- Sustainable clean energy is just a few years away…
- Could this company be the next NVIDIA?
- This robot makes recycling easy…
Thank you to those who joined me for our Pre-IPO Code Event last night. Our most valuable asset is our time, and I sincerely appreciate that you shared some of yours with me.
We are living in an age of rapid technological development that has brought us explosive trends like 5G wireless technology, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, cloud-based software solutions, self-driving cars, and – of course – personalized medicine and biotechnology.
Here at Brownstone Research, we have seen stellar gains in the public markets by making strategic investments in each of these areas. But the one thing we haven’t been able to do is invest in the private companies powering these trends forward before they go public.
I can’t tell you how excited I am about the new strategy we will employ this year. We are going to build a portfolio of pre-IPO shares in the hottest private companies on the planet.
Having this tool in our tool belt will greatly amplify gains for the investors who utilize our premium investment research.
And the best part about this strategy is that it allows us to break Wall Street’s stranglehold on the IPO (initial public offering) market without requiring us to adhere to investment minimums or crippling restrictions. This is private investing made simple.
For those readers who couldn’t join us last night but would like to learn more about our newest investment strategy, we are making the replay of our Pre-IPO Code Event available to all readers for a few days at no cost. Just go right here to view the presentation.
And thank you again for taking the time to read and hopefully enjoy The Bleeding Edge. Your support and engagement motivate me to do the work I do every day.
Here’s to a fantastic 2021!
Now let’s turn to today’s insights…
A major milestone for nuclear fusion…
On Christmas Eve, the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) fusion device in South Korea maintained a high-temperature plasma for 20 seconds. This is the longest sustained nuclear fusion reaction ever.
While 20 seconds may not sound like much, it is a big deal.
Back in 2018, KSTAR was only able to maintain plasma for 1.5 seconds. In 2019, it was able to get this up to eight seconds. And now it is at 20 seconds.
All things being relative, KSTAR has increased the duration of its reactions by 13 times in just two years. That’s a clear sign of exponential growth.
And get this – the reaction occurred at over 100 million degrees Celsius. That’s nearly seven times hotter than the Sun, which can reach 15 million degrees Celsius.
As a reminder, nuclear fusion is essentially the power of the Sun. It involves taking two separate nuclei and combining them to form a new nucleus. This produces an enormous amount of energy. And it is 100% clean. Unlike nuclear fission, forms of nuclear fusion produce no radioactive waste.
The hardest part of the process is maintaining plasma to sustain the reaction. That’s why KSTAR’s progress is evidence that nuclear fusion is coming much faster than anyone realizes.
The experts say that we are at least 10–15 years away from being able to generate clean energy using nuclear fusion technology. But when I look at the progress KSTAR and others are making, I can confidently say they are wrong. I predict that we will have a functioning nuclear fusion reactor within the next five years.
Pretty soon KSTAR will be at one minute. Then 10 minutes. Then an hour. And in time, it will be able to sustain net energy production. That’s when the reactor produces more energy than it takes to run.
This will be one of the most important scientific developments to watch this year.
We’ll keep a close eye on KSTAR’s progress in 2021. And I predict that at least one other nuclear fusion project will make a major breakthrough in the space this year.
This early stage company is set to rise in the semiconductor industry…
Over the holidays, an early stage company called Graphcore announced a massive Series E venture capital (VC) round that caught my eye.
I wrote about Graphcore back in July when it released its second-generation semiconductor. It calls these chips intelligence processing units (IPUs). They are designed exclusively for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) applications.
And these IPUs are already outperforming the top AI semiconductors on the market today. This includes some of NVIDIA’s AI-focused chips. That’s quite impressive given that Graphcore has only been in operation since 2016.
The raise was not surprising to me considering how well its products are performing and how much investment is flowing into AI & machine learning right now.
And what’s telling is who participated in the round…
The Series E round was led by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Why is a teachers’ pension plan backing an early stage semiconductor company? Pension plans tend to be far more conservative with their money. They don’t usually invest in very risky, early stage technology companies.
Also investing in the round were firms like Baillie Gifford and Fidelity. This is late-stage money that usually only comes in around the time that a private company is considering an IPO.
And with a raise of $222 million behind it, this tells us that Graphcore is seriously considering going public. That’s incredibly exciting. And that’s the only reason why a pension plan would be investing now. They must feel that most of the risk is off the table, and there is a clear path toward an exit.
With its second-generation products already outperforming the leading competitors, there’s a great chance Graphcore could become the next NVIDIA (NVDA) in terms of both explosive growth and incredible investment returns.
For context, NVDA was trading just around $24 per share back in 2016 when I began talking about the company to anyone who would listen. Today, the stock trades around $540 per share.
Anyone who took my advice is sitting on gains of 2,150%. That’s enough to turn every $5,000 invested into $112,500. Not too shabby.
So we need to keep a close eye on Graphcore this year. The company will make an incredible investment target.
Let’s add Graphcore to our early stage watchlist.
And I should point out that the tremendous performance gains we have seen with AI-focused semiconductors will lead to an explosion of software applications this year. That’s going to be fun to watch. And it is going to lead to some fantastic technological developments.
Checking back in on the world of practical robotics…
Another VC raise in the artificial intelligence and computer vision space caught my eye.
Colorado-based early stage company AMP Robotics just raised $55 million in a Series B VC round. This is the company’s largest funding round to date. To me, that is a validation of AMP’s AI-enabled robotics technology.
What I like about AMP is that it is focused on practical, low-value tasks. And the first use case for AMP’s AI-enabled robotic arm is to sort our recycling. Have a look:
Here, we can see that AMP’s robotic arms use AI and computer vision. These applications allow the robotic arm to “see” in order to sort a stream of junk based on whether the objects are made of plastic, paper, cardboard, or metal. The arms then pick up objects and place them in the proper container.
This drastically increases the speed and reduces the cost of recycling our used materials. Every recycling facility on the planet should have technology like this.
And this is the perfect example of a practical application for robotics that we probably wouldn’t think of. After all, sorting trash and recycling isn’t something many of us get excited about. But it is critically important to the health of our communities and our environment.
This is also a great example of how automation can remove the need for humans to do undesirable, boring, and potentially harmful jobs like sorting trash. This is low-value, low-paying work that most would not want to do.
By automating these types of tasks with AI and robotics, we can free up human labor for more high-value work that is more difficult for an AI to perform.
So we’ll keep a close eye on this trend in 2021. There will certainly be some fantastic investment opportunities as AI-enabled robotics come of age.
Editor, The Bleeding Edge
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