E25Bio Raises $2M From Khosla Ventures To Create Rapid COVID-19 Diagnostic Test


This post is by Mary Ann Azevedo from Crunchbase News

E25Bio, a developer of rapid diagnostic tests for dangerous infectious diseases, announced this morning that it has raised a $2 million financing from storied VC firm Khosla Ventures.

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The 2-year-old Cambridge, Massachusetts startup is based out of The Engine at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and had been working on developing technology for rapid diagnosis of diseases such as dengue and zika. Now, of course, E25Bio is turning its attention to creating early and accessible tests to diagnose the novel and rapidly-spreading coronavirus, which has caused a global pandemic.

Its goal is to be able to distribute more rapid, accurate and affordable detectors for coronavirus that can be distributed at scale across geographies.

E25Bio’s rapid diagnostic tests use nanoparticle technology to capture virus or viral proteins secreted into the human body. They are based on technology developed by Dr. Irene Bosch and Dr. Lee Gehrke, the Hermann von Helmholtz Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at MIT.

“The same way a hormone is detected on a pregnancy test, our diagnostics provides doctors and patients with results in 15 minutes or less,” said Bosch, who serves as CTO of E25Bio.

Fast tracking

In the wake of the chaos, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently announced it would fast track diagnostics for the virus through its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), opening the door for both public and private institutions to attack the problem.

Dr. Bobby Brooke Herrera, co-founder and CEO of E25Bio, said the global public health system will require “a concentrated, unified strategy to better respond to the current pandemic.”

Khosla Ventures founder Vinod Khosla said that “in this time of crisis we need every effort to get testing at scale on the market.”

“We are excited about what E25Bio is capable of shipping in a short amount of time: a test that is significantly cheaper, more affordable, and available at-home for consumers without having to rely on primary medical services and can lessen the load on our healthcare systems,” he said in a written statement.

The new funding will go toward research and development, clinical studies and scaling the company’s launch for diagnostic tests upon receiving EUA approval. E25Bio had raised  a $2.3 million seed round last August, according to Crunchbase.

The post E25Bio Raises $2M From Khosla Ventures To Create Rapid COVID-19 Diagnostic Test appeared first on Crunchbase News.

Impossible Foods Continues Growth Trajectory With $500M Series F


This post is by Sophia Kunthara from Crunchbase News

Impossible Foods raised $500 million in a Series F round, bringing its total funding to nearly $1.3 billion.

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Mirae Asset Global Investments, a new backer, led the round, according to a statement from the company. Existing investors, including Khosla Ventures and Temasek Holdings, also participated. The last time Impossible Foods raised money was in May 2019, when it pulled $300 million for its Series E round.

The new round will be used to invest in research, scale up manufacturing, grow the company’s retail presence and presence in certain international markets, and popularize its pork and sausage products.

“Our mission is to replace the world’s most destructive technology–the use of animals in food production–by 2035,” CEO Patrick Brown said in a statement. “To do that, we need to double production every year, on average, for 15 years and double down on research and innovation. The market has its ups and downs, but the global demand for food is always there, and the urgency of our mission only grows.”

Impossible Foods competes in the plant-based alternative food space, which is growing in popularity. Impossible Burgers can be found at restaurants across the country, including at more than 7,000 Burger King locations. Beyond Meat, which was well-received by investors when it went public last year, is the other well-known brand in the space.

Impossible Foods closed the Series F round last week amid the coronavirus pandemic, the company said. That’s a good Continue reading “Impossible Foods Continues Growth Trajectory With $500M Series F”

Real Estate Developer Turned Tech Startup Veev Raises $97M For Panelized Building System


This post is by Mary Ann Azevedo from Crunchbase News

Real estate developers have unique insight into all the challenges of well, developing real estate.

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As such, it’s not entirely shocking when a real estate developer also becomes a tech company. Especially in the Bay Area, where housing costs and construction labor shortages are constraining supply. Case in point: Veev Group Inc. The San Mateo, California-based company has just closed a $97 million Series B round of funding that included $85 million in equity and $12 million in debt.

