Doctours offers packaged medical tourism for U.S. customers


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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Doctours, a Los Angeles-based online platform for booking trips and treatments for medical and dental care around the world, is expanding its services to 35 countries.

Founded by serial travel entrepreneur Katelyn O’Shaughnessy, whose last company TripScope was acquired by Travefy, Doctours aims to connect patients with doctors to receive access to quality, affordable healthcare around the world.

The cost of care in the U.S. continues to climb, leading patients with few options but to travel to the best facilities offering the lowest cost care. Some companies that provide insurance benefits to their employees, like Walmart, are opting to pay for better care upfront by transporting their workers to facilities to receive appropriate care, rather than pay later for shoddy treatment.

Doctours sort of expands that thesis in an international context.

“When it comes to medical and dental treatment, there is no longer any reason to limit ourselves

Katelyn Headshot 2

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Africa Roundup: Yamaha backs MAX, Founders Factory and Norrsken support startups, inside Ethiopia’s tech scene


This post is by Jake Bright from TechCrunch


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Competition in Africa’s two-wheel ride-hail market is accelerating. Nigerian motorcycle transit startup MAX.ng was the latest startup to add funding, raising a $7 million funding round in June with participation of Japanese manufacturer Yamaha.

Based in Lagos, the company’s app-based platform coordinates motorcycle taxi and delivery services for individuals and businesses.

With the Series A funding MAX intends to invest in its tech infrastructure, expand to 10 cities and add new vehicle classes — including watercraft and three-wheeled tuk tuk taxis. The company will also use its new funding to pilot e-motorcycles in Africa powered by renewable energy, CFO Guy-Bertrand Njoya told TechCrunch.

MAX.ng’s moves come after competitor Gokada (also based in Lagos) raised a $5.3 million round in May and announced it would expand in East Africa. Uganda-based motorcycle ride-hail company SafeBoda expanded

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Warburg Pincus announces new $4.25 billion fund for China and Southeast Asia


This post is by Jon Russell from TechCrunch


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Warburg Pincus, the private equity fund with over $60 billion under management, is doubling down on Asia after it announced a $4.25 billion fund dedicated to China and Southeast Asia.

The firm has been present in China for 25 years, and it has invested over $11 billion in a portfolio of over 120 startups that includes the likes of Alibaba’s Ant Financial and listed companies NIO (a Tesla rival), ZTO Express (a courier firm)among others. The new fund will work in tandem with the firm’s $14.8 billion global growth fund which was finalized at the end of last year.

What’s particularly interesting about the new fund is that it has expanded to include Southeast Asia, where internet adoption is rapidly expanding among 600 million consumers, for the first time. It is the successor to Warburg Pincus’ previous $2.2 billion ‘China’ fund and, with the addition of Southeast

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Europe should ban AI for mass surveillance and social credit scoring, says advisory group


This post is by Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch


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An independent expert group tasked with advising the European Commission to inform its regulatory response to artificial intelligence — to underpin EU lawmakers’ stated aim of ensuring AI developments are “human centric” — has published its policy and investment recommendations.

This follows earlier ethics guidelines for “trustworthy AI”, put out by the High Level Expert Group (HLEG) for AI back in April, when the Commission also called for participants to test the draft rules.

The AI HLEG’s full policy recommendations comprise a highly detailed 50-page document — which can be downloaded from this web page. The group, which was set up in June 2018, is made up of a mix of industry AI experts, civic society representatives, political advisers and policy wonks, academics and legal experts.

The document includes warnings on the use of AI for mass surveillance and scoring of EU citizens, such as China’s social credit system

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Canada’s True North conference is not your typical tech event


This post is by Darrell Etherington from TechCrunch


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From the venue and the flashy event website, Waterloo, Ontario’s True North conference (in its second year) doesn’t seem all that distinct from a laundry list of other major tech events that take place each year across North America. But from the moment its main stage programming kicked off on the first day, it was clear this wasn’t your typical gathering place for the tech industry faithful.

The main stage track kicked off with Communitech CEO Iain Klugman. The event is produced by Communitech, an entrepreneurial support and resource organization founded in 1997 to foster the Waterloo region’s technology industry. Communitech sprung out of BlackBerry and the University of Waterloo and the world-class innovation community that surrounds both.

Klugman, a former communications executive and current board member at a number of Communitech-fostered startups and academic institutions, sounded a cautionary and urgent note that continued throughout the day.

