Every month we recap the top startup, tech, and innovation news from around the world. Here are the stories that made headlines in February. >>
Photo credit: The CEO Magazine
#1 Spotify Founder Launches New HealthTech Startup, Neko Health
2 February. Music streaming platform Spotify founder Daniel Ek launched a new healthtech startup, Neko Health, which specializes in providing body scans powered by AI.
“Early detection and prevention of serious illness would mean that we can avoid both the human suffering and the high social costs that serious illness entails. With our technology and AI, that future is now a possibility. This could be the basis for a whole new era in healthcare,” says Hjalmar Nilsonne, Ek’s cofounder and CEO of Neko Health.
Photo credit: NurPhoto via AFP
#2 Google Announced Bard to Combat Rival ChatGPT
6 February. Google announced a ChatGPT rival, Bard, available to a select group of testers, with wider availability in ‘coming weeks.’
However, Twitter users were quick to notice some inaccurate information in the Google blog post announcing Bard. A hard start for the AI chatbot.
A Google spokesperson responded to the comments in a statement, “This highlights the importance of a rigorous testing process, something that we're kicking off this week with our Trusted Tester program.”
Photo credit: Microsoft
#3 Microsoft Launches New Bing Search Engine with ChatGPT Integration
7 February. Just a day after Google’s big AI announcement, Microsoft launched a new Bing search engine with OpenAI's ChatGPT integration, with the aim of gaining back some search engine dominance from Google.
Users that had access to the search engine have shared flaws of the integration, from misinformation and revealing confidential information to arguing with users.
Photo credit: Zbynek Burival
#4 Renewable Energy Forecast to Dominate Global Power Sector Growth by 2025
8 February. Renewables and nuclear energy are forecast to dominate global power sector growth by 2025, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). 90 percent of new electricity demand will come from solar, wind, and hydropower.
“We are close to a tipping point for power sector emissions,” Fatih Birol, IEA executive director said in a press release. The IEA predicts renewable energy sources will account for 35% of the world’s electricity generation by 2025.
Photo credit: News, European Parliament
#5 EU Parliament to Ban Sale of Carbon-Emitting Petrol & Diesel Cars by 2035
13 February. The European Parliament approved the ban on the sale of new carbon-emitting petrol and diesel cars by 2035, paving the way for zero-emission electric vehicles. Road transport currently accounts for one-fifth of the EU’s carbon emissions.
Photo credit: TNW
#6 UK Scientists Awarded €67M For Breakthrough in Quantum Computing
14 February. Scientists from the University of Sussex and Universal Quantum were awarded €67M after making a breakthrough in quantum computing. They successfully transferred qubits between quantum computer microchips, enabling larger and more powerful tech to solve societal challenges, such as medicine development, the creation of new materials, and climate change solutions.
Photo credit: Dronomics
#7 Dronomics, The World’s First Cargo Drone Airline, Raises $40M
17 February. Dronamics, the world’s first cargo drone airline with a license to operate in Europe, raised €40M in pre-Series A funding. The startup, originally from Bulgaria, plans on using drones that can carry up to 350 kg of cargo at a distance of up to 2,500 km.
Svilen Rangelov, co-founder and CEO of Dronamics, explained to TechCrunch, “We’re the size of a delivery van and we can cross all of Europe in 12 hours or less at a fraction of the cost of airfreight. That means we operate in a space between airfreight and road freight, and by creating a faster, cheaper, greener middle-mile, we can help customers achieve tremendous savings.”
Photo credit: La French Tech
#8 La French Tech Revealed the 2023 Next40/120 List
19 February. La French Tech Next40/120 revealed this year’s selection. This prestigious program, with the backing of French President Emmanuel Macron, handpicked the top 120 French startups and scaleups that have set the tech world alight.
In addition to this list, the Next 40 are an elite group out of the 120 with the potential and drive to conquer the global tech arena to become the next big thing!
We're proud that 88 of these powerhouses have graced the VivaTech stage in the past with their innovation and energy.
Photo credit: Lime
#9 Lime Reports First Profitable Year
21 February. Lime becomes the first micro-mobility company to post a full profitable year after hitting a record-breaking $466M in gross bookings and $15M in adjusted EBITDA in 2022. Now that Lime has figured out how to make micro-mobility profitable, the company has its eyes set on an IPO.
CEO Wayne Ting expressed, “We’re getting ourselves ready [for the public markets] by improving our business, by showing that we don’t grow at the expense of losing money, but we grow in a sustainable, profitable way. […] We’re going to do everything we can to grow the business, improve margins, so that whenever the IPO market comes back, we’re ready to take advantage of it.”
Photo credit: the Malaysian Reserve
#10 Apple Edges Closer to Bringing No-Prick Glucose Monitoring to Their Watch
23 February. Apple is reportedly closer to developing a noninvasive glucose test for its Apple Watch. The sensor, based on technology acquired in 2010, will measure glucose levels and may also detect pre-diabetes without needing to prick the skin for blood. This technology could help millions of diabetics all over the world.
And for good measure, here are 5 bonus headlines:
- Google Chrome’s newest update includes tools to save more energy and optimize memory usage.
- Uber is moving to the cloud, driven by hardware supply disruptions of its current data centers.
- Amazon Web Services pairs with Hugging Face to target AI developers.
- Starlink is testing a ‘global roaming’ internet service that will allow users to connect from almost anywhere on land in the world.
- Skies begin to clear for hydrogen-powered flight for startups and large aviation companies.
That’s it for this month. We’ll see you in a month for the next roundup!