While most people just fill an ice cube tray with tap water, it seems a bit of a shame to contaminate fine spirits with a less-than-pure chunk of frozen water that inevitably contains impurities at worst and trapped air at best.For the rest of us, a new GE Appliances-backed startup called FirstBuild has just launched a groovy new gizmo called the Forge Clear Ice System via its own crowdfunding platform.Yes, there’s a pretty specific target market for this thing.If you’re happy with the super-complicated new Coke machine at your local fast-food restaurant, go forth and live a happy life.But if you’re a connoisseur of really great bourbons, whiskeys, tequilas and other spirits, read on.Bartenders have been messing around with it for decades, although it tended to come in 300-pound blocks until about 20 years ago when an NYC bar called Weather Up started playing around with ice that didn’t take a week to make.
Current, a small online banking start-up, has accused Facebook of “ripping off” the smaller firm’s logo for that of Calibra, a newly launched subsidiary through which Facebook plans to carry out its recently announced virtual currency plans.Both logos feature a stylised tilde character inside a circle, but while the circle in Current’s logo features a spectrum of colours, Facebook’s is a uniform purple.The wave-like tilde character is also used in the logo for the Libra virtual currency, which features three of the marks stacked over one another.Current worked with San Francisco design firm Character in 2016 to design its logo, and Character also worked with Facebook on the Libra project, Character creative director Ben Pham said in a LinkedIn post.On its website, Character says Facebook has been a client since 2018.Facebook and Character did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Entrepreneurs take a long journey when naming their brainchild, comparable to a parent naming their own flesh and blood.There are many reasons behind naming – one untalked-of and probably the most important.This is, how to choose a name that gets you more business.So, when developing a business name, putting some thought into how people are going to find you and what you want them to do after they find you could go a long way.Ignoring this could do just the opposite and result in being harder to find, getting less return from your advertising and having your competitors capitalize off your brand.Businesses have been using things like alphabetical order, call to action, keywords and more to shape business names for optimized discovery, recall and responsiveness since the phone book.
In the early days of Microsoft, Bill Gates worked through his weekends and never took vacations.While his habits changed later on, he still believes that this level of sacrifice is necessary when launching a company.He did say, however, that people can "over worship and mythologize the idea of working extremely hard."Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Bill Gates worked weekends and never took vacations in the early days of Microsoft, but this is all part of the sacrifice of setting up a company, he said.At an event last week with other business leaders, billionaire businessman Gates chatted to Eventbrite cofounder and CEO Julia Hartz about founding a company.
Osmo, a Palo Alto-based education startup acquired by Indian unicorn Byju’s for $120 million this year, is expanding its product lineup to serve a new and largely untapped market: pre-schoolers.Osmo today announced Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit, a set of tools that aims to help children that have yet to enter schools to understand letters, expand their vocabulary, and build motor and social skills.The kit is priced at $79 and is available through Amazon, Target, and Apple stores in the U.S.The kit provides children with sticks and rings of varying shapes, tasking them to assemble them to mimic objects and words that they see through video instructions on an accompanying tablet.Osmo claims its kit for pre-schoolers is based on Friedrich Froebel’s and Maria Montessori’s manipulative with advanced computer vision for a personalized experience.Pramod Sharma, CEO of Osmo, told TechCrunch in an interview that he believes that the market for pre-schoolers remains untapped with little innovation hitting the space over the last 100 years.
Which are the startups that are on the path to becoming the next big thing?In this regular post, we give you an overview of the companies that have raised money in the past week, as well as those we think investors should look at.Payments solution startup Razorpay raised US$75 million in a series C funding round co-led by Ribbit Capital and Sequoia India, with participation from Tiger Global Management and Continuity Fund.The company will use the fresh capital to strengthen its neo-banking platform and its lending business.E-scooter rental startup Bounce raised US$72 million in a series C round led by Capital Group and Falcon Edge Capital.M17 is a video streaming startup that recently started a business-to-business arm providing tools and services to social media-oriented sellers.
As one European VC raises a fund to double down on bigger growth rounds in Europe, another has closed a fund to continue focusing on early-stage investments.Stocklhom-founded Creandum, an early backer of companies like Spotify and iZettle, has closed a fifth fund €265 million ($300 million).The plan is to use the money to continue investing in European startups and startups with European founders (Creandum also has offices in San Francisco and Berlin) with a focus on seed and Series A rounds.But it was not that long ago that opportunities to raise capital to see those threads spun into cloth — much less fully-fledged items of clothing — were not so easy to come by.Funding rounds were smaller, and generally harder to raise, and if startups wanted to scale, the most promising of them often decamped to the US to do it.The bigger startups in the region are staying put and finding the financial support — and customers — they need to take their businesses to the next level here in Europe, helped by the push into technologies like cloud services.
