Here are the 19 companies presenting at Alchemist Accelerator Demo Day XXV today

When Alchemist Accelerator shifted its Demo Day to virtual earlier this year, Alchemist director and founder Ravi Belani told me it was a move he expected the team to stick with for some time. Nearly half a year later it’s time for another Demo Day — and sure enough, with the pandemic still ongoing, it’s another virtual one.

As an enterprise accelerator, Alchemist focuses primarily on seed-stage companies that make their money from other companies rather than those that sell to consumers. This latest cohort (the accelerator’s 25th) saw nearly 20 companies go through the program, with focuses ranging from physical therapy devices to an AI “coach” for sales reps to productivity tools for software developers.

This afternoon the accelerator is also announcing that Volvo (via the Volvo Cars Tech Fund) has joined Alchemist as an investor. While the two companies did not specify how much Volvo was investing, previous similar partnerships saw companies like GE and Juniper Networks invest around $ 2 million-$ 3 million.

Care to see the companies make their debut to the world? Alchemist will be streaming its Demo Day on YouTube, with programming set to begin at 2 p.m. pacific.

Don’t have time to watch the whole thing? Here’s an alphabetized list of all the companies scheduled to present, along with some notes about what each is working on:

Image Credits: Anda Technologies

Anda Technologies: A simplified smartwatch with built-in GPS, calling and a quick symbol-based messaging system, meant to help parents and caretakers stay in touch in situations where a full smartphone might be too much. They initially focused on Latin America, and are now expanding support to U.S. and Europe.

Botco.ai: A “conversational marketing platform” — in other words, marketing chatbots meant to increase sales and conversions. Potential customers can chat with these bots over SMS or messaging apps, and their AI will use its growing understanding of what it knows about your business to respond.

BreachRX: A platform meant to help streamline your company’s response when a security breach happens. They provide response playbooks, help assign tasks to the correct team members and help capture records of how and when your company took action.

ClearQuote: Computer vision-based vehicle inspections. The company says it can scan an entire vehicle for damage using a smartphone camera in around 60 seconds, calculating cost of repair on the fly. Focusing on end-of-lease inspections, used car inspections and rental car return inspections first.

Copilot: An AI-powered “coach” for sales reps. As reps make phone/video calls, Copilot analyzes the conversation and generates “cue cards” with relevant information.

Evolution Devices: A wearable electrical stimulation device meant to help in the rehabilitation process for those with lower limb weaknesses (including stroke survivors or individuals with multiple sclerosis). The device adapts to each user’s own walking pattern, and helps with remote care by reporting data (such as step counts) back to the patient’s therapist.

Faucetworks: An “artificial neurologist,” meant to help more quickly identify neurological emergencies while a patient is in an ambulance en route to a hospital, or at hospitals where no neurologist is on site. Their hardware system asks patients a series of questions, then walks them through a physical exam.

HR Messenger: An HR/onboarding chatbot built to work over WhatsApp/Facebook Messenger, helping to automate things like pre-screening questions, interview scheduling and referral requests. The company says it’s working with clients including KFC and H&M.

Hopthru: Data analysis platform for public transit agencies. Hooks into the data these agencies already collect, cleans it up, then pipes it into a dashboard to help these transit agencies find ways to improve their routes and ridership.

Image Credits: Hubly Surgical

Hubly Surgical: Building a smarter drill for neurosurgeons performing “skull puncture” operations. The company says that many surgeons still use basic, standard (hand-cranked!) drills, which can lead to high complication rates. Hubly’s drill helps to precisely angle the drill and is built to prevent the surgeon from drilling too deep. Expects to see FDA clearance in 2021, and launch in U.S. hospitals in 2022.

HyPoint: Working on high-power, high-density hydrogen fuel cell systems for aviation, meant to dramatically reduce CO2 emissions from air transportation.

Mobiz: A platform for sending personalized marketing messages to your established customer base via SMS, building “personalized micro-sites” for each user based on the brand’s existing data. The company says it’s already working with companies like Burger King and Woolworth, and is currently seeing $ 6 million in ARR.

