In Eric Ries’ new book, he tells companies to turn every unit into a cash-strapped ‘startup’

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All companies are startups until they aren’t. Many struggle to find their way back, too. It’s not the days of constrained resources or terrible pay or the heart-stopping uncertainty that they’re missing, of course. Instead, the problem is that it’s a lot harder to implement change at an “established” organization, particularly one that’s making money. Yet the smartest companies know change is crucial. As journalist Alan Deutschman wrote a dozen years ago, including in a book of the same title: “Change or die.”

Because that’s easier said than done, CEOs are always seeking out new ideas. Enter the brand-new book of engineer and entrepreneur Eric Ries, whose last tome, The Lean Startup, became an instant best-seller when it was first published in 2011.

In his latest effort, The Startup Way, Ries says the way to stay on top can be traced to two things: treating employees like customers, and treating business units like startups — replete with their own constrained budgets, and even their own boards. Ries offers fairly concrete suggestions regarding how to implement both, too. “A lot of people write manifestos and basically say, ‘Do what I say,’” says Ries. “I try to get away from that. The details matter a lot.”

We caught up with Ries earlier today to learn more about the book, which will be available to buy beginning Tuesday.

TC: You established a name for yourself with The Lean Startup, which basically told founders to get a minimally viable product into the market, then fix it. Can founders still do that in an age where big companies are getting bigger and moving faster to either copy products, or else acquire their teams?

ER:  People said that years ago about Microsoft, too, that it was going to dominate the internet with its monopoly power. Disruption still brings new power players to the fore. But today, because Facebook and Amazon and Google are so good at what they do, startups do need to up their game. There was a time when you had one innovation that you could ride for decades. That’s over. Continuous reinvention is crucial now. Otherwise, you’re toast.

TC: What about the giant financing rounds of today, even at the seed stage — do they signal the death of the so-called lean startup? 

ER: “Lean” never referred to the size of a round. It’s about lean manufacturing and using resources more effectively. Also, huge rounds are really for the privileged few. I’m in Columbus right now, and [local startups] aren’t experiencing the jumbo seed round.

I will say that one commonality that Silicon Valley has with corporate innovation is that we often overfund things, which can be just as lethal as underfunding them.

TC: How did you move from advocating for lean startups to writing this new book? 

ER: When a lot of small early founders heard about the lean startup, they were excited about minimal viable products and about pivoting and learning, but they didn’t pay close attention to more boring parts like management and the need to do continuous innovation. In some cases, as these companies passed 100 employees, or even 1,000, they’d ask me to come help teach lean startups to people who work for them. You go from the person who is making innovation decisions, to supporting entrepreneurs who work for you, and they might not be as good as you or you’d be working for them.

These were my friends and I was happy to help them. At the same time, big companies were asking how they could recapture their innovative DNA and I realized how similar these issues are and thought it was worth exploring.

TC: Obviously, the need to innovate continuously isn’t a new concept. How is your advice to companies different? Is this about pulling in opinions and ideas from a more diverse group of people, either internally or externally?

ER: I’m a big believer in that thesis — diversity. But in this book, I tend to focus on structural changes: who gets promoted, how we make product decisions, the general accountability layer of a company. [In other words] how do you figure out who is doing a good job and who isn’t? Because there’s a lot of B.S. at the higher levels otherwise that distorts the decisions that are made and consequently makes it hard to attract top talent.

TC: Give us some concrete examples. Who in Silicon Valley was doing this wrong and figured it out?

ER: I talk in the book about Twilio and Dropbox and Airbnb; they all had to go through a metamorphosis to empower their internal innovators.

Dropbox, for example, had some failures and was willing to admit that some products didn’t work. Some of its product development was happening internally and some externally, but it doesn’t matter if you plant in the wrong soil. But it has since developed a much better process that looks closer to entrepreneurship.

TC: By doing what differently?

ER: You first have to look at whether you’re treating the people who work for you like entrepreneurs or something different; if you’re expecting your product managers to achieve instantaneous success, that’s not [the standard] to which you were held in the early stages of your company.

Along the same lines, if you aren’t [giving teams] clear, metered funding, how are they going to have that scarcity? It’s that mindset, that hunger, that let’s you say “no,” [to delaying product launches]. [Companies have to fight] that entitlement funding because the more money you have, the less you want to expose yourself to risk.

TC: Interesting idea. How else do you recommend that companies treat their teams like startups?

ER: We also talk about creating a growth board.

Right now, most corporate employees exist in a matrix management structure, reporting to different people and having lots of different managers who have veto power over what they do. But each time a middle manager checks in, he or she exerts a gravitation influence, and most product mangers who I meet with say they spend 50 percent of their time defending their existing budget against middle manager inquiries. That’s a massive tax on most product teams.

So we treat [these units] like a startup and create a board of [say] five execs who they report to infrequently. That way, if any middle manager has a concern, [the head of that unit] can say, “Talk to the board.”  It’s like at [ venture firm] Andreessen Horowitz. It has something like 150 employees [yet] not every person who works there gets to call a portfolio company founder. Not every limited partner who has invested in Andreessen Horowitz gets to call its founders. There are well-defined processes in place so that founders [aren’t fielding calls all day.]

TC: Of course, the downside to that is that VCs often don’t know when things go off the rails at startups. How do you convince executives that they aren’t running that risk by giving these teams so much autonomy?

ER: It only works if you do limited liability experiments. Often asking, “What’s the worst that could happen?” is like a death sentence, but you have to think through the possible downsides to mitigate them. So you only let 100 people buy the product [at the outset] and add in extra provisions and securities to ensure they have a great experience and you’re smart about the liabilities.

