Top tech startup news for Thursday, January 26, 2023: Elaborate, Inscribe, Renaissance Fusion, SAP, and ZOLA
Good evening! Below are some of the top tech startup news stories for Thursday, January 26, 2023.
Surgeons in Galway have successfully carried out the first robot-guided coronary intervention in Ireland and the UK
Galway University Hospital (UHG) becomes the first in Ireland and UK to use robotic technology in heart procedures. The new technology – called CorPath – is used in stent procedures to relieve blockages in the arteries of the heart. The innovative procedure combines the benefits of coronary intervention with robotics precision.
According to the Irish Journal, the technology allows for greater precision in positioning stents, allowing interventional cardiologists to move the stent a millimeter at a time. “It also allows the medical team to have an enhanced, close-up view of the angiographic images and information during the entire procedure, ” The Journal reported.
As part of the operation, interventional cardiologists were also able to use the robot as an extension of their own hand, allowing for robotic precision. Professor Faisal Sharif, Consultant Cardiologist, who carried out the first procedure at the hospital, said the addition of the CorPath Robotic Angioplasy is a game changer.
“Robotic innovation has come a long way in the last decade. And we in Galway are delighted to have performed the first Robotic Guided Coronary Intervention in Ireland and the UK,” Professor Sharif said. “The main advantage of robotics is that it is safe and very precise in stent placement. It allows the accurate placement for up to 1mm at a time,” he added.
SAP to lay off 3,000 employees and explore the sale of Qualtrics, a survey startup it acquired in 2018 for $8 billion
German enterprise software giant SAP announced Wednesday it will be laying off 3,000 employees, or about 2.5% of its workforce. In addition to the layoff, SAP also said that it was exploring the sale of its stake in US-based survey software maker Qualtrics, which it acquired in November 2018 for $8 billion.
During the fourth-quarter 2022 earnings call, SAP CEO Christian Klein said: “We are further focusing our portfolio in areas where we are strongest to continue our accelerated growth.”Klein also added: “This led us to announce today that we intend to carry out a very targeted restructuring in select areas of the company that will impact up to 3,000 positions and include a headcount reduction of about 2.5%.”
SAP is the latest in a series of big tech companies to announce major layoffs this month. Last week, Google’s parent company Alphabet also announced it would lay off 12,000 employees as companies stake their futures on artificial intelligence (AI).
Qualtrics was originally founded in 2002 by Jared Smith, Ryan Smith, and Stuart Orgill. The company provides a technology platform that organizations use to collect, manage, and act on experience data, also called X-data. The Qualtrics XM Platform is a system of action, used by teams, departments, and entire organizations to manage the four core experiences of business—customer, product, employee, and brand—on one platform.
Ex-Google CIO joins the board of Tesla-backed renewable energy startup ZOLA
Tesla and Total-backed renewable energy startup ZOLA Electric said today that former Google Chief Information Officer Ben Fried has joined its board of directors. In an announcement on Thursday, the San Francisco-based ZOLA Electric said that Ben has been appointed as a Senior Advisor and member of its Board of Directors.
Before joining Zola’s board, Ben was the Chief Information Officer at Google from 2008 to 2022. He’s also one of the most innovative technology companies in the world. At Google, he led a team of thousands of engineers, created a new vision for IT, and used Google’s product engineering disciplines to build breakthrough solutions to Enterprise problems.
From 2014-2022, Ben was also Google’s New York site lead, the company’s largest site outside the Bay Area, which grew from 5,000 to 14,000 under Ben’s leadership.
Prior to that, Ben spent 13 years at Morgan Stanley – the multinational financial services company – as a Managing Director, where he designed and built the firm’s e-commerce and intranet architecture and infrastructure.
Ben’s track record and proven leadership in strategy, technology, and innovation will materially assist ZOLA in its rapid expansion, and complement ZOLA’s impact-driven mission – to develop enterprise technology solutions to deliver Energy Equality worldwide. Ben’s appointment will significantly strengthen ZOLA’s capacity to develop world-class distributed energy systems, offering a decarbonized, decentralized, and digitized primary power solution to the global Energy Access problem.