Nano Diamond Battery: NDB is aiming to build a self-charging, sustainable battery. This one is perhaps a bit too complex to capture in a sentence or two, so see our previous coverage of NDB here.

Node App: A marketplace for connecting brands with influencers. Node helps to verify each influencer’s audience, then connects brands with these influencers with pre-negotiated deal terms.

Rectify: A tool meant to automatically detect and redact sensitive information when sharing documents outside of an organization. Focusing on the insurance market at first. Founder Melissa Unsell-Smith says the Rectify founding team previously worked together for 15 years in AT&T’s corporate legal department.

RubiLabs Inc: A platform focusing on making on-demand deliveries of medical products (vaccines, medications, etc.) to hospitals and pharmacies in Africa via drones, motorcycles and other dedicated vehicles. The company estimates that it has already saved 7,000+ lives.

Seventh.ai: Pitching itself as “Carta for intellectual property,” Seventh.ai helps founders identify which parts of their business can/should be patented, to better understand what the competition has patented, and to work through the patenting process. The company says it’s currently seeing around $ 250,000 in ARR. Founder Alex Polyansky says he spent 10 years as a patent examiner at the USPTO.

Tocca: A platform meant to help B2B companies throw branded virtual sales events, providing things like virtual lobbies, stages, breakout rooms and person-to-person networking tools. Integrates into tools like HubSpot and Salesforce to make post-event followups more efficient.

Image Credits: Veamly

Veamly: A “unified inbox” feed for developers that brings threads and messages from Slack, GitHub and Jira into one view, as well as a unified search that can dig in across these tools. Founder Emna Ghariani says the company’s “proprietary prioritization engine” helps to sort tasks and tickets by importance, and to analyze the time they’re spending in each tool throughout the week.

Startups – TechCrunch

A dating site for businesses: Matchmaker.Ruhr brings together startups and more established companies (Sponsored)

Are you looking for new contacts and joint projects? A new digital platform is bringing startups from all over the world together with companies from the Ruhr industrial region. Matchmaker.Ruhr is a new digital platform that is bringing startups together with established companies from the Ruhr region. This matchmaking platform lets startups know about companies that…

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Barclays, Microsoft, Walmart, Cisco-backed Team8 launches Team8 Fintech for founding & scaling fintech companies

Multiple sectors were heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic. While some sectors observed a lull period, others recorded heavy user interest, and fintech, as a sector, falls into the latter category. Fintech companies have been doing notably well ever since the coronavirus pandemic began, which could be attributed to the fact that most transactions and services can now be availed online. 

To help more fintechs thrive, global venture group, Team8 has launched Team8 Fintech, a practice focused on founding and scaling fintech companies. This venture group specialises in enterprise technologies, data, AI and cybersecurity and is backed by the likes of Barclays, Microsoft, Walmart, Cisco.

Going beyond idea, capital and tech

Team8 aims to aid in the creation of both B2B and B2B2C companies that can empower industry players with new technologies and new business offerings. The venture believes that depending on merely good ideas, capital and superior-tech is not enough in the world of financial services. As per Team8, a venture should be about coaching, support and the environment to breed innovation.

Some impressive personnel are spearheading the Team8 venture. The list includes Ronen Assia, founder of social trading network unicorn eToro, Yuval Tal, founder of digital payments unicorn Payoneer, Rakefet Russak-Aminoach, creator of Israel’s first and only neobank Pepper, and Galia Beer-Gabel, who held senior roles for PayPal internationally. 

“The financial industry is facing a perfect storm, with inevitable changes and advancements already underway. Understanding the challenges and complexities of incumbents or other enterprises to innovate from within, my passion is to build the type of companies I would have wanted to collaborate with in my previous role as CEO of a bank. I see great opportunities in leveraging new technologies to completely reinvent financial services, drive efficiency and improve customer experience,” says Rakefet Russak-Aminoach, Founder of Team8 Fintech. 

Accelerating your path to success

Team8 claims to deliver deep domain expertise for creating and investing in companies specialising in enterprise technology, cybersecurity and fintech. The venture group will leverage its “Team8’s signature foundry model of company building” and ideate new solutions to address existing problems and target opportunities for relevant audience. 

