Chris Cunningham of C2 Ventures offers some predictions for what 2022 will bring to tech, covering NFTs, managing change, tech bubbles, and much, much more…
From their purchase of Instagram and WhatsApp in 2012 and 2014 respectively, Facebook has always demonstrated a real understanding of going where the attention is. I think their most recent move is no different. While the name switch seems random to some, it made perfect sense to me for the times we’re in. With their entrance into the VR space through innovations like Oculus Quest, and of course the current surge of NFTs and Web3 technology, rebranding as Meta is a timely decision that makes a lot of sense for where the company — and society — is ultimately headed.
“All kinds of automation are great, BUT a city is about satisfying the quality of life of its residents before everything. Integrated dashboards with AI and robots, and tech-supported decision makings are a life-long technical dream of all generations of urban professionals, engineers, architects, but most of the people would agree that there would not be worse governance than the one of scientist government. For the simple reason that humans are sensitive entities more than rational ones, highly unpredictable and so far never completely understood by any science.”
The use of industrial robotics has been growing steadily since the 1960s when robotic-assisted automation was first introduced into manufacturing in the automotive industry. The advent of the internet and connected devices is now fueling a new uptick in robotic sales as applications are more sophisticated and specialized. Today’s environment with labor shortages, high labor costs, and decreasing hardware costs ensure that the future of manufacturing will be reliant on robotic automation. GrayMatter Robotics is a platform that powers smart robotic assistants that focus on specialized surface finishing tasks in manufacturing like sanding, polishing, and spraying. The platform serves as an operating system that seamlessly integrates with commercially available robots, sensors, and tools to give manufacturers the ability to introduce automation in a timely manner without friction, significant training, or excess cost. Founded in 2020, GrayMatter allows manufacturers to be flexible and more competitive at a time when manufacturing is slowly returning to the states. LA TechWatch caught up with GrayMatter Robotics Cofounder and CEO Ariyan Kabir to learn more about the use of industrial robotics in manufacturing, the company’s strategic plans, recent round of funding led by Stage Venture Partners and Calibrate Ventures.
Grubhub is piloting the use of delivery robots, manufactured by self-driving startup Yandex, at Ohio State University this academic year. The convergence of autonomous vehicle technology and robotics is bringing a future that we only saw in movies to us today, and rapidly. However, the accuracy of autonomous technology aspect has always been the stumbling block that has prevented widescale deployment in the case of delivery. This LA startup has found the answer. Coco is a last-mile delivery service that uses remote human-piloted robots to power deliveries. The technology is versatile enough to be used by restaurants, groceries, convenience stores, and pharmacies; basically, all the essentials that you have become accustomed to ordering on-demand. These industries have been forced to adopt technology in a rapid fashion to address the pandemic and Coco makes local delivery faster, smarter, and more cost-efficient. In fact, Coco estimates that it is able to save up to 30% on delivery times while reducing the environmental footprint. The company, founded in 2019, already has 50+ customers using the technology and has scaled the team to 120. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Zach Rash to learn more about the state and future of the delivery market, the inspiration for the business, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding from investors that include Sam Altman, Silicon Valley Bank, and Founders Fund.
The virtual reality market is on pace to reach $160B/yr by 2023. VR sets like Oculus’s Quest 2 becoming more and more accessible to the masses contributes to this expected meteoric growth. ForeVR, launched by two early Zynga employees, is a VR-focused gaming studio looking to bring popular games to the virtual reality universe. The company’s first title, launched in the Spring, is a bowling game that combines real gameplay with stunning visuals and is designed for all ages. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO Marcus Segal to learn more about the company’s launch, strategic plans, hosting fundraising meetings within the Bowling game, latest round of funding from investors that include Bessemer Venture Partners, Galaxy Interactive, and All Star Capital.
Over the last few years, as enterprises moved to containers to deploy and build applications, there was an increased need to manage these containers. Kubernetes emerged as the orchestration platform of choice for developers. For makers of enterprise applications, they then needed solutions to deploy Kubernetes applications to their customers’ environments. In comes Replicated, an […]
Brands and marketers are always looking for new and innovative ways to reach target audiences. The convergence of technology and mobility solutions like rideshares has enabled a new wave of ad units. For example, taxis for several years have had ads in cars and on top of vehicles, which now have become digitized from analog. This LA startup takes it one step further. Adway is a digital advertising platform that uses proprietary projection technology to display ads on the side of any vehicle without any major modifications. The projectors are affixed to a vehicle’s mirrors and ad buyers can purchase slots based on geography in real-time, enabling sophisticated targeting. The platform also tracks the number of cellular devices in and around the vehicles through Bluetooth to provide measured reach metrics. Adway drivers are given a share of the advertising revenue based on the number of hours they drive. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO Sasha Krylov to learn more about how the idea for the business came to fruition, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding from investors that include Upfront Ventures, Revel Partners, Watertower Ventures, and Inflection Capital.
IoT devices in industrial and commercial settings have become increasingly accessible and more sophisticated with the data that they record and collect. Given the number of disparate sources, how the data collected flows through an organization’s data stack is now a significant concern. Solutions that can streamline the data to provide actionable insights are growing in popularity. Mapped is a cloud intelligence software that centralizes the data from devices from commercial and industrial environments. With a single API, the platform communicates with and extracts data in the device’s native language. For organizations using Mapped, there are a seemingly unlimited number of use cases but at its core, the platform makes connectivity for data collection and analysis seamless. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO and Founder Shaun Cooley to learn more about how Mapped empowers organizations to make next-generation software-powered industrial automation possible, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding from investors that include MetaProp, Allegion Ventures, Singtel Innov8, Greycroft, and ANIMO Ventures.
Meditation for self-healing has been transformative for both physical and mental ailments. Similar to meditation, the controlled use of psychedelics has been shown to be effective in relieving your body of the stress that accumulates in the mind. This LA startup is fusing the two with technology. TRIPP is a digital psychedelics platform that uses XR to immerse users into alternative realities to improve their mental, physical, and emotional state. Available for mobile, Oculus, and Playstation VR, the data-focused company is working towards tailoring its mixed reality offering to individuals to deliver more effective solutions. 2.5M+ sessions have been completed on TRIPP since its launch in 2018. The service starts at an accessible price point – $4.99 per month. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Nanea Reeves to learn more about the intersection of innovation and mental health treatments, the company’s strategic plans, and recent round of funding from investors that include Vine Ventures, Mayfield, AlphaBridge Ventures, Beni VC, Berkeley Club, CJ Group, CTR Capital, Evolution, Robert Goldberg, Tony Greenberg, Grit VC, Incisive Ventures, Inflect Health, Iter Investments, Joanna Popper, Jim Dew, Joe Polish, JLS Fund, Lionheart Ventures, Matt Mullenweg, Mike DeLuise, Murtaza Hussain, NeoKuma, Presence Capital, PsyMed Ventures, Redbeard Ventures, Re.Mind Capital, Social Leverage, WhatIf Ventures, Mike Wilson, and Mark Zittman.
The robotics industry is at an inflection point where the baton is being passed from the scientists to the practitioners. In historical terms, we are witnessing the Edisons of the world harness the innovations of the likes of Faraday to create life-changing businesses and wealth. Automation has moved from smart manufacturing and logistics to fry cooking and salad tossing.