Smart mobility startup Moov Technology deployed a fleet of bikes in Singapore as it rolled out its shared-bike services in the country.The company also said it plans to deploy up to 1,000 bikes in the west region of Singapore by the end of this month.The announcement comes shortly after Moov received sandbox license from the country’s Land Transport Authority in April.Customers will now be able to rent bikes at S$0.50 per 20 minutes of usage or via a monthly subscription plan at S$6.90 per month through Moov’s mobile app.Riders are not required to place a deposit to use Moov’s shared bikes, according to a statement.Moov also unveiled plans to introduce a new version of shared bikes with a proprietary design by the end of 2019.
Investors have been putting billions of dollars into AI startups every year for several years now.But they’re focusing on the wrong type of play.The large number of AI startups they’ve been funding are building vertical solutions, often from scratch, putting themselves in competition with technology giants — a battle they will lose most of the time.Meanwhile, there is an increasingly obvious misalignment between what corporate customers expect from AI and what’s currently available in the marketTherefore, both AI investors and founders would be better off focusing on the opportunities around AI implementation, an area where customers struggle most.Moreover, in 2018 we witnessed the start of the slowdown in the number of deals (466 deals in 2018 vs. 533 deals in 2017), coupled with the continued growth in overall investments (thanks to larger late-stage rounds), which suggests the industry is now approaching its maturity.
What do early-stage startups Forethought, Pi and Recordgram have in common with successful tech companies like Dropbox, Mint and TripIt?They all competed in Startup Battlefield, our epic pitch competition.If you’re ready to step up, go big and launch your startup to the world, you need to get moving.The stakes — a $100,000 equity-free cash prize.The competition — if you make the cut, you’ll go up against some of the finest early-stage startups on the Disrupt Main stage in front of an audience of thousands.The selection process is competitive, and TechCrunch editors will choose approximately 15-30 startups to compete.
To read the full article, simply click here to claim your deal and get access to all exclusive Business Insider PRIME content.ArangoDB offers a new kind of database software, one that supports different kinds of databases.The startup's software has found a following among some of the biggest companies in the world, including Airbus and Barclays.It recently raised $10 million in a Series A funding round using the pitch deck below.Database software is a long-established market in the tech industry, but Claudius Weinberger was still able to find a new niche within it.A big trend in the database market over the last 20 years or so has been the the move away from traditional so-called relational databases.
To read the full article, simply click here to claim your deal and get access to all exclusive Business Insider PRIME content.While Uber and Google driverless cars have been attacked in the US, Europe's best-funded driverless car startup FiveAI has been quietly testing its vehicles in London.FiveAI has presented its non-Silicon Valley underdog status as an advantage in the past, saying it has a head start in Europe where environmental factors are different to the US.The head of Uber's self-driving unit said this month its test cars have encountered "bullying" from pedestrians and road-users alike, including offensive gestures and aggressive driving.Turning a lack of brand recognition into a strength"We haven't had any similar experiences.
In January, Marie Myers became the CFO of robotic process automation startup UiPath, which is now worth $7.1 billion.Myers first learned of UiPath when she was managing the finances of Hewlett-Packard's split, where she taught herself how to build bots to automate financial tasks.And there's no shortage of stuff for Myers to focus on as she manages the finances at one of the buzziest, and fastest-growing tech startups today.Before she joined UiPath, Myers had spent a large chunk of her career at HP.In 2014, she managed the finances of HP's split into two companies: HP for its personal-computer and printer segments and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise for its corporate hardware and services business."That taught me so much about having the speed and tenacity and going through a clear distinct vision."
This is it, the final day the super-early-bird is hanging out at TechCrunch dispensing serious savings on passes to Disrupt San Francisco 2019.Once the clock ticks onto 11:59 p.m. (PT) tonight, the bird flies off to parts unknown.Disrupt events provide outstanding ROI at any price.Prices start at $145 and, depending on the pass you buy, you can save up to $1,800.Buy your pass today — before the deadline hits.One more thing about money.