Zeev Ventures and Lennar Ventures (the arm of homebuilding giant Lennar Corp.) led the round, which also included participation from Eclipse Ventures, Green Spring Associates and Khosla Ventures. Western Technology Investment served as the debt provider.

Veev Group originated in 2008 as a traditional real estate developer and asset manager.

“In each project, we found new ways to improve the building process–always with the customer in mind,” said CEO and co-founder Amit Haller.

In 2017, Veev Group began to focus on prefabrication capabilities, and by 2018 it formally pivoted to what it describes as “a vertically integrated developer focused on building innovation.” (Note the company name changed in 2019 from Dragonfly Group to Veev.)

Over the years, Veev developed a proprietary panelized building system using materials such as steel frames, high-performance acrylic finishes and millwork, low-voltage lighting, and smart sensors. It uses a digital fabrication process, such as 3D design files fed to cold-formed steel and Computer Numerical Control machines, to design Continue reading “Real Estate Developer Turned Tech Startup Veev Raises $97M For Panelized Building System”

DoorDash Files Confidential S-1 Paperwork As It Seeks To Go Public


This post is by Jason D. Rowley from Crunchbase News

On Thursday, popular food delivery platform DoorDash announced it has confidentially filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in its first step toward becoming a publicly traded company.

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DoorDash said in its announcement that the number of shares on offer and a target price range for the transaction “have not yet been determined.”

The brief statement also adds that the IPO “is expected to take place after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions.” In recent days, the U.S. stock market has experienced significant downward pressure amid concerns about the spreading SARS-CoV-2 virus and speculation about the scale of its impact on the global economy.

As of 2017, the SEC has granted smaller, high-growth companies a path to initially file their S-1 registration statements confidently, allowing for regulatory review without immediate exposure to scrutiny from the media and would-be public market investors. Confidentially filed S-1 documents are made public prior to IPO.

According to Crunchbase data, San Francisco-based DoorDash has raised at least $2.07 billion in equity funding since its inception in 2013. Its last private market valuation was approximately $12.6 billion, post-money, earned in a November 2019 extension of the company’s Series G round.

The company’s backers include the likes of Y Combinator, Sequoia Capital, Khosla Ventures, CRV, Kleiner Perkins, the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC, and the SoftBank Vision Fund.

DoorDash has never released Continue reading “DoorDash Files Confidential S-1 Paperwork As It Seeks To Go Public”

Tempo Lands $17.5M Series A For AI-Powered Home Workouts


This post is by Sophia Kunthara from Crunchbase News

The connected fitness space just keeps growing.

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Tempo is the latest company to join the pack, announcing it raised $17.5 million for its Series A round and will start taking pre-orders for its system, which will start shipping this summer.

Providing live and on-demand strength and high intensity interval training classes, Tempo uses artificial intelligence to make home workouts more like personal training sessions.

The system’s sensors scan users movements and uses machine learning to prepare workouts for users based on their progress, according to a statement from the company. Tempo counts a user’s reps, recommends weights and gives real-time corrections for a user’s technique–key benefits of having a personal trainer without the steep hourly cost.

“The real groundbreaking thing is helping people work out effectively and safely at home,” Tempo CEO Moawia Eldeeb said in an interview with Crunchbase News.  “And to be able to do that you need to train.”

The Tempo system’s predecessor, SmartSpot, was essentially the data collection process for the whole product, Eldeeb said. SmartSpot was in gyms for about three years, capturing more than 1 million sessions to feed Tempo’s AI.

Tempo’s system, like most other tech-enabled home fitness equipment, doesn’t come cheap. The price for the full station is $1,995 and the monthly content subscription is $39.

Connected fitness is a popular space that has received more than a billion dollars in VC funding overall. Peloton leads the pack, as it raised more than Continue reading “Tempo Lands $17.5M Series A For AI-Powered Home Workouts”

AI: Scary for the Right Reasons


This post is by Justine Sink from Khosla Ventures

This post also appears on Hackernoon.

