Really big funding rounds are a bigger deal than ever. Over 56 percent of 2018 worldwide venture funding can be attributed to supergiant rounds of $100 million or more, according to an analysis of Crunchbase data. The trend intensified in the fourth quarter of 2018, with over 60 percent of reported capital coming from supergiants.
Funding totals for artificial intelligence startups are also growing year-over-year. However, assessing by just how much is a tricky endeavor, given the wide range of companies that can be described as AI startups, including many with minimal exposure to the technology.
With Slack reportedly planning to follow in Spotify’s footsteps and go public via a direct listing rather than a traditional IPO, it bears asking: What’s the benefit? Direct listings, it seems, are particularly appealing to companies that don’t really need to raise money or their profile
Austin-based Pensa Systems, a developer of inventory tracking technology, raised $5 million in a new round led by Signia Venture Partners. The company has developed a system that combines computer vision, AI and autonomous drones to track what’s on store shelves.