Tech conferences, in

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Careteam aims to unite patients and healthcare providers with a platform approach


This post is by Darrell Etherington from TechCrunch


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How best to untangle the Gordian knot that is navigating your own healthcare? It’s a tricky question, and one that seems to have become only more complicated as technology improves, in many regards – systems don’t necessarily speak to one another, and it’s still hard for an ordinary patient without specialist knowledge to make sense of everything. Careteam is a Canadian startup hoping to address that, looking to replicate the kind of advances made possible by technology in industries like ecommerce and enterprise software.

Careteam co-founder and CEO Dr. Alexandra Greenhill has experienced the frustration of being a tech-savvy person in a world of healthcare that can seem technologically inept – both as a practicing GP, and as someone who depends on the healthcare system as both a patient, and a relative of patients with more sophisticated medical needs.

“I spent more than 15 years innovating within the healthcare system,”

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The 10 Breakthrough Technologies That Will Define 2019


This post is by Ashley Viens from Technology – Visual Capitalist


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The 10 Breakthrough Technologies That Will Define 2019

The 10 Breakthrough Technologies That Will Define 2019

Gone are the days of turning stones into spears. With the advent of new technologies, we’ve learned to develop tools that not only make living faster and easier every day, but also improve the future of humanity as a whole.

Today’s Chart of the Week draws from the MIT Technology Review, which features Bill Gates’ predictions for the top 10 breakthrough inventions that will capture headlines in 2019.

Top 10 Breakthrough Technologies

1. Gut Probe in a Pill
These swallowable devices can detect and potentially prevent diseases that cause malnutrition and stunted growth in millions of children worldwide.

2. Custom Cancer Vaccines
Personalized cancer vaccines, targeting only the cancerous cells and leave healthy cells alone, could help ensure faster recovery times and pose fewer risks to patients.

3. Meat-free Burgers
Plant-based and lab-grown food products will ideally alleviate the environmental impact of

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Zava bags $32M to expand its AI-free telehealth service in Europe


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More money is being injected into the telehealth space in Europe. Zava, a long-time player that bills its online service as offering a “discreet and convenient” alternative to an in-person doctor visit, has just announced a $32 million Series A round, led by growth equity firm HPE Growth.

Zava relies on patients filling in an online medical questionnaire which is reviewed by a person from its team of in-house doctors/clinicians as part of the remote consultation process. Test kits and/or medicine can follow in the post or be sent to a pharmacy for the patient to collect.

“Zava provides reliable and convenient access to a qualified clinical team, via written communication, which drives an effective patient:doctor relationship,” says co-founder and CEO David Meinertz. “The questions we ask in our written questionnaire are exactly the same questions a GP would ask — but the patient can do this in their

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Facebook’s Blood Donations feature arrives in U.S., will alert donors in times of need


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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Facebook today is expanding its set of features focused on blood donations. The company since 2017 has been working with blood donation centers worldwide who have been able to use the platform to reach potential donors and then reach out to them in times of need. Now, Facebook is bringing its Blood Donations feature to the U.S.

At launch, Facebook is partnering with leading blood donation organizations across the U.S., including America’s Blood Centers, the American Red Cross, Inova, New York Blood Center, Rock River Valley Blood Center, Stanford Blood Center, Versiti, and Vitalant.

It’s also first launching Blood Donations in select urban markets ahead of a nationwide rollout. To start, the feature will arrive in Chicago, New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., the company says.

The U.S. Blood Donations feature is similar to the one already available

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Providing supplemental educational videos online nets Osmosis $4 million


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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With over one million YouTube subscribers and 500,000 registered users for its supplemental educational videos, Osmosis, which bills itself as the Khan Academy of healthcare, has raised $4 million in new funding.

The round was led by Felicis Ventures, with participation from previous Osmosis investors including GreycroftCoverysFundRxFigure 8Social Starts, and LearnStart,

“By reimagining medical education, Osmosis is addressing a critical impending global crisis: the need to develop and retrain tens of millions of healthcare professionals over the next decade to meet growing demand,” said Aydin Senkut, founder and managing partner at Felicis Ventures.

Felicis is betting on Osmosis in part because of the increasing demand for healthcare professionals around the world. The company cites statistics claiming that roughly 35 million more healthcare professionals will need to be trained by 2030.

