The Briefing on Disruptive Technology
The latest news, trends and data in disruption
Disruptive News in Numbers
The total value of food-on-demand startup Deliveroo’s Series F round, after the company added a further $98m. Prior to the addition, the company had been valued at $2bn, and has received almost $1bn of funding over the course of its lifespan.
The number of dockless bikes available for hire through Ofo, after the disruptive Chinese startup rolled out its service to cities across Europe, the US and Australia in 2017.
The percentage of US households that will have voice-enabled smart speakers by 2022, according to a report by Juniper Research. The devices can be used by businesses to expand the way they communicate with consumers through voice-enabled apps.
The year Apple is set to release an augmented reality (AR) headset, according to a report from Bloomberg. AR headsets have seen limited adoption among businesses, but large-scale support could prompt significant opportunities for organisations to both improve their operations and engage with consumers.
The number of connected cars in the Florida city of Tampa’s trial project, which is set to launch in 2018. The project, which will see the vehicles connected to the internet to communicate with roadways and other cars about road conditions and other alerts, is an early trail of what is likely to become a staple of smart cities.
The time Los Angeles commuters will save on each jouney with UberAir, an electric vertical take off and landing (VTOL) service launched by the transport tech company, Uber. Designed to tackle the issue of fast travel in congested cities, the service is set to launch in LA in 2020, cutting the journey from the Los Angeles International Airport to the Staples Center from 1 hour 20 to 30 minutes. The service, which is likely to be followed by similar offerings from a number of other high-profile technology companies, is being developed in partnership with NASA.
The Key Moments in Disruption This Month
Meat a New Challenger
The US meat industry is facing a fresh challenge in the form of Impossible Foods, a Bill Gates-backed company that makes vegetarian food that accurately mimics real meat. The company has secured a major distribution deal with leading US restaurant suppliers, after taking five years to engineer a veggie burger that looks, tastes and bleeds like the real beefy thing.
Source: Financial Times
Asset Management Warnings
Moody’s Investors Service has warned that the asset management industry has left itself open to disruption from technology firms after long-term underperformance was blamed on a failure to innovate. In a report published by the rating agency, Moody’s said that the sector was ripe for a “second wave” of disruption, particularly in light of the focus on low-cost index funds.
Source: Investment Week
Tesla Takes on Haulage
Electric car company Tesla caused excitement this month with the unveiling of the Tesla Semi, a fully electric truck. Capable of matching conventional diesel alternatives in terms of weight carried, it significantly outpaces its traditional counterparts in acceleration, and has a range of 500 miles. Set for release in 2019, Tesla has already received orders for the Semi from Canadian supermarket Loblaw.
Source: Financial Post
Waymo's Driverless Goals
Waymo, Google’s self-driving car company, has announced that it will be launching the Waymo Driverless Service, a ride-hailing service akin to Uber, but in a self-driving vehicle. The plan, which does not yet have a timeframe, was announced at Web Summit alongside the revelation that the company has become the first to test its autonomous vehicles without anyone behind the wheel.
Embracing Emerging Technology
The companies bringing innovative technology into their operations
Citigroup Bets on Staff-Monitoring Software
Investment bank Citigroup has invested $20m in Behavox, a fintech company that uses AI to allow companies to monitor their employees’ phone calls, emails and electronic chats. Such monitoring should enable companies to boost sales and avoid fines, by analysing custo mer relationships and keeping track of any wrongdoing. Several companies in the sector have seen support from investment banks of late, suggesting that the field is seeing a surge in popularity.
Source: Financial Times
RBS Brings Robo-Advice to Investment
The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced that it is rolling out an automated investment advice service for more than five million NatWest customers. The service will allow customers to invest as little as £500 for a fee of £10, and is designed to reach those who lack the confidence or knowledge to pursue traditional investment avenues.
Source: Investment Week
Alibaba Launches $15bn International R&D Project
Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba has launched a $15bn plan to build a slew of research hubs across China, Israel, the US, Russia and Singapore. The hubs will focus on developing products in artificial intelligence, quantum computing and fintech in a bid to keep the company at the forefront of disruptive technologies and allow it to grow its international presence.
Source: Nikkei Asian Review
Google and Cisco Team Up to Take on the Cloud
Technology giants Google and Cisco have announced a partnership to provide hybrid cloud solutions to their customers’ on-premise environments. Cloud services have seen an explosion in recent years, and while the companies have both made gains in the area, they have not matched the might of Amazon. This project looks to be an attempt to gain ground.
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