The Month That Was May 2021 – Newable Ventures
May was a month with a number of exciting technological breakthroughs, while some of Newable Ventures’ portfolio companies continued to demonstrate strong growth potential.
Global semiconductor chip shortages showed no sign of easing, creating geopolitical tensions between China and America, and hitting technology companies’ bottom line. So integral are semiconductors nowadays they help power cars, washing machines, computers and phones, propelling worldwide semiconductor revenues to $448bn in 2020. With the sooner than expected role out of COVID-19 vaccines in leading economies, consumer spending is robust, increasing demand for new 5G technologies and telecommunications infrastructure.
A group of American scientists at Indiana University believe they have discovered biochemical markers that indicate the prevalence of depression. Current depression diagnosis is subjectively carried out by doctors assessing the patient’s mood against a checklist of symptoms, but thanks to these scientists, this could be about to change through the discovery that levels of certain RNA molecules in a patient’s blood might predict their risk of severe depression.
Molecular diagnostics companies have seen strong growth in recent years, as scientists like those from Indiana University strive to create more personalised medicines, cutting edge diagnostics to care for an aging global population, and provide point of care (PoC) medicines. These trends propelled the US Molecular Diagnosis market to double its size in 2020 to $36bn.
Space X successfully launches
Starship, SpaceX’s massive rocket, completed its first successful landing after rising gracefully 10 kilometres above the Boca Chica in Texas. Elon Musk’s achievements simply reflect a booming global space industry. There are over 10,000 space focused companies globally, with a combined value of over $4 trillion.
The electric vehicle market is stronger than ever with sales growing in 2020, despite a decline in overall vehicle sales. Unintended consequences from this growth in demand are emerging, such as the disposal of raw materials such as neodymium when the battery is no longer usable.
A solution is on its way however thanks to Birmingham University who have found a solution to extract neodymium, which is used in most electric motors. By using hydrogen to shatter the motors into tiny pieces, a sift is then deployed to capture the neodymium, which is often then good enough quality to be recycled back into the electric motor. Although this is no magic bullet – technological breakthroughs that reduce the waste from electric vehicles will only help provide more reasons for economies around the world to transition to electric vehicles.
Newable Ventures Portfolio News
Congratulations to Sphere Fluidics who have been shortlisted for the Royal Engineering MacRobert Award 2021. The award recognises examples of outstanding engineering innovation, which also demonstrate a proven engineering success and a societal benefit.
Cognism raised a further $12.5m, led by AXA Venture Partners and joined by Swisscom Ventures. This capital will be used to support the company’s plans to expand further across Europe and consolidate its position as a leading provider of compliant and intelligent B2B contact data.
The Electrospinning Company completed a £4.5m fundraise, which will be used to expand the company’s capability to deliver medical devices and device components.
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