33 Companies That Raised Over $1 Billion in the Last Two Weeks 🤯🤑
Two robotic exoskeleton companies, an MIT lab spinout authenticating products with invisible diamond dust, and cost-contained health insurance targeting drug costs are included in the features!
If you’re new here, I’m Abigail! A mechanical-engineer-turned-investor at Hyperplane, an AI/ML-focused seed-stage venture capital firm in Boston. Every two weeks, this newsletter lists Boston’s latest financings and highlights local and macro news.
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🍂 🍃 Happy Sunday! Writing to you from the airport! There won’t be an issue of Boston Tech Deals for the weeks covering the end of December, but I’ll be back mid-Jan!
With that being said, there’s plenty to hold us over in this issue. Over these last two weeks, we saw 33 Boston-based startups raise over $1B in private financings. Notably, two companies, Verve Motion and German Bionic, both raised rounds for their human exoskeleton suits, the former Chief Marketing Officer of Pill Pack is up to something stealth-y, various specialty digital health companies raised rounds, and climate tech was all the rage with companies like Quaise Energy, Fourth Power, and Tetra landing fundings.
I’m incessantly adding things to my “To Google” list. So I’m listing some stuff I’m looking into this week, please reach out if interested in chatting about any of it! Check out the bottom of this email to see findings from last week’s topics.
Interests this week (all of the random stuff I’m Googling and thinking about):
⛏ What’s the deal with rare earth metal mining and where are these activities concentrated? Are there areas for decarbonization here? 👥 What makes a good executive search firm in any industry? 🐘 What are the migration patterns and science behind The Great Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti and Maasai Mara in Africa?
Boston news: Congruent Ventures, pre-seed deep tech/climate tech VC firm based in SF but with a recent presence in Boston (welcome, Christina!!), raised $275M for its third fund. Macy’s won’t have their tree in Downtown Crossing this year, but the Comm Ave mall will extend through Kenmore this year! The Boston Tea Party celebrated their 250th anniversary last night with fireworks and and reenactments to commemorate the historic events. And in other news, Harvard President Claudine Gay was voted to stay serving the university by trustees of Harvard — this comes after UPenn’s president, Liz Magill, resigned over her comments about the school’s antisemitism policies.
Other stuff: Pitchbook estimates that ~3,200 private venture-backed U.S. startups that collectively raised $27.2B in venture funding have gone out of business in 2023 (excludes the big failures that went public like WeWork, and they said this data probably undercounts the total as many companies go out of business quietly). Also in the news: Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) introduced a new chip, Instinct MI300X, that can run AI models faster than rival Nvidia’s chips, and attracted the likes of Meta, OpenAI and Microsoft who all confirmed they will use the new chip. And Intel, though sparse on specifics, announced another new chip, Gaudi3, set to rival AMD’s new chip and Nvidia's H100. And in other news, the investment firm General Atlantic has allegedly filed for an initial public offering, says Bloomberg. The outlet reports that the firm is considering listing as soon as next year depending on market conditions.
Also, a Gen-AI digest from S&P to recap the latest from this past hyped year.
And so, with that, let’s get into it.
Boston Financings of 12/04-12/17
Financings are listed from smallest to largest. Biotech financings over $80M+ are usually not covered.
The total amount of disclosed funding over the last two weeks hit over $1 Billion. Yup.
Drink Celly | $100K | Food & Bev
Canned vodka soda brand, Celly, has raised $100K from 1 investor in the form of a convertible SAFE note. Founded by a father, Kevin Dooley, and his two sons, John and Tyler Dooley, Celly’s 5% hard seltzer avoids adding sugar and artificial ingredients and follows certain best practices learned from John’s energy drink company, Wake Up Water.
Mainstem Media | $325K | Media Tech
Mainstem, a stealth-mode company dedicated to creating podcasts and documentaries to facilitate productive disagreement, has raised $325K from 9 total investors towards a total offering amount of $500K. Mainstem was founded by Alex Grodd, the co-founder of BetterLesson, one of the first platforms for teachers to share lesson plans. And that’s about all I could dig up on this one.
