Sifted Newsletter


Chip designer Arm has filed for a potential $64B IPO. This is relevant to startups needing AI compute power, which requires specialty chips called GPUs.

Key Facts & Points

  • AI models need vast compute power and GPUs. Startups compete with tech giants for limited GPUs.
  • Index Ventures partners with Oracle to provide its portfolio startups with free access to GPU clusters.

Northvolt raises $1.2bn

Europe's top battery maker Northvolt raised $1.2B from investors like BlackRock. Its Poland plant produced its first energy storage battery for delivery this year.

The convertible note round was from North America-based investors.

Speedy grocery updates

Getir is letting go 10% of staff (2,500 employees). Oja, a UK-based African grocery delivery startup, has stopped operations. Oja is the latest company added to the 2023 "gone under" list.

Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal

Microsoft has submitted a revised proposal to acquire Activision Blizzard for $69B to overcome regulatory objections. UK's competition regulator previously blocked the takeover.

Foreign-born founders of Top 100 UK startups

39% of the UK's top startups have an immigrant founder, down from 49% previously. This suggests Brexit and Covid have reduced foreign entrepreneur immigration.

VC capital raised in Europe after Q2 2023

Europe raised $10.2B in VC funds this year so far, two-thirds less than last year's $30.1B total. But Europe's share of global VC funds increased to a high of 13.1%.

Asia's share also rose, while North America's declined.

The Neuron Newsletter

Businesses Can Now Train ChatGPT On Their Data

OpenAI lets users upload data to fine-tune ChatGPT-3.5 for customized business use cases. This trains it to perform very specific tasks.

Key Facts & Points

  • Fine-tuning is expensive, 8x more than just using the base ChatGPT-3.5 model.
  • Some users have privacy concerns about sharing business data with OpenAI.
  • Prompt engineering is often still good enough without fine-tuning.

AI Will Change Investing, But Not Yet

While AI could significantly improve investing and wealth management, firms are having trouble using and affording it currently.

Key Facts & Points

  • AI could speed up processes like identifying investment opportunities and tailoring portfolios.
  • Few examples exist of AI drastically improving investing. Jim Simons' Renaissance Technologies is a rare exception.
  • The FT notes wealth management's difficulty leveraging AI, likely due to mini-recession.

Interesting recent AI news

Key Facts & Points

  • Meta released a speech-to-speech model for 100 languages.
  • Microsoft's AI design tool is available in the US for Edge.
  • Voice model ElevenLabs is now freely available.
  • Google's Sergey Brin called this the most revolutionary time for AI.

Wednesday Wirings

A list of recent AI startup funding rounds is provided.

Key Fundings:

  • HuggingFace raised ~$200M at a $4B valuation.
  • Self-driving startup Helm raised $55M.
  • AI persona startup Prins AI raised $22M.
  • Homework helper Sizzle AI raised $7.5M.

Creators Weekly Newsletter

Game On: Conquer Content Creation Like Never Before

Leveraging TikTok/Instagram trends for increased engagement.

Key Facts & Points

  • The "Is that what's happening?" trend is used to poke fun at expectations or beliefs. Creators lip sync to the trending sound and include text calling out the expectation.
  • The "I love the way it feels to be a hater!" trend involves naming a situation where you're a hater, like hating open-toed shoes on planes.

Handy Dandy Tools

Key Facts & Points

  • Analytify is an alternative to Google Analytics compatible with GA4.
  • CustomGform customizes Google Forms and embeds them on websites.
  • Submagic creates AI-powered captions for short videos.
  • Webcam Effects is a Chrome plugin with varied video backgrounds.

Eric Newcomer Newsletter

Hydrogen Space Balloon

An interview with Jane Poynter, CEO of Space Perspective, which is building hydrogen balloons for space tourism. They discuss the recent fatalities on an OceanGate submersible trip.

Key Facts & Points

  • Space Perspective has raised almost $70M from investors like Prime Movers Lab. It hopes to begin commercial operations around end of 2024.
  • Poynter says the OceanGate incident shows the need for reasonable regulations and oversight in adventure tourism.
Space tourism more akin to safaris than Virgin Galactic

Poynter says Space Perspective's experience is more like life-changing safaris versus Virgin Galactic's suborbital spaceflight. Hence its $125,000 ticket price.

There is huge demand from people wanting a once-in-a-lifetime trip to space.

How do you prevent accidents in the air?

Space Perspective uses proven balloon technology and robust parachute systems as backups. The flight system stays consistent, never transitioning between systems.

The Sequence Newsletter

Recent AI2 Research

Key Facts & Points

  • AI2 released Unified-IO which performs vision and language tasks in one model.
  • SwiftSage simulates fast intuitive and slow deliberate thinking for complex tasks.
  • AI2 OLMo is an open language model intended to benefit all researchers.

Reasoning is the next frontier for LLMs

Etzioni discusses approaches like task decomposition and uncovering LLM reasoning chains as ways to enhance complex reasoning.

Key Facts & Points

  • Task decomposition breaks problems into smaller pieces LLMs can solve.
  • Uncovering reasoning chains spots faulty logic and allows users to correct wrong beliefs.

AI2's ML Infrastructure

TLDR: Etzioni outlines AI2's internal ML tools like Beaker, Tango, and a library for easy web app creation.

Key Facts & Points

  • Beaker manages experiments and workloads across GPU clusters.
  • Tango organizes complex workflows and integrates with Beaker.
  • The web app library streamlines building apps with an AI2 look and feel.