The creator of Cruise drones has raised $1.35 billion and is launching a driverless taxi in the US

The attracted investments will be spent on expanding the team and scaling the business.

The company announced the launch of driverless taxi testing in San Francisco. To participate, you need to leave a request on the website. So far, self-driving cars drive only in some areas of the city: Haight-Ashbury, Richmond, Chinatown and Pacific Heights. The company focuses on night trips — electric cars without a driver will carry passengers from 11 pm to 5 am local time.

In January 2020, Cruise showed its first production car for joint trips. In October 2021, she announced plans to launch a taxi in the United States, and by 2023 — in Dubai.

/Source: E-News/

Feb. 7, 2022

RPM tech provider Athelas hits unicorn status with $132M raised for chronic care management

Remote patient monitoring startup Athelas hit unicorn status after raising $132 million in two consecutive funding rounds that boosted the company's valuation to $1.5 billion.

Athelas creates technologies for chronic care management in the home, partnering with hospitals and health systems so providers can give their patients remote monitoring tools without incurring upfront costs.

General Catalyst led one of the two funding rounds, while Tribe Capital led the other. Sequoia Capital, YCombinator, Greenoaks, Human Capital and Initialized Capital also contributed funding.

Athelas now serves more than 40,000 patients with chronic conditions like hypertension, cardiac disorders and immunosuppression, making it the largest provider of remote patient monitoring services in the U.S., according to the company.

While many chronic care management platforms partner with employers or health plans to deliver remote monitoring services, Athelas works directly with providers, which founder and CEO Tanay Tandon sees as the company’s market advantage.

Tandon and Bodapati designed Athelas One for ...

Feb. 2, 2022

Amazon Founder invested $3 billion in cell rejuvenation startup Altos Labs

Altos Labs startup is developing biological technology to restore cell health, increase their resistance to diseases, injuries and even disability.

The Institutes of Science will be engaged in research, and the Institute of Medicine will be engaged in drug development. They are located in San Francisco and San Diego, as well as in Cambridge, UK. Altos Labs also plans to actively cooperate with scientists in Japan.

Altos Labs startup is based on their mission to achieve biological reprogramming. This is a method of significant rejuvenation of cells after they have matured. Theoretically, cells could do things like repair your body as it ages and even treat age-related diseases like dementia.

The fight against aging is a big business, and there are a number of other startups pursuing a similar goal, among them: Life Biosciences, Turn Biotechnologies, AgeX Therapeutics, Shift Bioscience, Calico Labs.

Professor Alejandro Ocampo of the University of Lausanne noted: "You can take ...

Jan. 28, 2022

Japanese oil company Eneos buys "green" startup JRE for $1.7 billion

Japanese oil giant Eneos Holdings has closed a deal to buy Japan Renewable Energy (JRE) from the US bank Goldman Sachs Group and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC Private Limited for 191.2 billion yen ($1.7 billion).

It is expected that the shares in JRE acquired by Forest E and Forest S will eventually be transferred to third parties, which may give a synergistic effect in terms of business strategy.

The Holding emphasizes that the impact of the transaction on its consolidated financial results as of March 31, 2022 will be minimal.

The upcoming agreement became known in October 2021.

As the Nikkei newspaper noted, this is the first example of a Japanese oil company buying a large startup in the field of renewable energy.

JRE was founded in 2012. The company focuses on the management of enterprises for the production of solar and wind energy, as well as energy from biomass. JRE operates about 60 ...

Jan. 24, 2022

ExxonMobil to buy into Norwegian biofuels co Biojet

US oil group Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) said it has entered into an agreement to acquire a 49.9% stake in Norwegian biofuels company Biojet AS for an undisclosed sum.

Biojet intends to develop up to five facilities for the production of biofuels and biofuel components through the conversion of forestry and wood-based construction waste. It expects to begin commercial production in 2025 at a new site in Follum.

The stake purchase agreement comes with a contract allowing ExxonMobil to buy up to 3 million barrels of the products per year. Biojet’s biofuels can be used for passenger vehicles and heavy trucks, the announcement mentions.

Ian Carr, president of ExxonMobil Fuels and Lubricants Company, commented that this partnership will advance ExxonMobil’s efforts to provide lower-emissions products for the transportation sector.