Diametryx | $1.1M | Stealth
Diametryx, a stealth-mode company co-founded by Entrepreneur in Residence at Harvard’s Office of Technology Development and a seasoned executive in the field of life sciences and nanomaterials, Michael Natan, has raised $1.1M in the form of convertible notes from 5 total investors.
Envoya Bio | $2M | Biotech
A drug delivery platform leveraging AI and bio-compatible nanoparticles to target mutated genes, Envoya Bio, has officially launched with a $2M pre-seed round. Founded by Shira Orr, a former postdoc at Harvard Medical School, Envoya’s platform aims to overcome the challenges associated with traditional gene therapies by considering payload features, target characteristics, and the versatile nature of polymers to predict the ideal Nanoparticles for the target.
PredictAP | $3.5M | PropTech
Provider of AI-powered invoice capture for real estate accounts payable, PredictAP has raised $3.53M from 3 total investors in the form of convertible notes. PredictAP’s platform aims to address the manual process of invoice capture and coding by leveraging historical invoice data to rapidly and accurately code new invoices. They raised a $3.4M Seed round in 2021.
Ohai.ai | $4M | Stealth
Stealth-mode company that was formerly known as Proof of Learn (I covered them back in March when they raised a $15M Seed round led by NEA) and founded by the former founder of Care.com, Sheila Marcelo, Ohai.ai has closed $4M of a $6M offering from 12 investors in convertible notes. According to LinkedIn, Ohai.ai is now a startup leveraging AI to improve the lives of families, offering new tech solutions for families and addressing the role of Chief Household Officers (CHOs) — different than the premise of Proof of Learn, a gamified web3 education platform.
Minerva Biotechnologies | $4.5M | Biotech
Developer of cancer immunotherapies targeting solid tumors and stem cell therapeutics, Minerva Biotechnologies, has raised $4.51M from 9 total investors towards a total offering amount filed for $8M. Founded in 1999, Minervas fundamental discovery is that both cancer cell and stem cell growth are mediated by the same two molecules: the growth factor NME-p and the growth factor receptor MUC1.
Ray Fitness Systems | $4.5M | Stealth
Ray Fitness Systems, a stealth-mode startup founded and led by the former Chief Marketing Officer of Pill Pack, Colin Raney, has raised $4.5M from 9 total investors. About a year ago, Colin announced plans to step away from his post-Amazon acquisition role as their Director of Pharmacy and Clinic without details of an explicit next move. One to watch!
WriteWise | $5M | InsurTech
WriteWise, a startup developing a platform for cost-contained health insurance that aims to reduce the total cost of health insurance by specifically targeting drug-related costs, has raised a $5M Seed round from Virtue and Altai Ventures. Founded by Matt Levinson and Hariharan Sundram, WriteWise leverages unique underwriting and insurance tools to contain pharmacy-related costs and generate material savings for both employers and employees by connecting insurance and reinsurance carriers with various pharmacy stakeholders and distributors.
Droplet Biosciences | $7.6M | Biotech
Droplet Biosciences, a startup that has developed a non-invasive process to access lymphatic fluid of cancer patients after surgery, has closed $7.6M of equity, options, and other securities from 21 investors towards a total offering filed for $14M, supposedly a late/expanded filing for their $8M Seed round led by The Engine Ventures that was announced back in March. Droplet Biosciences collects lymphatic fluid rich in T-cells, proteins, and other biomarkers and offers insights into the body’s immune response to cancer more effectively than blood, with the first application being to detect residual disease in head and neck cancer patients immediately after surgery.
DataCebo | $8.5M | Data Infra
Creators of an open source library called Synthetic Data Vault (SDV) for generating synthetic data, DataCebo, has raised an $8.5M Seed round led by Link Ventures and Zetta Venture Partners. Co-founded as an open source project by two MIT researchers out of the Data-to-AI lab housed within MIT's College of Computing, DataCebo creates synthetic data from relational and tabular databases, enabling enterprise customers to build custom generative AI models on prem while reducing bias and privacy risks common with real-world data.
