Mezli, a Maker of Robot Restaurants, Wins the Smart Kitchen Summit 2021 Startup Showcase

Mezli, a maker of robotized container restaurants, has won the 2021 Smart Kitchen Summit Startup Showcase.

The company, which currently operates a prototype restaurant in San Mateo’s KitchenTown, was started after two of the company’s cofounders, Alex Kolchinski and Alex Gruebele, met while studying at Stanford. Like most college students, the two were always on the hunt for food to fuel their studies but usually found the options lacking.

“Both of us had this problem that we’re trying to solve that it was really expensive to eat good food out,” said Kolchinski from the Smart Kitchen Summit virtual mainstage. “We were pretty busy as Ph.D. students, we can cook all the time. But if we wanted to eat out, it was kind of a choice between going to McDonald’s, which didn’t make us feel great if we ate it every day, or going places like the Stanford dining halls.”

So alongside a third ...

Nov. 1, 2021

RWE pledges to spend GBP 15bn for UK renewables

German energy major RWE AG (ETR:RWE) has committed to investing GBP 15 billion (USD 20.7bn/EUR 17.8bn) in renewable energy technologies and infrastructure in the UK by 2030 as it aims to beef up its wind business in the country.

The proposed investment includes committed investments in projects that are already under construction, RWE said on Tuesday. It explained that more than 90% of the capital spending will go towards sustainable technologies such as renewable energy and battery storage projects.

The German group has 2.1 GW of wind capacity in operation in the UK and currently most of its investments there are in the offshore wind sector. Together with partners, RWE is spending around GBP 5 billion for the 857-MW Triton Knoll and 1.4-GW Sofia offshore wind projects. Separately, four new offshore wind parks totalling 2.6 GW are under development, of which RWE’s pro rata share is 1.3 GW. The German firm was ...

Oct. 27, 2021

NATO ministers endorse 1-bln-euro innovation fund

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will launch its new Innovation Fund with the aim of enabling investment worth one billion euros (1.65 billion U.S. dollars) "in dual-use technologies of potential application to defense and security," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday.

The new fund will "ensure that the allies do not miss out on the latest technologies and capabilities that will be critical to our security," Stoltenberg said at a press conference.

The agreement was signed by the defense ministers of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom.

Stoltenberg also announced the creation of DIANA, the Defense Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic.

"As part of DIANA, the Allies are committed to provide a network of technology test centers and accelerator sites across the Alliance to better harness civilian innovation for our security," he said.

These ...

Oct. 22, 2021

Thomson Reuters launches $100 mln venture capital fund

Thomson Reuters Corp (TRI.TO) is launching a $100 million venture capital fund to invest in early stage companies that serve professional audiences in the legal, tax and accounting, and news media business.

The fund, named "Thomson Reuters Ventures," is part of Chief Executive Steve Hasker's plan to transform the provider of news and information to professionals into what it calls a "content-driven technology business."

The fund will focus on companies in their Series A and Series B investment rounds.

Thomson Reuters wants to identify companies than can help its customers "deliver more value" to their customers - whether that be machine learning for better prediction, or automating for better efficiency, said Pat Wilburn, Chief Strategy Officer at Thomson Reuters.

Wilburn will serve as executive director of the fund.

Thomson Reuters said in August that at the end of the second quarter $700 million remained from a $2 billion mergers and acquisitions budget. It said it ...

Oct. 18, 2021

Magic Leap somehow raised $500 million to make another AR headset

The augmented reality startup announced that they have raised $500 million at a $2 billion valuation from existing investors. The round echoes the terms of an October 2014 raise where Magic Leap raised $542 million at a reported $2 billion valuation. Quite a bit has happened in the meantime.

Curiously, Magic Leap decided not to actually disclose any of the specific investors participating in this latest fundraise. At this point, the company has raised $3.5 billion in total funding according to Crunchbase, meaning that most of the investors they’ve brought in haven’t fared too well thus far.

The latest valuation is a far cry from the company’s $6.7 billion valuation they reached in 2019, but for a startup that nearly shut down last year, it could be a lot worse. Magic Leap fired a healthy chunk of its staff and was forced to raise hundreds of millions at slashed valuation terms last ...

