Singularity University SU Ventures Portfolio Companies Near $1 Billion Milestone in Funding

SU Ventures Builds Successful, Global Impact Startups That Launch Industries

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – January 11, 2019 – Singularity University, a global community with a mission to educate, inspire, and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to help solve humanity’s grand challenges, announced its SU Portfolio Companies (part of SU Ventures) are responsible for reaching an important milestone at the end of 2018: raising nearly $1 billion in funding.

SU’s 66 for-profit and non-profit Portfolio Companies, including such companies as Made In Space (space-based manufacturing), Matternet (medical diagnostics by drone delivery), Getaround (peer-to-peer car sharing in 2009), Modern Meadow (biofabricated materials), and Clinicai (predictive analytics from human waste at home), have all been the first of their kind and all have created new industries.

SU has chosen to support impact-focused startups that are dedicated not only to solving humanity’s most urgent challenges but doing so at a global scale. These startups need longer runways to success because they often must create new industries, new business models, and/or new regulatory paradigms to achieve their vision. Such ventures need to focus more on long-term outcomes and less on generating short-term returns and therefore require a different kind of capital, a different kind of support system, and a different definition of return and success. SU Ventures provides impact startups the support they need throughout the lifetimes of their companies in order to grow, thrive, and reach billion-scale, globally.

“At SU Ventures, we’re focusing on helping people with everything they need to build  successful global companies that can impact a billion or more people within 10 years,” said Monique Giggy, vice president, SU Ventures, successful entrepreneur and investor, and herself, a product of SU startup programs over the years. “It’s boom time for most startups. But all of this falls apart if you’re building an impact-focused startup. The path to success for these startups is nowhere near as well-defined, especially when it comes to finding funding. Impact startups that address global grand challenges, such as the environment, food, and health, have different capital requirements that mirror their longer development cycles. Our Global Startup Program (GSP) is designed to accelerate the growth and success of these startups.” To learn more about the GSP, the first step on the journey of many of the SU Portfolio Companies, or to apply for an upcoming program cohort, go to su.org/gsp.

Recognition for SU Portfolio Companies in the News in 2018

Environment

A GSP participant which was launched at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2011 and is now available in 66 cities, Getaround envisions a mobility future where every car is a shared car. It was the first company to successfully leverage connected cars to create an on-demand car sharing network at scale and launch the car-sharing industry. In October 2018, Getaround conducted a Series D funding round of $300M led by Softbank with participation from Toyota. Getaround is now valued at $800M.

Security, Disaster Resilience, Health

Hala Systems, a social enterprise focused on technology-driven solutions to problems related to conflict, crises, and natural disasters, is helping more than two million civilians avoid an attack on Syria through early warning system smartphone alerts and by gathering war crimes data.

Health

Be My Eyes, an app that connects blind and visually impaired people with volunteers from around the world, was judged the Best Accessibility Experience application in the 2018 Google Play Awards. It also reached one million in sighted volunteers in 2018.

Health, Prosperity

Matternet, founded at SU’s GSP in 2011 and focused on point-to-point autonomous drone delivery, created the new industry of medical diagnostics by drone delivery to remote or rugged areas. It now has a proposal before the FAA.

Health

The founders of Nexleaf Analytics, which creates wireless sensors, data analytics tools, and alerts to enable responsive interventions, were 2018 co-authors of the World Bank’s Report on the Internet of Things. Read more about Nexleaf.

Water

FREDsense, which produces biosensors for water, was selected in 2018 for the Built in Canada Innovation program to deliver water testing solutions.

Energy

Semtive was ranked #1 on Fast Company’s list of top Latin American companies in 2018 for its work producing affordable wind turbines for distributed renewable energy in urban markets.

Food, Environment

Founded at SU’s GSP in 2015, ImpactVision, which uses hyperspectral technology to build a more resilient and effective global food system, was featured in 2018 as one of the Transformative Twelve in World Economic Forum’s Report on Technology in Food. Read more about ImpactVision.

Disaster Resilience, Health

In 2018, Field Ready, offering technological solutions for logistical issues in humanitarian aid, was recognized by Fast Company in its 2nd Annual World Changing Ideas issues, which had 1,400 submissions in 12 categories. Judges reviewed entries for novel, inexpensive, and practical solutions to dire problems on the ground in war and natural zones. The company was also recognized in a book on humanitarian innovation, The Cutting Edge of Aid.

Environment

In 2018, Modern Meadow was recognized as World Economic Forum Pioneers for their industry-transforming work in biofrabricating next-generation materials through their combination of biotechnology, materials science, and design.

Space

In 2018, Made In Space, which launched the industry of manufacturing in space after its founding at GSP in 2010, won a NASA joint contract to construct large-scale structures in space. Made In Space founders also made a list of the Top 100 Most Influential Leaders in Space Exploration in 2018.

Energy, Disaster Resilience, Prosperity

billionBricks, which is focused on creating a world where no one is homeless and everyone has equal opportunity for economic and social mobility, won the Industrial Design of the Year Award in Singapore in 2018 for its work in providing affordable housing solutions in South and South East Asia.

Learning

Key2Enable won the EdTech Innovation Startup Challenge for developing Key-X, the world’s first keypad that gives people with Cerebral Palsy and other motor, physical, and intellectual disabilities autonomy to use and control any computer, smartphone or tablet to work, write, study, or play. The company is crowdfunding its first product now on Indiegogo.

Prosperity

In 2018, SkyHive launched its AI- and competency-based employment and retention platform, and was subsequently voted one of British Columbia’s Top Tech Startups, a finalist for Small Business BC’s Best Concept Award, and partnered with Canadian Armed Forces to increase gender equality in the Canadian Forces.

ABOUT SU VENTURES

Operating as a bridge between Silicon Valley and exponential technology startups in innovation hubs around the world, Singularity University Ventures connects the people, capital, and ideas that promise to solve humanity’s global grand challenges.

ABOUT SINGULARITY UNIVERSITY

Singularity University (SU) is a global learning and innovation community using exponential technologies to tackle the world’s biggest challenges and build a better future for all. SU’s collaborative platform empowers individuals and organizations across the globe to learn, connect, and innovate breakthrough solutions using accelerating technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, and digital biology. A certified benefit corporation headquartered at NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley, SU was founded in 2008 by renowned innovators Ray Kurzweil and Dr. Peter H. Diamandis with program funding from leading organizations including Google, Deloitte, and UNICEF. To learn more, visit SU.org, read the SU Blog, join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @SingularityU, and download the SU App.

MEDIA CONTACT

Jessica Kersey, pr@su.org