[TytoCare in Pop Sugar] This Remote Exam Kit Makes Virtual Doctor Visits Incredibly Easy

When your kid starts complaining of a painfully sore throat, you need a doctor’s appointment ASAP — not tomorrow or the next day when the office can squeeze you in. That’s when virtual visits really come in handy.

Read more here.

The post [TytoCare in Pop Sugar] This Remote Exam Kit Makes Virtual Doctor Visits Incredibly Easy appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

Do you get that sinking feeling when you see another startup doing what you’re doing – this is normal right?

The industry I'm building in is becoming quite trendy, and I've seen a bunch of early stage competitors researching on reddit lately. I'm wondering if it's common to get a sinking feeling/minor anxiety when you see others doing what you're doing? Is it fair argument to say… the ones who build the best product, the fastest will win out? I try to use this feeling to just keep pushing me on

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

Weekly VC Overview: All 65 European funding rounds we tracked this week (Oct. 19-23, 2020)

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The post Weekly VC Overview: All 65 European funding rounds we tracked this week (Oct. 19-23, 2020) first appeared on EU-Startups.

EU-Startups

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

This Irish startup offers revenue-based financing for ecommerce brands; bags €6.8M to grow globally

Although the e-commerce industry is booming, there are still some roadblocks on the path of its success and growth. This is where several solutions come to the rescue by helping companies grow their e-commerce sales. One such firm is Dublin-based Wayflyer, which provides brands with revenue-based funds and free analytics.

Bags €8.6M seed funding

Wayflyer, an Irish e-commerce revenue-based financing and marketing analytics platform bagged $ 10.2M (nearly €8.6M) seed capital funding. This investment round was led by QED Investors including ClearScore, Credit Karma, Nubank and SoFi along with Middlegame Ventures and co-investors Speedinvest and Fintech Investment Vehicle FGFE.

The fresh investment will support the global growth ambitions of the company, its ability to continue providing funding for e-commerce platforms and develop its proprietary technology further. This investment comes as Wayflyer scales to meet the heavy demand in the e-commerce industry for its funding and analytics products and services that are ideal for small businesses. Also, the company intends to reach profitability in 2021.

Aidan Corbett, Wayflyer’s CEO and co-founder says that this funding will let them expand their global footprint.

Notably, Wayflyer aims to expand their customer base in the US, the U.K. and Ireland. Also, it aims to strengthen their presence in fast-growing e-commerce markets such as Australia and Canada. A portion of this new capital will be dedicated to improving Wayflyer’s analytics and marketing insights software to be even more responsive and customisable, allowing clients to capitalise upon unseen marketing opportunities.

Pumps funds to growing e-commerce brands

Founded in 2019 by Aidan Corbett and Jack Pierse, Wayflyer helps e-commerce brands meet their potential by providing them with unsecured and affordable capital of up to $ 5M (nearly €3.3M) for advertising and inventory.

According to the company, each Wayflyer advance has a simple one-off fixed fee (typically from 4-12%). This fee helps recover the costs associated with funding the advance and processing your application. It claims there are no origination fees, annual fees, monthly maintenance fees, documentation fees, or hidden fees.

In order to qualify for the advance, as per the company, ecommerce companies must fit into the below criteria:

  • At least 6 months operating history
  • At least $ 250,000 ( nearly €211K)in annual online revenue in the past year
  • Headquartered in USA, UK, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand
  • Can easily spend $ 5,000 – $ 500,000 (€4223 – €422,307)per month in online marketing

Wayflyer claims that it offers a mix of funding and AI-driven marketing insights enabling founders to take control of their businesses and succeed in the infancy stages of their brands.

Main image picture credits: Wayflyer

Startups – Silicon Canals

This Danish startup believes co-living can help fight housing and climate crisis, intolerance & loneliness; raises €6M

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has impacted many industries including aviation, hospitality and much more. Despite the hardship, a Danish proptech startup LifeX, which already operates in six European cities secured fresh funding to expand its presence. This makes its co-living model successful during extremely tough times.

