6 things to know in #MiamiTech: Memic’s SPAC deal is off; BAYC buys CryptoPunks; Kaseya triples office space – and more


Robotic surgery company Memic will not be going public via SPAC

Memic  and its SPAC suitor have parted ways. Memic will no longer go public through a $1 billion merger with the MedTech Acquisition Corp. The companies agreed to terminate the merger  “due to market conditions and associated volatility as a result of recent world events,” according to a joint statement.

“While we are disappointed that our proposed business combination with Memic will not be consummated, we believe that Memic’s Hominis system and its innovative technology, as well as Memic’s highly accomplished management team, will position Memic for future success,” said Christopher Dewey, MedTech’s CEO, in a statement.

Memic, based in Tel Aviv and Fort Lauderdale, is the maker of the first FDA -approved surgical robot authorized to perform transvaginal gynecological procedures. Dvir Cohen, co-founder and CEO of of Memic, and an Endeavor Entrepreneur, said the Hominis system has been adopted by three leading hospital groups. “We are grateful for the support we have received from the MedTech team, whose commitment to surgical robotics we share,” he said. The company is chaired by Miami serial medtech entrepreneur Maurice R. Ferre.

At the time of the SPAC announcement last August, cMemic said it expected to quadruple its South Florida workforce to at least 100 employees over the next 18 months. The company raised a $96 million Series D round last year and has raised $128 million in total.


BAYC creators acquire CryptoPunks, Meebits

Miami-based Yuga Labs, creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), acquired the intellectual property of the CryptoPunks and Meebits collections from Larva Labs.

CryptoPunks and Meebits are popular NFT collections on the Ethereum blockchain. CryptoPunks  was inspired by the London punk scenes, the cyberpunk movement, and electronic music artists Daft Punk. The crypto art blockchain project was an inspiration for the ERC-721 standard for NFTs and the modern crypto art movement, which has since become a part of the cryptocurrency and decentralized finance ecosystems on multiple blockchains. The Meebits are 20,000 unique 3D voxel characters, created by a custom generative algorithm, then registered on the Ethereum blockchain.

As part of the acquisition, Yuga Labs owns the copyright for both the CryptoPunks and Meebits collections, as well as 423 CryptoPunks and 1711 Meebits. With this acquisition, they will own the CryptoPunks and Meebit brands and logos, and as they’ve done with their own BAYC collection, the company will transfer IP, commercial, and exclusive licensing rights to individual NFT holders. Holders of CryptoPunks and Meebits should expect to receive new terms and conditions for their NFTs soon, granting them IP and commercialization rights.

Led by Nicole Muniz, CEO of Yuga Labs, the web3 platform aims to team up with creators and third-party developers to incorporate CryptoPunks and Meebits into digital and physical projects across the world.

“When we set out to create within the NFT space, we did so with a deep admiration for CryptoPunks and the visionary work of Matt and John,” said Muniz. “We’re honored to take on the stewardship of these brands and the communities behind them, and are very excited to build alongside CryptoPunks and Meebits holders as we step into this new world. That said, we want to make it abundantly clear to Yuga’s existing community that the BAYC ecosystem will always stay at the center of our universe.”


TheVentureCity’s founder is an Aspen Institute Fellow

TheVentureCity Founder and CEO Laura González-Estéfani has been named a 2022 Henry Crown Fellow by The Aspen Institute, and will embark on a two-year program to tackle some of the world’s most intractable problems.

The yearly Henry Crown Fellowship Program was established in 1997 to help accomplished entrepreneurial leaders move beyond business success, and generate impact in their communities, or globally.

González-Estéfani’s global, operator-led investment model TheVentureCity is on a mission to make the entrepreneurial ecosystem more diverse, international, and accessible to fair capital, and 50% of its leadership positions are filled by women. As one of the 22 fellows, she will address critical issues alongside industry leaders such as Nick Tran, Former Global Head of Marketing at TikTok; Luis von Ahn, Co-founder & CEO at Duolingo; and Brandon Leonardo, Co-founder at Instacart. She will also attend guided retreats with the Aspen Institute, and create her own impact-driven leadership venture.

‘’I am honored to join an inspiring group of changemakers who share my values about using our combined skills and platforms to catalyze positive change.’’ said González-Estéfani. ‘’My team’s work has always been grounded in creating and curating a community that can elevate entrepreneurship, and I’m excited to bring back further learnings from this unique opportunity.’’


Kaseya triples its office space in Brickell

Kaseya, the cloud-based IT management and security software provider, has tripled its Miami office in Brickell. The tech company signed a 10-year lease for  64,716 square feet at 777 Brickell, taking over the 2nd-4th floors. The company plans to hire up to 500 employees this year as part of its recent hiring spree.

“As a global company with our U.S. headquarters in Miami, we are committed to growing local tech talent,” Fred Voccola, CEO of Kaseya, said in a statement. “This beautiful, new cutting-edge space will accommodate our expanding workforce and solidify our presence in the Brickell District.”

The company also leases about 35,000 square feet at 701 Brickell, and plans to keep it, to accommodate its growth. The new lease brings Kaseya’s total office footprint in Miami to nearly 100,000 square feet.


GreenLight.ai and RemoteUkraine team up to support Ukraine’s professionals

Challenging times call for people to come together and provide support. At this time, over 2 million Ukrainians refugees have fled the war, and this includes thousands of highly skilled professionals who you can now hire through RemoteUkraine.org.

Miami-based GreenLight.ai, a talent marketplace, is partnering with RemoteUkraine to provide an infrastructure solution that makes it easy to hire, employ, and pay these people no matter where they are. “At the heart of GreenLight.ai’s mission is passion for building technology that creates a positive and conscious impact” said Jason Posel, CEO, GreenLight.ai, “so we  jumped at the chance to partner with RemoteUkraine”.

RemoteUkraine is a not-for-profit project that functions like a talent marketplace with task or time based work options. It’s free to post jobs, search for candidates, and receive applications. Registered users include developers, marketers, managers, and more. GreenLight fees have been waived and they are operating this initiative without profit.


Sayfie Review to host Miami Tech Summit

Following eMerge Americas on April 20 during Miami Tech Week, Sayfie Review will host its inaugural Miami Tech Summit, convening tech and policy leaders at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) for an invitation-only forum.

“The stars have aligned to create this once-a-century opportunity for Miami. The 2020’s will be to Miami what the 1990’s were to Silicon Valley,” said Justin Sayfie, Founder of Sayfie Review, in a statement. “Working with our partners and sponsors, the Miami Tech Summit will convene a unique gathering of public and private sector leaders to provide the thought leadership necessary for the successful growth of the tech industry in our hemisphere.”

The Inter-American Development Bank will open the Summit with a presentation and panel discussion that will share key tech insights from its work in the Hemisphere. Google is sponsoring the after-party. Those interested in attending the Summit should visit https://techsummitmiami.com/attend/.  

Since its inception in 2002, Sayfie Review has been the go-to nonpartisan news website for Florida politics and is widely read around the state and in Washington, DC. From 2013 to 2016, Sayfie Review hosted the invitation-only Florida Leaders Summits.

Have news to share? Email Nancy Dahlberg at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @ndahlberg

Nancy Dahlberg