A|I: The AI Times – Boeing hails an (autonomous) taxi

Plus: OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman ridicules startup fundraising process.

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AI drug discovery startup BenchSci scores $63 million Series C round led by Inovia, TCV (BETAKIT)

Sixteen of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies use BenchSci’s tech, including Eli Lilly, Sanofi, Moderna, and AstraZeneca.

Boeing invests a further $450 million in the air taxi startup launched by Google cofounder Larry Page to develop pilotless aircraft (BUSINESS INSIDER)

Wisk’s 6th generation eVTOL aircraft will be the first candidate for the certification of “an autonomous, all-electric, passenger-carrying aircraft in the US.”

Certn acquires United Kingdom’s Credence to expand background checks solutions (BETAKIT)

According to McLeod, the deal combines the reliability and quality of Credence, with the speed and user experience enjoyed by Certn’s customers.

OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman ridicules startup fundraising process (CNBC)

The tech entrepreneur joked that OpenAI has raised a $250 million series A funding round on the back of six other rounds.

Mila, Vector Institute announce, extend partnerships with Canadian banks (BETAKIT)

Both orgs work with CIFAR as part of the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy.

SparkCognition, which develops AI solutions for a range of industries, nabs $123M (VENTUREBEAT)

AI-focused consultancies have emerged recently to assist industrial as well as oil and gas, renewables, financial services, transportation, and government organizations in implementing AI technologies.

ID.me CEO apologizes for misstatements on IRS facial recognition (AXIOS)

The disclosure came only after an ID.me employee criticized the company on an internal Slack thread for “doing one thing and saying another,” as CyberScoop reported.

Toronto shattered venture funding records in 2021 as city grew accustomed to billion-dollar quarters (BETAKIT)

Investment in Toronto tech grew 400 percent in 2021, according to data from briefed.in. In Western Canada, British Columbia’s tech sector reached new heights last year, and Calgary saw strong results as deal volume in the region almost doubled. Elsewhere, Montréal saw its tech funding grow steadily, while Faire and Applyboard accounted for 85 percent of all capital raised by Waterloo Region startups in 2021.

Tunisian enterprise AI startup InstaDeep raises $100M from AI Capital, BioNTech, Google (TECHCRUNCH)

The Tunisian startup, headquartered in London with offices in Paris, Tunis, Lagos, Dubai and Cape Town, uses advanced machine learning techniques to bring AI to applications within an enterprise environment.

Diversio secures $8.13 million CAD on journey to improve corporate diversity and inclusion (BETAKIT)

Founded in 2018, Diversio had previously only raised $60,000 USD in angel investment. The company’s new Series A funding closed in late 2021.

Identity verification provider Veriff raises $100M Series C co-led by Tiger Global and Alkeon (TECHCRUNCH)

The Estonia-based startup’s “special sauce” is using AI-powered video to verify identifies. To date, the biggest startups in the space include OnFido and Jumio, but so far these rely on still photographs rather than video.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling in-depth Canadian tech stories and breaking news. His coverage is more complete than his moustache. He was also the winner of SABEW Canada’s 2023 Jeff Sanford Best Young Journalist award.

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