🕶️ Investors are not so sure about AI

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While the AI industry is experiencing a financial reset, according to a new report, with AI-related mergers and acquisitions falling by 31.2%; Europe is trying to position itself as a global leader in innovation, specifically regarding quantum, energy, and materials ⚡️

Also, buildings are getting smarter. You can now play as an astronaut in Fortnite's new mode 🧑🏽‍🚀, startups are working on spider silk plastic replacement and other novel materials, and rapid charging for electric vehicles hits the road in India 🇮🇳

Check out our new video! 👉🏽 The 4 Biggest RED FLAGS on a Pitch Deck.

Enjoy! 🕶️

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Six bullets of updates

  1. 🌱 Novel material startups are tackling environmental impact, working on spider silk plastic replacement and seaweed packaging.

  2.  🏢 Kode Labs brings in $30M Series B to make buildings smarter, eyeing a $2.3 trillion market with its energy-saving automation.

  3. ⚖️ Cybersecurity engineer Shakeeb Ahmed sentenced to three years in prison for stealing $12M in crypto from two exchanges.

  4. 🚀 Play astronaut in Fortnite's new mode, Lunar Horizons, and construct an ESA-inspired 3D-printed moon base.

  5. 🔮 Despite the buzz at Google Cloud's recent event, experts warn that generative AI implementation isn't a cakewalk.

  6. 🔌 Rapid charging hits the road in India as Exponent Energy and Omega Seiki Mobility launch an electric three-wheeler that charges to 100% in just 15 minutes.

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Beyond the Hype: Rethinking AI Investment

The AI industry is experiencing a financial reset, according to a new report from Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI). After years of bullish investments, global funding in AI took a nosedive for the second year in a row in 2023, with AI-related mergers and acquisitions falling by 31.2%. However, despite the downturn, the number of AI startups receiving investment funding increased by 40.6% in 2023 – a paradoxical situation that has left many scratching their heads.

Experts believe this investment shift indicates the industry's maturation as fewer unicorns emerge and the market becomes more influenced by tech companies leveraging existing AI products to build new offerings. Another school of thought suggests investors are becoming more cautious after realizing the projected exponential growth rates used to justify AI startups' sky-high valuations were perhaps a little too optimistic.

One sub-sector of AI, however, still shines brightly: generative AI. This branch, which creates new content, saw a nearly ninefold increase in investment in 2023. But not everyone is jumping on the generative AI bandwagon,the industry awaits results on whether the technology can deliver promised efficiency gains at scale and drive top-line growth. Keep reading!

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These companies just raised money

  1. 🌟 Recruiting platform Paraform snares $3.6M seed funding, aiming to tap into pool of laid-off recruiters to help startups hire talent.

  2. 🏛️ U.K. legal tech startup Lawhive bags $12M to bolster its AI-driven services for small law firms, spotting an untapped market.

  3. 🌿 Kenyan insurtech Pula raises $20M Series B, plans to protect 100 million farmers against climate risks.

  4. 🔬 Tel Aviv-based startup PVML rakes in $8M seed round, delivering a ChatGPT-esque tool for data analysis with a twist.

  5.  📉 Despite doubling revenue, Indian social media startup ShareChat's valuation tumbles from $5B to $2B in new funding round.

  6. 🏠 Colombian proptech Habi pockets $30M debt from the International Finance Corporation to boost its presence in Mexico and Colombia.

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The EIC Fund's Role in Europe's Innovation Ecosystem

The European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund, the most active deeptech investor in Europe, seems to be gaining momentum, closing deals with two startups weekly, according to its president, Michiel Scheffer. Since 2021, the EIC Fund has backed 100 startups with €391.6m, and has approved €1bn for an additional 108 startups. Despite initial struggles with payment backlogs, the EIC is now focusing on leading technologies to ensure Europe's position as a global leader in innovation. Among its strategic priorities are energy autonomy via renewables, materials, and quantum leadership. The EIC has already invested in 22 quantum companies and aims to strengthen this portfolio further. See more.

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The 4 Biggest RED FLAGS on a Pitch Deck

Are you about to pitch your startup to investors? Before you do, make sure you watch this video. 🚀 Dive deep into the common pitch deck mistakes that could break. Subscribe for more! 😎