App that lets your partner know you need emotional or physical attention

I'm an indie developer that's working on an app that lets you press a button to notify your partner that you need emotional or physical attention. The idea is that it can help improve communication by making the request less direct and more fun. Could you help us name it? Thank you!

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

TVision raises $16M to measure viewer attention on connected TVs

TVision is building what its team hopes will become the standard for measuring streaming viewership — and to accelerate those efforts, it’s raised $ 16 million in new funding.

The New York City startup started out by measuring traditional TV viewing, using webcams to determine whether viewers were actually paying attention to the ads. More recently, it’s launched a solution focused on connected TVs, where co-founder and CEO Yan Liu said there’s no standard measurement.

“What I’ve found is that in streaming, there’s no such a thing called a TV rating,” he said. “There’s no good currency, per se, in the industry.”

Partly, that’s because the large players like Netflix and Disney+ are subscription-based, rather than ad-supported, so they have little incentive to work with third-party measurement firms.

Liu also said that the measurement solutions currently in the market are largely limited to tags — an approach that allows advertisers to measure how widely their ads were seen, but doesn’t show them how their performance stacks up against industry benchmarks or competitors.

So instead of relying on tags, TVision has built up a panel of connected TV watchers. In some ways, this is a very old-fashioned approach — it’s the core of how Nielsen measures TV audiences — but Liu said it’s harder than it looks, which is why you don’t see many other ad measurement companies building their own.

He added that TVision (not to be confused with the T-Mobile streaming bundles of the same name) has built new technology that uses data like WiFi signals to determine whether an ad is being played on a streaming service or on linear TV.

And Liu said it’s doing all of this in a regulation-compliant and privacy-friendly way, preventing any personally identifiable information from being uploaded and ensuring that panelists understand what data their sharing.

TVision’s measurement platform is focused on connected TVs, rather than desktop/laptop computers or mobile devices. However, Liu said it can offer cross-platform insights through a partnership with Oracle’s Moat.

The startup is already working with customers like Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch, Hulu, AMC and Dentsu Aegis Network, and it has raised a total of $ 39 million in funding. The new round was led by SIG Asia Investments, an affiliate of global trading firm Susquehanna International Group. Existing investors Accomplice, Golden Ventures and Jump Capital also participated.

Startups – TechCrunch

Top female-led tech startups in Berlin that deserve attention in 2020

Women in tech are striving hard to establish their presence and motivate others in the industry. However, even in the current modern world, the women entrepreneurs are under-represented and do not achieve parity as their male counterparts in the world of technology.

Women-led Berlin tech startups

There challenges in many aspects such as leadership positions and workplace benefits. Also, the women-led companies do not get easy access to funding. But some female-led startups have smashed records and are popular in their own industries.

Having said that, here is a list of women-led Berlin-based tech startups curated by Dealroom in partnership with WLounge.

Picture credits: Infarm

Infarm

Founder/s: Osnat Michaeli, Guy Galonska, Erez Galonska
Founded year: 2013
Funding: €202M

Infarm, aims to share the goodness of own-grown produce with everyone. The startup has developed a smart modular farming system, that allows the distribution of farms throughout the urban environment, growing fresh produce in any available space and fulfilling any demand.

The Berlin-based startup raised €144M in September this year as a part of the Series C funding round. The investment was led by LGT Lightstone alongside existing investors such as Atomico, TriplePoint Capital, Mons Capital, and Astanor Ventures; Hanaco, Bonnier, Haniel, and Latitude. The funding will be used to strengthen the regional and local penetration of Infarm’s global farming network.

Circ

Circ

Founder/s: Carlos Bhola, IQ Sayed, Lukasz Gadowski
Founded year: 2018
Funding: €55M

Circ formerly known as Flash was created with a shared vision of cleaner, safer, better-connected journeys. The company’s purpose-built e-scooters are now available in seven countries. This company is building a micro-mobility module in Europe, which is touted to transform the urban transportation.

