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Brazilian unicorn Ebanx will hit $2 billion in payments processed by the end of the year

Startup News - 7 hours 1 min ago

Ebanx, the newly minted Brazilian financial services unicorn, expects to process $2 billion in payments by the end of the year and is looking to expand its offerings into domestic payments as it grows.

Since its launch in 2012, Ebanx has primarily focused on helping international merchants sell locally in Brazil. The Brazilian business accounts for nearly 90% of the company’s revenue, but as it expands into other markets the company is also broadening its suite of services.

The company moved into local payment processing in Brazil in April of this year, and recently closed on a new financing round from previous investors FTV and Endeavor Catalyst that values the company north of $1 billion, according to chief executive Alphonse Voigt. 

The money will be used to continue an aggressive hiring push in new markets and the launch of the company’s local payment services in other geographies, beginning with Colombia in the new year.

As credit cards penetrate the Latin American market, approval rates for local companies are increasing, which represents an attractive new source of revenue, Voigt says.

In addition to the local payment processing, Ebanx recently announced that it became a payment partner for the Uber Pay ecosystem in Latin America and would start processing cash voucher and bank transfer payments for Uber in Brazil and across Latin America. The company also inked deals with Coursera, Scribd, Trip.com and Shopify throughout Latin America. Finally, the company partnered with Mastercard on an initiative to increase electronic payments in the Brazilian state of Parana.

Categories: Business News

Flowhub raises $23 million for its retail management software for cannabis dispensaries

Startup News - 9 hours 53 min ago

As cannabis dispensaries flourish across the country alongside the push to legalize medicinal and recreational marijuana use, demand for tools to manage the specificities of the weed retail business continues to increase.

Looking to address that need, Flowhub, a cannabis retail management software vendor, has raised $23 million from a consortium of investors including e.ventures, Evolv Ventures (the Kraft Heinz-backed venture capital fund) and Poseidon. 

The legal cannabis market is expected to top $66 billion over the next five years, according to estimates from Grand View Research, and entrepreneurs looking to get into the highly regulated industry are flocking to Flowhub’s suite of dispensary management services.

Not only does the company’s software address compliance concerns, according to chief executive officer Kyle Sherman, but it also integrates with companies like Dutchie for online ordering to facilitate in-store purchases and adds integrations with LeafBuyer and Leafly to provide more information to potential retailers.

The company also updated its software to include the “Stash” app, a mobile inventory management system, and a cashier app that integrates with iPads or other tablets to improve point-of-sale capabilities.

“What we are experiencing right now is an end to cannabis prohibition and Flowhub is on the front lines of this movement,” said Sherman, in a statement. “Every legal transaction completed with the Flowhub retail platform is a positive step forward, and we are committed to helping our customers build thriving cannabis businesses. With this investment, we will continue to automate the cannabis supply chain, retail and reporting processes and bring to market technology solutions that are not only shaping the cannabis retail business, but also driving forward the future of legalization and de-stigmatization.”

For investors like Emily Paxhia, a managing director at Poseidon, the opportunity to back a company helping to automate compliance in the regulated marijuana industry was too tempting to pass up.

“The compliance and regulation aspects make this a unique industry and Flowhub is one of the leading cannabis tech companies that is taking a meticulous and strategic approach,” Paxhia said in a statement. “We saw the potential for Flowhub’s technology and mission early on and we’re thrilled to continue to support them in delivering the cannabis retail experience of the future.”

Categories: Business News

ZeroDown, valued at $150 million, plans to take on Zillow

Startup News - 12 hours 4 min ago

Days out of Y Combinator, venture capitalists valued ZeroDown, a financial and real estate technology startup, at $150 million. The company had the perfect match of experienced founders and eye-popping ambitions to carve a new path to home ownership.

“I think we will be known as a company that makes it easier to buy a home in every single aspect,” ZeroDown co-founder and chief executive officer Abhijeet Dwivedi tells TechCrunch.

The startup, which has raised $30 million in total equity funding and more than $110 million in debt financing to help Bay Area residents make down payments on homes, now plans to take on Zillow and Redfin with its new home search engine.

