[Nanomedic in The Times of ISrael] Haifa hospital starts using startup’s ‘artificial skin’ to treat burn wounds

Israeli startup Nanomedic Technologies Ltd., maker of a medical device that can dress burns and other wounds with an artificial skin layer, said that Rambam Health Care Campus has started using its wound-care system for patient care.

Read more here.

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OurCrowd Blog

Upstart gaming studio Mountaintop starts its climb with $5.5M seed from friends and family

Mountaintop, a sort of supergroup game development studio founded by veterans from a multitude of other major companies in the industry, has collected a $ 5.5 seed round from friends and family, and announced that their first title will be a PvP shooter.

The company emerged last summer, headed by Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell and several others from larger gaming concerns that decided to strike off on their own. The idea would be to create an independent studio free from the pervasive culture of crunch and toxicity frequently found (or reported) at bigger publishers and developers.

Being independent also means no allowance from a big publisher, so they needed to get some capital to work with. That manifested from the enviably deep pockets of their families and friends, who I suppose felt more than justified in funding the activities of people whom they know to be successful entrepreneurs and industry movers and shakers.

The $ 5.5 million seed will go toward their first title, which will be a PvP shooter. Now, this may give some pause, as PvP shooters number among the last five years’ biggest successes (Overwatch, PUBG, Fortnite, Apex) and most notable failures (Crucible, Battleborn, Paragon, Gigantic) — the latter seemingly in fruitless attempts to emulate the former.

But the opportunistic corporate me-too attitude that sunk many a game is unlikely to exist at Mountaintop, a small team with no shareholders breathing down their neck — except their friends and family, who will be too polite to do so. If they think they can make an interesting and commercially viable PvP shooter, I say have at it, I’m tired of the other ones.

It’ll be nice to know that the product came from a crunch-free environment as well — as we’ve seen with Supergiant’s “Hades,” people working on their own schedules to make something they care about can have remarkable results.

As Mitchell put it:

We all know great games and products can be built without crunch. It’s about thoughtful scoping, planning, execution every step of the way. That’s not to say that avoiding crunch is easy — it’s incredibly challenging, especially with unexpected curve balls along the way.

In the end though, it always comes down to leadership and the decisions they make. At Mountaintop, we’re committed to doing right by the team, always.

The company has grown from the founding team of five now to 20. Although Mountaintop wasn’t intended from the start to be a pandemic-proof setup, its remote-first approach did mean that hiring during COVID didn’t mean changing how they planned for the company to work. Currently they have people from Epic, Blizzard, Naughty Dog, Respawn, Infinity Ward, Ubisoft, Raven, Turtle Rock, Double Fine, PopCap and (obviously) Oculus.

But among the team’s other priorities were diversity and inclusion. With 19 of the 20 people on staff men, and 18 of the 20 white, that seems to be presenting more of a challenge to them.

“We’re just getting started, but we’re building a studio with diversity and inclusion at the core, where everyone feels like they belong. We have a long way to go, but we’re committed to seeing it through,” said Mitchell. With a target headcount of about 50, there’s still a lot of room to grow into that promise.

No indication when we’ll learn more about the game, but at the current cadence we can probably expect another tidbit of info this summer.

Startups – TechCrunch

Wall Street hugs Affirm as it starts life as a public company

And we’re off to the races!

Last night, Affirm priced its IPO above its raised range at $ 49 per share, a sign that the public markets remain hungry for new listings. Provided that Affirm today trades similarly to how it priced, we could be looking at a 2021 IPO market that resembles last year’s heated results.


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That’s good news for a host of companies looking to follow in the financial technology unicorn’s footsteps.

Poshmark prices tonight and trades tomorrow. And with Qualtrics in the wings along with Coinbase, Roblox set to direct list, and Bumble said to file as well, we’re heading into another busy IPO quarter. Affirm’s first-day trading results will therefore hold extra importance, even if its pricing augurs well for IPOs more generally.

Affirm first targeted $ 33 to $ 38 per share before raising its range to $ 41 to $ 44 per share. Pricing at $ 49 is a victory. Briefly, why, and then a thought about what’s next for the IPO market.

Affirm

What does Affirm sell? First, per its S-1 filings, it charges merchants a fee to “convert a sale and power a payment.” That sounds like software revenues, albeit not in the recurring manner of a SaaS company.

Second, Affirm earns from “interest income [from] the simple interest loans that we purchase from our originating bank partners.” And, it offers virtual cards to consumers via its app, allowing it to generate interchange revenues.

We care about all of that as it’s important to realize that Affirm is not a software company in the context that we usually think about them, namely software as a service, or SaaS.

This matters when we consider how the market values Affirm; the more richly Affirm is valued in revenue-multiple terms by its new, $ 39 per-share IPO price, the more bullish we can presume the IPO market is.

What are Affirm’s gross margins? A great question, and one that is surprisingly hard to answer. If you read its final S-1 filing, you’ll find that all its chatter concerning “contribution profit” has been removed. This is a shame to some degree as contribution profit — and margin — were Affirm’s closest shared cognate to gross margin.

Startups – TechCrunch

Molotov starts its international expansion with seven African countries

French startup Molotov provides an OTT TV streaming service in France with live TV, premium channels, a cloud DVR and on-demand content. While the service has managed to attract 13 million users in France, it has yet to expand to other countries.

Molotov is starting its international expansion this year with a dozen countries on the roadmap. First, the service will be available in seven African countries, starting with Ivory Coast where it’s already live, Senegal in January, Cameroon in February, Burkina Faso in March, Tunisia in April, Guinea and Democratic Republic of Congo after that.

