Talent Hack raises $4.7M for its B2C fitness platform, Spaces

It’s been a wild 12 months for fitness platforms, as the world’s population has struggled to adapt to workouts outside of the gym. From Lululemon’s massive Mirror acquisition to companies like Apple and Samsung launching their own solutions, exercise technology has thrived amid the pandemic.

Talent Hack is one of a large (and growing) number of companies looking to make fitness more accessible in a world where the gym just isn’t an option for many. Rather than creating its own front-end, curated platform, however, the New York-based startup’s Spaces is designed to offer a B2C platform for fitness instructors and studios.

This week, the company announced that it has raised a $ 4.7 million seed round, led by Global Founders Capital. The Fund is also participating in the round, along with Mindbody Online’s Rick Stollmeyer, as well as Lucy Deland, Hannah Bronfman, Amanda Freeman, Ellie Burrows and Amy Klein.

Spaces has been operating with a relatively low public profile since January 2019, though more than 50,000 fitness professions have signed up for the service. The company says it’s managed to help top earners pull in $ 250,000.

“We are the first fitness and technology company that is a true partner for the individual wellness instructor, facilitating agency and power to the individual in the rising 30% YoY at-home fitness market,” CEO and co-founder Alexandra Bonetti says in a release tied to the news. “Our mission is to empower fitness and wellness professionals with the tools and resources they need to propel and scale their businesses so they can remain focused on what they do best.”

Talent Hack says this round will go toward increasing its marketing, improving the customer experience and expanding recruiting.

Startups – TechCrunch

Global Nitrogen Phosphorus Detector (NPD) Market – National Gridiron League – National Gridiron League

Global Nitrogen Phosphorus Detector (NPD) Market – National Gridiron League  National Gridiron League
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

How to best automate product mockup and template design work?

Hi all, I am looking to see if anyone has experience solving the best way to automate the product mockups and design templates for apparel.

Historically I have used a full-time graphic designer to do them with self-recorded Photoshop Actions. I am looking to optimize this further since it's the same repetitive work we could be spending on the actual designs.

We do full cut & sew apparel, so there are two parts:

  1. Mockups for ~10 different products (mens t-shirt, women's t-shirt, men's tank, hoodie, etc) to be automated in one process
  2. Templates for those products for our manufacturing (it's the same template every time but we have to lay the artwork out across each product, which varies in size and orientation)

We have one "input design file" which has all of the necessary design work. I am looking for a designer with deep automation (and possible coding) experience that could help me understand the actual technology involved here to go from Point A to Z.

The process goes like this..

  1. Lead designer creates a design
  2. Lead designer lays design across a single standardized template
  3. *What I need help with begins:* design is laid across all mockups (front and back)
  4. *What I need help with*: design is laid across all printable product templates (already standardized)

Anyone with experience of a similar project?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Jam collaborative software launches Jam Genies to give small startups access to experts

As the world moves towards remote work, the collaborative tools market continues to expand. Jam, a platform for editing and improving your company’s website, is adding to the trend by introducing a new arm to its product today called Jam Genies.

Jam Genies is a network of highly experienced product experts that Jam users can tap for guidance and advice around their specific issue or challenge.

Cofounder Dani Grant explained to TechCrunch that many small and early-stage companies don’t have the deep pockets to hire a consultant when they run into a challenge, as many charge exorbitant rates and they often have a minimum time requirement. It can be incredibly difficult to get bite-sized advice at a reasonable cost.

That’s where Jam Genies comes in.

Genies hail from a variety of ‘verticals’, such as investors, designers, brand people, and growth hackers. The list includes:

  • Brianne Kimmel – Angel investor and founder of Worklife VC. Investor in Webflow, Hopin & 40+ software companies building the future of work.
  • Erik Torenberg – Partner at Village Global, a fund backed by Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and others. Founding team at Product Hunt.
  • Sahil Lavingia – Founder & CEO of Gumroad, first engineer at Pinterest, and angel investing $ 10 million a year via shl.vc.
  • Iheanyi Ekechukwu – Engineer turned angel investor, and scout investor for Kleiner Perkins.
  • Soleio – Facebook’s second product designer, former head of design at Dropbox, and advisor at Figma. Invests in design-focused founders at Combine.
  • Dara Oke – Product design lead at Netflix, formerly designed and built products at Microsoft, Twitter, and Intel.
  • Katie Suskin – Designed many products you know and love like Microsoft Calendar, OkCupid, Tia, and … Jam.
  • Julius Tarng – Helped scale design at Webflow and led design tooling at Facebook.
  • Abe Vizcarra – Currently leading brand at Fast, former Global Design Director at Snap Inc.
  • Tiffany Zhong – CEO, Zebra IQ. Recognized by Forbes as one of the Top 10 Gen Z Experts.
  • Nicole Obst – Former Head of Web Growth (B2C) at Dropbox and Head of Growth at Loom
  • James Sherrett – 9th employee at Slack, led the original marketing and sales of Slack.
  • Asher King Abramson – CEO at Got Users, a growth marketing platform widely used by startups around Silicon Valley.