Secures €6M funding

LifeX has secured €6M funding from a Copenhagen-based startup studio, Founders alongside Berlin-based VC fund, Cherry Ventures. Previously, LifeX announced a seed funding round of €7.5M from the same investors along with participation from a few others. With the current funding round, LifeX has now received nearly €15M funding on the whole and is gearing up to raise a Series A round in the near future.

LifeX: A sneak peak!

The fresh investment will.be used to strengthen the presence of LifeX in both the existing and new markets, fuel product development, and accelerate its vision to make anyone feel at home across the world.

Founded in 2017 by Sune Theodorsen and Ritu Jain, LifeX claims to help young professionals overcome the many challenges of finding housing and growing a social network. The company offers a family-style approach to co-living, featuring shared living spaces filled with designer furniture. It also removes common points of conflict such as chores, house maintenance and bills.

LifeX also claims to help young professionals grow their social networks through community fostering initiatives such as events, networking opportunities and more with its embedded members from over 50 different countries.

According to the company, the monthly rent depends on the city, the apartment and the room size. Deposits vary from city-to-city in the range of €1 – €1.5k. The startup asks its customers to prepay the last month’s rent when they join LifeX. This means that as soon as they give their one-month move out notice, LifeX knows what your last month will be and this month will already be paid for.

According to the company, its prices are all-inclusive and includes, rent, utilities, Wi-Fi and Netflix membership, cleaning service (twice a week) for both the shared space and private room, shared supplies (household items that are generally shared among housemates like toilet paper, laundry detergent, salt, pepper, cooking oil etc.)

Success amidst COVID-19 crisis

While the hospitality industry is extremely hit by the COVID-19 crisis, LifeX claims to have continued to find success and has earned the attention of investors. “We have been focusing on our community of members, which is the essence of LifeX. It was really important for us to remain approachable and reactive during these unprecedented times. We were due to release a new feature in our LifeX app, which aimed to enhance communication with our members. We identified the need to accelerate development of this feature and released it during the lockdown period, allowing us to maintain a closer line of communication with our members,” says Theodorsen, who is the CEO of LifeX.

According to the company, it has also been focusing on fighting loneliness brought about by the pandemic-driven lockdown and isolation. “What we noticed during the crisis was that our members were very appreciative of not having to face this alone. They enjoyed spending time together, bonding and having their housemates as a support system to rely on,” says Theodorsen.

Currently, LifeX operates co-living homes in Copenhagen, Berlin, London, Paris, Munich and Vienna. There are 30 employees with offices in these cities mentioned here.

Main image picture credits: LifeX

Startups – Silicon Canals

Investors ‘are best served playing a little bit of the fence’ during this election period: Thornburg Investment Management – Yahoo Canada Finance

Investors ‘are best served playing a little bit of the fence’ during this election period: Thornburg Investment Management  Yahoo Canada Finance
“nigeria startups when:7d” – Google News

This former Tesla CIO just raised $150 million more to pull car dealers into the 21st century

“I have to choose my words carefully,” says Joe Castelino of Stevens Creek Volkswagen in San Jose, Ca., when asked about the software on which most car dealerships rely for inventory information, to manage marketing, to handle customer relationships and to otherwise help sell cars.

Castelino, the dealership’s service director, laughs as he says this. But the joke has apparently been on car dealers, most of whom have largely relied on a few frustratingly antiquated vendors for their dealer management systems over the years — along with many more sophisticated point solutions.

It’s the precise opportunity that former Tesla CIO, Jay Vijayan, concluded he was well-positioned to address while still in the employ of the electric vehicle giant.

As Vijayan tells it, he knew nothing about cars until joining Tesla in 2011, following a dozen years of working in product development at Oracle, then VMWare. Yet he learned plenty over the subsequent four years. Specifically, he says he helped to build with Elon Musk a central analysis system inside Tesla, a kind of brain that could see all of the company’s internal systems, from what was happening in the supply chain to its factory systems to its retail platform.

