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Skyqraft raises $2.2M seed for its powerline issue detection system

Startup News - 2021, January 19 - 6:00pm

Skyqraft, the Swedish startup using AI and drones for electricity powerline inspection, has raised $2.2 million in seed funding, capital it will use to further develop its technology and expand its operations in Europe and in the U.S.

Leading the seed round is Subvenio Invest, with participation from pre-seed backer Antler, Next Human Ventures, and unnamed angel investors.

Founded in March 2019 and launched that September, Skyqraft provides what it calls “smart” infrastructure inspections for powerlines. It uses drones, combined with AI, to gather images and detect risk automatically.

This is in contrast to the status quo, where power-lines are typically inspected by teams of people and helicopters, which is time consuming and potentially dangerous. The idea behind Skyqraft is to enable safer powerline inspections in a more cost-efficient and environmentally sustainable way.

Skyqraft, a startup using AI and drones for electricity power-line inspection, raises $505K

“Power-line inspections most importantly are not environmentally friendly, very costly and unsafe with the use of helicopters and people,” Skyqraft co-founder and CMO Sakina Turabali told TechCrunch when Skyqraft announced its pre-seed funding. “We provide smart infrastructure inspections using unmanned airplanes by gathering images and 360 videos and feeding that data into a machine learning system that automatically detects any risk to the power-lines.”

Skyqraft says the system can process high volumes of image data and is able to detect equipment issues “rapidly and with high accuracy”. By using Skyqraft, the Swedish company claims utility companies can shorten a 25km powerline inspection from two days to “three minutes”.

Image Credits: Skyqraft

That proposition appears to already be resonating with customers, which include the three largest utility companies in Sweden jointly representing 85% of the Swedish market. Additionally, Skyqraft says it is also negotiating a series of larger scale pilots in the U.S. in 2021 with the global utility company Iberdrola.

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin backs ‘startup generator’ Antler

Categories: Business News

Mobile <b>VOIP</b> (mVOIP) Market 2021 Global Industry Size, Demand, Growth Analysis, Share ...

Google News - VoIP - 2021, January 19 - 5:26pm
“This highly professional analytical survey report depicting diverse developments in the global Mobile VOIP (mVOIP) market has been recently ...
Categories: VoIP News

LeoCare raises $18.1 million for its insurance products designed to fit in a mobile app

Startup News - 2021, January 19 - 5:00pm

French startup LeoCare has raised a €15 million funding round. Felix Capital, Ventech and Daphni are participating in today’s funding round. The company is selling a portfolio of insurance products with a focus on the signup process and user experience. You can control your insurance products from a mobile app.

Chances are you already pay for multiple insurance products. But when is the last time you checked your coverage and adjusted your contract? When people sign up to a new insurance product, they tend to set it and forget it.

That’s why insurance companies don’t invest a ton of money on mobile apps, control panels and user-facing features. LeoCare believes there’s room for a player that does the opposite.

LeoCare can insure your home, your car, your motorbike and your smartphone. You can sign up from the company’s website or install a mobile app. The company has tried to optimize the onboarding process with easy-to-understand questions and an indicator that tells you if you’re going to pay a bit more or a lot more if you choose one option or another.

When you sign up, you get your insurance contract right away. This way, you can send it to a landlord a few minutes later. But LeoCare also helps you manage your contract later down the road. For instance, many LeoCare customers chose to lower their car insurance premiums during lockdown. You can also add another driver for a couple of weeks.

Behind the scenes, LeoCare acts as a managing general agent. The startup partners with several insurance companies and sells its insurance products under its own brand. The company currently charges €1 million in premiums per month and has 20,000 customers.

63% of contracts cover a car, 26% of contracts cover a home, 7% of contracts are for motorcyclists and 4% of contracts focus on smartphones. And LeoCare is growing rapidly with a current month-over-month growth rate of 38%.

Up next, the company wants to launch new features, such as a bot that lets you check the status of your case. LeoCare is also working on a feature that lets you receive a notification when you’re driving and there are usually a lot of road accidents in the area.

Finally, the startup wants to launch a marketplace of professionals. This could be helpful if you’re looking for a plumber for instance. And it could represent a new revenue stream for the startup.