CloudZero | $9.5M | Enterprise SaaS
A cloud cost intelligence platform, CloudZero, has raised $9.5M from 5 total investors on the heels of a recent $32M Series B round from Innovius Capital and Threshold Ventures with existing investors Matrix Partners, Underscore VC, and G20 Ventures back in June of this year. Erik Peterson co-founded CloudZero with Matt Manger after identifying an “intrinsic” connection between efficient architecture and cost-effective cloud solutions. CloudZero’s platform provides granular insights for any cloud provider by automating the collection, allocation, and analysis of cloud cost data to uncover savings opportunities.
CallMiner | $10M | Business Intelligence
Provider of software for customer conversation analytics, CallMiner, has closed $10M from 11 total investors towards an offering amount of $11M. Founded in 2002, CallMiner’s core product is Eureka, an AI-fueled speech and customer interaction analytics that analyzes over 2 trillion words annually across all forms of customer interactions including calls, chats, emails, surveys and texts. They raised a $75M Series E from Goldman Sachs in 2019, followed by a $20M round in June of 2022 from undisclosed investors.
Tetra | $10.5M | Climate Tech
Home services company that helps homeowners transition from fossil fuels to clean energy via home heating and cooling systems, Tetra, has raised a $10.5M Seed round led by Greycroft, Gutter Capital, Lerer Hippeau and 1sharpe Capital. Founded by the former CEO of HomeWorks Energy, Max Veggeberg, Tetra’s platform allows homeowners to identify the best high-efficiency heating or cooling system by allowing them to enter their address for an instant price, and then matching them with a vetted installer and contractor, creating cost savings of up to 30%.
Marigold Health | $10.9M | Digital Health
Provider of substance abuse care via a recovery-supportive social network and 24/7 text-based peer support groups, Marigold Health has raised $10.9M from 20 total investors, inclusive of $3M of convertible notes, according to a Form D filing. Described on their website as an Anonymous Social Network where people with mental health & substance use conditions support each other, Marigold Health has penetrated the payer and provider markets in several states. They raised a $6M Seed round in February of 2022 co-led by led by KdT Ventures and Felicis Ventures with participation from Flare Capital Partners and SpringTide Investments.
Machinery Partner | $11M | Construction Tech
Developer of a B2B marketplace offering builders and contractors procurement and financing support for heavy machinery, Machinery Partner has raised an $8M Series A round co-led by Armory Square Ventures and Pritzker Group, with previous investors One Way Ventures, and Techstars participating, among others. The company also raised $3 million in debt. Machinery Partner’s marketplace enables transactions with specialized heavy machinery by enabling manufacturers and dealers to sell online and deliver savings. They last raised a $4.5M Seed round led by One Way Ventures in 2021.
Sharpen | $11M | EdTech
Sharpen, a literacy platform offering children early intervention assessments and digital reading programs, has raised an $11M Series A round led by Learn Capital with participation from Reach Capital. Sharpen’s products are based on the science of reading, giving parents the tools to assess their child’s risk of developing reading challenges as early as 2 years old. According to the website, once a child starts kindergarten, parents can use the Reading Program to quickly improve their child’s reading skills a full grade level in as little as 3 months for 15-30 minutes a day. They were a part of the Illumina Accelerator in 2018.
Quaise Energy | $13M | Climate Tech
Quaise Energy, a geothermal startup developing a new and clean approach to ultra-deep drilling, has closed $13M of a $25M total offering amount from 9 total investors (looks like TechCrunch picked this one up, too). Founded by Carlos Araque, an incredible mechanical engineer I had the pleasure of knowing while at the Engine, Quaise uses millimeter wave drilling and has developed a gyrotron-powered drilling platform that vaporizes boreholes through rock, ultimately paving (drilling?) the way to deep geothermal energy harnessing. They last raised a $52M Series A round led by TechEnergy Ventures in 2022.