The business, founded by former Zenefits chief operating officer Dwivedi, Laks Srini, Zenefits’ former chief technology officer, and Hari Viswanathan, a former Zenefits staff engineer, was founded last year and quickly landed backing from Sam Altman, followed by consumer technology venture capital fund Goodwater Capital. Targeting those in the Bay Area, where costs of home ownership are amongst the highest in the country, ZeroDown charges $10,000 to purchase your home outright and front your entire down payment.

ZeroDown is constructing a new path to home ownership

That is, however, if your home is priced between approximately $550,000 and $1,750,000 and you have an individual or combined salary of more than $200,000, stock options and some money put away (or some variation of this). If you meet these criteria, ZeroDown will purchase your home and lease it to you. The goal is to eliminate one of the largest pain points of home-buying, the down payment, and facilitate more real estate purchases.

The company says it intends to expand the service outside the greater San Francisco area to cities like Denver, Seattle and Austin, but given the $10,000 price tag and large population of wealthy tech workers in the Bay, the business could flourish in this area without expanding.

With the launch of its home search engine, Dwivedi says users will be able to learn about more than just the square footage of a home. The tool tells users whether a potential home is naturally lit, if it has a large backyard, if it has a decent commute to your work and to various schools and, most importantly, whether it’s dog friendly.

ZeroDown has also partnered with a number of San Francisco-based tech companies, including Pinterest, Postmates and Square, to provide their employees a rebate if they choose to purchase a home using ZeroDown.

“We know first-hand what companies need to support a great quality of life and keep their employees in the Bay Area,” Dwivedi said. “A part of that is loving where you live — feeling part of a local community.”

Categories: Business News

Global <b>VoIP</b> Market to Witness Huge Growth by 2026 | Top Key Players; Obihai, magicJack, ooma ...

Google News - VoIP - 12 hours 38 min ago
According to Innovate Insights, the VoIP market is a multi-billion-dollar market. The VoIP market is projected to expand at compound annual growth ...
Categories: VoIP News

Business <b>VoIP</b> Services Market 2019 Share, Scope, Stake, Trends, Industry Size, Sales &amp; Revenue ...

Google News - VoIP - 13 hours 4 min ago
Global Business VoIP Services Market strives to offer major and deep understandings into the present market scenario and the evolving growth ...
Categories: VoIP News

Kabuto is building smart suitcases for geeks

Startup News - 13 hours 53 min ago

French company Kabuto is launching a Kickstarter campaign today for the second generation of its smart carry-on suitcase. The company was previously known as Xtend.

If you think about smart suitcases, chances are you picture a suitcase with a battery pack in it and that’s it. In other words, they are not that smart. Kabuto is packing a bunch of electronics to add some more features.

At the top of the suitcase, you’ll find a fingerprint reader. You can unlock the suitcase with your fingerprint or use a key in case your suitcase battery is dead — yes, a smart suitcase means you have one more thing to charge in your life.

The suitcase comes with a 10,000 mAh battery that you plug to various USB-A and USB-C cables. This way, you can charge a device using a USB-A or USB-C cable from the top of the suitcase.

The pocket at the back of the suitcase is removable. For instance, you can store a laptop and a book in it in order to take it with you on a flight. The company uses a magnetic connection between the pocket and the suitcase, which means that you can plug the included USB-C cable to your laptop and then attach the pocket to the suitcase to charge your laptop when you’re not using it.

The suitcase features an expandable structure, four wheels with metallic bearings and tires, a strap to attach another bag to the large handle on top of your suitcase. It costs $435 on Kickstarter and it will cost $595 after the Kickstarter campaign.

People who like to pack things exactly the right way will think the Kabuto suitcase offers a lot of options. It’s not a suitcase for everyone, but it’s an interesting take. The company promises to ship all suitcases by the end of the year. The startup has previously raised $1 million (€900,000) from Frédéric Mazzella, Michel & Augustin, Bpifrance, Fabien Pierlot and others.

Categories: Business News

Spearhead will give $1M to 15 founders to invest freely

Startup News - 14 hours 53 min ago

Spearhead, an investment fund launched by AngelList’s Naval Ravikant and Accomplice’s Jeff Fagnan, plans to raise roughly $100 million for its third fund to provide founders $1 million each to invest in technology startups of their choosing.