Users on the Jam platform can choose a Genie and set an appointment through Calendly. The sessions last half an hour and cost a flat fee of $ 250, all of which goes to the Genie.

Jam raised $ 3.5 million in October, from firms like Union Square Ventures, Version One Ventures, BoxGroup, Village Global and a variety of angel investors, to fuel growth and further build out the product. Jam Genies is, in many respects, a growth initiative for the company to better acquaint early-stage startups with the platform.

The main Jam product lets groups of developers and designers work collaboratively on a website, leaving comments, discuss changes and create and assign tasks. The platform integrates with all the usual suspects, such as Jira, Trello, Github, Slack, Figma, and more.

Since its launch in October 2020, the company has signed up 4,000 customers for its private beta waitlist, with 14,000 Jam comments created on the platform. The introduction of Jam Genies could add momentum to this growth push.

Startups – TechCrunch

Medical Repair Scaffolds Market By Current Industry Status, Growth Opportunities – Global Review 2021 to 2028 – National Gridiron League

Medical Repair Scaffolds Market By Current Industry Status, Growth Opportunities – Global Review 2021 to 2028  National Gridiron League
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

Fast raises $102M as the online checkout wars continue to attract huge investment

This morning Fast, a startup that provides online checkout and identity products, announced that it has closed a $ 102 million Series B. The new funding event was led by Stripe, a previous investor in Fast.

Stripe, an online payments giant, also led Fast’s Series A last year, a deal worth $ 20 million. Fast has raised $ 124 million to date, it said in a release.

TechCrunch reached out to Fast for comment regarding its growth pace. The company shared that gross merchandise volume (GMV) processed by its checkout service has “more than tripled each month,” adding that it expects that “trend to continue and increase.” The growth pace is hard to rate as we lack a base from which to scale, but we do now have an expectation for future GMV progress from Fast that we can use as a measuring stick.

Fast’s outsized Series B comes after a number of rival online checkout providers have also raised large rounds.

In late December Bolt, which provides online checkout, identity, and payments services raised a $ 75 million extension to its Series C round. The company also shared a number of growth metrics, allowing TechCrunch to get a handle on its current size, and expectations for future performance.

Then in mid-January Checkout.com raised $ 450 million at a $ 15 billion valuation. TechCrunch wrote at the time that “Checkout.com wants to build a one-stop shop for all things related to payments, such as accepting transactions, processing them and detecting fraud.” So, similar to Bolt and in competition with elements of what Fast offers.

Finally, Rapyd announced that it raised $ 300 million at a $ 2.5 billion valuation one day later. Rapyd provides fintech services via an API, TechCrunch noted, but as it does support global ecommerce payments and sells anti-fraud tech, it seems to fit inside this group.

Tack on Fast’s new Series B and inside the last month or so we’ve seen $ 927 million — at least — flow into startups with overlapping ecommerce infrastructure market targets. That’s just under $ 26 million a day since the Bolt round, an enormous amount of capital in a short period of time.

How are the companies all raising in such rapid-fire fashion? The most obvious answer to the question is that ecommerce is so big, and so critical to the global economy, that improving the experience of vending goods online for both sellers and buyers is a problem space with room for many players. That so many startups in the race to solve online commerce have each raised implies that they are all, so far, enjoying strong growth rates; and that implies a gigantic market into which they all hope to grow.

And it’s hard to argue in the wake of COVID-19 boosting ecommerce, and generally accelerating the digitization of the global economy, that such technologies will be constrained by market size anytime soon.

Startups – TechCrunch

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Top 5 Fastest Growing Sectors of Startup Venture Capital Investment in 2020 (Episode 166)

Did you now that Q4 of 2020 saw the greatest number of startup companies being launched than ever before in our country’s history? If you’re ready to start a business but just don’t know what business to get started, you’re not alone.

To help you figure out what business to start, we’re sharing some incredibly valuable insights from Tomasz Tunguz, director of the Redpoint venture capital firm. Tomasz breaks down the top categories that saw the biggest increase in venture capital investment in 2020.

Tune in to this morning’s WJR Business Beat to hear Jeff share the top five fastest growing sectors of startup investment:

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at editor@startupnation.com and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

Good morning, Paul.