“Using our access at the Slagen terminal, we can efficiently distribute biofuels in Norway and to countries throughout northwest Europe,” Carr stated. 

/Source: ...

Jan. 19, 2022

Y Combinator increased the check of investments in startups to $500,000

Startup accelerator Y Combinator announced that it has updated its terms, providing participating companies with more total cash. The group will now invest $500,000 in batch startups.

The money comes in two different forms. The first is the well-known Y Combinator equity deal, worth $125,000 for 7% of accelerated startups. The group will now also offer $375,000 in the form of an uncapped SAFE note — a simple agreement for future equity — with a “most favored nation” clause.

Uncapped means that there is no defined maximum price at which the $375,000 SAFE will convert to shares, while the “most favored nation” language ensures that Y Combinator gets as good a deal as anyone else in a later conversion.

That Y Combinator is now offering more capital to startups is not surprising; indeed, that it took this long for the group to update its terms is the bigger surprise. Still, a half-million dollars ...

Jan. 11, 2022

China to remove limits on foreign investment in passenger car manufacturing

Chinese authorities will allow full foreign ownership of passenger car manufacturing in the country beginning Jan. 1, 2022.

That’s according to a release from the Ministry of Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planning agency. The document was one of the government’s regular releases on industries barred from foreign investment.

The 2021 version published did not include passenger car manufacturing. The 2020 edition of the list had promised the change would come in 2022.

China has gradually peeled back limits on foreign ownership in the domestic auto industry.

However, release still included 31 areas in which foreign investment is banned or restricted, including rare earths, film production and distribution, and tobacco products. In industries such as medical institutions, foreign entities must form joint ventures with local partners, which typically have a majority stake.

/Source: CNBC/

Jan. 5, 2022

Global M&A market hits record $ 5.7 trillion in 2021

The volume of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the world in 2021 reached a record, thanks in part to low interest rates and a large amount of free cash, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The total value of global transactions, as of December 21, 2021, amounted to $ 5.7 trillion, which is 64% more than in the same period last year. At the same time, their number increased by 22% - up to 59,748 transactions, Refinitiv reports.

The companies used money accumulated in the early stages of the pandemic to conduct transactions. The volume of cash and cash equivalents in companies whose shares are included in the Standard & Poor's 500 index in the third quarter increased by 11% in annual terms - to about $ 3.78 trillion, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Specialized mergers and acquisitions (SPACs) mergers accounted for 11% of total M&A deals this year, according to Dealogic ...

Dec. 31, 2021

Packaging maker Sonoco to acquire Ball Metalpack for $1.35 bln

Packaging products provider Sonoco Products Co said on Monday it will buy sustainable metal packaging manufacturer Ball Metalpack for $1.35 billion in cash to expand its sustainable packing portfolio.

Sonoco expects to realize tax benefits of about $180 million with the deal.

Colorado-based Ball Metalpack, a joint venture owned by Platinum Equity and Ball Corporation, develops sustainable packaging solutions and has been producing steel tinplate food and aerosol cans for more than a century.

Ball Metalpack is projected to generate about $850 million in revenue and $111 million of adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2021, Sonoco said.

"We believe the addition of Ball Metalpack will further strengthen our stable cash flow generation while driving solid earnings accretion," Sonoco's Chief Executive Officer, Howard Coker, said.

Ball Metalpack's boss Jim Peterson will continue to lead the company after the deal but the business would be under Sonoco's consumer packaging division.

Sonoco has obtained a ...

Dec. 27, 2021

Germany gets green light to subsidise green hydrogen outside of EU

The European Commission has approved Germany’s H2Global initiative to invest $1bn in subisdising green hydrogen production in non-EU countries to import into Germany.

The H2Global scheme was launched by the Germany earlier in 2021, with the government keen to secure future green hydrogen supplies which will play an important part in the country’s decarbonisation plans.

The EU approval should mean progress can be made with agreements that Germany has signed with a number of countries across the world, which include the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.

The H2Global plan was launched as Berlin does believe that Germany has the capacity to produce enough affordable green hydrogen domestically.

Countries with high solar irradiation, such as countries in the Mena region, strong winds or excess hydropower are expected to be able to produce the lowest-cost green hydrogen, according to a report in RECHARGE.

In March 2021, the ...

Dec. 22, 2021