LeoCare plans to grow its insurance portfolio sevenfold by the end of 2021. The team will also grow from 35 to 80 people.

Categories: Business News

Mobile <b>VoIP</b> Market 2021 Industry- Emerging Trend, Top Players, Revenue Insights to 2027

Google News - VoIP - 2021, January 19 - 2:31pm
Also, the Mobile VoIP report has encased the information about the set-up players of the market. This will help in understanding the strategies that have ...
Categories: VoIP News

<b>VoIP</b> Market Insights, Future Scope, Business Players – KT, Time Warner Cable, NTT, Rogers ...

Google News - VoIP - 2021, January 19 - 2:25pm
The VoIP report covers these major regions North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, South America, Middle East and Africa. We generally mean to ...
Categories: VoIP News

Podcast: tekVizion 360 helps users adopt collaboration platforms

Google News - VoIP - 2021, January 19 - 8:31am
J-Curve strategically partners with companies focused on VoIP, Unified Communications, Web Conferencing, ISP's […] Telecom Reseller. 0:00. 0:00.
Categories: VoIP News

Singapore-based Volopay raises $2.1 million seed round to build a “financial control center” for businesses

Startup News - 2021, January 19 - 7:00am

Volopay, a Singapore-based startup building a “financial control center” for businesses, announced today it has raised $2.1 million in seed funding. The round was led by Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen, and included participation from Soma Capital, CP Ventures, Y Combinator, VentureSouq, the founders of Razorpay and other angel investors.

The funding will be used on hiring, product development, strategic partnerships and Volopay’s international expansion. It plans to launch operations in Australia later this month. The company currently has about 100 clients, including Smart Karma, Dathena, Medline, Sensorflow and Beam.

Launched in 2019 by Rajith Shaiji and Rajesh Raikwar, Volopay took part in Y Combinator’s accelerator program last year. It was created after chief executive officer Shaji, who worked for several fintech companies before launching Volopay, became frustrated by the process of reconciling business expenses, especially with accounting departments located in different countries. Shaiji and Raikwar also saw that many companies, especially startups and SMEs, struggled to track different kinds of spending, including subscriptions and vendor payments.

Singapore-based Volopay wants to be the ‘Brex of Southeast Asia’

Most of Volopay’s clients are in the tech sector and have about 15 to 150 employees. Volopay’s platform integrates multi-currency corporate cards (issued by VISA Corporate), domestic and international bank transfers, automated payments and expense and accounting software, allowing companies to save money on foreign exchange fees and reconcile expenses more quickly.

In order to speed up its development, Volopay integrated Airwallex’s APIs. Its corporate cards offer up to 2% cashback on software subscriptions, hosting and international travel, which Volopay says are the three top expense categories for tech companies, and it in November 2020, it launched a credit facility for corporate cards to help give SMEs more liquidity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Compared to traditional credit products, like credit cards and working capital loans, Shaji said Volopay’s credit facility, which is also issued by VISA Corporate, has a more competitive fixed-free pricing structure that depends on the level of credit used. This means companies know how much they owe in advance, which in turn helps them manage their cashflows more easily. The average credit line provided by Volopay is about $30,000.

Since TechCrunch last covered Volopay in July 2020, it has grown 70% month on month in terms of total funds flowing through its platform, Shaji said. It also launched two new features: a bill pay feature that allows clients to transfer money domestically and internationally with low foreign exchange rates and transaction fees, and the credit facility. The bill pay feature now contributes about 40% to Volopay’s total payment volume, while the credit product makes up 30% of its card spending.

Shaji told TechCrunch that Volopay decided to expand into Australia because because not only is it a much larger market than Singapore, but “SMEs in Australia are very comfortable using paid digital software to streamline internal operations and scale their businesses.” He added that there is currently no other provider in Australia that offers both expense management and credit to SMEs like Volopay.

Here’s why so many fintech startups are loaning to small businesses

Categories: Business News

Trends in Real-Time <b>VoIP</b>

Google News - VoIP - 2021, January 19 - 5:37am
From an integration perspective, real-time VoIP has some technical advantages. “The real benefits in real-time video over IP have come in the way of ...
Categories: VoIP News

It may not be as glamorous as D2C, but beauty tech is big money

Startup News - 2021, January 19 - 1:43am
Sindhya Valloppillil Contributor Share on Twitter Sindhya Valloppillil is the founder and CEO of Skin Dossier, a venture partner at Next Gen Ventures, a freelance writer and formerly a beauty industry executive and marketing professor.