African fintech has taken center stage for the Catalyst Fund, a JP Morgan Chase and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-backed accelerator that provides mentorship and non-equity funding to emerging markets startups.The organization announced its 2019 startup cohort and three out of the four finance ventures — Chipper Cash, Salutat and Turaco — have an Africa focus (Brazil-based venture Diin, was the fourth).Catalyst Fund, which is managed by global tech consulting firm BFA, also released its latest evaluation report, which showed 60% of the organization’s portfolio startups are located in Africa.The funds and support are aimed at moving the ventures to the next phase of catalyzing business models, generating revenue and connecting to global VCs.“We really tailor the kind of help we give to companies so they can reach market fit and proof points that investors want to see to enable the next phase of growth,” BFA Deputy Director Maelis Carraro told TechCrunch.Catalyst Fund’s 2019 startup cohort also gained exposure to the fund’s Circle of Investors — a network of impact and commercial backers who can make decisions on investing in and accelerating particular companies.
Vaibhav Dabhade admits that his software startup screwed up badly when it launched in 2011.The system for managing online shopping orders that his small team created worked so poorly that its first corporate customer asked for a refund.That system was quickly scrapped.“We rebuilt our software again from scratch,” Dabhade tells Tech in Asia, while still focusing on the nuts-and-bolts side of Southeast Asia’s then-fledgling ecommerce market.Fast forward eight years, and Dabhade’s first startup, Anchanto, has clearly survived its early reboot.Support quality journalism and content.
I was moderately surprised when professor Warren McFarlan said this at our first accounting class at Harvard Business School: “If there is one thing that I would like you to remember from my class, it’s that cash flow is king.” Then, he showed us a video clip of Cuba Gooding dancing and saying “show me the money” in the movie Jerry McGuire.But the modern-day startups don’t seem to care too much about it.Sometime back, I met up with a founder of an IoT startup who asked for feedback on his go-to market.The founder said something like these (numbers modified for privacy):“We need to make it easy for customers to commit, so the pricing can’t be too high.We need to commit 1,000 for our first order.”
To read the full article, simply click here to claim your deal and get access to all exclusive Business Insider PRIME content.On Thursday, popular workplace chat app Slack went public via a direct listing.Cannon explained that a direct listing made the most sense for Slack's leadership team because they valued innovation and transparency, and she thinks more companies may follow Slack's lead.When Index Ventures signed on to Slack's $160 million Series E funding round in 2015, the popular workplace chat app was already one of the hottest startups in Silicon Valley.But on Thursday it also became one of the hottest startups in a new category: a directly listed public company.Read More: The amazing life of Stewart Butterfield, the CEO leading Slack to a potential $15.7 billion valuation when it goes public today
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Despite the challenges posed by being home to Southeast Asia’s largest population at 269 million strewn across the 15,000 islands that make up the archipelago, the country has seen impressive growth and shown economic resilience over the past 20 years.Indonesia experiences an average GDP growth of 5% per year, is now the largest economy in Southeast Asia, and is a member of the G20 where it is the third fastest-growing country after India and China.Over a trip last year we were able to get a glimpse into the country’s startup scene.A number of fintech startups have emerged to help Indonesians combat this challenge, including KinerjaPay, a mobile wallet and e-commerce platform, and digital lending platform Kredivo.Tanigroup, an agritech startup that helps farmers get fairer rates for their crops, raised $10 million in funding earlier this year, while Kedai Sayur allows street vendors to get better prices for their produce by helping them group together orders and negotiate rates.The hub promises to address existing challenges in blockchain implementation in the country while educating society on blockchain technology.
To join those ranks, the East African nation will need to improve its internet environment, largely controlled by one government owned telecom.While in Addis, I downloaded and used Ride—founded by female entrepreneur Samrawit Fikru—which quickly flashed connections to nearby drivers on my phone and allowed for cash payment.This month’s Startup Ethiopia also showcased high-potential early-stage ventures, such as payment company YenaPay and online food startup Deamat.The startup has onboarded over 500 merchants, including ZayRide, according to co-founder Nur Mensur.People can use their phone, pay with their phone, get any kind of agricultural products they want and we deliver,” co-founder Kisanet Haile told me after pitching to judges that included Nigerian angel investor Tomi Davies and Cellulant CEO Ken Njoroge.Its founder Eleni Gabre-Madhin has extensive experience working abroad and played a central convening role in the debut Startup Ethiopia event.