Elaborate lands $10M in Seed funding to simplify lab results for patients and offer insights about their health
Elaborate, a New York-based startup that simplifies lab results for patients and offers insights about their health, announced today it has raised $10 million in Seed funding led by Tusk Venture Partners, with participation from Founder Collective, Company Ventures, Bling Ventures, and Arkitekt Ventures, as well as renowned investors such as Elliot Cohen (Pillpack, Amazon), Sara Wajnberg (Oscar), Scott Belsky (Behance, Adobe), and Sean and Peter Glass, MD (Advantia).
Elaborate was founded in 2021 by Nicole Bocskocksy, a health-tech executive with early and founding experience at both Oscar and Parsley Health, with teammates. The startup is also backed by investors from fast-growing, successful health and consumer businesses including Pillpack, GoodRx, Behance, Flatiron School, Advantia Health, and Greenhouse.
In conjunction with the funding, Elaborate also announced that Jordan Nof, Managing Partner and Co-Founder at Tusk Venture Partners, will join its Board of Directors.
Since its inception two years ago, Elaborate seamlessly integrates with a doctor’s existing electronic medical records (EMRs) to deliver patients personalized and contextualized lab results that offer insights about their health and action items in real time. By providing contextualized health data, Elaborate reduces unnecessary back-and-forth between patient and doctor, while giving patients greater agency over their health.
Renaissance Fusion raises $16.4M to develop nuclear fusion technology and generate unlimited carbon-free energy
Renaissance Fusion, a Grenoble, France-based startup that develops nuclear fusion technology, has recently raised €15 million ( $16.4 million) in a seed funding round led by climate tech venture capital firm Lowercarbon Capital, with participation from European investors including HCVC, Positron Ventures, and Norrsken. Renaissance Fusion will use the fresh cash infusion to triple its workforce to 60 and purchase additional equipment it needs to facilitate R&D and conduct its first experiments on the way to commercializing the technology.
Founded just two years ago, Renaissance Fusion is currently focused on developing parts that can be used in nuclear fusion reactors. Renaissance Fusion is also the first magnetic confinement fusion startup in continental Europe.
Unlike the existing nuclear reactor which uses nuclear fission, nuclear fusion harnesses the power of an artificial star on planet Earth to generate electricity and has great advantages over our current sources of energy since nuclear fusion produces no carbon, sulfur, or nitrogen emissions.
Nuclear fusion is a nuclear process where energy is produced by smashing together light atoms. Theoretically, nuclear fusion could provide a cheap, clean, and almost boundless source of energy. For example, one tablespoon of liquid hydrogen fuel—a mix of deuterium and tritium—would produce the same energy as 28 tons of coal.
The startup is building high-temperature superconducting coils called stellarators (from ‘Stella’, Latin for ‘star’), which the startup calls “the most efficient, steady, and stable fusion reactors on earth,” to demonstrate net fusion electricity. These stellarators generate strong magnetic fields, allowing a smaller reactor to achieve the same performance as a larger one.
Inscribe raises $25M in funding to automate document fraud detection and fight financial fraud with AI
Inscribe. a fraud detection startup that automates document fraud detection and fights financial fraud with AI, has raised $25 million in Series B funding to “expand the breadth of our fraud detection capabilities, as well as introduce state-of-the-art Risk Intelligence innovations, “Inscribe said in a blog post.
The round was led by Threshold Ventures and joined by existing investors Crosslink Capital, Foundry, and Uncork Capital, as well as angel investors including Box co-founder Dylan Smith and Intercom co-founder Des Traynor, bringing the company’s amount raised to $38M.
The funding news comes on the heels of the company seeing a 3x year-over-year increase in ARR and a 4x year-over-year increase in monthly usage. Inscribe will also use the new capital infusion to grow its Dublin and US offices and expand deeper into the financial services sector.
Inscribe was founded in 2017 by co-founders Conor and Ronan Burke. The startup opened a Dublin, Ireland office after raising $3 million in funding in December 2018.
Inscribe, which works with fintech lenders, banks, and payment processors including BlueVine, Credito Real and Amount, along with numerous Fortune 500s, has experienced 12x growth year over year, as it has been used to help identify fraud within high-trust online applications such as lending and account openings.