Co-founders Shiv Gaglani and Ryan Haynes met at

Continue reading “Providing supplemental educational videos online nets Osmosis $4 million”

Providing supplemental educational videos online nets Osmosis $4 million


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




With over one million YouTube subscribers and 500,000 registered users for its supplemental educational videos, Osmosis, which bills itself as the Khan Academy of healthcare, has raised $4 million in new funding.

The round was led by Felicis Ventures, with participation from previous Osmosis investors including GreycroftCoverysFundRxFigure 8Social Starts, and LearnStart,

“By reimagining medical education, Osmosis is addressing a critical impending global crisis: the need to develop and retrain tens of millions of healthcare professionals over the next decade to meet growing demand,” said Aydin Senkut, founder and managing partner at Felicis Ventures.

Felicis is betting on Osmosis in part because of the increasing demand for healthcare professionals around the world. The company cites statistics claiming that roughly 35 million more healthcare professionals will need to be trained by 2030.

Co-founders Shiv Gaglani and Ryan Haynes met at

Continue reading “Providing supplemental educational videos online nets Osmosis $4 million”

What top VCs look for in women’s fertility startups


This post is by Sarah Buhr from TechCrunch


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A number of promising women’s health tech companies have popped up in the last few years, from fertility apps to ovulation bracelets — even Apple has jumped into the subject with the addition of period tracking built into the latest edition of the watch. But there hasn’t been much in the way of innovation in women’s sexual health for decades.

In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is now a 40-year-old invention and even the top pharmaceutical companies have spent a pittance on research and development. Subjects like polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis and menopause have taken a backseat to other, more fatal concerns. Fertility is itself oftentimes a mysterious black box as well, though a full 10% of the female population in the United States has difficulty getting or staying pregnant.

That’s all starting to change as startups are now bringing in millions in venture capital to gather and treat women’s health. While it’s

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Diving deep into Africa’s blossoming tech scene


This post is by Jake Bright from TechCrunch


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Jumia may be the first startup you’ve heard of from Africa. But the e-commerce venture that recently listed on the NYSE is definitely not the first or last word in African tech.

The continent has an expansive digital innovation scene, the components of which are intersecting rapidly across Africa’s 54 countries and 1.2 billion people.

When measured by monetary values, Africa’s tech ecosystem is tiny by Shenzen or Silicon Valley standards.

But when you look at volumes and year over year expansion in VC, startup formation, and tech hubs, it’s one of the fastest growing tech markets in the world. In 2017, the continent also saw the largest global increase in internet users—20 percent.

If you’re a VC or founder in London, Bangalore, or San Francisco, you’ll likely interact with some part of Africa’s tech landscape for the first time—or more—in the near future.

That’s why TechCrunch put

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Looking Beyond Meat, the future of food investment looks pretty cheesy


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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As Beyond Meat continues its reign as one of the kings of this year’s IPO mountain and Impossible Foods serves up impossibly good numbers for Burger King, venture capitalists seem ready to feast on new food deals.

And judging by market size and the returns that some companies have already realized by targeting the dairy aisle, the next big wave in food tech might just come with a whiff of Camembert. Meat alternatives and cultured meat may be grabbing headlines, but a wave of early-stage companies are looking at the dairy business for the next big thing.

There’s nothing cheesy about the size of the check that Danone wrote for WhiteWave Foods. That over $10 billion payout for WhiteWave’s dairy alternatives was one of the single biggest acquisitions in the new food space. And consumers spent a whopping $61.9 billion on cheese in 2018 — a number that’s expected

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Fika Ventures raises $76M to fund the growing LA tech ecosystem


This post is by Kate Clark from TechCrunch


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The Los Angeles ecosystem is $76 million stronger today as Fika Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital firm, announces its sophomore investment fund.

Fika invests roughly half of its capital exclusively in startups headquartered in LA, with a particular fondness for B2B, enterprise and fintech companies. The firm was launched in 2017 by general partners Eva Ho and TX Zhuo, formerly of Susa Ventures and Karlin Ventures, respectively. The pair raised $41 million for the debut effort, opting to nearly double that number the second time around as a means to participate in more follow-on fundings.

News of Fika’s second effort comes as investment in LA tech continues to reach record highs. In total, more than $60 billion was invested in LA startups in 2018. So far this year, companies headquartered in the area have attracted roughly $25 billion in equity funding, according to data collected by PitchBook.