“When it comes to features, the service is more or less the same but content is different,” co-founder and CEO Jean-David Blanc told me. Molotov is betting on local partnerships to launch its service in new countries.

In today’s case, Molotov is partnering with Digital Virgo, a mobile payments company available in 40 countries. Digital Virgo is handling the relationships with local content owners. Molotov is taking care of operations and the tech stack.

There will be 15 channels at launch, such as Nina TV, Passions TV, Trace Urban, Trace Africa, Trace Urban Africa, Savannah TV, Gametoon, Africanews, Euronews, France24, Trace Sport Stars and DocuBox. Molotov will also grant access to its ad-supported on-demand streaming service Mango.

Image Credits: Molotov

In order to support its international expansion plans, the startup had to rework its infrastructure so that it’s more robust — it relies more on cloud hosting and it is partnering with more CDN companies. For instance, the service should work better if you don’t have as much bandwidth as before.

And this is just a start as Molotov is already talking with different B2B partners in Asia, South America and Europe. “Our strategy is that we lean on local players to launch Molotov in new countries,” Blanc said. So you can expect more news on the international front with new countries and new partners.

Startups – TechCrunch

Cyber Monday Starts Now! Shop Dell’s Cyber Week Savings Event

Ready for a tech upgrade? Achieve more each workday with exclusive member savings on powerful computers, top electronics and more. StartupNation Members can save an additional 5 percent to 10 percent on select Dell products during the Cyber Monday Savings Event, starting Sunday, Nov. 29 through Sunday, Dec. 6.

Speak with a Small Business Advisor today to custom fit your tech solution at 800-757-8442 or see below for steps on how to save online.


StartupNation exclusive discounts and savings on Dell products and accessories: Learn more here

Steps for Cyber Monday online savings

  1. Visit www.Dell.com/StartupNation
  2. Click “Get Coupon”
  3. Receive coupon by email and apply in online cart
  4. Shop small business solutions HERE

For any additional questions, reach StartupNation’s dedicated Account Executive at Megan_Wright@Dell.com.

Dell’s Cyber Monday savings event runs Nov. 29 through Dec. 6.

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TC Sessions: Space Black Friday ticket sale starts today

Nothing signals the start of the holiday shopping season like a Black Friday sale. It’s been an incredibly challenging year for everyone on every level. We can’t change that, but we can make attending TC Sessions: Space 2020 more affordable a bit longer.

Starting today, we’re offering a BOGO deal. Buy one Late Registration ticket for $ 175 and get one free. You and a colleague pay just $ 87.50 each — that’s less than the early-bird price. Booyah! We’re here all week folks…and this deal ends on Sunday, November 29, at 11:59 p.m. PST. Buy your pass before the deadline and put your savings to good use. And then get ready for two days of learning, networking and discovering opportunities to move your business forward.

TechCrunch attracts the top experts, and you’ll hear from and engage with leading founders, investors, technologists and government and military officials across private, public and defense sectors. Our agenda is packed with panel discussions, interviews, breakout sessions and interactive Q&As.

Topics include 3D-printed rockets, earth observation data, orbital operations, ground station networks, launch services, broadband communications, defense operations and manufacturing in space, sources of access to grant money and info on space accelerator programs. Read the event agenda and start planning your schedule now.

But wait, there’s more: Buy a pass and receive a free annual membership to Extra Crunch, our membership program focused on startups, founders and investors with more than 100 exclusive articles published per month (learn about the benefits).

More ways to save: We offer discounts for groups of four or more, students and current government, military and nonprofit employees. Extra Crunch subscribers get a 20% discount.

We’ve hosted many TC Sessions events over the years, and this is the first one dedicated to space technology. If you’ve never attended any TC Sessions event, listen to what these founders say about the experience:

People want to be around what’s interesting and learn which trends and issues they need to pay attention to. They want to learn from the experts, and TC Sessions has all the experts. — Melika Jahangiri, vice president at Wunder Mobility

TC Sessions is definitely worth your time, especially if you’re an early-stage founder. You get to connect to people in your field and learn from founders who are literally a year into your same journey. Plus, you can meet and talk to the movers and shakers — the people who are making it happen. — Jens Lehmann, technical lead and product manager, SAP

“TC Sessions offers several big benefits. First, networking opportunities that result in concrete partnerships. Second, the chance to learn the latest trends and how technology will evolve. Third, the opportunity for unknown startups to connect with other companies and build brand awareness.” — Karin Maake, senior director of communications at FlashParking

Take advantage of our week-long Black Friday sale. Buy a Late Registration pass for $ 175 by Sunday, November 29, at 11:59 p.m. (PST), and you get a second one f-r-e-e. Now, take that money you saved and do some good with it.

Is your company interested in sponsoring TC Sessions: Space 2020? Click here to talk with us about available opportunities.

Startups – TechCrunch

Dell’s Black Friday Early Access Sale Starts Today

Shop Dell’s exclusive members only early access Black Friday deals and save up to 42 percent off! Call 800-757-8442 today to speak with a Small Business Advisor to access these deals while supplies last.

To browse your additional savings on all Dell solutions, visit www.Dell.com/StartupNation for more information.

Dell's Black Friday Early Access Sale


StartupNation exclusive discounts and savings on Dell products and accessories: Learn more here

Steps for Black Friday online savings

  1. Visit www.Dell.com/StartupNation
  2. Click “Get Coupon”
  3. Receive coupon by email and apply in cart
  4. Shop small business and startup deals HERE

Sale runs Thursday, Nov. 5 through Sunday, Nov. 15.

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