Every week we present the latest startup, tech and innovation news from around the world to keep you updated on the latest happenings. Let’s dive into this week's top 6 stories. >>
Four AI-generated videos from Make-A-Video. Photo credit: Meta AI
# 1 Meta Debuts its New Make-A-Video, An AI Generator From Text Prompts
Meta has debuted a new type of art-generating AI, Make-A-Video, creating impressive high-quality video clips from nothing but text. We’ve all seen images from models like DALL-E, which produces still images from text prompts, but this new AI goes beyond that by creating short videos. This move takes Artificial Intelligence one step further in a technique called unsupervised learning, opening opportunities for content creators and artists to easily create new content.
Although some of the content is quite artistic, some videos might be seen as… disturbing? For example, this video of a golden retriever eating an ice cream cone out of a humanesque dog paw, leaves you wondering how much AI knows about what a dog looks like. At the moment, Make-A-Video is still in research, but it is definitely a step towards the future of content creation.
Photo credit: Sista Collective
#2 France’s Sista Collective Launches a Fund to Finance Women Entrepreneurs
Sista Collective announces the launch of Sista Fund, a new investment fund for female-led and gender-balanced startups. With the backing of 50 Partners with a target size of €100M, the collective aims to reduce the funding gap between female & male startup founders. To benefit from Sista funding, at least 30% of the startup's capitalization table must be held by a woman. This means that the fund will be able to invest in start-ups founded or co-founded by women.
Sista has been a long-standing VivaTech alumni, joining forces with us to fight for a place for women in tech and more diversity. Like supporting our Female Founder Challenge each year or having past CEO of Sista, Debora Loye, on stage speak about the inequality in the tech realm for women as well as refugee inclusion, and how tech can accelerate it.
What can we say… Girls just wanna have fun(ds)
Boredy the Clown, Bored Ape NFT. Photo credit: OpenSea
#3 NFT Trading Volume Collapses by 97% Since January 2022
NFT trading volume has plunged 97%, from its record high of $17B in January to $466M. More specifically, OpenSea, the world's first and largest web3 marketplace for NFTs and crypto collectibles, saw a 99% drop in transactions. The Bored Ape Yacht Club, a collection of 10,000 unique Bored Ape NFTs, has had a 53% price drop. And CryptoPunks, 10,000 unique collectible character NFTs, has seen a 20% price drop.
For those thinking the NFT craze was just a bubble that has now burst, NFTs will most likely not be going anywhere. There are still large sales of NFTs, just not as many. Yet while NFTs are linked more and more with the art world, who aren’t always excited about the idea of the digital assets mixing with traditional art, the collapse has raised questions about whether there is a sustainable future for NFTs in the art world.
Photo credit: We Mean Business Coalition
#4 Carbon Recycler LanzaTech Strikes $500 million Financing Deal
Biotechnology startup LanzaTech secures a $500M deal with renewable energy company, Brookfield Renewable. The American startup captures carbon emissions from manufacturers and then feeds them into bioreactors where trillions of carbon-hungry microbes go to work to eat the pollution and output valuable raw material commodities. These materials can then be turned into sustainable fuels, fabrics and other everyday products.
Brookfield Renewable said that up to $1B is expected to be invested into carbon-capturing and conversion projects with a special focus on production in Europe and North America.
CEO of LanzaTech, Jennifer Holmgren (who we had the privilege to listen to speak on our VivaTech stage in 2020 and 2021!) shared her excitement about the deal on LinkedIn, “We are excited to partner with Brookfield, which we believe will allow us to accelerate deployment and achieve exponential growth, something we need to support our global efforts to bend the carbon curve. Together, we have the potential to target significant commodity markets and keep fossil resources in the ground.”
Photo credit: Contribune
#5 European Union Finalized its First Landmark Crypto Legislation
The European Union has reached an agreement on the first crypto legislation after 2 years of debates. The new legislation, Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA), mandates anyone seeking to issue crypto to produce a “crypto-asset white paper”, a description of their initiative with the project, as well as supporting reserves equal to the value of their tokens in an amount equivalent to the number of tokens issued.
The text will now be sent to the European Parliament and is subject to their approval before becoming published for the European Union. If all goes well, MiCA will start to be enforced in the beginning of 2024. After this monumental regulation, the EU wants to share its insights with the rest of the crypto-using world. European Commissioner, Mairead McGuinness, stated “that crypto regulation would be top of the agenda in discussions with U.S. officials next week.”
Photo credit: The Verge
#6 Tesla’s First Semi-Trucks Will be Delivered to Pepsi in December
Tesla has begun production of the first electric semi-trucks, according to a tweet from its CEO, Elon Musk. The first order of 100 vehicles, made by the giant Pepsico, was placed back in 2017 when Tesla first announced the idea.
Musk promised that the trucks can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 20 seconds, even with a full load, and their battery range of 300 or 500 can be charged to 70% capacity in just 30 minutes. The tech CEO also mentioned in a tweet that the trucks “are super fun to drive.” The delivery of these electric-powered trucks is expected on December 1st, 2022.
That’s it for this week. We’ll see you next week for the next round up of top startup, tech, and innovation stories!