World business news 25.05-01.06

With a $37 million round of funding, Pyka adapts its autonomous electric plane for cargo runs

It’s difficult enough to get a new plane licensed and flying, let alone an autonomous one that’s also electric. Pyka, on the other hand, has evidently impressed the powers that be, raising a $37 million A round and getting to work on a new cargo-carrying Pelican derivative.

In 2019, the business raised $11 million in a seed round, and since then, it has tested and deployed many of its Pelican tiny aircraft, which can take off, fly intricate spraying patterns, and land on their own. A single person may check it and operate it. The advantages of electric motors over gas motors don’t need to be stated.

ARMO has raised $30 million to develop a Kubernetes security platform that is end-to-end open source

ARMO, the Tel Aviv-based startup that created Kubescape, the popular open source Kubernetes security platform, has raised $30 million in a Series A fundraising round lead by Tiger Global. This round included new investment Hyperwise Ventures, as well as current investors Pitango First and Peled Ventures.

Taxfix, a Berlin-based mobile tax filing app, raises $220 million at a valuation of $1 billion

Teachers’ Venture Growth, the rebranded venture fund of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (a prolific investor in innovation for years), is leading the round, with former backers Index Ventures, Valar Ventures, Creandum, and Redalpine also taking part. (Index led a Series C round in 2020, whereas Valar led one in 2018.) This is a significant funding round for Taxfix, which has raised about $330 million since its inception in 2016.

Synthesis $17 million is raised for artificial intelligence to create synthetic data for computer vision

Synthesis AI, a company that is developing a platform for creating synthetic data to train AI systems, announced today that it has raised $17 million in a Series A funding round led by 468 Capital and including Sorenson Ventures and Strawberry Creek Ventures, Bee Partners, PJC, iRobot Ventures, Boom Capital, and Kubera Venture Capital. The funds, according to CEO and founder Yashar Behzadi, would go toward product R&D, expanding the company’s personnel, and extending research, notably in the field of combined real and synthetic data.

Aerones raises $9 million to use robots to inspect wind turbines

It’s obvious that someone’s job it is to examine and clean wind turbines, but the concept had never occurred to me. As these things go, it turns out it’s a rather arduous job, requiring workers to dangle high in the air to get a better look at the blades.

Backed by Y Combinator Aerones was formed with the goal of removing human workers from dangerous situations using drones. On the surface, the solution seemed reasonable. It’s one of the more interesting applications I’ve seen for those kinds of large industrial machines.

Glorang has raised $10 million in a Series A round to help it expand its edtech marketplace across Asia

Glorang, a Seoul-based edtech firm that provides online after-school lessons and extracurricular activities for students aged 3 to 18, announced Friday that it has acquired $10 million in Series A funding from Korea Investment Partners, Murex Partners, and PKSHA Capital in Japan.

Glorang is now valued at roughly $40 million thanks to the additional finance, bringing its total raised to $18 million.

Revise raises $3.5 million to build programming rails for NFTs

It allows developers to create their own NFTs that connect with data streams of their choosing, such as a web3 platform like Chainlink or a Web 2.0 outlet like Weather.com.

The idea, according to the firm, is to have the NFTs change their properties in response to events. For example, a soccer NFT might theoretically interact with FIFA data and alter its property or media content based on real-world field performance.

VisionNav, a Chinese logistics robot manufacturer, raises $76 million at a $500 million valuation

VisionNav Robotics, a company that specializes in autonomous forklifts, stacking trucks, and other logistics robots, is the most recent Chinese industrial robot company to get funding. A Series C expansion round headed by Meituan, China’s food delivery giant, and 5Y Capital, a major venture capital firm in the country, netted the Shenzhen-based automated guided vehicle (AGV) business 500 million yuan (about $76 million). IDG, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, and Xiaomi founder Lei Jun’s Shunwei Capital all participated in the financing.

Vyoma is the latest company to try to avoid satellite accidents with space debris

As you may have heard, space is becoming increasingly crowded, thanks to thousand-satellite constellations like SpaceX’s Starlink and millions of bits of space trash gathered over decades of missions. However, the space-monitoring market is becoming competitive, with a number of companies trying to develop surveillance systems that would help satellite and rocket operators secure their assets from orbital debris.

Vyoma, a German startup spun out of TUM and created by Christoph Bamann, Luisa Buinhas, and Stefan Frey, is one of the newest entrants to the area. Vyoma’s goal is to employ a constellation of observation satellites to observe objects in low Earth orbit (LEO), then use machine learning to automate collision avoidance processes for clients’ spacecraft.

Of the 1 million objects larger than 1 mete”ESA estimates that less than 5% of the 1 million objects larger than one centimeter circling Earth today are tracked on a regular basis. As a result, satellite operators are flying blind, with a high chance of collision,” Frey tells TechCrunch.

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