Last week, Procter & Gamble (P&G) announced that it was terminating plans to acquire razor startup Billie following a U.S. Federal Trade Commission lawsuit to stop the deal.

Last year, Edgewell Personal Care ditched its debt-heavy $1.37 billion deal for Harry’s, Inc, formerly valued at $1 billion after the FTC sought to block the acquisition.

In addition to these FTC challenges, it is also now becoming clear that relying on VC-subsidized products and celebrating outrageous valuations can be problematic for D2C brands. With a few wonderful and rare exceptions such as Rothy’s (which raised $42 million but was profitable from the beginning and generated $140 million in revenue within two years of launching), D2C unicorns are addicted to the cycle of venture funding to feed growth in order to maintain a high valuation multiple.

The path to profitability has become a more important part of the startup story versus growth at all costs.

This works for a while; however, when the path to profitability appears murky and exit options either don’t appear or only appear from nontech companies with very conservative multiples, the walls start crumbling.

In a WWD article, Odile Roujol, the former CEO of Lancôme who launched venture fund FAB Ventures, said, “Generally speaking, the era of $1 billion valuations for beauty companies is over. The people that struggle have been the companies that spend so much money in just a few years.” She went on to say, “The big corporations now … are not ready to spend $1.2 billion, $1.5 billion on such a brand like Glossier.”

This change in sentiment from acquirers is further fueled by recent research on the challenges of turning hypergrowth companies profitable. In his Harvard Business School case study “Direct to Consumer Brands,” Professor Sunil Gupta wrote, “Acquiring DTC brands is easy for incumbent conglomerates, but making them profitable is challenging. More than three years after Unilever acquired Dollar Shave Club, it was still unprofitable.”

Unilever executives learned that the average cost of acquiring a new customer online was about the same as in stores. David Taylor, CEO of P&G, said his company was still figuring out how to turn recently acquired direct-to-consumer brands into profitable businesses.

Taylor summarized this dilemma, saying, “There are many, many launches that grow fast … a business model that makes money is a higher challenge.” Since making these realizations, incumbent conglomerates will be more cautious when considering the acquisition of hyped D2C brands that raised lots of venture capital.

Beauty tech is a better bet: Meitu and Perfect Corp.

What’s cooler than beauty companies that are (or were) valued at $1 billion? Beauty tech SaaS companies that are worth $5.2 billion at IPO. We don’t hear much about the leading global beauty tech companies such as Meitu and Perfect Corp. because their founders are not celebrity influencers, they don’t have massive Instagram followings here in the U.S. and they are not celebrated in our media. Although their companies are based in Asia and they raised money mostly from Chinese investors, their companies are global successes.

Categories: Business News

Global <b>VoIP</b> Softphones Market 2020 Analysis by Latest COVID19/CORONA Virus Impact with ...

Google News - VoIP - 2021, January 19 - 1:18am
This report describes overall VoIP Softphones Market size by analyzing historical data and future projections. The report features unique and relevant ...
Categories: VoIP News

<b>VoIP</b> Providers Market 2021 Observe Strong Growth by 2026

Google News - VoIP - 2021, January 19 - 12:56am
This report also provides market sizing and forecasts for the Global VoIP Providers Market. The report is a professional and in-depth study on the existing ...
Categories: VoIP News

Bustle CEO Bryan Goldberg explains his plans for taking the company public

Startup News - 2021, January 19 - 12:31am

Bustle Digital Group — owner of Bustle, Inverse, Input, Mic and other titles — could eventually join the ranks of startups going public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

During an interview about the state of BDG and the digital media industry at the end of 2020, founder and CEO Bryan Goldberg laid out ambitious goals for the next few years.

“Where do I want to see the company in three years? I want to see three things: I want to be public, I want to see us driving a lot of profits and I want it to be a lot bigger, because we’ve consolidated a lot of other publications,” he said.

He added that those goals connect, because by going public, BDG can raise “hundreds of millions dollars,” which Goldberg wants to use to “buy a lot of media companies.”

