Apple in talks to acquire self-balancing electric motorcycle firm Lit Motors too? – Roadshow

Earlier today, sportscar maker McLaren denied that it’s engaged in talks with Apple about a possible takeover. The rumored discussions were first reported by the Financial Times.

But the company behind the British Formula One constructor isn’t the only vehicle manufacturer to find itself in the Apple takeover rumor mill. On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that Apple has also been chatting with San Francisco’s Lit Motors, a startup working on self-balanced electric motorcycles. The talks are said to be about a “potential acquisition.”

Apple’s Project Titan autonomous EV program has reportedly been struggling lately, and the potential synergies of an Apple-McLaren tie-up would seem like they might have the potential to reinvigorate the top-secret initiative. Conversely, it isn’t immediately clear how Apple would benefit from buying Lit Motors, which still has yet to release its gyroscopically balanced C-1 Auto-Balancing Electric Vehicle, a battery-powered motorcycle that was originally slated to go on sale back in 2013. (The C1 AEV was first shown about five years ago, and judging by recent reports, it’s still years away from production).

Lit Motors C1 with founder Danny Kim

C1 prototype with founder Danny Kim.

Lit Motors

According to The New York Times, Apple has already hired away a number of Lit Motors’ engineers, so it clearly has the company on its radar. It’s also possible that an acquisition of Lit might not cost Apple a great deal. According to CrunchBase, Lit Motors has raised only $2.2 million in total equity funding to date, and according to Digital Trends, it has recently come under fire from a potential Chinese knockoff.

Roadshow reached out to Apple and Lit Motors for comment, but as of publication time, neither company had responded. This report will be updated as new information becomes available.

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The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative invests $3B to cure all diseases – CNET


Priscilla Chan announces that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will invest $3 billion to cure disease.

James Martin/CNET

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative said Wednesday it is investing more than $3 billion over the next decade to cure all diseases.

“We all have the opportunity to leave the world a much better place than we found it,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO and co-head of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

The announcement was made during an event at the University of San Francisco’s Mission Bay campus, which houses the school’s state-of-the-art hospital complex.

Zuckerberg isn’t just one of the world’s richest people, he’s also the leader of one of the world’s largest social network. Facebook currently counts more than 1.7 billion people, about half the world’s online population, who use its service at least once a month.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was unveiled in December 2015, and Zuckerberg said he’d donate 99 percent of his company shares to the charity, currently worth about $45 billion. He runs the philanthropic organization with his wife Priscilla Chan, who is a pediatrician. The group’s overall stated focus is “to advance human potential and promote equality.”

The Initiative’s first major investment was announced in June when it led a $24 million funding round for the New York-based startup Andela, which trains prospective developers in Nigeria and Kenya.

To work toward to goal of curing all disease, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has three central goals: bring scientists and engineers together, build new tools and tech and grow the movement to cure disease. The Initiative is collaborating with the world’s top scientists to work on illnesses like cancer, heart disease, neurological disease and infectious diseases.

“We are investing in basic science research with the goal of curing disease,” said Chan. “As a doctor, this is something I’ve been thinking about for a while.”

Zuckerberg donated money to other initiatives before launching the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, including in 2010 when he joined Warren Buffet and Bill Gates in promising to give away at least half his wealth. Chan and Zuckerberg have also put their money behind The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with more than $44.3 billion in assets counted last year. Also in 2010, Zuckerberg gave $100 million in Facebook stock to public schools in Newark, NJ.

This is an ongoing story, stay tuned for more details.

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