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Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger says it is not considering the UK for its upcoming chip factories due to Brexit; the company is investing $95B to open European plants (BBC) October 7, 2021

BBC: Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger says it is not considering the UK for its upcoming chip factories due to Brexit; the company is investing $95B to open European plants  —  The boss of Intel says the US chipmaker is no longer considering building a factory in the UK because of Brexit.

One Wood Ring To Rule Them All

[Olivier Gomis] did not have access to the fires of Mount Doom to forge a large replica of the One Ring, so he had to settle for patience, maple, and a wood lathe. It does have the added convenience of not needing to fire to expose its true nature, just angry pixies from a wall socket.

[Olivier] made the ring in separate inner and outer sections from 72 blocks of maple. The blocks were glued together in 12-sided rings, and stacked in layers to achieve the desired width. The surfaces were cut smooth and thinned out on a wood lathe, and an internal channel was created for LED strips. The Black Speech was cut through the walls of both the inner and outer surfaces using a manual router. Using the ring itself as a former, he made a wooden base for the router to allow it to slide across the surface without wobbling.

The inside wall was cut into sections and glued into a recess in the external portion. The inscriptions were covered with a maple veneer, which still allows it to be visible when the internal LEDs are switched on. The wiring runs from the base of the stand through an S-shaped stem that was made from layers of veneer clamped in a former. A total of 53 hours of painstaking effort went into this work of art, but the end product would make any hardcore Lord of the Rings fan envious.

For more LOTR-themed hacks, check out the secret door to the Mines of Moria secret door, and a sword that glow blue in the presence of unsecured WiFi.

Thanks for the tip [Keith Olson]!

Verizon and Microsoft announce private edge compute solution that will leverage Verizon’s 5G Edge and Azure Stack Edge to offer low-latency for business apps (Gina Narcisi/CRN)

Gina Narcisi / CRN:
Verizon and Microsoft announce private edge compute solution that will leverage Verizon’s 5G Edge and Azure Stack Edge to offer low-latency for business apps  —  The two companies debuted Verizon 5G Edge with Microsoft Azure Stack Edge, on-premises, private edge compute solution for enterprises …

Sources: Intuit is in talks to buy Mailchimp for more than $10B; Mailchimp has also considered offering a minority stake and another buyer could still emerge (Bloomberg)

Bloomberg:
Sources: Intuit is in talks to buy Mailchimp for more than $10B; Mailchimp has also considered offering a minority stake and another buyer could still emerge  —  Intuit Inc., the software company that owns TurboTax, is in talks to buy email marketing startup Mailchimp for more than $10 billion …

Facebook says it accidentally removed thousands of posts around the Jan. 6 riots from Crowdtangle, blaming a now fixed error that has existed since at least May (Mark Scott/Politico)

Mark Scott / Politico:
Facebook says it accidentally removed thousands of posts around the Jan. 6 riots from Crowdtangle, blaming a now fixed error that has existed since at least May  —  The social media company said it was a technical error, and has been fixed, but tens of thousands of posts are still missing.

Apple pledges another small but welcome sum to racial justice

Illustration by Grayson Blackmon / The Verge

Apple has pledged another $30 million to racial justice, on top of the $100 million it promised last year in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

It includes funding for a wide array of causes, including a Global Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Equity Innovation Hub at California State University Northridge in Los Angeles, with the intent to create regional hubs at other universities, and an expansion of its work to bring community coding centers to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by adding 11 additional schools to the roster.

Last August, we calculated just how small the donations from Big Tech were compared to their immense profits, and today’s $30 million doesn’t really change the calculus there. At the rate…

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Amazon’s new ‘adaptive volume’ will make Alexa speak louder when it’s noisy

Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

Amazon is working to solve a frustration with smart home speakers by introducing a feature called Adaptive Volume, which will make Alexa respond louder if it detects that you’re in a noisy environment. According to the company, the mode is meant to make sure that you can still hear Alexa’s responses over any background noise (like the sound of a dishwasher, people talking, or music playing on another device). Amazon says that the feature is currently available to US customers, and that you can activate it by saying “Alexa, turn on adaptive volume.”