That might seem like bluster after a year in which many digital media companies (including BDG) had to make serious cuts. But Goldberg said that the company would be profitable in 2020, with revenue that’s “a little bit under $100 million.” And it won’t be the first digital media company to take a similar route — Group Nine created a SPAC that went public last week.

“I want to prove that we can be highly profitable,” he said. “A lot of startups don’t have that goal. A lot of VCs tell their startups: Don’t worry about profits, don’t worry about losing money. I don’t believe in that.”

In addition to his plans to go public, Goldberg also discussed how acquisitions have helped Bustle’s business, his joint venture to purchase W Magazine and digital media’s “overcapitalization” problem. You can read our full conversation, edited for length and clarity, below.

TechCrunch: The last time I caught up with someone at BDG, it was with [the company’s president Jason Wagenheim] and that was when you guys were dealing with the initial fallout [from the pandemic]. Now we’re a lot further into whatever this new world is, so what is your sense of where BDG is now, versus where it was in the early days of the pandemic?

Bryan Goldberg: It might be the craziest, most eventful six months for many of us in our lives. And certainly, for those of us in this industry, the difference between April and October, it’s really hard to fathom, it’s complete night and day. April was a very frightening time for everyone, personally and professionally across the country, across the world.

From an advertising standpoint, it was a really scary time, because we have clients across every industry, and every industry was impacted differently. We have clients who were greatly impacted — theme parks, car makers, hotel companies, airlines — and then we had clients who were not as badly affected, such as a lot of CPG clients, who everybody depended upon so much during the pandemic.

There was a huge pause in our business in in March, April and May. For a lot of clients, tossing advertising was a sort of knee-jerk reaction to the sudden shock of COVID, and so we saw a huge negative impact in our second quarter. What we started to see in the third quarter, and especially now in the fourth quarter, is now that the shock of COVID is behind us, the macro trends that were catalyzed by COVID are now moving into the forefront.

The story of media is no longer about the shock of COVID. The story of media is now about all of the changes to our world, and changes to our industry that were brought about as a consequence of COVID.

The good news for our company, and the good news for other digital media companies, is it looks like the future is being accelerated. It looks like people are watching less television, and so advertisers are moving their budgets into digital faster than they would have had it not been for COVID. Even things like live sports, [their] TV ratings are way down. And a lot of advertisers are saying, “Is there efficacy anymore in cable television or broadcast television?” And the magazine industry was heavily impaired, simply because magazines are a physical medium, and people didn’t want to pass around magazines or read magazines at the dentist’s office, so we probably saw some print budget move into digital as well.

Industry analysts now are going to take up their estimates of what digital revenue is going to look like in 2021, 2022 and beyond. I also think we’ve seen a world in which a lot of brand advertisers are starting to think about what happens when they start to spend beyond Facebook and Google. For most of the last three years, there’s been so much talk about the duopoly, the idea that Facebook and Google are going to eat almost every last dollar of advertising. What we’ve seen in the last three months is advertisers saying that this needs to be the moment in which they learn how to deploy advertising spend digitally beyond Facebook or Google.

No, it doesn’t mean they’re all pulling out of Facebook — Facebook and Google are doing just fine. But there are still tens of billions of dollars that need to be deployed outside of Facebook and Google. And you’re seeing winners such as Snapchat, Pinterest. Both had incredibly strong earnings. They’re benefiting from the same thing that benefits Bustle Digital Group and a lot of other digital media players who aren’t Facebook and Google, which is you’re seeing big ad spenders finally deciding that now’s the time to find other ways to deploy advertising spend.

I think those are the two big trends: Dollars moving to digital out of TV faster than we thought, and major advertisers using now as a time to find other channels beyond Facebook and Google.

So when you look at how that is impacting Bustle’s business, has it returned to pre-COVID levels?

For us, when we reflect upon the year 2020, we see that we had a great first quarter, we see that we’re having an incredible fourth quarter, and we have a big, epic crater in the second and third quarters. So when we look at the year, we basically have to say to ourselves, if it were not for that crater in the second and third quarters, what would this year have looked like? We would have had revenue well in excess of $100 million. Now, we’re gonna have revenue a little bit under $100 million.