Last year, Circ established its regional headquarters in the UAE. Notably, this is the first office for the company outside Europe. Furthermore, this makes it the first international micro-mobility company to officially launch in the Gulf region in partnership with local regulators and private developers.

Picture credits: Shippo

Shippo

Founder/s: Simon Kreuz, Laura Wu
Founded year: 2013
Funding: €53.9M

Shippo connects businesses and their customers together. The company integrates with the top e-commerce platforms to streamline the fulfillment process. Users can customise their shipping process, send personalised tracking information via email, create return labels and more. Also, users can access Shippo’s API to meet their unique needs.

Earlier this year, Shippo raised $ 30M (nearly €M) Series C funding as an extension to the Investment it secured in late 2019. The funding round was led by a new investor, D1 Capital Partners along with earlier investors such as Uncork Capital, Union Square Ventures, and Bessemer.

Picture credits: Penta

Penta

Founder/s: Aleksandar Orlic, Igor Kuschnir, Jessica Holzbach, Lav Odorovic, Luka Ivicevic, Sir Gabriel Holbach
Founded year: 2016
Funding: €39.7M

Penta, a Berlin-based fintech platform for business banking is one of other leading startups in Germany. This fintech startup automates bank accounts and invoices and offers online cashless banking services to startups and SMEs. Based in Berlin, Penta has offices in Belgrade and Milan too.

Earlier this year, this startup bagged €18.5M in the first closing of a new funding round backed by RTP Global, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and other investors. Pento is in plans to use the latest investment to develop its platform and is eyeing to expand into other European markets.

Doctorly

Founder/s: Anna von Stackelberg, Archil Eristavi, Nicklas Teicke, Samir El-Alami
Founded year: 2018
Funding: €6M

Based out of Berlin, Doctorly is a digital-first, cloud-powered, fully centralised, practice
management platform for doctors. The company works on the mission to replace the outdated practice management software being used by doctors in Germany and internationally. Also, Doctorly wants to offer digital personalised services and tools to patients via the health app patient portal, technology working perfectly in sync with their doctors.

In June this year, the company secured $ 5.6M (nearly €5M) led by Speedinvest and other investors including Seedcamp, Target Global, Force Ventures, and UNIQA Ventures.

Picture credits: Roq.ad

Roq.ad

Founder/s: Bartek Bogacki, Carsten Frien, Daniel Kramer, Kasia Zalewska, Richy Ugwu
Founded year: 2015
Funding: €3.8M

Roq.ad claims to be one of the leading cross-device technology providers in Europe. Roq.ad is dedicated to cracking today’s key marketing challenges arising from multi-device ownership and fragmented digital consumer identities. It intends to arm companies with the necessary knowledge and tools required to overcome these challenges and achieve their business objectives.

The particular insights that are provided by Roq.ad are designed to help brands build strong relationships with their target audiences in a personalised and non-intrusive manner.

Picture credits: Legal OS

Legal OS

Founder/s: Charlotte Kufus, Jake Jones, Lilian Breidenbach
Founded year: 2017
Funding: €2M

Legal OS’s platform enables lawyers to automate the lawyer-client relationship. Their library of machine-readable content allows lawyers to deliver digital contracts to their clients and embed the inherent data into the tools they use every day. The company lets manage contracts in one place, automates drafting of complex contracts and lets users stay secure and up-to-date.

Picture credits: Bunch

Bunch

Founder/s: Anthony Reo, Charles Ahmadzadeh, Darja Gutnick
Founded year: 2016
Funding: €1.4M

Berlin-based startup Bunch helps fast-growing businesses build their teams. It runs a SaaS platform called Team Analytics that is designed to provide data-based insights to organisations. The AI platform analyses data on team communications and provides an overview of collaboration, team morale, and more.

Late last year, Bunch secured $ 1.5M (nearly €M) seed funding from M13. It marks the first European investment from the Los Angeles VC firm’s new fund. The startup intends to expand into the US with this investment.