The firm, created in 2017, initially provided founders $200,000 in investment capital sourced from Spearhead I, a $25 million vehicle, followed by Spearhead II, a $35 million vehicle. The group now plans roughly $100 million to give its founders 5x more capital to play with.

Each founder is allotted 15% carry in his or her fund, while Spearhead holds on to 5%. This time around, says Spearhead’s Jeff Fagnan, standout “leads,” or those tapped to deploy capital from the fund, will also have the opportunity to receive another $10 million to invest at the end of the two-year program during a culminating demo day-like event.

Spearhead is designed to train founders, who tend to be well-connected to the tech ecosystem and knowledgeable about startups, to be effective angel investors. Previous Spearhead leads include Shippo co-founder and chief executive officer Laura Behrens Wu, Scale AI founder and CEO Alex Wang and Rippling co-founder and chief technology officer Prasanna Sankar. To date, 35 founders have completed the program.

Applications to join Spearhead’s third cohort will become available this week. Those who participate will be encouraged to write checks at the pre-seed stage.

Spearhead is transforming founders into angel investors

“There’s starting to be gap opening up again at the pre-seed,” Fagnan tells TechCrunch. “Founders are the right way to fill that gap. Founders backing their most talented friends … founders backing founders is the right way for this to go. We need to redefine who thinks of themselves as an angel investor.”

To be eligible to become a Spearhead lead, you must live in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston or New York City and run, or very recently have run, a startup. The firm plans to accept around 15 applicants.

“We are trying to build an active community within the leads and we’ve found smaller equals better; fewer people coming together and taking deeper accountability,” Fagnan said.

Spearhead leads can invest their capital in any tech startups, so long as there’s no existing equity relationship. Existing Spearhead investments include ZeroDown, Altitude Networks, Scythe, Airgarage, Cloosiv, Height, O.School, PopSQL, Superplastic and Sword Health.

Categories: Business News

Headless CMS company Strapi raises $4 million

Startup News - 15 hours 33 min ago

French startup Strapi has raised a $4 million seed round led by Accel and Stride.vc. The company has been working on an open-source Node.js headless content management system.

That’s a lot of technical words in a row, but it’s not that hard to understand what Strapi is. Content management systems, or CMS, are web applications that let you publish and manage content on a website. It can be a blog, a corporate website with multiple pages, a portfolio, etc. The most popular CMS in the world is WordPress.

Over the past few years, many companies and developers have started to separate the CMS back end (the administration pages where you write and upload content) and the front end (the public website accessible to anyone).

This way, you can run a CMS in the back end, and develop your own custom front end that queries the back end using API calls — this is what’s called a headless CMS. It provides a ton of flexibility and should make your website faster. This is how TechCrunch.com works for instance, with WordPress running as a headless CMS.

Strapi has become quite popular in the headless CMS space, with 500,000 downloads and 250 contributors to the open-source project. The first version was released on GitHub in 2015.

Anybody can download Strapi and run it on their own server. You can then develop your front end, fetch content in your mobile app using the Strapi API and more. Strapi lets you customize the admin panel so that you only see the fields you need when you add content. It works with SQLite, MongoDB, MySQL and Postgres databases.

The company plans to build an ecosystem of plugins to expand the features of your CMS installation. Eventually, the startup could launch a hosted version of Strapi so you don’t have to manage the server infrastructure yourself.

Solomon Hykes, Guillermo Rauch and Eli Collins are also participating in today’s round. Existing investors include Bpifrance, SGPA, François-Charles Debeunne, Jean-Philippe Bellaiche, Kima Ventures, Nicolas Debock, Patrick Dalsace and Nicolas Rosset.

