Graphcore’s $50m raise from Sequoia, Tesla’s trucks and more in the Week in Tech

The Week in Tech

Welcome to The Week in Tech, your roundup of the latest top tech news.

This week, we bring you the latest on Graphcore’s raise from Silicon Valley VC firm Sequoia Capital, Tesla’s surprise announcements and more.


Suggestv’s $1m Seed

Earlier this week, we reported on Suggestv’s $1m Seed led by Mark Pearson at Fuel Ventures.

The company says it will use the funds to bolster its UK business development plans, expand its publisher base and prepare for international expansion.

Founded in London almost three years ago, Suggestv provides customers with a video platform to insert relevant video content into online articles.

Graphcore raises from Sequoia

Bristol-based chipmaker Graphcore scored $50m (£38.2m) from Sequoia Capital, one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent venture capital firms.

The startup, which previously closed a $30m Series B led by Atomico, is seeking to become the UK’s biggest producer of AI hardware.

At present, firms running artificial intelligence algorithms use standard processing units, despite the fact that AI requires huge bulks of data to be crunched very fast. Graphcore’s new chips are said to have 100 times more processing power than conventional processors.

Trouva’s Series A

Trouva, an online marketplace for homeware and lifestyle brick and mortar boutiques, raised a $10m Series A.

The round was led by BGF Ventures and drew the support of Index Ventures and Octopus Investments.

Trouva has built a proprietary technology platform to enable consumers to discover brands online. It also offers real time ‘click and collect’, one-hour delivery.

Behavox gets cash from Citigroup

AI software firm Behavox received $20m in a round led by Citigroup.

As a result of the deal, the firm, which has built compliance surveillance software, is now valued at $200m.

The London-based company’s  technology can be used by financial institutions to locate and question employee-generated data in real-time to find possible signs of wrongdoing.

EdTech raises gets additional $6.75m

SAM Labs closed a $6.75m (£5.1m) Series A led by Touchstone Innovations and E15 Ventures.

The EdTech startup said it will use the cash to develop a series of new products in a bid to continue inspiring students to code and create.

“As a technology company delivering solutions for teaching STEAM and computing, we’re thrilled to deepen our research and development efforts to bring new products to the classroom,” said Joachim Horn, founder and CEO of SAM Labs.

Twitter’s verified accounts

Twitter has revoked several far-right accounts of their “verified” badge, following a policy change.

Accounts to have lost verified status include Jason Kessler, who helped put together a far-right march in Charlottesville, and Richard Spencer, a white supremacist.

Twitter said the badge was being interpreted as an “endorsement or an indicator of importance” and confirmed it would change the way in which these were given to users.

Tesla’s Trucks

Tech billionaire Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s first electric semi-truck this week at an event in Los Angeles, where he also surprised everyone with a new sports car, the Roadster.

Speaking at the event, Musk said: “The point of doing this is just to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars … Driving a gasoline sports car is going to feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.”

The reveal came after Musk spent most of the week discussing the truck on Twitter. He’d promised it would “blow your mind clear out of your skull and into an alternate dimension,” while adding that the truck could “transform into a robot, fight aliens and make one hell of a latte”.


Facebook’s trust indicator

Facebook announced a series of ways in which it is seeking to counteract fake news published on its platform.

The trust indicator will allow users to tap an icon to find out more about the publisher of articles.

Facebook has said it will begin trialling the feature with a small group of publishers with a view of expanding over time.

In other news, Facebook has come under increased pressure from UK academics and politicians to share what it knows about Russia’s attempts to interfere in British politics.

Speaking on the subject, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tim Brake, said Facebook had been very silent on the matter, before highlighting the need for social media giants to be called before MPs.

Download of the Week

Our ‘Download of the Week’ is Monese, an app which lets you open a UK current account, without a UK address or credit history.

You can also use Monese as your main account, to receive and make payments and set up direct debits.

And finally

A parrot called Petra has used Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa to turn on the living room lights.

In a short video clip, Petra is heard saying “Alexa, all lights on” before continuing to make small talk with the virtual assistant.

See for yourself – watch Petra turning on the lights.