Ketryx | $14M | Healthcare IT
Provider of lifecycle management software helping life sciences companies maintain quality assurance and regulatory compliance, Ketryx, has raised a $14M Series A round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with participation from MIT’s E14 Fund. Ketryx’s platform enables companies building FDA-regulated software and AI-based applications to accelerate development with automated documentation and the enforcement of SOPs. They last raised a Seed round from E14 Fund and 10X Capital.
Manifold AI | $15M | Life Sciences
Developer of an AI platform for life sciences acting as a single place to collect, organize, and analyze multimodal biomedical data, Manifold AI has raised $15M from 16 total investors including TQ Ventures. Founded in 2017 as an AI research and engineering lab at MIT, Manifold’s core product, the Manifold Science Cloud, enables biomedical scientists, computational scientists, and data stewards with tools to easily collaborate and build with synthetic or actual data.
German Bionic | $16M | Wearables
Developer of smart power suits and other wearable technologies, German Bionic, has raised a $16M Series A extension round led by Mubea. German Bionic’s main focus is on developing electrically powered back exoskeletons for industry, logistics, and healthcare and on capturing data directly from the exoskeleton and its environment. The company is based between Boston and Germany, and last raised $16M in venture debt from the European Investment Bank in early 2023 after a Series A extension round in late 2022.
Fourth Power | $19M | Climate Tech
Developer of utility-scale thermal batteries 10X cheaper than lithium-ion batteries, Fourth Power, has raised a $19M Series A round led by DCVC, with participation from Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Black VC Consortium. Co-founded by an MIT professor and the former Head of Global Energy and Environmental Policy at Apple, Fourth Power’s thermal battery system converts renewable energy from windmills and solar panels into heat, which can be stored in carbon blocks until needed and discharged as electricity. A prototype facility is expected to be completed in 2026.
knownwell | $20M Filing | Digital Health
On the heels of launching from stealth with a $4.5M Seed round led by Flare Capital Partners in January, knownwell Health, a “weight-inclusive” virtual and in-person healthcare company, has filed for a $20M round, of which they have yet to close capital towards. knownwell offers metabolic health services, comprehensive primary care, obesity treatment, nutrition counseling, and behavior health services, all aimed at supporting patients by providing an integrative care plan. The company was founded by Brooke Pratt, HBS MBA and former Chief Operating Officer of Production at Berkadia, a joint venture of Berkshire Hathaway and Jefferies Financial Group.
Verve Motion | $20M | Wearables
Manufacturer of robotic exosuits designed to protect workers in factories and other potentially hazardous environments, Verve Motion, has raised a $20M Series B round led by Safar Partners, with participation from Construct Capital and Pillar VC, among others. A spin-out from Harvard’s Wyss Institute and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences originally as part of a DARPA-funded initiative, Verve originally was focused on military applications, and since then, the team has commercialized the tech for other applications. Verve last raised a $15M Series A led by Construct Capital in 2021.
Sensorium Therapeutics | $24.7M | Biotech
Developer of nature-inspired psychoactive medicines aimed at improving mental health, Sensorium Therapeutics, has raised $24.7M in a round that was first filed in August of 2022. Founded by researchers and clinicians from MassGeneral Hospital and Harvard University and inspired by the benefits of plants and fungi, Sensorium’s Biodynamic Discovery Platform leverages neuroscience and machine learning to reproduce, adapt, and enhance targeted molecules. This funding comes with the announcement that Alexandra (Sandra) Glucksmann has joined as CEO.
Liquid AI | $37.5M | AI Infra
An MIT-spinout developing AI infrastructure leveraging a new type of AI model called a liquid neural network, Liquid AI has raised a $37.5M two-stage Seed round from Samsung Next and Bold Capital Partners, among others. Co-founded by the head of MIT’s CSAIL, Daniela Rus, Liquid AI leverages liquid neural networks which are much smaller than traditional AI models and they require far less compute power to run. Liquid AI will compete with foundation model companies building GPTs for generative AI, building new Liquid foundation models beyond GPTs at scale.
