🕶️ Can AI startups save the Election?

And video games are making big cash

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This year, on a global scale, we're witnessing an unprecedented surge in voter turnout, with an astonishing 64 countries 🌎, including the US 🇺🇸 —accounting for roughly 49% of the global population—gearing up to hold national elections. In this context, AI startups are making history by playing a central role combating election misinformation.

But it's not all about politics today! The video game industry 🎮 is looking bright for this year, and there's a sneak peek at European femtech startups ♀️ you should be watching.

Plus, we're premiering a new video about The Side Effects of Success; a.k.a complaining about our bad experiences with Airbnb - Why do cool startups like this hit a rough patch after soaring high? 🤷‍♀️


Six bullets of updates

  1. 🦾 Thinking about the future!  Just 14% of businesses are ready to leverage AI. Here's a futurist advice about it, including rebuilding workforce skills.

  2. 👨🏻‍⚕️ Despite a $36M dip, European femtech startups raised a sturdy $170M in total last year, showing promising signs of growth.

  3. 🔐 Despite the promise of blockchain in supply chains, its adoption is hindered by unfamiliarity, scalability issues, regulatory hurdles, and cost concerns.

  4. 💬 New startup Sierra aims to revolutionize customer experience using AI agents to improve interactions with digital brands.

  5. 💰 Database firm MariaDB could go private in a $37M deal following a provisional offer from K1 Investment Management. 

  6. 🇮🇳 Lightspeed India Partners' Lift Off summit shines a spotlight on India's rebound in startup funding despite industry challenges.

The battle for truth: how AI startups are fighting election interference

🗳️AI startups are increasingly engaged in politics, and with roughly 49% of the global population heading to the polls, the issue takes on significant importance on the global agenda.

Anthropic, an AI startup, is piloting a feature to combat election misinformation. Their technology, "Prompt Shield," identifies when users of its GenAI chatbot, Claude, ask about political topics, and redirects them to "authoritative" sources for voting data. The move stems from Claude's limitations in providing up-to-date political information.

This shift is part of a larger trend in the AI industry to curb election interference. Similar efforts are in play at OpenAI which prohibits the use of its tools for political campaigning. The stakes are high, globally, with a record number of voters heading to the polls this year. The use of GenAI tools in political campaigns remains a contentious issue and, in the U.S., regulation is yet to catch up.

This self-regulation by AI companies underscores the growing realization of the potential misuse of AI technology in politics. Policymakers, platform owners, and AI developers should be vigilant in ensuring responsible usage and deployment of AI tools.

Shift Left: How to Turn Security into Review

In the competitive landscape of software business, optimizing processes and leveraging efficiencies can make a significant difference in building a strong pipeline and closing revenue faster. 

  • Apply the DevOps principles of “shifting left” to position security as a differentiator — instead of a hurdle

  • Center security in your sales conversations at every stage to proactively remove roadblocks to revenue

  • Invest in your security story by making it easy for buyers to access security-related information

Vanta helps SaaS businesses of all sizes manage risk and prove security in real time.

These companies just raised money

  1.  🌍 Partech closes its second Africa fund at a whopping $300M, aiming to support startups from seed to Series C.

  2. 🗒️ Bending Spoons, owner of apps like Evernote and Meetup, raised $155M in a new equity financing round to acquire more brands.

  3. 📹 Deepfake detection startup Clarity secures $16M seed funding, as 66% of Americans report encountering misleadingly altered images and videos.

  4. 🏦 Colombian fintech Plataform raises $3M in funding to expand services like bank factoring and crowd factoring.

  5. ☀️ High hopes for Nigeria's Arnergy as the solar-power startup pulls in $3M for expansion amid surging demand due to rising diesel prices. 

  6. 👨🏼‍🎓 Performance management startup SocialCrowd lands a $1.6M pre-seed round to fuel expansion and customer acquisition.

2024, it’s in the game!

Advancing through levels in a video game requires as much skill as it does hope. Those two characteristics are present in venture capital investors envisioning a more promising 2024 for the video game industry. While it's true that there were better years than 2023 for startups in this industry, considering fundraising compared to previous years, that doesn't diminish investors' confidence. They consider significant milestones from last year, such as releasing relevant titles like Baldur's Gate 3 and Hogwarts Legacy (each selling over 22 million copies).

The industry is shifting towards cross-platform games, which, while expensive, are also more lucrative. Another point in favor is the availability of talent in the market, considering the number of developers available after mass layoffs in other areas in 2023.

Adding to this is the integration of artificial intelligence to continue advancing game development and innovation. Could 2024 be when the gaming industry jumps to the next level?

A Cap Table Template

Understanding stock, preferred stock, convertible notes, angel investing, venture capital, and other fundraising instruments can be truly overwhelming. This cap table template will help you plan and keep track of your equity and avoid a mistake that can cost you millions of dollars.

If you think Airbnb has changed, you’re not alone

Unfortunately, we are also disappointed about why it has turned to sky-high fees and lousy stays 😥 🏠 Check out our new video and make sure to SUBSCRIBE!