TC: Say that works. What happens to the already oft-maligned middle managers of the world? 

ER: There haven’t been any layoffs at the companies I’ve worked with. Companies still have to run their core business; there’s plenty for [middle managers to do] Most are horrifically overworked. Others become reborn as entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial coaches. Intuit and GE have a whole program for coaching and mentoring, and that becomes part of [managers’] job description.

This all culminates in preparing a new org chart, one that treats entrepreneurship like a corporate function that’s owned and managed. Right now, if you ask [many executives], “Who is in charge of the next big innovation,” they’ll sometimes say that everyone is in charge of it. Can you imagine if they said that everyone is in charge of marketing or finance or HR? Entrepreneurship is no different. Someone should have operational responsibility for it.

TC: Do you run into much resistance when you talk with CEOs about empowering employees in this way? It’s easy to imagine that some feel threatened, even as they know their companies need to keep innovating.

ER: What distinguishes really good CEOs is that they care about their legacy, and they’re committed to the long-term health of their organization.

But you’re right. Most CEO are not serious about change because it requires senior managers to change their behavior. You know how corporate bosses can be. This is not always a very welcome method. I’ve been kicked out of plenty of boardrooms.

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Airbus will test its own electric VTOL craft after several companies launch drone taxi projects

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After decades of churning out updated versions of helicopters that first rolled out in the 1960s and 1970s, aerospace manufacturers are finally starting to look at new forms of small vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) craft as several companies try to pair electric energy sources with new propeller layouts. Airbus Helicopters is one such company, and this month it completed a full-scale test of the propulsion system for its CityAirbus concept — a small eight-rotor VTOL craft designed for cities.

Still in engineering and prototype build stages, the CityAirbus envisions an electrically powered four-passenger craft meant for short flights — from an airport on the outskirts of a major city to a city center, for instance — powered by 100-kW Siemens electric motors for lift and for forward flight, drawing juice from a 140-kWh battery. The quad-fairing design uses a total of eight propellers and promises a much lower acoustic footprint, according to Airbus, in addition to greater safety and stability.

“We now have a better understanding of the performance of CityAirbus’ innovative electric propulsion system, which we will continue to mature through rigorous testing while beginning the assembly of the full-scale CityAirbus flight demonstrator,” said Marius Bebesel, CityAirbus chief engineer.

 



Airbus Helicopters infographic

Airbus’ take on an electric VTOL craft envisions an eight-rotor design for lift — two in each fairing, mimicking toy drones — which is the direction that a number of startups have also taken. Photo by Airbus


Lilium Eagle EVTOL flying car concept



What the CityAirbus does not promise, at least not right away, is autonomous operation which is what some competitors are currently aiming for; the VTOL craft will first be flown by a pilot for certification purposes, even though Airbus eventually wants the craft to be capable of autonomous flight.

Speaking of flight, the CityAirbus is expected to take to the air for the first time at the end of 2018, with the first test expected to be piloted by remote.

Range anxiety in cars is one thing, but when it comes to helicopter-like craft it’s quite another, and the same thing goes for autonomous tech. The biggest question with this electric VTOL craft and others likely won’t be airworthiness, but the capacities of their batteries, as well as their recharging time; the autonomous tech will come later.

One of the questions that these craft will have to answer is whether passengers will trust autonomous piloting software in an electric craft of this type. This, more so than battery tech, will determine if there’s a need for VTOL aircraft of this type to be autonomous.


Volocopter test flight






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Tyga’s Hiding T-Shirt Dough in Shell Companies, According to Ex-Biz Partner

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Tyga Sued

Quit Hiding My $2 Million!!

10/12/2017 4:42 PM PDT

EXCLUSIVE

Tyga‘s playing a super high stakes shell game with the more than $2 million he owes an ex-business partner in his Last Kings t-shirt company — but the guy’s not up for games, he’s just suing.

The biz partner, Chuon Guen Lee, was already awarded the millions in a lawsuit he filed against Tyga, but — plot twist — he can’t get a dime out of the rapper. According to new docs, obtained by TMZ, Tyga’s set up several new companies he’s using to hide his profits from the t-shirt biz.

Lee says it ain’t small change either … he says Tyga’s hauling in about $450k per month.

In the suit, Lee says the sole reason his old partner launched the other companies is to block his efforts to collect the money.

He’s suing to get a full accounting of Tyga’s revenues, from all the companies, and void the transfer of money to them.

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How tech companies are helping Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey

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For Houston area residents still being pounded by record rains so intense that the National Weather Service added a new color to its precipitation map, Harvey is a marathon — a vast sprawl of a natural disaster still so present that its impact can’t yet be accurately assessed. In response, locals across the region have come together, forming an ad hoc rescue armada, fielding distress calls over Twitter and throwing their doors open to the less fortunate.

With all eyes on the disaster still unfolding in Texas, the tech industry too is coming together — hearteningly, as it often does — to alleviate the suffering of those affected. Here’s what some of tech’s major players (and a few Texas-based companies) are doing to help.

Apple

Apple has added a donation button directly into iTunes and the iOS App Store, with proceeds going toward the American Red Cross. The button allows users to donate easily in increments from $5 to $200 using the payment information already linked to their account.

Google

With a nod to its Texan Googlers, the company pledged to match $1 million in donations toward relief efforts in partnership with the American Red Cross. At the time of writing, the company had raised $140,917 toward its goal.

The company has also added Texas and Houston-specific alerts across its product suite with SOS Alerts that detail emergency phone numbers, relief fundraisers, maps and other resources.

Facebook

Facebook is running a matching campaign on its own platform, pledging to contribute up to $1 million to benefit the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, an organization that optimizes donations to benefit “the full arc of the disaster cycle-preparedness, response and long-term recovery.”