But when we think about how we prepare for 2021 and set goals for 2021, we have to set goals for 2021 as though COVID had never happened, we have to set goals for 2021 without using Q2 and Q3 as a sort of excuse for lowering expectations. Because the fourth quarter, the quarter we’re currently in, has exceeded our wildest expectations.

People sort of sat up and took notice of the company because you had a pretty aggressive acquisition strategy. I imagine that strategy had to change a little bit in 2020. To what extent do you feel that ambition is something that you can pick up again?

So to be clear, not only do we feel great about our strategy, our strategy was critical in helping our company survive and ultimately thrive in the wake of the virus. You know, we made two acquisitions [in 2019] — in the science and technology category, we bought Inverse, which is a science and technology publication, and then Josh Topolsky launched a tech-and-gadget publication for us called Input Magazine that’s growing very quickly.

It’s critical that we had that strategy, because no single advertiser category has performed better for us in 2020 than tech — we more than tripled our revenue from technology clients this year, because technology has thrived through COVID. Had we not had an acquisition strategy, had we not diversified into tech media publishing, we certainly would not have had the outcome we had in 2020. That’s just the reality.

Categories like beauty, fashion, retail were very hard hit. Those have traditionally been our bread and butter, and they’re going to be great again, in 2021. But this spring, beauty companies weren’t doing so well, because people weren’t leaving the house. So the strategy worked, in part, because we diversified the categories in which we created content, which allowed us to diversify the advertiser base. And we’re gonna continue full speed ahead in 2021.

Now, you know, we did six acquisitions in 2019. I don’t know if we’ll do six acquisitions in 2021. But I want to do a lot more than one acquisition in 2021.

Categories: Business News

<b>VoIP</b> vulnerability: CoTURN patches access control protection bypass

Google News - VoIP - 2021, January 19 - 12:11am
CoTURN “is used in almost all WebRTC and VoIP systems” worldwide, because it is fast, effective, and “the most full-featured STUN/TURN ...
Categories: VoIP News

Global &amp; India Mobile Application Market Trends and Forecast to 2026 | Abbott Healthcare, Agilent ...

Google News - VoIP - 2021, January 19 - 12:00am
... hand productivity usage includes data mining, cloud computing services, Voice-over-IP (VoIP), video conferencing, enterprise mobility to name few.
Categories: VoIP News

All-in-One Workstation from Yealink

Google News - VoIP - 2021, January 18 - 11:48pm
... increase in communication innovations which were reflected in some of the biggest VoIP product releases and spotlight solutions of the year.
Categories: VoIP News

Global <b>VoIP</b> Softphones Market Growth Graph To Demonstrate Inclination Towards Positive Axis ...

Google News - VoIP - 2021, January 18 - 10:30pm
The VoIP Softphones market report sheds light on the major interferences and challenges. The document provides a clear picture of the future market ...
Categories: VoIP News

Global <b>VoIP</b> Adapters Market 2020 Industry Growth Analysis by Key Players, Segments ...

Google News - VoIP - 2021, January 18 - 10:21pm
The report states global VoIP Adapters industry developmental factors, historical performance from 2015-2025. The segmental market view by types of ...
Categories: VoIP News

Contact Center AI Software Market SWOT Analysis, by Key Players: Oracle Corporation, SAP SE ...

Google News - VoIP - 2021, January 18 - 9:46pm
... Enterprise, Avaya, Mitel, Nextiva, VoIP Logic, Asterisk, Elastix, NEC, RingCentral, Five9, NICE in Contact, Aspect, 8×8, Inteliwise, Cisco Systems.
Categories: VoIP News

<b>VoIP</b> Services Market Overview, Company Challenges And Essential Success Factors 2021 to 2027

Google News - VoIP - 2021, January 18 - 9:08pm
The VoIP Services market deliver valuable information to readers which put on advance data of distributor and suppliers. By tracking the impact of ...
Categories: VoIP News

DSP Group Inc.&#39;s Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Earnings Release and Conference Call

Google News - VoIP - 2021, January 18 - 9:00pm
From mobile phones to VoIP and virtual assistants using cloud-based voice services, DSP Group is the answer to the growing demand for the ...
Categories: VoIP News

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