Picture credits: RAMPmedical

RAMPmedical

Founder/s: Helene Schonewolf, Jacques Ehret
Founded year: 2015
Funding: €100K

RAMPmedical enables doctors to take the best therapy decision for their patient by providing an overview of all adequate therapies with all parameters based on all available scientific knowledge. This software brings transparency to treatment decisions. RAMPmedical analyses current treatment guidelines and medical research and presents the results in an accessible way so doctors can understand the information and avoid mistakes. The startup secured €50K grant to help alleviate the COVID-19 pandemic from EIT Health Germany’s Headstart programme.

Picture credits: VAHA

VAHA

Founder/s: Valerie Bures-Bönström
Founded year: 2005
Funding: NA

VAHA is a developer of fitness technology intended to provide personalised and immersive sessions for body, mind and nutrition at home. The company’s technology is an interactive mirror that offers a wide range of services from cardio to strength training and yoga to boxing, enabling users to lead a healthy lifestyle using personal trainers at a reasonable cost.

Late last year, VAHA raised a double-digit million euros funding led by TQ Ventures, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, Global Founders Capital, and RTP Global. This investment is meant to drive the launch and growth of the interactive digital mirror.

Stock photo from Bojan Milinkov/Shutterstock

Startups – Silicon Canals

Why you have to pay attention to the Indian startup scene

This is The TechCrunch Exchange, a newsletter that goes out on Saturdays, based on the column of the same name. You can sign up for the email here.

Back in August during Y Combinator’s two-day demo extravaganza, TechCrunch noted a number of startups from India that stood out from the batch. Names like Bikayi (e-commerce tools), Decentro (consumer banking APIs), Farmako Healthcare (digital health records) and MedPiper Technologies (helping hire health professionals) joined our list of favorites from the batch.

Seeing so many India-focused startups in the mix wasn’t a fluke. Data shows that India’s venture capital scene has grown sharply in recent years. 2019 was the country’s biggest ever in terms of venture dollars invested, with Bain counting $ 10 billion during the year.

In 2020, the third quarter brought the country’s venture capital scene back to form. After a somewhat average start to the year, Indian startups saw their venture capital investment fall to just $ 1.5 billion in Q2, the lowest quarterly tally since 2016. But data via KPMG and PitchBook make it plain that Q3 was a rebound, with $ 3.6 billion invested into Indian startups during the three-month period.

That figure was not a historical record, mind; the Q3 total looks to be only the fourth-biggest VC quarter in India’s startup history since at least 2013 and, perhaps, ever. But it was a good bounce-back during a crippling pandemic all the same. The country’s VC deal count also rebounded a bit in the third quarter, with some of that money landing in big chunks, including a $ 500 million investment into Byju’s this September.

Smaller startups are also seeing strong results. Bikayi is one such startup. TechCrunch caught up with the company via email, digging into its post-Demo Day results. Its monthly recurring revenue (MRR) grew 60% in August from its July results, it said. And in late August the company told TechCrunch that it was on track to reach $ 1 million annual recurring revenue (ARR) by the end of the year.

Bikayi said more recently that it recorded 100% growth in the number of merchants it supports, and 100% revenue growth in September. So the WhatsApp-focused Shopify-for-India is racing ahead. October results, Bikayi CEO Sonakshi Nathani added, are looking “promising” as well.

To get a better handle on the Indian startup market more broadly, The Exchange got ahold of Accel investors Arun Mathew (based in the United States), and Prayank Swaroop (based in India), for a bit of digging.

Historically, falling bandwidth and smartphone costs along with improved Internet reliability helped lay the foundation for the recent Indian startup wave, according to Swaroop. Mathew added that some high-profile successes like Flipkart made startups a more attractive option, with the ecommerce company’s success helping to “change the tenor” of the conversation around founding tech firms in recent years.

It also helps, Swaroop added, that seasoned folks from existing Indian tech companies are branching out and starting companies of their own, recycling knowledge into new, smaller companies. This is a key method by which Silicon Valley has managed to create an outsized number of hits over time; a concentration of operators who have built big startups are key grist in the unicorn mill. And there’s more money being raised to help power new Indian tech companies.

