Many investors predicted Silicon Valley would be at a loss during the coronavirus pandemic, with cautious investors pulling back venture funding and startup founders fleeing to more affordable locales. But for healthcare startups and investors, that future never materialized.
Instead, healthcare investment has had a blockbuster year, with an all-time-high number of deals and a record number of dollars invested. Telehealth startups had a record-breaking first half of the year, with 154 funding deals in the second quarter alone, according to CB Insights.
The youngest employees at venture firms are typically its eyes and ears, relying on networking events and word of mouth to find the best entrepreneurs or companies to invest in. During the pandemic and largely working at home, that role has evolved into virtual coffee meetings, socially distant walks, and active group chats. The mission, however, remains the same: find the next big startup creating the future
In the saturated social casino game market, it isn’t easy to battle the big brands. But that’s the challenge that Murka, a smaller player in Ukraine, has undertaken with some success. Through growth that accelerated this year, Murka has become a top 10 player with five million monthly active users.
While it still has a tiny share of the $6.2 billion social casino game market, Murka has grown 40% this year as users play more during the pandemic, partly because its slot machine games are more like role-playing games.
Over a decade, the Kyiv, Ukraine-based company has emerged from a small startup to more than 550 employees across five offices. It was acquired last year by mega investor Blackstone Group, a private equity firm. Blackstone also owns casino properties such as The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas as well as Vungle, a performance marketing firm. Blackstone’s revenues last year were $7.3
Next year, in cities across the world, expect to have your face scanned for levels of aggression. NtechLab, a Russian facial recognition company best known for the FindFace app once labelled the harbinger for the end of online privacy, says it’s currently testing “aggression detection” tech with plans for a full rollout to its surveillance partners and customers in 2021.
To help it along the way, it’s just received $15 million from two sovereign wealth funds – one the Russian Direct Investment Fund, the other a mysterious, unnamed Middle East partner. Previously, NtechLab had previously received support from the U.A.E. sovereign investor Mubadala Investment Company, but it wouldn’t tell Forbes who was putting up the funds in