Facebook also provided a Harvey-specific Safety Check so users can check in on friends and family who might be impacted by the disaster.

Lyft

Lyft has integrated donations to the American Red Cross in its Round up & Donate feature, which encourages riders to round their fare up and send the difference to a good cause. Lyft will also donate $100,000 to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and has temporarily paused operations in cities directly affected by Harvey to protect both drivers and passengers.

Amazon

Amazon too will match contributions up to $1 million with proceeds going to the American Red Cross. The company has also added a Wish List of things that those affected by Harvey might need so that users can send specific items to the Red Cross in lieu of a cash donation.

Austin companies

A small coalition of Austin-based companies, including uShip, Box, Aceable, the Chive, Everfest, Invodo and Boundless Network are organizing a donation drive for physical goods to assist disaster relief. Donations of non-perishable food, bottled water, batteries and other needed items can be dropped off at or mailed to uShip HQ, 205 E. Riverside Drive Austin TX 78704, by Friday. Proceeds will go to the Houston Food Bank or the American Red Cross.

Microsoft

Microsoft has announced an initial $100,000 donation to the Red Cross, suggesting that it intends to donate further in the future.

Airbnb

In response to the housing crisis unfolding in Texas, Airbnb is opening its platform to those displaced by hurricane and flood damage, waiving fees and pairing them with hosts offering free lodging for those affected.

We’ll be updating this list of Harvey relief efforts by tech companies as more are announced.

Featured Image: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

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New £1 coins ‘being wrongly returned’ by companies

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Old and new pounds coinsImage copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

The new 12-sided coin is designed to be harder to counterfeit

Efforts to phase out the old £1 coin are being hampered by companies who are returning the new 12-sided replacement by mistake.

The old round pound ceases to be legal tender on 15 October, with a billion taken out of circulation already.

But the removal process is being slowed down because about half of the £1 coins sent back are actually the new style, cash management company Vaultex says.

Treasury minister Andrew Jones said “businesses must remain vigilant”.

The new coin is being introduced because approximately one in 30 pound coins currently in circulation is a fake, according to the Royal Mint and the 12-sided version is designed to be harder to counterfeit.

Mr Jones, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: “There has been a fantastic effort from both the public and businesses in returning more than one billion old round pounds, and I thank everybody involved in this process so far.

“But there is still more to do before the 15 October deadline.”

He continued: “Businesses must remain vigilant when returning coins and ensure old and new coins are organised in separate packaging to make the sorting process quicker and easier.”

Cashiers and shopkeepers working at till points must also “play their part to ensure only new pound coins are given to shoppers in their change”, he added.


Why the new coin is harder to counterfeit

  • 12-sided – its distinctive shape means it stands out by sight and by touch
  • Bimetallic – The outer ring is gold coloured (nickel-brass) and the inner ring is silver coloured (nickel-plated alloy)
  • Latent image – it has an image like a hologram that changes from a “£” symbol to the number “1” when the coin is seen from different angles
  • Micro-lettering – around the rim on the heads side of the coin, tiny lettering reads: ONE POUND. On the tails side, you can find the year the coin was produced
  • Milled edges – it has grooves on alternate sides
  • Hidden high security feature – an additional security feature is built into the coin, but details have not been revealed

The government estimates about a third of the £1.3bn worth of coins stored in piggy banks around the UK are the old £1 style.

Some of those returned by the public will be melted down and used to make the new version.

After October 15, businesses can refuse to accept the old £1 coin. However they may still be paid into most high street banks, provided the bearer is an account holder.

As arrangements will vary from bank to bank, the public are recommended to check with them in advance.

But to avoid any inconvenience, people are being urged to spend or deposit their old £1 coins before that date.

Pound match scheme

International Development Secretary Priti Patel urged people to donate old pound coins to one of more than 20 UK charities chosen to take part in the UK Aid Match programme.

The government pledges to match every pound.

Ms Patel said: “The generosity of the UK public is one of the things that makes Britain truly great.

“By getting rid of old change, the public can help to double the amount great causes receive, ensuring their support goes even further.”

Donors can see which charities are taking part in the scheme by looking for the UK Aid Match logo, featuring the Union Flag.

A joke about the changeover was voted the funniest of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Ken Cheng quipped: “I’m not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change.”

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World Top 10 List of Largest Companies by Revenue – WWW.WORLDTOP-10.COM



World Top 10 List of Largest Companies by Revenue

Facebook Page:- https://facebook.com/Worldtop10here/

Site Link:-http://worldtop-10.com/world-top-10-list-of-largest-companies-by-revenue/

The list is given below is world largest public,State-owned,and Private businesses by it’s revenue.The revenue may change in short period time because of exchange rate.

1.WalMart
2.Sinopec Group
3.China National Petroleum Corporation(CNPC)
4.Saudi Aramco
5.State Grid Corporation of China
6.Samsung
7.Royal Dutch
8.Exxon Mobil
9.Vitol Group
10.Kuwait Petroleum Corporation

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Stock Photo Companies Randomize Their Watermarks to Foil Google’s Thieving Algorithm

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Last month at the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition conference, Google showed off an algorithm capable removing watermarks from photos. Using neural networks, researchers in the company’s artificial intelligence lab could train an algorithm to identify recurring visual patterns in a watermark (the sans-serif type in Shutterstock’s logo, or the dense logomark of Adobe Stock, for instance) and automatically strip them from an image.

To anyone who produces or sells stock photography, this was troubling news—watermarks have since the early 1990s provided the first line of defense against the theft of unlicensed photos. Granted, anyone with serious Photoshop skills can eliminate a watermark in about an hour. But Google’s technology makes it possible for a computer to remove watermarks from hundreds of images in just minutes, essentially automating the wholesale theft of copyrighted images.