It is also set to partner with ‘exceptional’ entrepreneurs to co-found new companies, while providing domain expertise and company-building capabilities to mitigate the complexity of building companies in a highly regulated and fragmented market. Its resources are referred to as the Team8 Village, which is said to be an extensively rich ecosystem of corporate executives and investors. This insight and resourcefulness, the venture claims, will accelerate a new company’s path to success. 

“We’ve been incredibly impressed by Team8’s approach and track record, and feel they are the ideal partner to help think through some of the challenges and opportunities we all face,” says Ben Davey, CEO of Barclays Ventures.

Main image credits: Shutterstock

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Startups – Silicon Canals

These insanely fast-growing fintech companies from Amsterdam are hiring right now

The economy of almost all countries around has been negatively impacted due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Netherlands was hit with a recession as well, which caused companies to cut back on spends and even let go of employees in some cases, raising unemployment numbers in the country. 

Now, with the lockdown easing up and things getting back on track, companies are hiring again.Especially the fintech sector has fueled growth in the job market, so here are some open vacancies in some insanely fast-growing Amsterdam-based fintech companies.

Adyen

Founders: Pieter van der Does, Arnout Schuijff

Total Funding: €293M

Adyen is one of the biggest payment processing companies with a market cap north of €40 billion. It is looking for fresh talent to hire, and at the time of writing this article, there are 55 open vacancies available at the company’s job portal, which you can check out here. Adyen helps businesses with its payment platform, which enables merchants to accept payments in a single system so that their revenue grows via online, on mobile devices, and at the point of sale.

Factris

Founders: Brice Laurent, Marcel Meijer

Total Funding: €52.M

Amsterdam headquartered fintech Factris helps SMEs turn their invoices into cash in just 24 hours. The startup also offers a Finance Automation for Business platform (FAB), which automates tasks for employees to focus on personalised customer care. 

The company says it has registered zero fraud cases since the service had launched. After raising a notable €50M in a new financing agreement, the company is on the lookout for new additions to its team. You can check out the open job profiles on the company’s careers page here.

Mollie

Founders: Adriaan Mol
Amount raised: €115M

Amsterdam-based payment services provider Mollie recently joined the fintech unicorn club after it raised €90M in its series B funding round. The company was launched in 2004 and is one of the leading payment processors in Europe. It facilitates companies of all sizes to build their business by allowing them to use different payment methods such as Apple Pay, credit cards, PayPal, Klarna, and iDeal among others. You can check out open positions at the company here.

Fixico

Founders: Derk Roodhuyzen de Vries, Mark van Laar, 

Amount raised: €14,3M

The Amsterdam-based online car damage repair platform, Fixico raised €7 million in its previous funding round  early Lyft investor from Autotech Ventures. The Dutch (insurtech) company offers a digital platform that seamlessly handles car repair for consumers, insurers, and fleet owners, offering them complete control at every step in the repair process. The company has grown further since its last funding round and is now looking for new team members to expand its local and international footprint. You can apply for jobs at Fixico here

Ohpen

Founders: Bas Wouwenaar, Chris Zadeh, Erik Drijkoningen, and Ilco van Bolhuis

Amount raised: €40M

Ohpen is a Dutch fintech company that claims to be the world’s first SaaS core banking engine that runs entirely on the cloud. The company aims to liberate its customers from their legacy systems, and its service is available as SaaS or BPO. The startup also recently acquired mortgage fintech Davinci to extend its core banking product range into the mortgage market. You can check out open positions at the company here

Bitfury

Founders: Valery Vavilov, Mark Dollar, Steven Schultz

Amount raised: 

Amsterdam-based unicorn Bitfury is a full-service bitcoin and blockchain company that is a security and infrastructure provider for Bitcoin and Blockchain. The company launched its AI unit a while ago, which operates alongside its blockchain services. CEO and co-founder of Bitfury, Valery Vavilov also shared his insights on how blockchain is changing the tech world in Europe, which you can check out here. There are also new job postings on the company’s career page.

