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Medical simulation platform FundamentalVR raises $20M to help surgeons learn through VR

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FundamentalVR , an immersive simulation platform for medical and health care professions, has raised $20 million in a round of funding to “accelerate skill-transfer and surgical proficiency” through virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) applications. Despite its decades-long promise, VR hasn’t traveled too far beyond gaming circles or niche industrial use-cases, though this is something that Meta and its Big Tech ilk are pushing aggressively to change . However, among the industries that have long embraced VR are medicine and healthcare . By way of example, back in 2009, a neurosurgeon in Canada used a VR-based simulator to carry out a dry-run of a real brain tumor surgery in what was thought to be a world’s first at the time. More recently, VR has been used in all manner of health care scenarios, from treating social anxiety and other mental health conditions , to surgical training . Big impact Medical simulation serves as a powerful example of how VR and related MR syste

Aramco’s Prosperity7 powers AI drug firm Insilico’s $95M round

Hong Kong-based drug discovery and development company Insilico has secured fresh capital at a time that its CEO described as a “biotech winter.” The firm has raised $35 million on the heels of its last tranche in June , bringing its total Series D investment to $95 million. The new round was “oversubscribed”, the firm’s founder and CEO Alex Zhavoronkov told TechCrunch, declining to disclose the company’s valuation. Prosperity7, the venture capital arm of Saudi Arabia’s state oil company Aramco, led the new capital infusion. The fund has been actively scouring for opportunities in and around China that can scale globally and particularly in the Middle East. Insilico, which operates R&D teams across Hong Kong, Shanghai, and New York, seems to be a good fit for Prosperity7. “Prosperity7 inspired us to look into sustainable chemistry,” said Zhavoronkov. Insilico uses machine learning to identify potential drug targets and eventually create the drug. The same technology can also b

Launch price TC Sessions: Crypto tix going, going…

If blockchain, cryptocurrency, decentralized finance (DeFi) and web3 get your entrepreneurial motor running, do not miss our TC Sessions: Crypto daylong deep dive on November 17 in Miami. We have special launch pricing on passes and exhibitor packages, and you can save a chunk of change. But don’t pussyfoot around — supplies are limited, running low and going fast. General admission: $199 (save $250) University students: $49 (save $400) Startup Exhibitor Package: $599 (save $200) Buy your pass or package today, because when they’re gone, prices go up. DeFi, crypto and NFT technologies, a wild mix of potential, volatility and risk, continue to make waves and headlines and make many investors skittish. But other VCs, including traditional Silicon Valley stalwart a16z, remain bullish. At TC Sessions: Crypto , you’ll enjoy in-depth interviews and interactive panel discussions with the sector’s leading founders, builders, investors and regulators. They’ll discuss the current marke

This Yale alum wants to build a telemedicine platform expressly for Alzheimer’s disease

Nikhil Patel is the kind of founder who investors adore. He’s a brainiac who, before studying computer science at Yale, spent three years in high school working as a research associate at the University of Central Florida. “I started working there before I could drive, and it was the most embarrassing thing to get dropped off by my mom at the office,” he says with a laugh. Patel also has a personal connection to the problem he is trying to solve, that of trying to diagnose and address Alzheimer’s disease as early as possible. Watching his grandmother lose ground to Alzheimer’s, and understanding, from a young age, that an early diagnosis and intervention can delay the onset of dementia, he centered his research on building Alzheimer’s-related computerized diagnostics — which wasn’t easy to pull off as a teenager.  (He says he finally found one professor who was willing to publish his findings under the auspices of the lab after more than 100 others turned him down.) Patel did get a

Egyptian startup Convertedin raises $3M, caters to e-commerce brands in MENA and Latin America

Convertedin , an Egyptian startup that operates a marketing operating system for e-commerce brands, has raised $3 million in a seed round led by Saudi Arabia-headquartered Merak Capital. Other participating investors include 500 Global and MSAS. The company, in a statement, said it plans to utilize the funds for strategic hiring and further development of its platform. When brands shift to e-commerce sales, they operate with vast amounts of fragmented data that need to be unified to drive informed decisions and growth. As such, platforms like Convertedin become essential because it caters to brands and businesses with one, some, or all of these objectives: drive personalized and scalable campaigns, convert customers, achieve measurable results and grow revenue. CEO Mohamed Fergany founded the company with Mohamed Atef and Mustafa Raslan in 2019 after working with several brands in companies such as Speakol Ads and Vodafone. His time as an employee opened his eyes to the opportunit

Elon Musk sells nearly $7 billion in Tesla shares

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is at it again selling shares of his electric vehicle company, per regulatory filings. Since Friday, the executive has sold 7.9 million shares, which totals about $6.9 billion. This is the first time Musk has sold shares in Tesla since April, when he disposed of 9.6 million shares, worth about $8.5 billion . Musk, usually an avid tweeter, has been mum on social media as to why he’s shedding his stake in the company yet again. Over the last ten months, Musk has sold around $32 billion worth of stock in Tesla. Tesla shares were down 2.44% today but are trading relatively flat in after-hours, suggesting the stock sales are yet to have an effect on Tesla’s share price. Tesla’s stock took a hit late last year when Musk sold off more than $16 billion worth of sales after polling his Twitter fans on whether he should trim his stake, a move that got him in hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission . When Musk sold stake back in April, TechCrunch mulled the po

The DOJ is reportedly prepping an antitrust suit against Google over its ad business

The Department of Justice is preparing a second major antitrust suit against Google, according to new reporting by Bloomberg . The DOJ could sue Google “as soon as next month,” according to the report, which details that the lawsuit will be filed in federal court in either Washington or New York. Unlike the first major Google antitrust case the federal government initiated during the Trump administration, the new lawsuit would focus on the company’s command of the digital ad market. Bloomberg reports that DOJ antitrust lawyers are in the process of wrapping up interviews with publishers after “years of work” that will ultimate culminate in the coming lawsuit. In 2020, the DOJ sued the tech titan over its dominance in the online search market, accusing the company of “unlawfully maintaining monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising in the United States.” At the time, Google pushed back against the suit, arguing tha

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