Google didn’t set out to undermine stock photo companies. It was simply doing yet more research into machine learning and how it might apply to images. In fact, the algorithm could one day help make your photos a little better. And the researchers gave the stock photo firms a heads-up, contacting them weeks before demonstrating the algorithm to explain the research and show how the firms might protect themselves. “They gave us sufficient time so we could mitigate the risk,” says Sultan Mahmood, director of engineering for content at Shutterstock, one of the web’s stock photo giants.

Mahmood and his team have spent the past month developing an algorithm capable of tricking Google’s technology by giving each of Shutterstock’s 150 million photos a unique watermark. To understand why that works, you must know what Google’s algorithm does.

The issue, as Google explains it, is that most stock photo companies apply the same watermark to their entire image library. Feed enough images—fewer than 1,000 in this case—into a neural network, and eventually the network discerns patterns within the watermark. It can identify, for example, gradients, opacity, and shadows, which means even the most complex geometries can be isolated.

Google’s algorithm can separate the foreground image (the watermark) from the background image (the photograph) and start removing it. “If a similar watermark is embedded in many images, the watermark becomes the signal in the collection and the images become the noise, and simple image operations can be used to pull out a rough estimation of the watermark pattern,” the researchers write.

After isolating the watermark, the algorithm can erase the overlay and fill in the blank pixels by extrapolating the surrounding image data.

Google

Knowing this, Shutterstock created an algorithm that warped the company’s watermark logo in a unique way with each application to a photo. Before creating a composite of the watermark and the original image, the software slightly tweaks the shape of the letters in the logo, adding a little bulge here and a slightly sharper curve there. It also adds a contributor’s name to the watermark in order to increase the complexity of the text. “It’s really subtle if you see it with your naked eye, but if you look closely you can see they’re all different,” Mahmood says. These sight variations make it significantly harder for Google’s algorithm to correctly estimate where the watermark is in the photo. As a result, the algorithm is less likely to be able to remove the watermark without leaving a visual artifact behind.

Though companies like Shutterstock have incentive to protect themselves against technology that could put their content at risk, there’s no reason to panic. “It’s a very small threat,” says Zeke Koch, a senior director of product at Adobe Stock. For starters, Koch says, it’s rare for Adobe to come across widespread breaches in licensing. Plus, he adds, most of the images Adobe adorns with watermarks have resolutions too small to use widely, anyway. Still, Adobe, like Shutterstock, is increasing the opacity of its watermark and adding contributors’ names, which should make the watermarks impervious to Google’s algorithm for the time being.

To Koch, Google’s underlying technology is actually really promising. “There’s reason to be excited by technology like this in the future,” he says. This is the same computer-vision technology used in Google Photos to recognize and share photos with your significant other or to identify cancer cells in pathology slides. Taken in the context of Google’s other computer vision work, a tool like this could automatically remove window glare or other imperfections that crop up in photographs. “I would guess what they’re working on really is technology to separate images into layers,” he says. “The watermark is just an easy first step towards developing a more interesting algorithm.”

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All the companies from Y Combinator’s Summer 2017 Demo Day (Day 2)

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Y Combinator is not just the most prestigious accelerator out there, it’s also the largest. And so, as has been the case for the past several years, there were too many companies to jam them all into one day.

As a result, we once again braved the traffic of the 101 to bring you all the companies presenting on the second of Y Combinator’s day of demos, for what is the 25th batch of startups that have gone through the program.

Without further ado, here are the startups.

Standard Cognition – AI-powered checkout in store

Standard Cognition is using machine vision to build the checkout of the future. Called autonomous checkout, the technology will allow shoppers to grab what they want and walk out of a store without having to go to a cashier. Standard Cognition believes it tech will enable those companies to save money and reduce theft.

Modern Fertility –  At-home test to check and monitor your fertility

Modern Fertility is selling home fertility tests for women to provide transparency at a fraction of the cost of traditional fertility clinics. Having launched just a week and a half ago, Modern Fertility has managed 70,000 pre-orders and it expects each customer to test on a yearly basis. The company is currently selling direct to consumer but also sees potential in selling to businesses. Businesses like AngelList, Plaid and OpenDoor have expressed interest in sponsoring home fertility care for employees.

Read our previous coverage of Modern Fertility here

Dharma Labs – p2p lending on the blockchain

Dharma Labs is building what it calls the first “protocol for debt on blockchains.” Citing the popularity of ICOs, the startup believes that there’s a “proven demand for cryptoassets that look and act much like equity.” So Dharma has built a mechanism for decentralized peer-to-peer lending. “Anyone in the world can borrow and anyone in the world can lend.”

Caelum Health – Replace prescription drugs with software

Sometimes physicians prescribe drugs because they work, and other times it’s because they’re easy. Caelum Health wants to use software to improve people’s health without prescribing them drugs. It’s starting with irritable bowel syndrome, which affects 20 percent of americans and leads to $55 billion worth of prescriptions. Caelum provides behavioral health treatments that it says are 3x more effective than prescription drugs, and has pilots with 7 of the top 10 health systems.

Greo – Social video app for serious conversations

Greo wants to disrupt Twitter and other online forums by creating a better home for healthy intellectual debate. Created by a team of Stanford students, Greo counts about 850 users. The number is small, but the aim seems to be quality over quantity. By forcing people to use their real identity and exposing people to contrasting opinions, Greo thinks it can fill a growing social niche in an age of partisanship.

