Uber picks up the impact kid on the block

Small Steps Vol. 47: Car Next Door joins the Uber colossus 🚗; the next opportunities for AI in health 🦾; and punts on the carbon offset market 🌳
January 27, 2022
Giant Leap

“Life itself means to separate and to be reunited, to change form and condition, to die and to be reborn. It is to act and to cease, to wait and to rest, and then to begin acting again, but in a different way.”

Arnold van Gennep, French Ethnographer. Featured in this reflective piece that asks how we want the world to look after a year of great change.

Kick start

👋 Welcome back Small Steppers!

To kick things off, its new year, new team for Giant Leap. We’re thrilled to welcome Hannah Mourney joining as an Analyst. Learn more about her biomed background, half-marathon ambitions, and addiction to the Encanto soundtrack in this Q&A and connect on LinkedIn.

(PS: We’re also hiring an EA, apps closing 31st Jan!)

What we’re thinking about

🚗 Impact, acquired. Car Next Door, the Australian peer-to-peer car sharing startup, was acquired by Uber. Car Next Door has built a strong following with its environmental mission to free people and planet from the ‘one person one car’ mentality, with each car in the network taking up to 10 cars (representing up to 80 tonnes of embodied CO2-e emissions) off the road. They’ve also been active in the EV transition, partnering with Hyundai to offer low-cost financing on new EVs. The acquisition bodes well for impact founders, suggesting big players may see more value in acquiring an impact brand when expanding their services.

🦾 The state of health and AI. Despite challenges including trust and the ethical use of data, AI is gaining steam in healthcare. This two-year retrospective reports that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is approving AI, particularly machine learning, products at an accelerating rate, realising huge efficiency gains for applications like image-based recognition of health risks in x-rays, pathology slides, or colonoscopies. Opportunity areas to watch include rapid acceleration of drug discovery, use of natural language processing to pull useful data from medical notes, and more instances where AI enhances, rather than replaces the human decision.

🌳 Carbon offsets, set to go off? BloombergNEF modelled out scenarios for carbon offset pricing, predicting a +20x difference in price and value for carbon offsetting players by 2030 should the market be restricted only to offsets that remove carbon (e.g. sequestration) rather than including offsets that only avoid emissions that would otherwise occur (e.g. carbon capture for coal). How this plays out will heavily impact the commercial opportunity for founders looking at production of credits or enabling technology, though Andrew Beebe of Obvious Ventures is bullish, predicting 3x annual growth in the market every year of this decade.

New paths

Giant Leap is seeking an Executive Assistant with an organised soul and an impact heart.

Coviu is hiring a UX/UI Designer

Sendle is seeking a Senior Financial Analyst

Seer is looking for a Security Assurance Analyst

Mindset is chasing a Marketing Automation/CRM Specialist

Perx has put the call out for a Junior Web Software Engineer

🔥 New year, new you? Check out our Giant Leap Fund jobs board for over 100+ available positions. There’s even more jobs at ethical companies on the global B-Work job board.

For the road

💡 BlackRock CEO, Larry Fink, released his annual letter to investors, highlighting $4 trillion now invested towards decarbonisation and predicting “The next 1,000 unicorns won’t be search engines or social media companies, they’ll be sustainable, scalable innovators – startups that help the world decarbonize and make the energy transition affordable for all consumers.”

🎯 Every year hits with the same predictions overload, which is why we’re a fan of this smart predictions bingo card collating 300+ published predictions in the news this year. Most are predicting increased interest rates and volatility, and there’s a strong showing for increasing influence of ESG.

🦠 Main Sequence Ventures' Phil Morle wrote about the latest innovations in synthetic biology and the implications they have on health, climate and other key issues. As Phil puts it: “The more we look at nature, the more we see that nature has solved most of the problems that the world has — we just haven’t discovered them yet.”

🤸‍♀️ This US data shows funding for women founders improved in 2021, but still has a long way to grow from 2% of all funding to reach parity. Topically, Scale Investors, the women founder focussed angel network, launched a diverse and accessible education platform with online courses tailored to both women founders and investors.

👓 Virtual reality headset technology made popular by video gaming is making a new name for itself as a tool for diagnosing dizziness, concussions and other brain injuries. By tracking eye movement, health tech company SyncThink believes it can better diagnose particular brain conditions.

✔️ Afterwork Reading published a thought-provoking piece on the Great Resignation, advising companies to get up to shape on upskilling, flexibility, and mission to attract the best talent.

If you never got taught what a radiator does

🚀 And dissolving a tablet in space is bonkers.

Further Reading

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