Amazon doesn’t mention adaptive volume working in the opposite direction, becoming quieter if there’s no background noise, but there are other ways to reduce the volume dynamically. One of…

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The rate of new apps on the Mac App Store is declining

What you need to know

New apps on the Mac App Store have declined 12% in the last year.
The number of new apps per month currently sits at around 343.
The iOS App Store, in comparison, launches around 40,000 new apps per month.

The iPhone and iPad are still the place to be.

The Mac App Store still isn’t feeling the love like the App Store for the iPhone and iPad do.

New data collected by Appfigures found that not only is the number of new apps on the Mac App Store very low in comparison to the App Store for iOS, the rate of new apps coming onto the store continues to decline.

According to the report, 392 new apps were released per month on the Mac App Store in 2020. In comparison, over 40,000 new apps were released on the App Store per month. In 2021, the average amount of new apps per month on the Mac App Store dropped to 343, a 12% decrease.

In 2020, developers released, on average, 392 new apps to the Mac App Store every month. The actual figures range between the low 300s and low 400s, so the average is a fair estimate.

For context, there App Store saw 40,000 new apps on average every month in 2020. That’s 100x more.

But our story continues because so far in 2021, the average number of new Mac apps has dropped to 343, with the variance growing drastically and the low end dropping into the low 200s.

Apple has been attempting to boost the excitement around the Mac App Store lately. Most notably, the company announced that Apple silicon-based Macs, like the M1, would be able to run iPhone and iPad apps if developers did a little bit of work to bring them over.

That plan has resulting in some apps coming over from iPhone and iPad. For example, Twitter brought its social media app to the Mac. However, other big names like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok haven’t.

Apple shut down an employee Slack channel focused on pay equity

What you need to know

Apple has banned an internal Slack channel focused on pay equity.
The company says that such a channel would violate the company’s Slack Terms of Use.

Apple continues to feel the pressure from within.

Apple has blocked an internal employee effort to create a Slack channel to discuss issues of pay inequity.

As reported by The Verge, Apple is saying that the channel would violate the company’s Slack Terms of Use as the reason for not allowing the channel.

“Slack channels are provided to conduct Apple business and must advance the work, deliverables, or mission of Apple departments and teams,” the employee relations representative told employees.

The company’s rules for the in-office chat app say that “Slack channels for activities and hobbies not recognized as Apple Employee clubs or Diversity Network Associations (DNAs) aren’t permitted and shouldn’t be created.”

The Verge reports, however, that Apple appears to allow a number of non-work channels in Slack, including channels about dogs, cats, gaming, and dad jokes.

Employment attorney Vincent P. White speculated that Apple is using the Slack Use of Terms as a way to shield itself legally, as employees are protected by law to discuss pay equity issues.

“Discussing pay equity is a protected activity under federal, state, and local law,” says White. “Everyone agrees on that. For them to try and impair employees’ ability to discuss pay equity and diversity in the workplace is a clear cut act of retaliation.”

Internal issues at the company have become more public as of late, a rare occurrence for the company in comparison to other major technology companies like Facebook and Google. The #AppleToo movement, a group of Apple employees who are pushing for change in a number of areas at the company, said it had already collected over 500 stories of workplace abuse at the company from current and former employees. The group began sharing the stories of some employees this week.

Checkr, whose tech for employment background checks is used by Uber, Airbnb, and others, raises a $250M round led by Durable Capital at a $4.6B valuation (Bloomberg)

Bloomberg:
Checkr, whose tech for employment background checks is used by Uber, Airbnb, and others, raises a $250M round led by Durable Capital at a $4.6B valuation  —  Checkr, a technology platform for employment background checks, has raised $250 million in a financing round that more than doubles its valuation from earlier this year.