Oct. 13, 2021

Updates given on planned IPO for geothermal holding company in Indonesia

The Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) in Indonesia has announced some updates on the planned initial public offering (IPO) of a geothermal holding company. This geothermal holding will be named Indonesia Geothermal Energy and will be a merger of PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE), PT PLN Gas & Geothermal, and PT Geo Dipa Energy (Persero).

The total capacity of the planned holding company will be 1,022.5 MW – almost half of the total installed geothermal capacity in Indonesia. Early estimates have indicated that the IPO can reach a value of US$500 million or Rp 7 trillion.

We have previously reported on the asset consolidation as part of this ongoing merger process. Updates are still scarce but plans for the geothermal holding company seem to be progressing.

There is no clear timeline yet on when the IPO will be available.

/Source: Think Geoenergy/

Oct. 8, 2021

Zoom’s $15 billion deal for Five9 is off

Zoom’s roughly $15 billion acquisition of the call center software company Five9 fell apart on Thursday evening, when the companies said they would terminate a deal that had drawn national security scrutiny.

Five9 said in a news release that the deal had failed to garner enough support from its shareholders, and that the company would continue to operate independently. Allison Wilson, a spokeswoman for Five9, said the company believed it would build on its “current proven momentum” as an independent firm.

Zoom’s chief executive, Eric S. Yuan, said in a blog post that while the acquisition had been an opportunity for the company to expand, it “was in no way foundational to the success of our platform.” A spokesperson for Zoom, CJ Lin, said the company had no further comment.

The proposed deal between the companies, both based in California, had attracted government scrutiny. In August, the Justice Department pushed for a federal ...

Oct. 4, 2021

Shell announces $9.5 billion sale of West Texas oil field assets to ConocoPhillips

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell announced Monday a deal to sell the entirety of its Permian Basin assets to ConocoPhillips.

ConocoPhillips is purchasing the West Texas business for $9.5 billion in cash, the companies said in a release release.

The assets span roughly 225,000 net acres with current production about 175,000 barrels per day, the statement said. The sale is set to close in the fourth quarter this year.

The deal would mark Shell’s complete withdrawal from onshore production in Texas. Shell will maintain its offshore production in Texas.

The move comes as the oil industry faces increasing pressure to invest in renewable energy and lower its carbon emissions in the face of a changing climate.

/Source: CNBC/

Sept. 29, 2021

Raspberry Pi gets $45M to meet demand for low-cost PCs and IoT

It turned out that COVID-19 lockdowns were good for the indoor hobby of hardware hacking: The British base behind the low-priced Raspberry Pi microprocessor announced yesterday that it had closed a $ 45 million financing round.

The cash injection into the trading arm of the (nonprofit) Raspberry Pi Foundational is valued at $ 500 million (before the money), confirmed founder Eben Upton.

The funding round was led by London-based Lansdowne Partners and The Ezrah Charitable Trust, a US-based private charity foundation.

“We are excited to welcome Lansdowne Partners and The Ezrah Charitable Trust as our first outside shareholders to help us take the next steps in our growth,” said Upton in a statement. “We’re seeing strong demand from consumers who use our PCs to access the Internet for work and entertainment, and even faster growth from industrial companies around the world as they integrate Raspberry Pi into their innovative IoT applications. This funding ...

Sept. 24, 2021

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak launches private space company

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak tweeted about a "private space company" he's launching that's "unlike the others." Called Privateer Space, its mission is to "keep space safe and accessible to all humankind," according to a YouTube video Wozniak linked. Ripcord founder Alex Fielding is also a co-founder.

"It's up to us to work together to do what is right and what is good," the promo video says. "So here's to taking care of what we have so the next generation can be better together."

Not much has been shared about the company yet. Privateer's site simply says, "The sky is no longer the limit," and "We are in stealth mode." The site does say the company will be at the AMOS (Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies) conference in Wailea, Hawaii, which kicks off Tuesday. 

Other tech leaders have launched their own space endeavors, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who created Blue Origin, ...

Sept. 20, 2021