September 24 – 5 Key Stories From The Digital World

By September 24, 2019 Insight

1. Facebook is spending more than $500 million to acquire a company that lets you control computers with your mind

  • acquiring the maker of an electronic wristband that it says will allow people to share photos on its social network, click a button on their computer’s mouse, and perform other computing tasks simply by thinking about it
  • vision for this work is a wristband that lets people control their devices as a natural extension of movement
  • Facebook is among several well-funded organizations seeking to create science-fiction like products using a “brain computing” interface…Elon Musk said that Neuralink, a brain computing company he founded, will be ready for human trials in 2020

2. Hyundai and Aptiv form $4 billion pact to build self-driving cars

  • Global carmakers and their suppliers are forging alliances to develop autonomous car technologies partly due to the need to share the huge financial and technical burdens
  • The new firm will begin testing fully driverless systems in 2020 and have a production-ready autonomous driving platform available for robo-taxi providers, fleet operators, and automakers in 2022
  • Hyundai Motor said in February that it will invest 14.7 trillion won ($12.3 billion) in future technologies such as self-driving, connectivity, and car sharing areas by 2023

3.  A Look at Venture-Backed Food Companies As Sweetgreen Raises $150M

  • Restaurants aren’t the type of business one thinks of as attracting venture capital, but a number of food, food-adjacent, and drink companies have pulled in venture dollars and found varying degrees of success
  • $3.3 billion has been invested in food and beverage startups so far in 2019, according to Crunchbase, with 46 percent of those rounds invested in the seed stage
  • Chinese coffee startup Luckin Coffee went public in May after raising $550 million in total funding, according to Crunchbase

4. Bakkt Is Finally Launching Its Bitcoin Futures Today. Here’s What to Expect

  • As often noted, Bakkt’s futures will be physically settled, meaning buyers receive bitcoin at expiration, whereas the futures available since 2017 at the Chicago exchange CME Group are cash-settled – essentially side bets on the cryptocurrency’s price
  • what may be most unique about ICE’s bitcoin futures contracts is that they expire after a day…daily contract’s specifications, the bitcoin will be delivered on the second business day after the contract’s date
  • While Bakkt is also offering a 30-day bitcoin futures contract, the one-day version will essentially allow institutions to buy or sell bitcoin in a way that’s more familiar to them than the helter-skelter world of crypto exchanges

5. Louis Vuitton is designing new skins for League of Legends

  • new partnership with Louis Vuitton that will see the famed fashion house design League-themed items for both in the game and in the real world
  • Louis Vuitton has a history of creating these kinds of trophy cases for events like the World Cup and the French Open…he developer had long wanted something similar for League’s biggest annual spectacle…They understood and appreciated gaming and e-sports right away
  • e-sports organizations like 100 Thieves — which operates a team in the North American League pro circuit LCS — have made apparel a major part of their business…a shift that has attracted some big names as investors, including Drake