All told, 2019 was a huge year for the Indian startup market in venture capital terms, and 2020’s recovery is underway. Let’s see what gets built.

Market Notes

The Exchange spent a lot of this week digging into venture capital data and trends, something that we love to do. If you need to catch up, here’s our look at the U.S. venture capital scene in Q3, and here are our notes on the more global picture. And we touched on India above. What more could there be?

Well, some data on healthcare-focused companies is just what we need. Per a new report from CB Insights, there are 41 healthcare-focused unicorns today. More importantly, startups focused on health-related matters (telemedicine, mental health, AI, etc.) just had a record quarter. Even for a pandemic, $ 21.8 billion went into the space across 1,539 global rounds in the third quarter. That’s far more activity than I would have guessed.

And with that, we’re cutting Market Notes short this week for some important TechCrunch news:

Hey y’all. It’s Megan Rose Dickey busting into Alex’s newsletter for a couple of quick news items. First, I officially launched my newsletter, Human Capital! It covers labor and diversity and inclusion in tech. Also, I relaunched the Mixtape podcast with my colleague Henry Pickavet. You can check out our first episode of Season 3 about California’s gig worker ballot measure Prop 22 here.

Megan is amazing and you should check out her pod and newsletter.

Various and Sundry

As always, there was more good stuff to share here than I can possibly fit, so let’s get right into the data, takes, links and other delicacies.

Wrapping, a survey from Salesforce shows that enterprise cloud CEOs are reporting better-than-anticipated revenue growth and lower-than-anticipated churn, when compared to their March estimates. That is probably why earnings haven’t been a disaster and so many unicorns were able to go public in Q3.

That and valuations in the public sphere are higher than what private investors are dishing up, inverting the market’s last few years.

See you Monday,

Alex

Startups – TechCrunch

This ‘Emotional’ AI startup caught the attention of music legend Quincy Jones; invests in it

AI

Legendary 28-time Grammy winner Quincy Jones has made an undisclosed strategic investment in the “Emotional” Artificial Intelligence company Musimap. In addition to being an investor, he will act as a special adviser to Musimap, utilising his industry standing to foster relationships and help the business grow.

The investment is being made through Jones media and artist management company Quincy Jones Productions. The board of directors also includes the CEO and founder of Silicon Castles and former President of Dolby International, Andreas Spechtler.

Investment fund & startup accelerator LeanSquare is also investing in Musimap as part of its commitment to supporting the music technology sector in Belgium and beyond.

The company has developed a technology that it describes as a “psycho-emotional profiling engine” called MusiMe. The technology builds emotional profiles for listeners, detailing their mood, feelings, and values based on their listening history.

87-year-old record producer Jones was fascinated by Musimap’s technology after it captured his imagination and said, “I’m incredibly impressed by Musimap’s technology and am delighted to be able to help them grow with this investment. I was pleasantly surprised by how accurate my personality profile was when testing MusiMe, and it’s apparent that the product has a tremendous amount of potential.”

Emotional AI

Founded in 2015 by Frederic Notet and Vincent Favrat, Musimap is an Emotional Artificial Intelligence (A.E.I.) company that leverages 20 years of human research, audio-processing, and AI. It claims to own one of the largest manually annotated music databases in the world.

According to the company, its set of APIs utilises the proprietary database in a fraction of a second to provide clients with unique emotional intelligence. Apart from MusiMe, the company has two other technologies: MusiMatch – it leverages AI to match and find musically similar tracks, and MusiMotion – this leverages AI to enrich metadata, tagging tracks with weighted moods, emotions, and musical attributes such as genre, key, and BPM.

Music icon, Jones, has long been regarded as a pioneer in the music technology space, investing in Spotify in its early days, as well as piano-learning software, Playground Sessions, alongside Jammcard. 

Jones’ career spans seven decades, with notable achievements including becoming the first African American Vice President of a major record label, as well as producing Michael Jackson’s all-time best-selling album, Thriller. 

In 2017 he launched Qwest TV, a service offering high-definition streams of concerts and music documentaries.

Image credit: ShutterStock

Startups – Silicon Canals