“It’s still

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Biofourmis raises $35M to develop smarter treatments for chronic diseases


This post is by Jon Russell from TechCrunch


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Biofourmis, a Singapore-based startup pioneering a distinctly tech-based approach to the treatment of chronic conditions, has raised a $35 million Series B round for expansion.

The round was led by Sequoia India and MassMutual Ventures, the VC fund from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. Other investors who put in include EDBI, the corporate investment arm of Singapore’s Economic Development Board, China-based healthcare platform Jianke and existing investors Openspace Ventures, Aviva Ventures and SGInnovate, a Singapore government initiative for deep tech startups. The round takes Biofourmis to $41.6 million raised to date, according to Crunchbase.

This isn’t your typical TechCrunch funding story.

Biofourmis CEO Kuldeep Singh Rajput moved to Singapore to start a PhD, but he dropped out to start the business with co-founder Wendou Niu in 2015 because he saw the potential to “predict disease before it happens,” he told TechCrunch in an interview.

AI-powered specialist post-discharge care

There

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DNA Script picks up $38.5 million to make DNA production faster and simpler


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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DNA Script has raised $38.5 million in new financing to commercialize a process that it claims is the first big leap forward in manufacturing genetic material.

The revolution in synthetic biology that’s reshaping industries from medicine to agriculture rests on three, equally important pillars.

They include: analytics — the ability to map the genome and understand the function of different genes; synthesis — the ability to manufacture DNA to achieve certain functions; and gene editing — the CRISPR-based technologies that allow for the addition or subtraction of genetic code.

New technologies have already been introduced to transform the analytics and editing of genomes, but little progress has been made over the past 50 years in the ways in which genetic material is manufactured. That’s exactly the problem that DNA Script is trying to solve.

Traditionally, making DNA involved the use of chemical compounds to synthesize (or write) DNA in

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Vertex Ventures hits $230M first close on new fund for Southeast Asia and India


This post is by Jon Russell from TechCrunch


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Tis the season to be raising in India and Southeast Asia. Hot on the heels of new funds from Strive and Jungle Ventures, so Singapore’s Vertex Ventures, a VC backed by sovereign wealth fund Temasek, today announced a first close of $230 million for its newest fund, the firm’s fourth to date.

Vertex raised $210 million for its previous fund two years ago, and this new vehicle is expected to make a final close over the coming few months with more capital expected to roll in. If you care about numbers, this fund may be the largest dedicated to Southeast Asia although pedants would point out that the Vertex allocation also includes a focus on India, echoing the trend of funds bridging the two regions. There are also Singapore-based global funds that have raised more, for example, B Capital from Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.

Back to Vertex, it’s worth

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After criticism over moderator treatment, Facebook raises wages and boosts support for contractors


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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Facebook has been repeatedly (and rightly) hammered for its treatment of the content moderators who ensure the site doesn’t end up becoming a river of images, videos and articles embodying the worst of humanity.

Those workers, and the hundreds (if not thousands) of other contractors Facebook employs to cook  food, provide security, and transportation for the social media giant’s highly compensated staff, are getting a little salary boost and a commitment to better care for the toll these jobs can take on some workers.

“Today we’re committing to pay everyone who does contract work at Facebook in the US a wage that’s more reflective of local costs of living,” the company said in a statement. “And for those who review content on our site to make sure it follows our community standards, we’re going even further. We’re going to provide them a higher base wage, additional benefits, and more

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Pearl, the healthcare spinout from LA-based AI startup, GumGum, raises $11 million


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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GumGum, the Los Angeles-based startup that’s spent the past decade applying machine learning technologies to advertising and sports, has spun out a new healthcare startup focused on the dental industry called Pearl.

The company has raised $11 million in financing from undisclosed strategic investors and Craft Ventures, the investment firm set up by former Yammer founder, David Sacks.

GumGum’s co-founder, Ophir Tanz, stepped down from the adtech giant to run the new startup last month, while GumGum’s president and chief operating officer, Phil Schraeder took the reins as chief executive at GumGum.

“This idea was seeded within GumGum,” says Tanz. “I started the process of collecting dental x-rays over three years ago.”

GumGum’s strategy has been to build out a holding company of computer vision driven businesses, Tanz says. Both its portfolio of services for advertising and for sports franchises have become profitable on their own, and the

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