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Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up September 10, 2021

Lux Research
September 10, 2021

Every day our researchers read through the top innovation headlines and provide their expert opinions on important developments and industry news. Our analysts then evaluate news based on potential importance ranking the developments from Truly Disruptive to Ignore.

On Fridays we highlight our Lux Take on the top news for the week. Check out our thoughts on the latest emerging technology and innovation news for the past week below. 

United Energy to roll out "Australia's largest community battery"

Jessica Hernandez, Analyst, Lux Research

Jessica Hernandez, Analyst
Lux Take: Very Important


"The Electric Avenue program includes 40 30 kW batteries, which United Energy will mount on power poles along its distribution grid in Melbourne, Australia. The utility is implementing its own small-scale front-of-meter (FTM) distributed energy storage system, which can improve grid reliability and avoid costly investments to upgrade grid infrastructure in order to accommodate the growing number of residential rooftop solar installations. United Energy's Electric Avenue will allow taking care of utility needs first, unlike with behind-the-meter (BTM) systems, such as Sonnen's or Moixa's, that first intend to increase self-consumption of on-site generation and enable energy bill reductions.

Rabobank pilots carbon projects for supply chain decarbonization

Tim Appachanda, Ph.D., Senior Analyst, Lux Research

Tim Appachanda, Ph.D., Senior Analyst
Lux Take: Very Important


"Rabo Carbon Bank aims to transform sustainability concepts into financially viable projects. It is launching pilot projects in three categories: carbon farming, supply chain decarbonization, and carbon reduction in retail. Within the projects, pilot farmers are assisted by Continuum Ag for soil health and agronomic technical advice in regenerative agriculture and carbon sequestration baseline measurements. Along with carbon capture, this project will improve soil health, reduce pollution, and produce safer food. Companies should look for partners to collaborate with that can offer technological and advisory tools to green and decarbonize supply chains.

Withings announces partnership with One Drop for integrating its predictive health platform

Anshul Gupte, Research Associate, Lux Research

Anshul Gupte, Research Associate
Lux Take: Average Importance


"Withings develops connected smart devices for health monitoring, and One Drop creates complete solutions for monitoring chronic diseases, which are enabled by personalized coaching and tracking. Through the collaboration, Withings devices will be able to connect to the One Drop app in order to help patients meet their goals and receive health forecasts. Partnerships between health monitoring developers create a larger ecosystem between devices and also highlight the value of digital health analytical platforms, which are well-suited to address chronic diseases and track their relation as comorbidities. Companies should see how partnerships with monitoring developers or health platforms could add value to their products."

Turntide gains $225 million for energy efficient smart motor

Michael Sullivan, Analyst, Lux Research

Michael Sullivan, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance


"Turntide Technologies, which provides energy-efficient motors for transportation, HVAC, and refrigeration applications, received a $225 million investment led by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. With a goal of reducing electricity consumption by 64%, Turntide provides its motors for retrofit projects and also targets OEMs directly. The company has caught the attention of other investors, including Amazon. Turntide's patented high rotor pole switched reluctance motor and controller is distinguished by a machine learning-based IoT supervisor. The solution optimizes the operational efficiency of the motor and related motor-driven systems. Companies should monitor Turntide for its potential, but it has yet to announce customers."

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Ai Palette's progress and fundraising signal growing traction of leading food companies in ingredient informatics

Jerrold Wang, Analyst, Lux Research

Jerrold Wang, MBA, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance


"Ai Palette is seeing strong momentum, as it just raised a $4.4 million Series A round and added key customers (like Danone, Kellogg's, and Cargill) covering key markets (like India, China, the U.S., and the EU). Ai Palette is not the only ingredient informatics startup with big names as customers; another recent example is Tastewise working with PepsiCo. The progress of these startups shows that ingredient informatics is witnessing growing traction and decent penetration among the leading companies and that the companies that don't use this technology will fall behind. We expect the ingredient informatics field to see consolidation, as VC funding and market share tend to go to the startups with leading players as customers."

Predicting Alzheimer's disease with almost a 100% accuracy: Too good to be true?

Nardev Ramanathan, Ph.D., Senior Analyst, Lux Research

Nardev Ramanathan, Ph.D., Senior Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance


"Lithuanian scientists recently reported the development of a deep learning method that can predict the onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD) with nearly 100% accuracy from scanning fMRI brain images. While the study is not exaggerating its claims, current convoluted neural network (CNN) models can already predict the onset of AD at about 96.85% accuracy today. This study demonstrates an incremental, albeit significant, improvement. Key players, the bigger takeaway here is that AI-based medical imaging is here to stay as a clinical decision support tool. Healthcare ecosystem partnerships leveraging such capabilities that free up physician time for caregiving and improve the patient experience are the way forward."

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Plantible Foods raises $21.5 million Series A to scale lemna protein production

Harini Venkataraman, Ph.D., Analyst, Lux Research

Harini Venkataraman, Ph.D., Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance


"Led by Astanor Ventures and participation from other investors like Piva Capital, CheilJedang, this funding round brings Plantible's total funding raised to date to $27 million. Plantible is one of the few players focusing on lemna (duckweed) as an alternative protein source and claims differentiation in its extraction technology to isolate RuBisCO protein. Lemna fits the demand for diverse plant protein sources, but scaling up production is still an open challenge for widespread industrial adoption. Although Plantible Foods is slightly off track from its initial commercialization plans, companies interested in alternative protein ingredients should monitor its path forward in scaling up production and obtaining regulatory approval."

Fieldin closes $30 million Series B to expand its specialty crop management platform

Deepest Bista, Analyst, Lux Research

Deepesh Bista, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance


"Led by Fortissimo Capital, Fieldin's total funding now reaches $55 million. In the crowded precision agriculture space, Fieldin's focus on specialty crops is an advantage. The company claims to have its platform managing 20% of almond production largely out of California, and Fieldin claims a 25% improvement in farm productivity by enabling smart spraying, smart harvesting, and smart cultural practices. Since we last spoke with Fieldin, the company has demonstrated an ability to work with a wide range of data from equipment sensors, an important aspect of these software platforms. Direct competitors like Semios have also seen rapid growth, and companies targeting orchards should engage with Fieldin."

Redwood Materials raises $700 million to finance its battery recycling expansion

Abhirabh Basu, Analyst, Lux Research

Abhirabh Basu, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance


"The battery recycling startup led by former Tesla CTO J.B. Straubel has seen strong momentum in the past couple of years. In 2019, Redwood Materials partnered with Panasonic to recycle nearly 3 GWh/year of battery scrap. In early 2021, Redwood announced its second customer, Envision AESC, to recycle manufacturing scrap and supply the recovered materials back to AESC. Redwood's recent funding will provide the necessary capital injection to expand its recycling capacity, hire personnel (it plans to grow from 150 to 600 employees), and scale its technology to reduce the overall cost of recycling. Key players interested in participating in the battery recycling value chain should look to companies like RedwoodBattery Resourcers, and Li-Cycle."

Did you miss last week's news round-up? Check out the blog here. Make sure you never miss a headline by subscribing to our newsletter.

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