Categories: Business News

Business <b>VoIP</b> Market Is Touching New Level|Nextiva, Jive, 8×8

Google News - VoIP - 2019, October 15 - 11:58pm
A comprehensive study accomplished by HTF MI Titled Business VoIP market study with up-to-date Information on current and future Industry trends, ...
Categories: VoIP News

Mobile <b>VoIP</b> Market with Positive Long-Term Growth Outlook 2020-2029

Google News - VoIP - 2019, October 15 - 10:41pm
New York, NY, Oct 15, 2019 (WiredRelease): The report on 'Modest recovery in emerging Global Mobile VoIP Market' with in-depth focused approach ...
Categories: VoIP News

TeamSpeak introduces a new client that takes elements from Discord

Google News - VoIP - 2019, October 15 - 10:18pm
Much like Discord, TeamSpeak is offering free servers for VoIP needs of users straight from the client, however, it isn't unlimited. It looks like the free ...
Categories: VoIP News

8 tips for founders trying to raise their first round of venture capital

Startup News - 2019, October 15 - 10:06pm

If you’re an avid TechCrunch reader, someone who loves to absorb endless startup profiles and pore through fundraising stories, you might think raising venture capital is easy. In reality, it’s very, very difficult and not the best source of capital for most businesses.

For startups hoping to scale far and wide as fast as possible, VC may be the right fit. To shed light on the process of raising equity capital from venture capital firms and provide some exclusive tips and tricks for Extra Crunch subscribers, we sat down with three experts on the subject. Below are the top pieces of advice from Charles Hudson, founder and managing partner of Precursor Ventures, Redpoint Ventures general partner Annie Kadavy, and DocSend founder Russ Heddleston. The following has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

1. First, make sure your company is fit to raise venture capital.

Charles Hudson: I think venture capital, it’s really a specialty type of capital. It’s really for companies that have the aspiration to grow really quickly, to build really large businesses … If you’re not a company that needs to grow quickly, venture capital might not be the right source of capital for you. There has to be a really big prize at the end of the journey.

2. Raise capital early if you’re stressing about small costs or fretting competition

Russ Heddleston: If you’re thinking about whether or not to raise, there are a couple of reasons that I will often advise people to raise early. One is if they’re really stressing about buying a whiteboard for their office, or like some something of relatively small cost. If you think it could be a big company, and you’re stressing about small things, raise money and buy the whiteboard, hire the additional person and get back to what you should be doing, which is running your business and growing it quickly.

The other thing is if you ask the question, ‘is there a competitor I don’t know about?’ If you heard tomorrow, that competitor just raised $2 million, or $5 million or $10 million, how nervous would that make you? For some businesses, you’re like, I don’t really care, it’s a services industry, it’s not a winner take all market. And other times, you’re like, oh, I’d be really nervous. So if either those apply, that’s a good reason to make a compelling case to someone like Charles.

The number one thing you can do to get a VC’s attention is make [your pitch] really simple. Precursor Ventures' Charles Hudson

3. It’s OK to take a salary

Annie Kadavy: I’d be hard-pressed to think of an example where a founder is not paying themselves, the question, though, is how much? You’re paying yourself enough so that the basic costs of life and running your business are not giving you anxiety, because as an early stage investor one of our primary roles is to try and keep the baseline stress as low as it can be, because it’s really hard to go build a company.

If a founder is coming in at the Series A and they say I’m going to go pay myself $300,000, we might be like, well, that doesn’t really feel right, shouldn’t you want to put some of that money into the company? The ranges I’ve seen are anything from $60,000 up to probably $120,000 at the Series A, or maybe $150,000. Then, as the company grows and as the balance sheet grows and it’s de-risked, your salary as an executive at the company will scale with that.

Categories: Business News

Interior design startup Havenly raises $32 million

Startup News - 2019, October 15 - 10:00pm

Interior design platform Havenly is raising $32 million in new funding to create its first private label brand as the startup aims to integrate its own products into its design recommendation engine.

The Denver-based startup is an online interior design consultancy of sorts that pairs with expert designers users looking to redesign their homes or apartments.

For Havenly, there have been two sides of the business, commercial partnerships with vendors and the paid design services for users. It’s a model we’ve also seen from the folks at Modsy. Havenly puts a bit more of an emphasis on pairing users with an individual designer with whom they can chat on the phone and share their hopes for the space, something CEO Lee Mayer says can help make the space feel more customized to them.