Freya Biosciences | $38M | Biotech
Freya Biosciences, a biotech company focused on womens’ reproductive health, raised a $38M Series A round co-led by Sofinnova Partners and OMX Ventures. Co-founded by two PhD’s between Copenhagen and Boston, Freya will continue to develop their tech in two areas of product, the first being their multi-omics data science platform, which includes microbiome sequencing and biomarker profiling. The second area of product is their lead drug candidate, an investigational vaginal microbial immunotherapeutic for the treatment of infertility in women.
Dust Identity | $40M | Security
Dust Identity, an MIT lab spinout that authenticates products by marking them with invisible diamond dust, has raised a $40M Series B round led by Castle Island Ventures with participation from 8VC and Kleiner Perkins, among others. Dust Identity utilizes engineered diamond-dust to create object markers that are tied to a digital record that grows over the lifespan of the object, giving brands, individuals and collectors more insight and protection concerning their objects. Oxygen Esports confirmed a partnership with DUST for authenticating physical objects of value for esports applications. They raised a $10M Series A round led by Kleiner Perkins in 2019.
Nth Cycle | $37M | Industrials
Nth Cycle, a company partnering with scrap recyclers and original equipment manufacturers to recover critical metals from their material feedstocks, has raised a $37M Series B round plus $7M in non-dilutive financing, led by VoLo Earth Ventures. Nth Cycle aims to help the US establish a domestic supply of critical metals via their patented Electro-Extraction technology that replaces conventional and energy-intensive pyrometallurgy, also known as smelting, with a clean and modular refining system. They last raised a $12.5M Series A round in early 2022.
Intrinsic Therapeutics | $55.5M | Medical Devices
Manufacturer of Barricaid, an FDA-approved permanent implant for herniated disc spinal surgeries, Intrinsic Therapeutics has closed $55.5M towards a total round size filed for $68.5M led by Questa Capital. Founded in 1999 by the former VP of Product Development & Marketing at Stryker, a global orthopedic implant company, Intrinsic is focused on treatment for patients who are at a disproportionately high risk of requiring repeat surgeries following lumbar discectomy surgery. Barricaid is a permanent implant with a flexible polymer barrier designed to prevent reherniation.
ARTBIO | $90M | Healthcare
ARTBIO, a clinical-stage radiopharmaceutical company developing a new class of therapies to treat cancer, has raised a $90M Series A round led by Third Rock Ventures with existing investor F-Prime participating. An F-Prime incubation company, ARTBIO launched 6 months ago with a $23M Seed round from both F-Prime and Omega Funds and plans to continue developing their lead drug candidate prostate cancer med AB001, as well as two other solid tumor meds that are in lead optimization studies.
Odyssey Therapeutics | $101M | Biotech
Developer of next-gen precision immunomodulators and oncology medicines, Odyssey Therapeutics, has raised a $101M Series C round led by Ascenta Capital, with General Catalyst and Foresite Capital participating, among others.
Bicara Therapeutics | $165M | Biotech
Developing tumor-targeting antibodies, Bicara Therapeutics has raised a $165M Series C round co-led by Braidwell and TPG. The funding will advance Bicara’s lead candidate BCA101, a fusion protein that is meant to increase antitumor activity through increased activation of natural killer cells.
Tome Biosciences | $213M | Biotech
Developing a new gene editing technology licensed from MIT called “programmable genomic integration” that is believed to have overcome some of the limitations of existing methods like CRISPR, Tome Biosciences, has raised $213M in a combined Series A and B funding from a16z, ARCH Venture Partners, GV, and others. Tome is led by Rahul Kakkar, the former CEO of Pandion Therapeutics, which sold to Merck & Co. for $2 billion two years ago.