2020 will certainly be known as a very unique year; let’s hope we don’t see one like that again. But, some good things happened worth highlighting, and one of those good things? How about more startups being started today than ever before? In fact, Q4 2020 saw the greatest number of startup companies being launched than ever before in our country’s history.

Look, if you’ve been dreaming about starting a business of your own, simply put, now is the time. There’s never been a better time than right now. Everything you need to start a company, from the technology that you need, to sourcing inventory, to marketing the company once you’ve got it up and running, is at your fingertips.

And if you agree that the time is now, but just don’t know what business to get started, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many face the same issue.

To help you figure out what business to start, we’ve got some high-value intelligence out of Silicon Valley. It comes from Tomasz Tunguz, who is the director of the Redpoint venture capital firm.

Tomasz breaks down the top categories that saw the biggest increase in venture capital investment in 2020. Here’s the top five:

Number one, quantum computing. Number two, dating platforms. Number three, battery technology. Number four, video conferencing. Ever heard of Zoom? Number five, music streaming.

So, look, admittedly, many of the hot sectors in technology are just simply too esoteric or specialized to be a practical choice as a sector to start a business in for most of us. But, understanding important trends, following the sectors that are hot, can act as a guidepost to lead you to an area to focus your energy and your creativity in, in order to come up with a business idea that is right for you.

And if you pursue a business that’s in a hot sector with lots of funding activity, your chance to make it big goes way up.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

The post WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Top 5 Fastest Growing Sectors of Startup Venture Capital Investment in 2020 (Episode 166) appeared first on StartupNation.


Ex-Uber team raises $6M seed for geospatial analytics platform Unfolded.ai

Years ago, Uber had a problem. With millions of users and tens of thousands of drivers scattered across a widening expanse of the globe, the fast-growing mobility startup wanted to display more accurate maps to users about where their ride was coming from and where it was intending to go to reach its destination. The challenge is that geospatial datasets can easily reach into the petabytes, so how do you transmit and visualize such data — particularly on mobile?

“We were tasked with this massive planetary dataset,” Sina Kashuk explained about the purpose of Uber’s data visualization team, and “if money wasn’t an object, how would you architect this so that it would have the best performance?” That was the active problem that confronted a quad of engineers and data scientists tasked with solving the problem. Kashuk, Shan He, Isaac Brodsky and Ib Green collectively spent about 16 years at Uber, and they and their teammates at Uber built up what is today Uber’s extensive geospatial data visualization system. He, Brodsky and Green had joined Uber around 2014 and 2015, while Kashuk joined later in 2017.

Thankfully, the code they developed wasn’t locked inside the Uber app — core elements of their engineering were open-sourced into two libraries: Kepler.gl, a web application that can take geospatial datasets and visualize them, and Deck.gl, which offers an extensible application framework for processing geospatial datasets and preparing them for visualization. According to Kashuk, Green was one of the leaders in the development of Deck.gl, and He developed Kepler.gl a year later using Deck.gl as a base. Both libraries remain in active development on GitHub and through Uber’s Visualization team.

Eventually, the quad realized that they could offer services on top of these libraries to other businesses, given some of the interest they were seeing with the open-source projects. “What we realized is that [these libraries] are all mature and they are ready to go to the market [and] there is opportunity beyond usage at Uber, and we thought that we can take these technologies to the next level,“ Kashuk said. The four departed Uber and eventually came together to create Unfolded.ai in late 2019.

The four founders of Unfolded.ai. Via Unfolded.ai.

The startup’s main product is called Unfolded Studio, which acts as a backend-as-a-service for applications built on top of Kepler.gl (which is only a frontend library itself) handling components like data management and server communications. In particular, the product is designed to bring different geospatial datasets together and allow them all to interact with each other in one unified view.

The team first funded their operations with some consulting projects, including with Google Earth, but now it has raised a seed round to further expand the team and its ambitions. To date according to Kashuk, Unfolded has raised a bit more than $ 6 million, with a seed round that closed last week led by Shvet Jain at S28 Capital with participation from other firms including Fontinalis Ventures. Auren Hoffman wrote the first personal check into the company, and the first institutional VC was IA Ventures.

Some of the first customers of the Unfolded platform have been in agtech, including a company called Indigo Agriculture, which focuses on helping farmers grow crops and livestock sustainably. Unfolded sees potential in many markets where location data intersects business, but for now, remains mostly heads down building out its platform and readying itself for more customers.

Startups – TechCrunch

[Zebra in PR Newswire] Maverick Medical AI Announces Elad Benjamin joins Board of Directors

TEL AVIV, Israel, Jan. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Maverick Medical AI announces the addition of Elad Benjamin to its Board of Directors. Elad brings over 20 years of executive-level experience in the Healthcare & Enterprise Software industry.

Read more here.

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