Tesla had to build it itself, says Vijayan; after evaluating the existing software of third company providers, the team “realized that none of them had anything close to what we needed to provide a frictionless modern consumer experience.”

It was around then that a lightbulb turned on. If Tesla could transform the experience for its own customers, maybe Vijayan could transform the buying and selling experience for the much bigger, broader automotive industry. Enter Tekion, a now four-year-old, San Carlos, Ca., company that now employs 470 people and has come far enough along that just attracted $ 150 million in fresh funding led by the private equity investor Advent International.

With the Series C round — which also included checks from Index Ventures, Airbus Ventures, FM Capital and Exor, the holding company of Fiat-Chrysler and Ferrari — the company has now raised $ 185 million altogether. It’s also valued at north of $ 1 billion. (The automakers General Motors, BMW, and the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Alliance are also investors.)

Eric Wei, a managing director at Advent, says that over the last decade, his team had been eager to seize on what’s approaching a $ 10 billion market annually. Instead, they found themselves tracking incumbents Reynolds & Reynolds, CDKGlobal and Dealertrack, which is owned by Cox Automotive, and waiting for a better player to emerge.

Then Wei was connected to Tekion through Jon McNeill, a former Tesla president and an advisory partner to Advent.

Says Wei of seeing its tech compared with its more established rivals: “It was like comparing a flip phone to an iPhone.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, McNeill, who worked at Tesla with Vijayan, also sings the company’s praises, noting that Tekion even bought a dealership in Gilroy — the “garlic capital” of California — to use as a kind of lab while it was building its technology from scratch.

Such praise is nice, but more importantly, Tekion is attracting the attention of dealers. Though citing competitive reasons, Vijayan declined to share how many have bought its cloud software —  which connects dealers with both manufacturers and car buyers and is powered by machine learning algorithms — he says it’s already being used across 28 states.

One of these dealerships is the national chain Serra Automotive, whose founder, Joseph Serra, is now an investor in Tekion.

Another is that Volkswagen dealership in San Jose, where Castelino — who doesn’t have a financial interest in Tekion — speaks enthusiastically about the time and expenses his team is saving because of Tekion’s platform.

For example, he says a customers need only log-in now to flag a particular issue. After that, with the help of an RFID tag, Stevens Creek knows exactly when that customer pulls into the dealership and what kind of help they need, enabling people to greet him or her on arrival. Tekion can also make recommendations based on a car’s history. It might, for instance, suggest to a customer a brake fluid flush “without an advisor having to look through a customer’s history,” he says.

As important, he says, the dealership has been able to cut ties with a lot of other software vendors, while also making more productive use of its time. Says Castelino, “As soon as a [repair order] is live, it’s in a dispatcher’s hand and a technician can grab the car.”

It’s like that with every step, he insists. “You’re saving 15 minutes again and again, and suddenly, you have three hours where your intake can be higher.”

Startups – TechCrunch

This serial founder is taking on Carta with cap table management software she says is better for founders

Yin Wu has cofounded several companies since graduating from Stanford in 2011, including a computer vision company called Double Labs that sold to Microsoft, where she stayed on for a couple of years as a software engineer. In fact, it was only after that sale she she says she “actually understood all of the nuances with a company’s cap table.”

Her newest company, Pulley, a 14-month-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based maker of cap table management software aims to solve that same problem and has so far raised $ 10 million toward that end led by the payments company Stripe, with participation from Caffeinated Capital, General Catalyst, 8VC, and numerous angel investors.

Wu is going up against some pretty powerful competition. Carta was reportedly raising $ 200 million in fresh funding at a $ 3 billion valuation as of the spring (a round the company never official confirmed or announced). Last year, it raised $ 300 million. Morgan Stanley has meanwhile been beefing up its stock plan administration business, acquiring Solium Capital early last year and more newly purchasing Barclay’s stock plan business.

Of course, startups often manage to find a way to take down incumbents and a distraction for Carta, at least, in the form of a very public gender discrimination lawsuit by a former VP of marketing, could be the kind of opening that Pulley needs. We emailed with Yu yesterday to ask if that might be the case. She didn’t answer directly, but she did mention “values,” as long as shared some more details about what she sees as different about the two products.