WheelStreet – India’s largest motorbike rental marketplace

WheelStreet claims to be “India’s largest motorbike rental marketplace.” The startup estimates that of the 600 million people commuting via motorbike, the majority don’t own one. WheelStreet is looking to bring rental inventory online and make it more affordable for everyone. The team works with rental shops and takes a 20% transaction fee. While WheelStreet only has $32,000 in monthly revenue right now, the team expects this to be a $6 billion market opportunity.

Warren Payment – automation for businesses

Warren wants to automate the process of making B2B payments. For most companies, going through the payment flow requires multiple steps to get vendors onboarded and get purchase orders approved. By automating those processes, Warren can reduce costs for businesses thanks to new APIs that make payments easy. In the US alone, there are 2 billion B2B payments made each year, and Warren wants to charge $0.50 each to ease that pain.

OneLocal – Salesforce for local businesses

As Salesforce grows larger and larger, there’s still no shortage of startups digging for overlooked opportunities. OneLocal is the salesforce for (wait for it) local businesses. The reality is that small businesses don’t keep good tabs on their customers — they’re not as easy to corral as customers, but ignored they are. OneLocal has signed up 115 businesses to the tune of $24,000 in monthly recurring revenue. Like Salesforce, OneLocal aims to up-sell with new enterprise apps, designed specifically to solve problems faced by SMBs.

Flowspace – AWS for warehousing

Flowspace is on-demand warehousing for businesses. The startup claims that “there are no good options for short-term warehouse space.” From candy manufacturers ramping up for Halloween season to fast-growing clothing companies, Flowspace believes that there is a market opportunity for temporary warehouses. They estimate that 400,000 companies in the U.S. are in need of flexible warehousing and that the market opportunity is $3.3 billion.

Goosebump – Chatbot that tells you where to go out

Goosebump is a messenger app that helps users find live music events online. There are two trends driving more live music entertainment: first, the move to listening to new artists online, as well as the need for musicians to make money through live performance. Goosebump is already taking advantage of these trends, with 6,000 weekly active users in Paris. And the company is growing 13 percent week over week, with 44 percent of users active weeks after they’ve joined.

Nimble – Better ATS for school districts

Nimble is building an applicant tracking system designed specifically for schools. Rather than offering just a dressed up spreadsheet, Nimble is offering a predictive tool to help inform hiring decisions. The team didn’t go into too many details, but it’s clear that the system as it is is very broken. A paid pilot is coming this fall and the folks behind Nimble say that they have two letters of intent in hand for said pilots.

Retool – A faster way to build internal tools

Retool markets itself as “a faster way to build internal tools.” The startup estimates that about half of all the code in the world is used for internal company procedures, yet most of the process is continuously replicated because the code is so similar. These companies are “writing the same code over and over again” and wasting time, Retool claims. The team says it has built a tool that makes building this code faster. Retool says they’ve already signed on a large enterprise customer in a paid pilot worth $1.5 million.

Dahmakan – Full stack food delivery for Southeast Asia

Dahmakan delivers ready-to-eat meals in SE Asia, controlling the entire process from food production to delivery. Because cities in Asia have 4x higher urban density than cities in the US and have 1/10 the labor costs, Dahmakan has been able to reach a 37 percent gross margin after food, labor, packaging and delivery costs. After launching in Kuala Lumpur, the company is on a $1.8 million revenue run rate and has plans to expand to eight more markets.

Read our previous coverage of DahMakan here.

Covetly – Collectibles marketplace app

Communities are very powerful in the world of marketplaces. Covetly is looking to build an eBay competitor on the back of niche collectors. With 13,000 monthly active users and just six sellers, the platform has seen $4,000 in sales. The hope seems to be that increasing the number of sellers from six to 500 will drastically increase sales to cannibalize more of the $10 billion collector market.

Read our previous coverage of Covetly here.

Original Tech – Software for banks to accept loan/account applications online

Original Tech is software for banks to accept loan and other account applications online. The team says that they are putting an end to paper applications and helping lenders digitize their financial technology through its mobile-first white label platform. They have signed up 13 contracts in two months and believe this is a $1.5 billion market opportunity.

Read our previous coverage of Original Tech here.

Vanido – Vanido is your personal AI music teacher, starting with singing

Vanido wants to be your AI-based music teacher, starting with helping users learn to sing. Americans spend $1.2 billion on singing lessons every year, and Vanido wants to make those lessons accessible to anyone with a smartphone. Users sing into their smartphone, and the app listens to their voices and corrects them, helping users to improve their signing by 34 percent. Already the company has more than 25,000 monthly active users who have completed 2 million exercises so far.

Entocycle – Sustainable insect protein for farm animals

Entocycle is building an automated factory to produce fish protein feed. The market sounds almost comically niche, but we were reassured that the space is valued at a robust $15 billion. Entocycle’s automated factory actually produces insects. The group feeds waste to the bugs and then, when it’s grown enough, it sells the insects to farms to feed animals. Prices have been steadily increasing for this feed, so the startup believes it can capture a meaningful portion of the market by cutting its own costs and selling to its customers at 20 percent below market rate.

Read our previous coverage of Entocycle here.

Guilded – Team Management for eSports

Guilded built what they’re calling “team management for eSports.” On games like League of Legends and Overwatch, users play in groups and Guilded believes that these teams are looking for help in recruiting and organizing. Guilded says its recently-launched app is already the #1 app for Overwatch teams and claims that they can ultimately reach up to 700 million gamers. The founder previously worked on the growth team at Instagram.

Read our previous coverage of Guilded here.

Lambda School – An online code bootcamp with no upfront cost

Lambda School trains people to be software engineers in live online classes. Those classes are free to students, and the company makes money off employee referrals to companies looking to hire developers who have graduated. The company has signed up 50 hiring partners who are waiting to snap up graduating students. Its 170 students currently enrolled represent $4 million in future revenue. The company has just a 3 percent approval rate and its costs are less than $3,000 per student, including acquisition costs.

