Tech Digest daily roundup: British tech investment hits £29.4bn this year
Investment in British tech companies outstripped both Germany and France this year, with the UK “creating a $1bn unicorn every fortnight”, the Digital Minister has said. British technology firms raised a total of £29.4bn this year, more than double last year’s figure, according to data compiled by analysts Dealroom. That compares to £11.5bn raised in 2020. This year, tech companies outside of London and the South East alone raised a total of £9bn. Start-up funding rounds have defied the pandemic, while capital being deployed at later stages has increased as more mature companies receive venture investment. Chris Philp, the Digital Minister, added that 29 companies this year have reached so-called “unicorn” status – being worth more than $1bn (£750m). Telegraph
Chinese artificial intelligence start-up SenseTime Group has relaunched its $767m (£580m) Hong Kong share sale. The announcement comes a week after the listing was pulled as Americans were banned from investing in the firm. Washington has accused SenseTime of developing facial recognition software to determine people’s ethnicity, with a focus on identifying ethnic Uyghurs. The company’s shares are due to start trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on 30 December. SenseTime has kept its target of selling 1.5 billion shares in the initial public offering (IPO) for between HK$3.85 (£0.37; $0.49) and $HK3.99 each, according to regulatory filings. BBC
Amazon gadgets aimed at children are hoovering up their data to target them with more products to buy, a report has claimed. Parents are being warned over privacy issues in youngsters’ devices such as the Echo Dot smart speaker and Fire tablet. Analysis by web browser Mozilla found the tech giant is not only able to collect contact details but also personal information such as photos, videos and their location. Its annual Privacy Not Included report claims this data is used to provide, among other things, personalised recommendations. Daily Mail
A Japanese billionaire, his producer and a Russian cosmonaut departed the International Space Station and headed back to Earth wrapping up the first visit by self-paying space tourists to the orbiting outpost in more than a decade. Fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa his producer Yozo Hirano and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin boarded the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, which undocked from the station at 2350 GMT Sunday. They were set to land in the steppes of Kazakhstan at 9:13 a.m. (0313 GMT) Monday about 150 kilometers (about 90 miles) southeast of the city of Zhezkazgan. Maezawa, 46, and his 36-year-old producer were the first self-paying tourists to visit the space station since 2009. Yahoo!
THE latest cut in the Plug-in Car Grant could lead to a reduction in consumer BEV registrations and a negative impact on used car values, said cap hpi. It believes a number of manufacturers may amend their EV new vehicle prices below the new £32,000 point to ensure they retain the incentive. However, some models may become more expensive as they react to the announcement, which leaves almost two thirds of cars previously eligible for the grant outside of current scope. The latest announcement by the Government on changes to the PiCG has prompted questions across the industry about the possible impact on used values for battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Business Motoring