This week in data, we've got news from a flying car startup, Zoom's 169% surge in revenue, and a $250M AI startup. Check it out below.
THIS WEEK IN DATA
+2.5M jobs: The US economy added 2.5M jobs in May as unemployment fell to 13.3%, according to the US Labor Department. The job market far outperformed what many economists were predicting, with some now saying that the US economy may recover from nationwide lockdowns more quickly than expected. Our research on how Covid-19 is affecting spaces like healthcare, fintech, and AI is compiled on this regularly updated resource page.
$2.6B: Automaker Volkswagen completed its $2.6B investment, announced last year, in autonomous vehicle startup Argo AI. As part of the deal, the Pennsylvania-based company — which also has substantial backing from Ford — will expand its operations to Europe and take over Volkswagen’s European self-driving unit. Other big companies are betting on autonomous driving tech. From Volvo to Huawei, see what 40+ corporations are doing in the space here.
+169%: Zoom said that its revenue for Q1’20 increased by 169% year-over-year to reach $328M. The company has been buoyed by the surge in people working from home amid the pandemic. Zoom is far from the only company that could benefit from the increase in remote working. From project management to collaboration platforms, take a look at 65+ startups making it easier to work from home in this market map.
70 people: Flying car startup Kitty Hawk said that it would stop work on its “Flyer” vehicle, which is intended for low-level flights above water. The company — which is backed by Google co-founder Larry Page — is reportedly laying off most of the project’s 70-person team. Kitty Hawk says that it will shift its focus to a newer vehicle design that can fly above cities and travel up to 100 miles. Clients can take a look at 7 other startups working on flying cars in this analysis.
50 journalists: Microsoft said that it would use AI to perform some news production tasks, like selecting trending stories and adding accompanying images, for its MSN site. The tech will reportedly replace around 50 journalists. AI is set to reshape countless industries, but issues like gaps in training data could risk unintended outcomes. We look at the increasing focus on regulating AI in our 2020 Tech Trends To Watch report.
11 years: The Sun was observed emitting a massive solar flare, indicating that it may be entering into a period of heightened activity in line with its typical 11-year cycle. Times of increased intensity make it more likely that the Sun will produce “solar storms” — bursts of high-energy particles and radiation that can threaten satellites and cause power outages.
$75M: Switzerland-based Climeworks raised $75M. The company is developing machines that directly remove CO2 from the air. We dig into the tech that may help combat global warming by directly modifying the climate in our report on geoengineering.
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One More Thing
Source: One In An Army
The “K-pop stans” — ardent fans of Korean pop music — have garnered much attention lately for their ability to mobilize online activism at impressive speed. Groups are flooding social media with fancams (i.e. short videos of their favorite stars) or supportive messages.
But the K-pop stans’ history of activism actually began long before this year — over the span of 2018 and 2019, the BTS fandom said it raised $46,000+ to fund crisis relief, poverty alleviation, and refugee support campaigns.