i3 | December 01, 2020

UK's Independent Answer to Search

Angela Titone

When it started in 2009, Mojeek prided itself in being the first search engine that didn’t track its users, including IP addresses, click behavior or search history. It remains the only British built crawler-based search engine to index over a billion pages. Rather than rely on indexes built by other search engines, it uses its own. One of its newest features is an emotion-based search that scores against five emotions –love, laughter, surprise, sadness and anger. Mojeek’s servers are hosted at the U.K.’s greenest data center, Custodian, also a matter of pride.

Interactive App Takes Kids off the Screen

Caper is a U.K.-based startup that offers an app of specially-tailored adventures that families can enjoy together —inside or outside. The app is designed to get kids’ bodies and minds engaged in play through story-led missions that only start on the smartphone. Caper, founded in 2020, aims for 20% screen time and 80% playtime. Creative activities include hunting for bugs, building a fort inside, or finding an imaginary crashed spaceship. Caper is out to disrupt the idea that smartphone games are a sedentary, solitary pleasure. LEGO Ventures, with participation from Founders Factory, announced a seed investment round of some €300K.

UK is on the Money

Investment in Britain’s tech sector rose 44% to a record $13.2 billion pounds last year, while the total amount of capital invested in tech startups in many other top countries fell, reported the U.K. government’s Digital Economy Council. BusinessFinancing.co.uk analyzed 10,000 FinTech, or financial technology companies, and found the U.K. has the next highest number of startups —482 —attracting $18.7 billion in funding, ranking it tops in Europe. London alone has 45 unicorns (defined as startups worth at least $1 billion). The eight British companies that reached unicorn status in 2019 were Rapyd, CMR Surgical, Babylon Health, Sumup, Trainline, Acuris, Checkout.com and OVO Energy, taking the total created in the U.K. to 77. And the technology isn’t just about the hardware. The U.K. is the world’s fifth largest exporter of tech services, according to Tech Nation’s 2020 Unlocking Global Tech report.

AI to Find the Cure

British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) opened a $13 million-plus artificial intelligence (AI) research hub inLondon to try to find new treatments for cancer and other diseases. GSK employs some 80 AI experts globally. The site's 30 engineers and scientists will research gene-related disease causes and work on AI-related drug discovery through partnerships with the nearby Alan Turing Institute, as well as tech companies NVIDIA and Cerebras. The GSK site is located in King’s Cross, a hub for other tech and data startups. The AI hotspot is already home to Google’s DeepMind, formed back in 2010 to explore AI.

i3 magazine September/October 2020

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