TC: Why start this company? Has Carta’s press of late created an opening for a new upstart in the space?

YW: I left Microsoft in 2018 and started Pulley a year later. We skipped the seed and raised the A because of overwhelming demand from investors. Many wanted a better product for their portfolio companies. Many founders are increasingly thinking about choosing with companies, like Pulley, that better align with their values.

TC: How many people are working for Pulley and are any folks you pulled out of Carta?

YW: We’re a team of seven and have four people on the team who are former Y Combinator founders. We attract founders to the team because they’ve experienced firsthand the difficulties of managing a cap table and want to build a better tool for other founders. We have not pulled anyone out of Carta yet.

TC: Carta has raised a lot of funding and it has long tentacles. What can Pulley offer startups that Carta cannot?

YW: We offer startups a better product compared to our competitors. We make every interaction on Pulley easier and faster. 409A valuations take five days instead of weeks, and onboarding is the same day rather than months. By analogy, this is similar to the difference between Stripe and Braintree when Stripe initially launched. There were many different payment processes when Stripe launched. They were able to capture a large portion of the market by building a better product that resonated with developers.

One of the features that stands out on Pulley is our modeling feature [which helps founders model dilution in future rounds and helps employees understand the value of their equity as the company grows]. Founders switch from our competitors to Pulley to use our modeling tool [and it works] with pre-money SAFEs, post-money SAFEs, and factors in pro-ratas and discounts. To my knowledge, Pulley’s modeling tool is the most comprehensive product on the market.

TC: How does your pricing compare with Carta’s?

YW:  Pulley is free for early-stage companies regardless of how much they raise. We’re price competitive with Carta on our paid plans. Part of the reason we started Pulley is because we had frustrations with other cap table management tools. When using other services, we had to regularly ping our accountants or lawyers to make edits, run reports, or get data. Each time we involved the lawyers, it was an expensive legal fee. So there is easily a $ 2,000 hidden fee when using tools that aren’t self-serve for setting up and updating your cap table.

TC: Is there a business-to-business opportunity here, where maybe attorneys or accountants or wealth managers private label this service? Or are these industry professionals viewed as competitors?

YW: We think there are opportunities to white label the service for accountants and law firms. However, this is currently not our focus.

TC: How adaptable is the software? Can it deal with a complicated scenario, a corner case?

YW: We started Pulley one year ago and we’re launching today because we have invested in building an architecture that can support complex cap table scenarios as companies scale. There are two things that you have to get right with cap table systems, First, never lose the data and second, always make sure the numbers are correct. We haven’t lost data for any customer and we have a comprehensive system of tests that verifies the cap table numbers on Pulley remain accurate.

TC: At what stage does it make sense for a startup to work with Pulley, and do you have the tools to hang onto them and keep them from switching over to a competitor later?

YW: We work with companies past the Series A, like Fast and Clubhouse. Companies are not looking to change their cap table provider if Pulley has the tool to grow with them. We already have the features of our competitors, including electronic share issuance, ACH transfers for options, modeling tools for multiple rounds, and more. We think we can win more startups because Pulley is also easier to use and faster to onboard.

TC: Regarding your paid plans, how much is Pulley charging and for what? How many tiers of service are there?

YW; Pulley is free for early-stage startups with less than 25 stakeholders. We charge $ 10 per stakeholder per month when companies scale beyond that. A stakeholder is any employee or investor on the cap table. Most companies upgrade to our premium plan after a seed round when they need a 409A valuation.

Cap table management is an area where companies don’t want a free product. Pulley takes our customers data privacy and security very seriously. We charge a flat fee for companies so they rest assured that their data will never be sold or used without their permission.

TC: What’s Pulley’s relationship to venture firms?

YW: We’re currently focused on founders rather than investors. We work with accelerators like Y Combinator to help their portfolio companies manage their cap table, but don’t have a formal relationship with any VC firms.

Startups – TechCrunch