Read our previous coverage of Lambda School here.

Plasticity – APIs for natural language processing.

Between the major cloud providers, there are already a myriad of natural language processing tools available for machine learning developers. Unafraid, Plasticity is moving full steam ahead to become the Twilio of NLP. It has a signed letter of intent from Duck Duck Go worth $1.2 million and interest from others in using the Plasticity API for automating message replies.

Read our previous coverage of Plasticity here.

Piggy – Vanguard for India

Piggy is an app for Indians to invest in their retirement savings. Calling themselves the “Vanguard for India,” they allow users to invest in over 2000 mutual funds. Estimating that there will be over 600 billion invested in Indian retirement accounts by 2025, Piggy believes that that there is a large market opportunity. The team has already accrued $30 million in assets and claims to be growing 90% month-over-month. Piggy says it has been able to grow entirely through word-of-mouth because the commission-free service allows users to earn 1% more annually.

Read our previous coverage of Piggy here.

Fat Lama – Fully insured p2p rental marketplace

Fat Lama is a fully insured peer-to-peer rental marketplace for high-value items. Because all items made available are insured, users are ok with putting expensive DJ equipment, photography equipment and active sports gear on the site. As a result the company was able to do $21,000 in net revenue on more than $80,000 in GMV last month. Also, the company is growing 60 percent month over month, thanks to a trend away from ownership and a move toward borrowing high-value goods on-demand.

Read our previous coverage of Fat Lama here.

Solve – Airport concierge for international travellers

Traveling through airports hasn’t evoked the nostalgia of the golden age of air travel for quite some time. Lines are long, logistics are complex and security is tight. Solve promises to save travelers time in airports. At $125 per person, Solve will handle your luggage, coordinate vehicles and manage arrivals, departures and connections. The service is available in 500 airports and the team is expecting $16,000 in revenue this month.

Read our previous coverage of Solve here.

Sunfolding – Hardware for solar farms

Sunfolding is building “next-generation infrastructure for solar farms.” The team is creating what they are calling the “next generation of trackers,” with machines that are faster and cheaper than the solar trackers of generations past. The startup is marketing itself as a business “replacing complex machinery with air” and has signed up $1.5 million in projects for 2017.

Enzyme – FDA compliance as a service

Enzyme is building software to help life sciences companies with FDA approval and regulatory compliance. Using Enzyme’s software, those companies can avoid spending money on costly consultants which in turn can reduce their compliance costs by up to 50 percent. Since 10 percent of all personnel in biopharma and life sciences companies are related to regulatory issues, it can lower headcount as well. Perhaps most importantly, Enzyme can also make it easier and faster for those companies to bring their products to market.

Surematics – Software that helps structure commercial insurance contracts

Surematics is helping commercial insurance brokers structure complicated deals online. Homeowners and car insurance is enough of a nightmare for most of us to handle but Surematics is targeting even more difficult cases — awkward expensive items like oil rigs. With a dash of blockchain, the startup wants to allow companies to collaborate together to create enforceable contracts.

Templarbit – Protects applications from malicious activity

Templarbit is a startup for protecting applications from malicious activity known as “xss attacks.” The team estimates that these cyber threats count for almost 50% of all security issues. In the first month, the startup has already signed up 15 customers, including Match.com, AdRoll and Mercedes-Benz. The team says their early traction is because they’ve taken a “difficult, manual process” and made it so that just one line of code is needed.

Just Appraised – Better appraisal software for governments

Every year, local governments have to appraise properties to determine their value. Since about a third of all local government revenues come from property taxes, they rely on that data, but collecting the information is inefficient and frequently inaccurate. Just Appraised uses machine learning to evaluate public and private data, which enables it to build a comprehensive proprietary dataset. In addition to money it makes from local governments, that dataset can be resold to other companies relying on property value information in the real estate industry.

Advano – Higher energy density batteries

Advano is building lithium ion batteries that can store more energy at higher density using silicon-based additives. The team of nine scientists says that it has long been known that adding silicon to batteries allows them to store more energy. But unfortunately this has always come with sacrifices in battery life. Advano’s technology does away with this compromise. The company’s letters of intent are valued at $4.2 million and include requests for both both IoT batteries and 9.6MWh battery packs.

AutoHub – Dealer to dealer used car marketplace

AutoHub is creating a marketplace for car dealers to buy and sell used cars from each other. Previously, dealers relied on offline auctions for the roughly eight cars they were buying every week. AutoHub says there is typically an added cost of $850 per car sold, but that its marketplace will charge less than half of that at $400 per car. The team believes that replacing offline auctions is an $8 billion addressable market. So far, AutoHub has sold $400,000 worth of cars in its first six weeks.

Quilt Data – Docker for data

Enterprises like to say they’re data driven, but for many that data is a mess spread across the organization. Quilt wants to help businesses integrate their data sources to make sure everyone in the company is on the same page, and has already been adopted by some of the largest banks. By defining data “packages,” Quilt wants to become a sort of Docker for data, making it more discoverable and actionable across its clients.

Headstart – Using AI to replace the resume screen.

Automated resume reviews are horrible. Large Fortune 500 companies receive millions of job applications each year and the review process is so poor that great apps are missed on the regular. Headstart is adding machine learning into the mix to automatically rank applicants to assist human hiring teams. This tool alone promises to cut hiring time by 60 percent. With $325,000 in annual recurring revenue, Headstart is already making progress capturing the $4 billion market.

Read our previous coverage of Headstart here.