Congruent Ventures, pre-seed deep tech/climate tech VC firm based in SF but with a recent presence in Boston (welcome, Christina!!), raised $275M for its third fund.
All for now!
Your Macro Briefing + Headlines 📉
Covering the upcoming numbers to watch for (🔜) , the relevant numbers of last week (🔙), and the tech headlines of the last two weeks (🆕).
🔙 Economy watch last two weeks:
🏦 On the hill: In its recent economic forecasts, The Fed indicated plans to lower interest rates in 2024, even as the economy continues to expand. This underlines the strategy the Fed has been trying to employ to bring down inflation: curbing economic demand while waiting for the "vertical" supply curve to return to normal.
💼 Jobs: The November jobs report came out, and U.S. employers beat expectations and added 199,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 3.7% from 3.9%, reflecting the ~41,000 autoworkers and actors who returned to their jobs after strikes.
🛍 Consumer activity: The November edition of the Consumer Price Index, a closely watched inflation gauge, was released last week and showed inflation increased 0.1% in November, up 3.1% from a year ago.
“What we're seeing in terms of consumer spend is just an incredible consistency across both debit and credit spend…We sit here today, the consumer is still very, very strong." - Wells Fargo Charles Scharf during an earnings call.
🏡 Real Estate: Pending home sales drop to a record low, even worse than during the financial crisis. Separately, the 30-year mortgage rate retreated to around 7% after briefly breaching 8%, resulting in a 14% weekly increase in applications to refinance.
🌍 International: Bank of Canada held interest rates at 5% (Canada’s GDP dropped 1.1% in Q3). The Bank of England and the European Central Bank both held rates steady last week.
📈 Business Activity: The early Purchasing Managers’ Index data indicate that the US economy picked up a little momentum in December, closing off the year with the fastest growth recorded since July.
Manufacturing orders were down in October by ~4%, primarily due to the auto worker strikes. After excluding automotive and volatile aircraft sales, orders were down by ~1%. Separately, 40% of Russell 2000 companies now have negative earnings (up 200% since 2006).
👊 Breakthroughs: Last week, the FDA approved two gene therapies, Casgevy and Lyfgenia, the first cell-based gene therapies for the treatment of sickle cell disease. Casgevy is the first medicine to be approved that uses gene-editing tool CRISPR, removing the need for a bone marrow transplant donor.
🔋 China goes nuclear (with energy): China has begun operations of the world’s first fourth-generation nuclear reactor that uses gas for cooling unlike conventional power plants that use pressurized water. Construction started in 2012 and its first reactor was connected to the country's power grid in 2021.
🇺🇦 Ukraine update: Day 662 of the war, and Ukraine is entering its second brutal winter as Russian rocket forces have loaded a new intercontinental ballistic missile into a silo south-west of Moscow. The missiles are capable of delivering multiple nuclear warheads.
Vladimir Putin has been confirmed to be running for president again as an independent candidate in Russia after two decades in power.
💪 Bigger and better? Google launches Gemini, the AI model it hopes will take down GPT-4.
🤖 How futuristic of them… Tesla has unveiled the second generation of its Optimus humanoid robot, which is still not yet for sale, but check it out this video.
🐦 A small purchase: Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein is reportedly in talks to acquire Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles, according to insiders familiar with the matter.
✈️ We’re so back: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) projected profits from the industry of $23.3B in 2023, nearly 5x their initial outlook at the beginning of the year. This exceptional performance can be attributed in part to the reopening of the Chinese market.”
💾 HP no more? Berkshire Hathaway trimmed its HP investment to a 5.2% stake. Berkshire Hathaway bought this stock in April 2022 and has not seen any profit from the purchase.
🧪Add it to the rolodex: AbbVie plans to acquire Cerevel Therapeutics to address gaps in treating neurological and mental illnesses. Founded in 2018 by Pfizer and Bain Capital, Cerevel focuses on treatments for Parkinson's and schizophrenia, but has not released any drugs.