“Your home is very personal, if you and I show up to work one day and we have the same shirt, that may not be that weird. It is a little weird if I walk into your living room and it looks exactly like mine,” Mayer tells TechCrunch.

The big evolution with this raise will be that Havenly is going to start putting its own products into the mix with a private label called Cove Goods. The line largely seems to be focused on accent pieces, but they are working on some furniture as well.

Pricing for their services sits between $69 and $99 depending on whether you’re starting from a blank slate or just want some additional pieces recommended to you that you can buy through the platform. The startup can also send you custom floor plans and layout renders to show you what your space will look like.

Havenly has now raised $57.8 million. Series C investors included Foundry Group, Lerer Hippeau, Kickstart Ventures and Gingerbread Capital.

Modsy scores $37M to virtually redesign your home

 

Categories: Business News

Ex-Uber exec launches startup to autonomously reposition electric scooters and bikes

Startup News - 2019, October 15 - 10:00pm

Just how Android is the operating system for a number of mobile phones, Tortoise wants to be the operating system for micromobility vehicles, its co-founder Dmitry Shevelenko, who previously served as Uber’s director of business development, told TechCrunch. Given the volume of micromobility operators in the space today, Tortoise aims to make it easier for these companies to more strategically deploy their respective vehicles and reposition them when needed.

Using autonomous technology in tandem with remote human intervention, Tortoise’s software enables operators to remotely relocate their scooters and bikes to places where riders need them, or, where operators need them to be recharged. On an empty sidewalk, Tortoise may employ autonomous technologies while it may rely on humans to remotely control the vehicle on a highly trafficked city block.

“There are big daily operating expenses with the repositioning of scooters using cars and vans,” Shevelenko said. “Not only is that very expensive, but it ends up undoing a lot of the environmental benefit of shared electric scooters.”

In order for this to work, Tortoise partners with both cities and operators — though the city partnership needs to happen first, Shevelenko said. That’s because Tortoise will only reposition the vehicles along routes that the city has pre-approved.

“We only want to deploy in cities that want this and have given us written permission,” Shevelenko said. “If the cities say yes, then the operators say yes.”

For the operators, they’ll need to install about $100 worth of equipment on each scooter in order to run Tortoise’s software. That includes two phone cameras, a piece of radar, a processor and a motor. If it’s a two-wheeled vehicle, Tortoise requires the addition of robotic training wheels. All of this is included in the reference design Tortoise provides to operators.

Tortoise on top of a YIMI A80 scooter

“In the same way Google helps Samsung make its phones work with the latest version of Android, it’s in our interest that people build vehicles that are compatible with Tortoise,” Shevelenko said. “We also consult with OEMs and help them with their testing.”

Tortoise is currently focused on suburban environments, but would like to make this work in cities like San Francisco, as well. For the initial pilot deployment, Tortoise is retrofitting existing scooters with robotic training wheels. In rider mode, those wheels are up, but in autonomy mode, it’s wheels down.

Tortoise envisions three general use cases for repositioning. The first is reparking the scooter in a higher-trafficked area immediately after a rider trip is complete. The second is implementing digital scooter stops of sorts where riders can request a scooter to go there. The third is the Uber-Lyft experience where the scooter goes directly to you, wherever you are.

“The key to making that third use-case work is having enough scooters so that the ETA is predictable and accurate,” Shevelenko said.

While the software will ultimately rely on the battery capabilities of the vehicles, Shevelenko said most of the battery consumption happens when there is a rider on the vehicle. Because Tortoise will only reposition them without riders present, it will consume very little of the battery, Shevelenko said.

“Assuming eight repositions a day using our technology at 30 minutes each, that only takes up about 10% of a daily charge,” he said. “Even if that weren’t the case, as operators switch to swappable batteries, if you’re getting more rentals per day because of repositioning based on demand, you could just drive it to a location where it’s close to a swappable battery location.”

Tortoise tech in action in Peachtree Corners

As business and mobility analyst Horace Dediu recently told me, these micromobility vehicles have an opportunity to also be software hubs. In fact, he said it’s where he expects bigger players like Google and Apple to enter the space. So far, Tortoise has partnered with Peachtree Corners, Ga. to demonstrate its software at Atlanta Tech Park. It’s also working with operators and manufacturers like Wind, CityBee, Go X and Shared to deploy Tortoise in their respective markets.