135+ subreddits have gone private in protest of Reddit’s refusal to ban communities that spread misinformation about the COVID pandemic and vaccines (Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica)

Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:
135+ subreddits have gone private in protest of Reddit’s refusal to ban communities that spread misinformation about the COVID pandemic and vaccines  —  PokemonGo, Futurology among big subreddits going private until Reddit takes action.  —  Over 135 subreddits have gone dark this week …

FTX acquires US-regulated crypto derivatives exchange LedgerX for an undisclosed sum, to expand its futures and options products in the US (Vildana Hajric/Bloomberg)

Vildana Hajric / Bloomberg:
FTX acquires US-regulated crypto derivatives exchange LedgerX for an undisclosed sum, to expand its futures and options products in the US  —  – Strategy is to offer array of assets in regulated markets  — Majority of global crypto volume trades through derivatives

Roundup of 180+ companies that launched at YC’s Summer 2021 Demo Day 1, including food delivery, investment, edtech, AI, and payment startups (TechCrunch)

TechCrunch:
Roundup of 180+ companies that launched at YC’s Summer 2021 Demo Day 1, including food delivery, investment, edtech, AI, and payment startups  —  Today Y Combinator kicked off the Demo Day cycle for its Summer 2021 cohort.  The collection of early-stage startups on day one-of-two alone numbered …

CrowdStrike beats in Q2 with revenue of $337.7M, up 70% YoY; ARR rose 70% YoY to $1.34B, subscription revenue was $315.8M, up 71% YoY, net new subs grew 81% YoY (Stephanie Condon/ZDNet)

Stephanie Condon / ZDNet:
CrowdStrike beats in Q2 with revenue of $337.7M, up 70% YoY; ARR rose 70% YoY to $1.34B, subscription revenue was $315.8M, up 71% YoY, net new subs grew 81% YoY  —  Subscription revenue was up 71% while the cybersecurity company saw its total number of subscription customers grow by 81%

Here are all the companies from Y Combinator’s Summer 2021 Demo Day, Part 1

Today Y Combinator kicked off the Demo Day cycle for its Summer 2021 cohort. The collection of early-stage startups on day one-of-two alone numbered in the hundreds, meaning that we had to assemble a team here at TechCrunch just to cover it all.

But before we get into notes on each company that presented, a few notes on the cohort itself. Per Y Combinator leadership, the 377 (!) startups in this cohort have founders from 47 different countries, and 37% of the founders in this cohort were from underrepresented groups (which YC’s Michael Seibel says the accelerator defines as Black, Latinx or female.)

The international breakdown of the batch parallels that of this past winter. Nearly 50% of YC startups are based outside of the United States, with India, U.K. and Mexico making up the largest part of that percentage.

What follows is a list of the 180+ companies in the order that they pitched, and our notes on each pitch. TechCrunch will follow up this post with a list of our favorites. So, enjoy the below and happy hunting to all the founders and investors!

(Oh, and if you’re somehow hungry for more, don’t worry: another equally huge batch is scheduled to present tomorrow.)

Day One Companies

Endla: Software meant to increase production and reduce costs associated with oil/gas wells. The company says it can save about $40,000 per well per year.

Phykos: Autonomously grows seaweed to capture carbon, selling offsets to companies to uphold their climate commitments. Built by GoogleX mechanical and software engineers.

MadEats: MadEats is an online ghost kitchen food delivery service in the Philippines. It has built several major local restaurant concepts and is building affordable, high-margin brands to serve direct to consumers.

Financial Choice: Financial Choice wants to boost the yields that consumers can earn from their checking accounts. In today’s market, cash earns incredibly low yields at rest. So, Financial Choice wants to invest checking account funds, while preserving access for users for when they need their money. The startup claims to have reached $4.4 million AUM thus far. We’re curious about the tax implications of the model, but the concept of earning more yield from liquid holdings is attractive.

Atlas: This startup is building software to let restaurants in Southeast Asia move more operations online, aiming to help restaurants create a closer bond with consumers that food delivery platforms have pulled away.

Apollo: A debit card that rewards users with stocks. Making purchases with the card earns the user a fractional share of a stock, plus “a chance to win” full shares.