BillionToOne – Fetal genetic testing

BillionToOne is trying to be a “safe prenatal genetic test for all mothers.” The blood test helps check for fetal disorders like sickle cell and beta-thalassemia, without the miscarriage risk that comes through amniocentesis tests. The team claims that the first test they’ve developed is at least 99% accurate. BillionToOne is launching in the U.S. in 2018 and will expand globally, with a focus on market opportunities in India and China.

Bxblue – Marketplace for personal loans in Brazil

Bxblue provides a marketplace for personal loans in Brazil, focused on pensioners and government employees. Those borrowers can get secured loans because they have guaranteed income, and banks love these loans because they can deduct payments direct from borrower’s paychecks. Today the market is almost entirely offline, making it difficult for borrowers to compare rates . It’s a $4 billion market opportunity, with the potential of 42 million Brazilian borrowers Bxblue could go after.

Read our previous coverage of Bxblue here.

Gameday – Fantasy sports app for everyone

Gameday thinks Draft Kings and FanDuel have completely ignored casual fantasy sports players. To fill that void, the startup is simplifying fantasy sports and integrating with Facebook messenger. About 70 percent of the company’s 50,000 weekly active users are first time players of fantasy sports and 60 percent of them have continued to use Gameday over a 20 week period. Eventually Gameday wants to grow to accommodate as many leagues as it can as it aims to grow the entire fantasy space.

Read our previous coverage of Gameday here.

VIDA & Co. – Marketplace for apparel designed on-demand by artists.

VIDA & Co. is a marketplace for “unique products” built on-demand and at scale. The “millennial generation is rejecting the standardized mass produced goods” and so customized products has become a $140 billion market, the startup claims. VIDA & Co. has created a platform for these personalized items. The team is targeting creative people like Instagram photographers or graphic designers and helps them turn their visions into products. VIDA & Co. has already worked with big brands like Steve Madden, HSN and the Golden Globe Awards.

LotusPay – Recurring payments in India

LotusPay wants to become the infrastructure small and medium-sized businesses in India use to power recurring payments. In India, 75 percent of recurring payments are made by consumers who line up to pay with cash or check. But that’s changing, thanks to the government launching e-mandate, a new system that allows consumers to allow businesses to automatically debit their bank accounts. LotusPay has built the payments infrastructure that can be used by businesses to avoid having to build it out themselves, and has an addressable market for 5 million SMEs.

Contract Simply – Construction lending software for banks

The fact that large construction projects are delayed by complex payment processes isn’t surprising. Contract Simply is building a platform to expedite the payment process that can involve a complex array of stakeholders. At its core, Contract Simply is a cloud-based workflow management tool that allows for faster capital deployment. The startup counts seven pilot users and projects $4 million in annual recurring revenue.

PreDxion Bio – A blood test to save critically ill patients in the ER.

PreDxion Bio believes that it has a blood test that could cut down on deaths in emergency rooms. The team says that previous blood tests often took over three days to get back and that about half a million people die per year because of the delays. They’ve built a test that can help doctors gain insight into inflammatory biomarkers, making it easier to treat things like trauma and burns. The startup is starting clinical trials this fall at UCSF, Mayo Clinic and Mount Sinai hospitals.

CarDash – Managed marketplace for auto repair

CarDash is a managed marketplace for auto service, going after the $170 billion market for maintenance and repairs in the U.S. The company believes that a managed marketplace is the future of the industry because it inspires trust, provides convenience and offers transparent pricing to consumers. For mechanics, the company provides free software and a line of new customers, also helping to automate the customer service experience for all involved. To date the company has grown by promoting itself as a workplace benefit provided to consumers by their employers, but also offers service direct to consumers.

Read our previous coverage of CarDash here.

HotelFlex – Check into your hotel room at anytime you want

We have all flown into a city on a red eye and landed at an early hour wanting nothing more than a bed and a few pillows. Alas, most hotels have strict check in policies that prevent this from happening. Hotels are complex operations and upending cleaning and other key logistical procedures for convenience isn’t easy. HotelFlex provides infrastructure for hotel guests to pay a premium for more flexible check-in. At a 15 percent up charge, 9 percent of guests were willing to pay the premium. This translates into $170 per room per year in revenue. HotelFlex has an initial pilot with a hotel chain valued at $2 million in annual recurring revenue.

Read our previous coverage of HotelFlex here.

Muzmatch – Where single muslims meet

Muzmatch is an app where single Muslims meet. The startup estimates that there are 400 million single Muslims worldwide and that they are spending $7.2 billion on matchmaking. Muzmatch launched two years ago and has attracted 220,000 users, with 56,000 of them still coming back monthly. Some have gone off the service because they’ve found a match. 6,250 couples have met on the service and they are already plenty of “Muzmatch babies.”

Read our previous coverage of Muzmatch here.

Leon & George – Indoor plants as a service

Leon & George sells plants online for homes and offices, helping users to find the right plants given a certain environment. The plant industry accounts for $40 billion in sales each year. Plants are everywhere and demand is growing, but they can’t be served by traditional ecommerce platforms and don’t work with the existing delivery infrastructure. As a result, Leon & George is expecting to do $55,000 in revenue this month and has a 57% gross margin.

Value Voting – Tech to defeat extremism in US politics

Value Voting is looking to catalyze action in politics by increasing the power of advocacy organizations. The Value Voting platform helps independent advocacy groups share data and collaborate. The team didn’t disclose revenue or growth numbers but insisted that it fully intends to be a for-profit company.

Read our previous coverage of Value Voting here.