🔬 Cosmically experimental: McDonald's is launching a new spinoff brand, CosMc's, which intends to b a quick and easy choice for coffee and snacks, especially in the afternoon segment. It will have a smaller real estate footprint and test out different layouts, such as multiple drive-thrus.
🌌 Intuitive naming: The ELT (Extremely Large Telescope), set to be the largest telescope on the planet and the flagship project of the European Southern Observatory, is being built on Mount Armazones in Chile and scheduled to have its first light in 2028. The telescope is able to detect visible and infrared light and will allow scientists to map the orbits of faraway stars in three dimensions and allow them to start developing theories based on three-dimensional models.
🧑💼 Tech and Biz
A bit dead on this front as we head into the season of “out of office” emails!
December 23rd, 11-4PM: Small Mart Holiday Market pop-up hosted in the Crystal Ballroom in Davis Square
Findings: Things I’m Googling
🛢What has been the history, timeline and most influential policy decisions concerning modern oil production?
What I found: When we think about oil production, we think of the Middle East. But it actually wasn’t until 1938 that the first oil well was drilled in Saudi Arabia. The first oil corporation was Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company in the US — they drilled the first successful oil well in 1859. Several years after Saudia Arabia’s discovery of oil in 1938, OPEC (a group of Middle Eastern countries plus Venezuela) was formed in 1960 to regulate production, supply, and prices of oil, primarily in response to Western oil companies trying to drive oil prices down. A few years later, the Arab oil embargo of 1973 happened, — an embargo on oil exports to the United States and other countries in retaliation for America's support of Israel in the Arab-Israeli War— causing an oil crisis for the US and others. This marked an example of the Middle East’s disproportionate impact on world energy markets. Since then, technological breakthroughs of horizontal drilling, subsea engineering, and fracking (controversial due to intensive water requirements) have substantially lowered oil production costs. OPEC went on to shift control of oil production and pricing from Western oil companies (called IOCs) to producing countries and signified the control of today’s National Oil Company (NOC) dynamic, controlling 77% of oil and gas production.
💉 In light of the seemingly recent influx of startups that claim to offer efficiency hacks for new medspas — what are the economic levers of medspas, and how different are these from traditional pharmacies?
What I found: Botox, hair growth, and vitamin injections. Increasingly, physicians, providers, and non-licensed providers are interested in offering medspa services. Companies like Moxie ($16M Series A last month), and RepeatMD ($50M Series A last month) are leading the charge in medspa tech. However, I found that it’s not such an easy business to stand up, as medspa services constitute the practice of medicine, and are therefore highly regulated. So, the first economic lever specific to medspas is around the regulatory frameworks/setup. There are a few reasons for it, but setting up an MSO mitigates certain owner conflicts and makes it more attractive to private equity investors (which will start to happen more often, as 81% of medspas are single-location). The second is around the importance of marketing and the nature of recurring treatments, like Botox. The sheer volume of income from cosmetic treatments draws attention due to the repetition, and this repetition is a product of brand awareness and customer loyalty.
🌍 What is status of yellow fever and malaria relative to the last 10 years?
What I found: Yellow fever is an infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes that bite mostly during the day. As of 2023, 34 countries in Africa and 13 countries in Central and South America are either endemic for, or have regions that are endemic for, yellow fever. However, underreporting is a concern and WHO estimates the true case count to be 10 to 250 times what is now being reported.
Continued: 🌐 While still an extremely fresh topic for research, what are the hypotheses about the postwar plan for Gaza (i.e. what happens globally if Hamas is removed as a political/military power)?
What I found: This will be an ongoing question of interest, and feel free to check back to the issue dated 12/3 for my initial comments and links.
One of The Palestinian Authority’s top leaders is arguing that Israel’s aim to fully defeat Hamas is unrealistic and the militant group should instead join it under a new governing structure. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said his preferred outcome of the conflict that started Oct. 7 would be for Hamas to become a junior partner under the broader Palestine Liberation Organization, helping to build a new independent state that includes the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.