Strive Education: With 3.7 million students in Asia, Strive Education uses 1:1 live classes to teach high school math through coding games. The company has $20,000 monthly recurring revenue and is growing 30% monthly.

Image Credits: Brex

PlusIdentity: A password manager for startups, focused first on a Slack app that hits the high points of enterprise-level options (Okta) and consumer apps (LastPass). Only one month old, they already have 10 startups signed up and aim to be the next identity management platform for the startup world.

HitPay: HitPay brings together two startup trends that have captured investor interest in recent quarters, namely no-code tooling and payments. The company wants to help SMBs in the South East Asian market accept payments from what it describes as a market that is fragmented. So far the company has reached $5.4 million in total payment volume (TPV) per month, a figure that yields $35,000 in monthly revenue.

AOA Dx Inc.: AOA is building blood tests that help detect ovarian cancer early when survival rates are much higher. The founding team has two successful exits in the health startup space behind them and their product has already shown early success in a 600-person patient study.

Cococart: An online store builder that claims to have a setup process 10x faster than Shopify. The team says they’re currently working with over 2,000 active merchants.

Metaphor: What’s the metaphor for taking on Google? Metaphor is a language-model-based search engine. With this technology, users can search by ideas; think queries like “one of the most promising startups in the health tech space is” or “a smart essay about love is” instead of relying solely on keywords.

Tinai: Ninety percent of small businesses in Vietnam still keep at least some of their financial records using pen and paper. Tinai aims to help modernize this with a digital bookkeeping service — and after only six weeks they have 1,200 active merchants and are handling USD$1.8 million worth of transactions.

Image Credits: Turion Space

Turion Space: Space trash removal! It’s a well-known issue that the orbit around Earth is littered with crap of all sorts, junk that is circling the planet at high speeds. Turion Space wants to build spacecraft that can get that shit out of orbit, and it also wants to service satellites and mine asteroids. You have to start somewhere, we suppose. Space companies are hard to judge at this stage, but we can say that the TAM Turion is pursuing is, well, as big as the planet.

Cero: The team at Cero is building software to help hospitals automate communications with patients over WhatsApp. The team has banked $95,000 in monthly revenue helping their customers communicate with more than 600,000 patients.

Aqua: Investment platform to allow individuals to invest in private equity funds without requiring them to have a ridiculously high net worth.

Warpfy: Built by the founders of Wayfair Asia, Warpfy is on a mission to acquire and grow e-commerce stores into global brands. It will help brands bring distribution multichannel, breaking out of a tradition of Amazon roll-ups as a key way to grow.

Momo Medical: With a growing elderly population worldwide, nurses in hospitals and long-term care facilities are stretched thin. Momo Medical has made an IoT-equipped bed sensor that tells nurses who is sleeping, who is rising, and who may be having trouble, all in one interface. The increase in productivity could help offset the worldwide nursing shortage. They’re already signing contracts and have $250,000 ARR.

Image Credits: Milky Way AI

Milky Way AI: No, Milky Way AI is not building computer intelligence to scan the stars. Instead, it’s building computer intelligence to scan the shelves. Perhaps Milky Way refers to the candy bar, instead of the interstellar body. The startup has built a mobile app that allows CPG companies to scan shelves and check what goods are in stock. Per the startup, it has four brands working with it today wirth $11,000 in monthly revenue. And two new contracts that could push its revenues into the seven figures.

Slip: Slip is building a marketplace for top developers to create and monetize courses helping young coders hone their skills. The team is looking to get their product into the corporate learning space and get major tech companies providing their courses to employees.

MindFi: A corporate wellness/mental health platform for companies in Asia, offering employees “microclasses,” guided exercises and assessments meant to help with mental well-being.

Opkit: Founded by early members of Brex’s engineering team, Opkit helps surgery centers optimize how they buy medical devices. The tech plugs into health electronic systems and then provides dashboards that illustrate which surgeries are the most expensive for the center. Then, the purchasing software gives recommendations on what customers should buy to limit costs.