Wind, which operates in countries like Denmark, France, Spain and Germany, sees Tortoise as a natural fit, its EMEA CEO Ed Schmidt said in a statement.

“It will allow us to keep sidewalks clear and safe for pedestrians while delivering on our mission to always have a scooter within a 2 minute walk of a user ready to take a ride,” he said. “This technology will enable us to provide the best mobility service for our users and the city authorities.”

Tortoise is not the only company to explore adding autonomous technology to micromobility vehicles. In January, Uber spoke about a micromobility robotics team that would explore autonomous scooters and bikes that could drive themselves to be charged, or drive themselves to locations where riders need them. Last month, Uber revealed a bit more about its New Mobility Robotics team that would explore sensing and robotics for light electric vehicles. That entails features like sidewalk detection and, down the road, automatic repositioning of scooters, Uber Head of New Mobility Robotics Alan Wells told TechCrunch.

“That makes sense for a number of reasons,” Wells said of automatic repositioning. “It has a possibility of addressing some of the biggest downsides of where do you park them and also make them convenient for riders without being a burden to other people.”

Tortoise has raised some funding, but is declining to disclose the amount and specific investors.

Defining micromobility and its potential to be bigger than autonomous vehicles

Categories: Business News

<b>VoIP</b> Provider Services Market to Witness Steady Expansion During 2019 to 2023 | Cisco, Vonage ...

Google News - VoIP - 2019, October 15 - 9:31pm
Global VoIP Provider Services Market Report 2019 is a compact examination that intensely explains each critical aspect of the Global VoIP Provider ...
Categories: VoIP News

Brooklyn-based construction robotics startup Toggle gets $3M seed fund

Startup News - 2019, October 15 - 9:30pm

Toggle, a Brooklyn-based robotics startup, announced today that it scored $3 million in seed funding. The early-stage round was led by Point72 Ventures’ AI Group, with participation from Mark Cuban and VC Twenty Seven Ventures. The series follows a 2018 pre-seed round of $570,000 from its Urban-X accelerator, Urban Us, Accelerate NY / Empire State Development and Perl Street Capital.

The 15-person startup creates robotics that fabricate and assemble rebar. It’s designed to work in tandem with existing robotics and steel fabrication technologies, while speeding up the process up to 5 times, by the company’s count.

Toggle has already begun a soft launch “for a wide range of projects in New York City and the surrounding area,” according to the company. It expects to ramp up toward commercial production over the course of the next year and a half. CEO Daniel Blank tells TechCrunch that the seed round will be used toward R&D and growing the Toggle team.

“This funding will be used to further develop our technology — both the hardware and software — around assembly and fabrication automation, as well as grow the engineering team that supports this development,” Blank tells TechCrunch. “The funding also provides us with a strong foundation for our manufacturing operation which is already supplying services and materials to customers in New York City and the surrounding region.”

Categories: Business News

Global Business <b>VoIP</b> Services Market Significant Growth, Research Trends (2020-2029) | AT&amp;T ...

Google News - VoIP - 2019, October 15 - 9:00pm
The Global Business VoIP Services Market report conveys data of market measure (volume and esteem), and the divides markets by regions, types, ...
Categories: VoIP News

<b>VoIP</b> Phone Market 2019 Analysis :: Future Strategic Planning Of Top Competitors Till 2025

Google News - VoIP - 2019, October 15 - 8:37pm
Company provides detailed analysis of market and future aspects of VoIP Phone Market 2019 . It focuses on critical and significant data which makes ...
Categories: VoIP News

Algolia finds $110M from Accel and Salesforce for its search-as-a-service, used by Slack, Twitch and 8K others

Startup News - 2019, October 15 - 8:02pm

Algolia, one of the group of startups that provides search as a service for websites and apps as an alternative to Google and other search engines, is announcing a major round of funding today to fuel its growth. The startup — which already has more than 8,000 customers, including big names like Twitch, Slack, Discovery and LVMH — has closed a Series C of $110 million, money it plans to invest in R&D around its search technology, including doubling down on voice, and further global expansion in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

This Series C is being led by Accel, with other investors in this round including Salesforce Ventures (along with others that are not being named).