Bunq

Founders: Ali Niknam

Amount raised: €44.9M

Bunq is one of the established players in the digital baking scene. The company is trying to reshape banking by making it digital, and it announced the third revamp of its app Bunq V3, a few months ago. The company added a host of new features with the update, which are aimed at enhancing usability. Additionally, a new feature will enable users to donate for any charity they want to support. You can apply for open positions at the company here

Bux 

Founders: Nick Bortot 

Amount raised: €29.6M 

The online commission-free investment platform Bux is an Amsterdam based company, which achieved the title of being the biggest neobroker in Europe. BUX was founded back in 2014 by Nick Bortot in Amsterdam, and it aims to make it easy and affordable for users to invest in the market. You can check out jobs available at the company here

This article is produced in collaboration with StartupAmsterdam. Read more about our partnering opportunities.

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Startups – Silicon Canals

Bank-as-a-service startup Swan helps other companies issue cards, accounts and IBANs

Meet Swan, a new French startup that wants to let other companies offer financial services by issuing cards, bank accounts and IBANs with just a few lines of codes. The company could be considered as a bank-as-a-service platform, like Treezor or solarisBank.

Originally founded by startup studio eFounders, the startup just raised a $ 5.9M million (€5 million) seed round led by Creandum with Bpifrance’s Digital Venture fund also participating.

Swan has obtained an e-money license from the French regulator, which lets them operate payment services and hold user funds. Unlike a bank, it can’t issue credit lines. The company also handles risk, which means that it handles KYC processes (“know your customer”). Essentially, if you’re working with Swan, they take care of all the risky aspects of managing money.

Compared to other bank-as-a-service companies, Swan doesn’t necessarily want to power neobanks and help them get started. The startup thinks a ton of companies touch on financial services but can’t offer those services because it’s such a big investment.

For instance, you can imagine an invoicing product that generates IBANs for you so that it automatically matches incoming transactions to the right invoice (like Upflow). On-demand companies could issue cards to their delivery employees partners so that they can pay for groceries and food directly using a Swan-powered card. Marketplace companies could handle pay-ins and pay-outs at a more granular level with each client managing their own e-money wallet.

This vision is part of a bigger trend called embedded finance. By expanding your product to control a bigger stack of the experience, you can provide new products and services and make your customers stick around for a long time.

As a Swan customer, you can customize the branding with your own logo and colors. When you issue cards, you can choose between a physical Mastercard card or a virtual one. They work with Apple Pay and Google Pay. You pay €900 per month and a flat monthly fee for each account and card that you issue.

Swan is taking a developer-oriented approach. The company says it can take several months to integrate a banking-as-a-service product into your own product. With an API-driven approach, Swan wants to make it as easy as integrating Stripe on your e-commerce website.

Startups – TechCrunch

[Superpedestrian in Geekwire] Seattle selects three scooter companies to apply for permits — here’s what sets them apart

Lime, Wheels and LINK emerged Friday from a selection process that attracted interest from nine scooter share companies. The three companies will be allowed to operate up to 500 scooters each at the outset, and that number could grow to 2,000 for each operator.

Read more here.

The post [Superpedestrian in Geekwire] Seattle selects three scooter companies to apply for permits — here’s what sets them apart appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

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Announcing the Startup Battlefield companies at TechCrunch Disrupt 2020

TechCrunch is thrilled to announce the 20 companies pitching in Startup Battlefield. Founders from around the world will be connecting in remotely to pitch live on the virtual TechCrunch Disrupt 2020 stage. Our most competitive batch to date, startups will be vying for $ 100,000 in equity-free prize money and the attention of tier-1 investors and global press.

The competition is stiff. The selected startups have undergone a rigorous application process, with a 2% acceptance rate. This year’s batch is exceptional. From green engine design to social networking video tools, GIS construction management to central American banking platforms for women, and adaptive Sub-Saharan African transportation to healthcare affordability, these companies make groundbreaking innovations in their verticals. Startups featured run the gamut — water conserving vertical farming in India, screen-less interfaces, security tech, multi-lingual adaptive children’s learning toys and even 3D-printed rocket fuel.

