This is a monthly column that lists five great deals you may not have noticed each month. Check out last month's post here.
After a rough first quarter for VC, the second quarter was on fire.
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Let's take a look at a few milestones in technology that might be missed, but are worth a second to read.
When we leave our favorite Chinese or sushi place, we all grab our chopsticks.
But how many of us throw them away after using them?
Canadian company ChopValue is here to help with some of our erratic eating habits. The startup has raised $7.7 million in new funding to support a network of waste-to-energy microfactories.
ChopValue has saved more than 100 million chopsticks from landfills by transforming what we normally use to stuff our mouths with lo mein into jewelry, kitchenware and other eco-friendly products.
The company plans to use the new funds to enter new markets in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe. It is already testing microfactories in US cities such as Las Vegas and Boston.
Although ChopValue started with chopsticks, the company's model can be used for other types of reuse.
It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but isn't that where all great ideas come from?
Australia's Cortical Labs, a "biocomputing startup" that combines lab-grown human brain cells with computer chips, has just raised $10 million in a funding round from Horizons Ventures.
Cortical Labs plans to use the money to commercialize a biological computer chip known as DishBrain that has learned to play simple video games like Pong.
Some believe that such developments could be the next breakthrough in artificial intelligence, as human neurons have several advantages over their digital counterparts.
If all that isn't scary enough, In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the CIA, is an investor.
Think about it.
Such a list should include at least one startup using legitimate generative AI, so let's take a look at Harvey's legit AI startup.
The company received an undisclosed $150 million valuation this month from Sequoia Capital, Insider reports.
While the round wasn't widely publicized, Harvey announced a $5 million round from the OpenAI Startup Fund last November when AI was just getting started, so it didn't take long for another big round to be raised. investors even in falling markets.
Instead of using AI for sales or marketing, this San Francisco startup uses it for lawyers, giving them an interface to use AI to edit legal documents or conduct legal research.
Now the question is, what is Harvey's hourly rate?
A new way to make compost
Most of us throw the leftovers down the sink and many of us think they will just disappear into the ether.
Yes, unfortunately it is not. In fact, food waste currently accounts for more than 3 billion tons worldwide each year, and several North American cities have implemented landfill bans and mandatory organic waste separations.
Canada-based Sepura Home has raised a $3.7 million seed round led by sink maker Blanco to help solve the growing problem of cleaning up after meals without making it difficult.
The startup has developed a "smart" composter that connects directly to a pipe under the sink and can effectively separate 99.9% of solid waste that goes down the drain and allows liquid to flow. Waste is stored in closed containers and does not smell until disposed of.
This device will cost around $700 when it starts shipping in a few months.
Can't you do it faster?
While everyone wants to find ways to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, there are natural ways to store it in places like the ocean.
However, once absorbed and stored, it takes millions of years to convert to bicarbonate, so the process is quite slow.
Ebb Carbon, based in San Carlos, California, is trying to speed up that process. Ocean carbon removal startup raises $20 million in two Series A rounds led by Prelude Ventures and Evok Innovations, respectively.
The Ebb solution accelerates the natural alkalinization process, reducing ocean acidification and restoring natural chemistry by allowing more carbon dioxide to enter.
The new cash will allow Ebb to introduce its first system capable of removing 100 tons of CO2 by the end of this year, with a 1,000-ton system to follow soon.
Illustration by Dom Guzman
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