AssemblyAI – Customizable Speech-to-text API

AssemblyAI is API for speech recognition. They’ve built “accurate, simple and customizable” technology that the team claims is what “Stripe did to payments,” but for speech. The voice technology industry is growing fast, due to the popularity of Siri, Alexa and Google Home. AssemblyAI believes that 50% of searches will be made by your voice by 2020. “Every single product is going to use voice in some way.” They hope that AssemblyAI’s technology, which can be customized in just one line of code, will gain traction.

Read our previous coverage of AssemblyAI here.

Loop Support – Customer support as a service

Loop Support provides customer support as a service to companies. Using a combination of humans and AI, the company is able to solve tickets faster and cheaper than most companies’ in-house support teams. Reps trains themselves using Loop Support’s software, and can serve companies in their spare time. That allows its clients to scale their support teams up or down at will. The result is a business that is growing 84 percent month over month.

FriendSpot – Next generation group chat

The former Facebook team behind FriendSpot believes that fear of missing out is a key emotion that can form the underpinnings of an entirely new social network. Their idea is to allow users to form specific event-centric chat groups. As more people join each group, incentives increase for others to join. The network is growing by 40 percent per week with 33 percent retention over a 28 period.

Disclosures.io – Property disclosure software

Disclosures.io builds software to help real estate agents manage property disclosures such as leaking roofs and broken sewer lines. Hoping to become the “system of record for all real estate transaction data,” the startup says it is going after real estate agents because they spend about $1 billion per year to manage disclosure documents. Since launching in January, they’ve attracted 615 customers and are working with big names in real estate like Sotheby’s and Pacific Union. Ultimately, the team wants to “build software to support their entire workflow, not just disclosures.”

Helix Nanotechnologies – Making drugs in patients’ muscles via synbio.

Helix Nanotechnologies uses artificial intelligence to help cure genetic diseases. Errors in DNA causes cancer in cells, but by using cutting edge AI, Helix is trying to unlock the nucleus of cells and deliver new DNA. Already, it’s licensing its technology to four major firms, but looking to develop its own cell therapy. With just a shot in the arm a couple of times a year, Helix believes it could build a platform to cure and prevent all genetic diseases.

CureSkin – AI dermatologist on smartphone

India is facing a massive shortage of dermatologists. There simply are not enough doctors to address the existing needs of the massive Indian market. CureSkin is using computer vision to recommend treatment to patients who don’t have access to trained professionals. With just a photo, CureSkin can diagnose approximately 80 percent of skin conditions and recommend treatment regimens. 7,000 patients are using CureSkin each week and half of those users come back for issues later on.

Py – Teach coders new skills on mobile

Py is an app for teaching coders new skills. From Python to iOS development, they help software engineers learn and also match them with jobs. With a ranking system that can identify strengths in categories like data science and app development, Py believes that it will help job seekers demonstrate what they’re good at. With 100,000 monthly active users, Py hopes to make a dent in what it estimates is a $3 billion market opportunity.

Read our previous coverage of Py here.

HealthWiz – SaaS platform for lowering employer healthcare costs

HealthWiz lowers health costs for businesses while also helping their employees find better care. Every year, employers waste $4,000 in healthcare costs due to their employees not choosing the right care providers. When providing HealthWiz as a benefit, their employees can find cheaper and faster ways to get a prescription. The company is going after a market that affects 50 million potential employees and it’s already testing with thousands of users.

CocuSocial – Marketplace for local activities

CocuSocial managed to build the largest marketplace for cooking classes in New York City in just a year of operation. With that as a starting point, the company hopes to spread across the country providing wine tasting, painting classes, dance classes and floral design instruction. Swallowing the entirety of the $27 billion market opportunity might not be feasible in the short term but the team is taking in what it can manage with $21,000 in monthly net revenue on 58 percent month over month growth.

Read our previous coverage of CocuSocial here.

Rev Genomics – Cannabis genomics company

Rev Genomics thinks that it can create the best marijuana with biotechnology. Using everything from CRISPR to genomic selection, the startup believes that it has what it takes to make the “best cannabis in the world.” They are also targeting Botrytis, a fungus which can destroy cannabis crops. By “quantifying the gene expression levels of all 30,000 genes in the cannabis genome,” Rev Genomics says it will create plants with higher yields. The startup hopes to someday be the “Monsanto of Cannibis.”

Tpaga – Mobile wallet for Latin America

Tpaga is looking to own the mobile wallet space in Latin America. The founding team is responsible for Columbia’s largest taxi app. Following in the path of other taxi apps that have added mobile wallets, its 50,000 taxi drivers will serve as the initial users of Tpaga. After that, Tpaga hopes to add a large super market chain, a large gas station chain, 10 cell phone carriers and 25 utilities providers. The app is set to launch on October 1st and the team is using the runway between now and then to ensure a market exists for new users.

NextDrop – The private water marketplace for urban India

NextDrop connects water buyers with water sellers in India, where private water is often delivered by truck. The cost of water has tripled in the last decade and continues to go up, making it more expensive than electricity now. NextDrop launched over the summer, has 3 pilot apartment customers, and is going after a billion-dollar market in urban India.

Mystery Science – Virtual science expert to co-teach class

Mystery Science aims to fix STEM education by giving elementary school teachers a virtual science expert to co-teach classes. Estimating that 94% of elementary schools don’t have science teachers, Mystery Science says that it is addressing this problem with experts Skyping into classrooms everyday. Launched last year, they already brought in $1.4 million in ARR, by convincing schools to pay for its services. This year the startup is forecasting $3.5 million in ARR, with $1.5 million in profit. Mystery Science also plans to expand beyond schools and complete with Discovery and National Geographic with its direct-to-consumer product.

Read our previous coverage of Mystery Science here.

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List of Top 10 Internet of Things (IoT) Companies



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