Teams have trained for weeks with the Startup Battlefield team to hone their pitches, polish their live demos and strengthen their business launch strategy. Monday through Thursday, startups will pitch live for six minutes, followed by a six-minute Q&A session with our expert judges. On Friday, the finalist companies selected will pitch again for the final Startup Battlefield round — this time with a new set of judges.

Startup Battlefield starts on Monday, September 14th at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time, with Startup Battlefield moderator and TechCrunch Senior Writer Anthony Ha. To watch the live stream simply log in to TechCrunch.com. You can also gain access to the full Disrupt 2020 experience here.

Let’s check out the companies:

Monday 

Session 1: 10:30 a.m. – 11:35 a.m. PT

Matidor, Clinic Price Check, Firehawk Aerospace, Satellite Vu, DaVinci Kitchen*

Tuesday

Session 2: 10:30 a.m. – 11:35 a.m. PT

SoloSuit, Tuverl, Latent AI, HacWare, Vibe*

Wednesday

Session 3: 10:30 a.m. – 11:35 a.m. PT

Jefa, Touchwood Labs, Rally.video, Luther AI, Kiri

Thursday

Session 3: 10:40 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. PT

Perigee, Urban Kisaan, Crover, ClearFlame Engine Technologies, Canix

Friday

Finals begin at 10:40 a.m. PT. Companies will be announced online Thursday night.

*As a part of Startup Alley, companies are eligible for the Wild Card. These are the companies selected for Wild Card and can compete in Startup Battlefield. They are selected only days before the event.

Startups – TechCrunch

Amsterdam-based AMMP raises €1.15 million to grow its software for renewable energy companies in emerging markets

AMMP Technologies, the operations platform for decentralized renewable energy systems, has raised €1.15 million in venture funding. The seed round was led by Point Nine Capital (early investor in B2B SaaS companies such as Zendesk and Typeform), with participation from Africa-focused Raba Partnership and Musha Ventures. The company’s ambition is to be the software platform underpinning tomorrow’s…

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What happens when public SaaS companies don’t meet heightened investor expectations?

Late last week we discussed how, this deep into the earnings cycle, it appeared that public SaaS and cloud companies had largely made it through the Q2 gauntlet unscathed. Sure, through last week there was a report or two that wasn’t stellar, but by and large the results had been good and SaaS valuations were happily near all-time highs.


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That’s still the case today, albeit with some caveats. Yesterday, a few public SaaS and cloud companies were dinged sharply by investors after reporting their earnings and I want to talk about why.

My hunch: Many SaaS companies that investors expected to accelerate during this period of more-rapid-than-anticipated digital transformation are not, or at least not enough to match market hopes. That means that their results were not quite what investors expected. And, thus, down went their share prices.

The analogy for startups is pretty clear here, just slower. Public valuations are updated far more often than private valuations, so the stuff we’re seeing today in SaaS stocks won’t show up in SaaS startup valuations for a bit. But I wonder if the same expectation/reality gap that we can discern in a number of recent SaaS results could hit startups as well, with boards that were expecting more than will be delivered in time.

Overall, SaaS and cloud valuations are still strong. Zoom crushed the period. Salesforce did well, too. And with valuations high, revenue multiples remain historically stretched. So, I don’t think that today’s news changes the general market dynamic toward public SaaS companies, and thus SaaS startups. But yesterday’s results are a bit of a warning sign all the same.

Let’s explore.

Whoops

Friend of the column Jamin Ball compiled a list of the SaaS companies reporting yesterday, including MongoDB, Guidewire, SmartSheet, CrowdStrike, PagerDuty and Zuora. Those are the companies whose results we are exploring today.

To keep this post from becoming interminably long, we’ll be brief and direct. So, in bullet points and with terse language:

  • MongoDB: Shares up 2.2% in pre-market trading. MongoDB beat on revenue ($ 138.3 million versus $ 126.8 million expected), and per-share profit. It also guided higher for current-quarter revenue than expectations ($ 137 million to $ 139 million versus $ 130.6 million). So, MongoDB managed to crush earnings, smashed expectations and was rewarded with a tiny 2.2% gain this morning. That result is not a counterexample to our thesis. It’s early confirmation.

    Startups – TechCrunch