into Latin America, Its Startup Scene Scales

  • In the first half of 2019, VC investment in Latin American startups totaled $2.6 billion across 160 transactions
  • venture funding in the region in the first half of 2019 totaled more than five times the amount raised just in all of 2016
  • increased number of global investors including Berkshire Hathaway, Goldman Sachs, Sequoia, China’s Ant Financial, and Andreessen Horowitz that are putting money into the region

2. Getting an Uber with your pet just got a lot easier

  • essentially a built-in communication tool so you don’t have to call or text the driver you’re matched with and hope they’ll be cool with a pet joining the ride
  • by selecting “Uber Pet,” you’ll see the rate for taking your furball with you (there’s a pet surcharge tacked onto your normal fare)
  • The new mode should eventually come to more cities if all goes well in this first batch of test cities

3.  Virgin Orbit plans to launch first commercial small satellites to Mars

  • Working with Polish satellite company SatRevolution, Virgin Orbit has established a consortium along with a group of Polish academic institutions
  • jointly work on at least one, and as many as three small satellite launches to Mars, with the first one expected to happen as soon as three years from now
  • Virgin Orbit is aiming to have its first orbital rocket launch later this year, and is currently going through the final round of testing

4. Toyota, GM, NVIDIA and others team up on self-driving car chips

  • create a platform that will promote the scalable deployment of automated and autonomous vehicles
  • will collaborate on overcoming some of the most significant challenges posed by autonomous vehicles
  • group’s first step will be developing a set of recommendations for a system architecture for the computing platform

5. AI startups on pace to break funding records in 2019

  • 965 AI-related companies in the U.S. have raised $13.5 billion in venture capital through the first 9 months of this year
  • number of later-stage funding rounds have been surging “as underlying technologies and the startups powering them mature and as the technology’s uses have expanded.”
  • new highs for number of late-stage deals for AI companies, including $3 billion invested in about 75 such deals