Discover Medicines With the Power of AI: Profluent, Fueled by Salesforce Research and Endorsed by Jeff Dean

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Last year, Salesforce, the company best known for its cloud sales support software (and Slack), spearheaded a project called ProGen to design proteins using generative AI. “Many drugs — enzymes and antibodies, for example — consist of proteins,” Madani said. Fed into a generative AI model, data about proteins can be used to predict entirely new proteins with novel functions. Other companies and research groups have demonstrated viable ways in which generative AI can be used to predict proteins. And DeepMind, Google’s AI research lab, has a system called AlphaFold that predicts complete protein structures, achieving speed and accuracy far surpassing older, less complex algorithmic methods.

1991 London Ventures Becomes Newest Addition to VC Network Targeting Ukrainian Startups

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1991 Ventures is the brainchild of Ukrainian brothers Denis and Viktor Gursky, who are better known for running incubation and accelerator programs inside Ukraine. The Gursky brothers previously backed over 200 startups between 2016 and 2024, via their incubator Social Boost and their 1991 Accelerator. Startups backed to date include LegalTech startup AXDRAFT; European toll payment app eTolls; and cybersecurity company Osavul. Finally, TA Ventures is perhaps the best known and most active Ukrainian VC internationally, headed up by the almost-ubiquitous Viktoriya Tigipko. Of course, many of the tech companies Ukraine will produce in the forthcoming years are likely to be either ‘dual-use’ or related to defence.

“Unveiling Peak XV’s Groundbreaking Perpetual Fund Supported by Exclusive Partners and Industry Titans”

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Peak XV, the venture firm formerly known as India and Southeast Asia arm of Sequoia, didn’t disclose the size of the new fund. The new fund, called Peak XV Anchor Fund, will be funded by an internal balance sheet, the source said, requesting anonymity as the matter is private. The fund will enable Peak XV to “create a global network for learning and collaboration,” the venture firm said, according to the LP source. The fund will enable Peak XV Partners to have broader skin in the game with its own fund and also explore investment in newer areas, the source said. With Peak XV Anchor Fund, the venture firm plans to partner with other “managers across regions, strategies and sectors.”Peak XV didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“TravelJoy Capitalizes on $10M Series A to Meet the Rising Demand for Sophisticated Travel Arrangements in the Post-COVID Era”

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For co-founder and CEO Dayo Esho, the idea for TravelJoy emerged from his experiences growing up in the travel industry, supporting his mom’s travel agency business. The co-founders began working TravelJoy in 2018, while participating in NFX’s accelerator. The company also recently added integrations with travel insurance provider Faye and Viator, a marketplace for travel experiences. The idea is to centralize the travel entrepreneur’s workflow, with CRM, messaging, invoicing, payments, proposals, itineraries, and group trip management in one digital solution. Despite the pandemic’s massive and immediate impact on global travel, TravelJoy surprisingly didn’t shut down.

Twitter Alums Launch Particle: A Revolutionary AI News Aggregator with $4.4M Funding

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A team led by former Twitter engineers is rethinking how AI can be used to help people process news and information. The startup was founded last year by former Senior Director of Product Management at Twitter, Sara Beykpour, who worked on products like Twitter Blue, Twitter Video, and conversations, and who spearheaded the experimental app, twttr. She had been at Twitter from 2015 through 2021, growing her position from software engineering to that of a senior director of product management. The premise behind Particle, as Beykpour explained last month, is to make it easier to keep up with news using AI. We’re hoping to talk in more detail about how Particle vets its sources closer to a public launch.

funding “Revolutionizing South Africa’s Solar Adoption: How Hohm Energy Secured $8M for Rooftop Expansion”

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In the latest development, three-year-old Hohm Energy, which connects homeowners and businesses with accredited solar installers, product suppliers, and embedded solar finance in South Africa, has raised $8 million in seed investment. The funding, whose first tranche of $4.25 million came in Q4 2022, is the largest seed round for a tech startup in South Africa, according to Hohm Energy. Hohm Energy says its solution was built as an alternative and sustainable energy source for over 7 million addressable households connected to South Africa’s national grid. Hohm Energy would then generate a final engineering proposal and present it to its banking partners for financing approval. “We are thrilled to announce our inaugural investment in Hohm Energy.

Haomo Secures $14M from Leading Chinese Automaker Great Wall to Advance Self-Driving Technology

After a few years of funding frenzy, autonomous driving companies in China are experiencing a slowdown in investment., an autonomous driving startup backed by Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor, has raised 100 million yuan, or $14 million, from a fresh round of funding, it said today. Four-year-old Haomo has raised over $200 million worth of equity funding, according to startup database ITJuzi, and all of that money was denominated in Chinese yuan. Chinese food delivery giant Meituan and Qualcomm Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Qualcomm, are among Haomo’s past investors. Haomo is competing with a rank of Chinese AV upstarts that raised money from Western VCs and, such as, WeRide, Momenta, Deeproute.

Schmidt Futures Invests $6M in Cloudline’s Quest for Sustainable Aerial Autonomy

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South African aerospace startup Cloudline has secured $6 million in funding as it aims to lead the global frontier of carbon emissions-free autonomous flight. Schmidt Futures, the philanthropic venture founded by ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Wendy Schmidt, is an investor in the seed round. Working in East Africa, notably in Kenya and Uganda, highlighted the substantial impact of infrastructure on people’s lives. The following year, Horne founded Cloudline at the intersection of technology, transportation and its implications on community outcomes. Earlier in the year, Cloudline performed proving flights for authorities in Kenya, marking it as the first airship to fly in East Africa.