Artificial intelligence, AI, has grabbed headlines, hype, and even consternation at the beast we are unleashing. Every powerful technology can be used for good and bad, be it nuclear or biotechnology, and the same is true for AI. While much of the public discourse from the likes of Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking reflects on sci-fi like dystopian visions of overlord AI’s gone wrong (a scenario certainly worth discussing), there is a much more immediate threat when it comes to AI. Long before AI goes uncontrollable or takes over jobs, there lurks a much larger danger: AI in the hands of governments and/or bad actors used to push self-interested agendas against the greater good.

For background, as a technology optimist and unapologetic supporter of further development, in 2014 I wrote about the massive dislocation in society AI may cause, and while our economic metrics like GDP, growth, and productivity may look awesome as a result, it may worsen the less visible, but in my opinion, far more critical metrics around income disparity and social mobility. More importantly, I argued why this time might be different than the usual economists’ refrain that productivity tools always increase employment. With AI, the vast majority of current jobs may be dislocated regardless of skill or education level. In the previous industrial revolution, we saw this in agriculture between 1900–2000, when it went from a majority of US employment to less than 2%, and in industrial jobs, Continue reading “AI: Scary for the Right Reasons”

Economics of AI Workshop 2017 / AI: Musings of a Technology Optimist


This post is by Justine Sink from Khosla Ventures

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Economics of AI Workshop 2017 / AI: Musings of a Technology Optimist

The post Economics of AI Workshop 2017 / AI: Musings of a Technology Optimist appeared first on Khosla Ventures.

SLUSH 2017: Re-inventing Societal Infrastructure with Technology


This post is by Stephanie Camacho from Khosla Ventures

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SLUSH 2017: Re-inventing Societal Infrastructure with Technology

The post SLUSH 2017: Re-inventing Societal Infrastructure with Technology appeared first on Khosla Ventures.

Forbes / The next technology revolution will drive abundance and income disparity


This post is by Kathy Chan from Khosla Ventures

This post also appears on Forbes.com.

There have been and will continue to be multiple big technology revolutions, but the most impactful on human society may be the one that finally builds systems with judgment and decision-making capability more sophisticated and nuanced than trained human judgment. Machine learning, sometimes called big data or artificial intelligence, is making rapid progress in complex decision-making (for instance: driving a car was thought to be too difficult for computers even five years ago). Without speculating on what is probable, it is at least possible that such systems may even be better at creativity, emotion and empathy than human beings (for instance: writing the best music, love story or creative fiction). At the very least these systems may be able to handle much more data to which we now have access and use it to make better judgments than humans with their supposed instinct, gut, holistic and integrative decision capability. Although any one software program may not do everything a human brain can do, specialized programs will likely make decisions and predictions in their domain better than most trained humans. Many, if not most, domains will be well covered by such programs. Many problems in our work environments aren’t ones the human brain evolved to solve for in the African savannah. To achieve these goals, a machine learning system does not need to exactly replicate the brain or even use brain like techniques.

While the future is promising and this technology revolution may result Continue reading “Forbes / The next technology revolution will drive abundance and income disparity”

TechCrunch / Do we need doctors or algorithms?


This post is by Kathy Chan from Khosla Ventures

This article is also posted on TechCrunch.

Editor’s note: This is Part II of a guest series written by legendary Silicon Valley investor Vinod Khosla, the founder of Khosla Ventures. In Part I, he laid the groundwork by describing how artificial intelligence is a combination of human and computer capabilities. In Part III, he will talk about how technology will sweep through education.

I was asked about a year ago at a talk about energy what I was doing about the other large social problems, namely health care and education. Surprised, I flippantly responded that the best solution was to get rid of doctors and teachers and let your computers do the work, 24/7 and with consistent quality.

Later, I got to cogitating about what I had said and why, and how embarrassingly wrong that might be. But the more I think about it the more I feel my gut reaction was probably right. The beginnings of “Doctor Algorithm” or Dr. A for short, most likely (and that does not mean “certainly” or “maybe”) will be much criticized. We’ll see all sorts of press wisdom decrying “they don’t work” or “look at all the silly things they come up with.” But Dr A. will get better and better and will go from providing “bionic assistance” to second opinions to assisting doctors to providing first opinions and as referral computers (with complete and accurate synopses and all possible hypotheses of the hardest cases) to the Continue reading “TechCrunch / Do we need doctors or algorithms?”