The funding is coming at a time of strong growth for Algolia, whose basic premise — to offer an easy-to-use, API-based search service for businesses, as a way to buy search tech rather than build from the ground up using search platforms — has seen a lot of traction.

It was already active in the various regions where it plans to grow: Founded originally in France, Algolia is now based out of San Francisco and has been in Asia since 2014, most recently doubling down on business in Japan, and when it last raised money in June 2017, it had only 3,000 customers.

Algolia had raised $74 million prior to this, with previous investors including Accel, Point Nine Capital, Storm Ventures, Y Combinator, 500 Startups and a number of individuals, among others.

While Algolia is not disclosing its valuation, the prospects for building a big, enterprise-focused search business are there. As a point of comparison, consider the enterprise search company Elastic, which went public in 2018 and now has a market cap of some $6.7 billion after being valued at a mere $700 million when it was still private. Even with 8,000 customers now at Algolia, this is just the tip of the iceberg: Algolia cites estimates that there are some 1.8 billion websites and millions of apps on the market today.

Having Salesforce as a strategic backer in this round is notable, as the CRM giant currently does not have a native search product in its wide range of cloud-based services for enterprises, instead opting for endorsed integrations with third parties, such as Algolia competitor Coveo. The plan will be to further integrate with Salesforce, although there are no products to speak of as of yet.

“Algolia has been a great search innovator and delivers unique experiences for customers across Commerce,” said Mike Micucci, CEO, Salesforce Commerce Cloud. “Algolia’s integration into the Commerce Cloud platform will continue to drive momentum and mutual success with our developer, partner and customer community.”

At a time when search continues to be a critical cornerstone for how an organization presents itself online, and the effort to provide a counterbalance against the power of Google in search continues apace, this essentially gives Salesforce a financial foothold in one of the faster-growing companies in the space.

As my colleague Romain has previously noted in his coverage of Algolia, the company’s unique selling point has been the fact that it provides a super-fast and effective search tool that you can integrate into a site or app easily by way of an API.

This in contrast to solutions that either are built in-house from the ground up, or rely on more lengthy and more expensive integrations to get up and running. Alongside that, Algolia has more recently released supplementary tools, such as search analytics and A/B testing to help optimise results and understand better what it is that site/app visitors want to know.

The funding comes at an interesting time in the world of search. Google has effectively dominated the market for years with an open web approach to ordering the world’s information: the primary point of entry is Google.com, and while you can tailor your results based on your search terms, the selling point is that you can search for anything and everything.

But in more recent years we’ve seen a big shift. Awareness of issues such as privacy and data protection have turned some off from the idea of open-ended browsing powered by advertising, and as we and the internet itself has gotten more sophisticated, sometimes the open-ended search feels too wide for our purposes, and web publishers themselves are less inclined to give over that search traffic to Google.

That’s given rise to more focused vertical search services, and — even more specifically — better search within sites and apps themselves. This is the context that has given rise to Algolia and others like it (for example Lucidworks raised $100 million in August).

The landscape is big, but it remains one that Algolia thinks best served by staying focused.

“We have no plans to build a consumer service,” CEO Nicolas Dessaigne said. “There are a lot of companies like Amazon and Google doing a great job. We like to think of them as partners in a way, educating the whole world about search.”

“Behind a world-class team of search experts and a passionate customer base, Algolia has become the market leader in Search-as-a-Service,” said Nate Niparko, partner at Accel. “Algolia is accelerating innovation in personalized and intelligent search, enabling companies to deliver a great user experience that drives improved business results. We are excited to double down on Algolia and support their mission to lead the search and discovery market.”

Categories: Business News

<b>VoIP</b> Provider Services Market : Assessment Covering Growth Factors and Upcoming Trends ...

Google News - VoIP - 2019, October 15 - 7:42pm
Overview of VoIP Provider Services Market. The VoIP Provider Services Market market report presents a detailed evaluation of the market for the ...
Categories: VoIP News

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