Governments and giant companies are racing to fund startups around the world | the scientist


Bloomberg reported that Chinese e-commerce and internet services giant Ali Baba has raised more than $300 million in new funding for the self-driving technology startup Deep Root.

The new financing was also co-funded by Generation Capital, Fosun RZ Capital, Glory Ventures and Yonbee Partners.

The agency confirmed that the proceeds of the new fundraising will be used to finance research and development projects, expand cooperation with car companies, and increase the size of the fleet of cars used and the team at DeepRoot.

Maxwell Chu, CEO of DeepRoot, said the company’s employees are “extremely excited to launch more self-driving taxis on the streets and expand its urban logistics network. We are excited about the future of autonomous vehicles and the positive social impact we are having.”

“Deep Route” – located in the Chinese city of Shenzhen – aims to increase the size of its fleet of self-driving taxis to more than 150 cars by the end of this year 2021. The company also obtained a license to transport passengers in these cars from the relevant authorities in the US state of California.

According to the German news agency, Sodexo, a French food services and facilities management company, announced that it had acquired a majority stake in the French startup widgetgift.

It is noteworthy that Jerome Prost founded WigGift in 2014 as a full-fledged digital services company that provides digital applications and solutions in the areas of ticketing, discounts, accounting, management and communications, for the benefit of companies, business councils and public institutions.

Sodexo and WigGift intend to offer a broader and more innovative range of services to companies, business councils and public institutions, in a market that has an estimated clientele of 50,000 institutional clients and 5 million employees, according to a Sodexo statement.

In a similar vein, the German electric flying taxi company Lilium will be listed on the US Nasdaq Stock Exchange, and the company will be merged with Coil, an already listed special-purpose entity. in the stock exchange. The deal values ​​the combined company at $3.3 billion.

Olaf Scholz, the German Social Democratic Party candidate for chancellor and who held the position of Finance Minister, had recently revealed that Germany had focused on 3 areas in terms of finance, and mentioned that they are artificial intelligence, quantum computer and start-up financing, as he said in early September: We have allocated 5 billion euros ($5.93 billion) for artificial intelligence, and we are working on a quantum computer with a future horizon in Germany, where two billion euros ($2.37 billion) have been made available for this purpose so far.”

As for the United States, several reports from a group of companies recently mentioned that the Corona virus pandemic has unleashed a tidal wave of entrepreneurial activities, breaking the stagnation of startup companies in several places, especially the United States.

And the American magazine “New York Times” reported in early September that Americans submitted applications to start 4.3 million companies during the past year 2020, according to data from the Census Bureau, an increase of 24% over 2019, which is the largest increase since it began The government in the registry a decade and a half ago. It appears that this year’s orders are on track to be higher than this increase.

The magazine considered that this rise is an amazing and unexpected transformation after a 40-year decline in entrepreneurship in the United States. In 1980, 12% of employers were new businesses. By 2018, the last year for which data is available, that percentage had fallen to 8%.

However, some economists doubt the long-term importance of thriving start-ups. A large part of the new businesses are sole proprietorships, and many are in retail, which may mean nothing more than selling handmade products online.

But others argue that the epidemic has caused lasting changes in the global economy, especially the American one, which is the largest in the world, such as accelerating the shift to online selling, and opening the way for more remote work.

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