Deskimo: With employees fluidly moving from home to office to shared workspaces, hybrid work is a global trend. Deskimo aims to embrace that flexibility by aggregating managed office space into a single app and renting it out by the minute. They’re launching in southeast Asia first but hope to become a global hybrid work platform.

Image Credits: Lumify

Lumify: We’re all familiar with the concept of super apps for consumers. First popularized in Asia, they may bring together ride-hailing, food delivery, e-commerce and chat. But what about a super app for nurses? Lumify thinks the idea has legs. Its app can help nurses find whatever they need, from scrubs to shifts it claims. The company has generated $275,000 in revenue so far this year from a userbase of 15,000 nurses. The concept makes sense. Nurses are busy, in demand and earn good wages; why not sell to them?

Crew: Crew is building a recruiting-centric CRM designed to make it easier to reach out to candidates. The company’s software is designed to help recruiters tackle proactive outreach with tooling designed for each part of the hiring process, keeping things streamlined and personalized.

Akute Health: Akute makes a medical records management system for the ever-increasing number of digital health companies, so each one doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel. Founder Sharud Agarwal says Akute has 40 customers accounting for a total of 20,000 patients.

Writesonic: AI-powered copywriting tool for marketing material. Launched in February, Writesonic hit $36,000 in monthly ARR through 100% organic user acquisition.

REPROSENT: Cancer patients’ daily symptoms could be crucial to understanding their needs and the effectiveness of treatment, but it can be hard to collect them regularly. Reprosent is an app for patient self-reported data that has seen over 80% daily use, providing a steady stream of helpful data for caregivers. They’re already signing up major care centers.

Pinglend: This is an interesting company. Pinglend wants to let people pledge items and, in return, offer credit based on those assets. Per the company, its model will allow it to loan money to users at around 20% of the rate that pawn shops or payday lenders charge. The company has yet to launch, but as it is playing in a space rife with consumer abuse, it will have questions over its head as it proves out its model. The company wants to “graduate” its users to unsecured credit cards in time.

AppX: AppX has built a platform that helps social media creators build their own apps that play to their strengths and monetize their audiences better than personal websites do. The company started with educational creators and is looking to expand with gaming and fitness creators.

Image Credits: Caire Health

Caire Health: AI meant to help “diagnose brain bleeds in seconds.” Co-founder Anmol Warman says he expects FDA approval within six months, and the company is currently running trials with multiple hospitals.

Membo: A premium way to grocery shop. Membo is a next-day grocery delivery service in Europe that optimizes for freshness and quality, instead of 15-minute speed. The startup does $30,000 monthly GMV and makes money through a per-order commission fee.

Soraban: Accounting firms aren’t the most futuristic office environments, and Soraban aims to modernize them with a back-office platform that brings them into the 21st century.

Abatable: Robo-advising is old hat by this point, technology that has become table stakes for consumer investing services that focus on long-term holding. But Abatable wants to bring robo-advising into the carbon-removal game, creating portfolios that “focus on carbon removal.” Given the rising focus on more socially and environmentally conscious investing around the world, it’s a neat idea.

Varos: Varos helps companies understand how their performance stacks up against the competition by creating anonymized databases of customer data. The startup is tackling the $21 billion planning software market with a specific focus on marketing, product and finance teams.

Friz: A bank specifically tailored for freelancers (focusing on South Asia and Southeast Asia), making it easier to get loans for those without fixed monthly paychecks.

Zensors Inc: Google analytics for the physical world. The startup is a software-only AI solution that connects to security cameras dispersed around airports, transit hubs and stores — helping companies offer actionable advice to better the customer experience. Its software footprint currently impacts over 1 million people a week.

Kodda: Getting insurance in LatAm is a dated process, and Kodda aims to bring a Lemonade-like experience to the millions of people there. Users can sign up in 90 seconds and make claims in minutes; so far the company has 250 paying customers and it says not one has left.

Cache: Gopuff is a big deal these days, having raised roughly eighty zillion dollars. But the Cache team thinks that there is still room in the on-demand market for convenience goods. The startup operates so-called “dark” stores to give goods to on-demand drivers. Dark stores in general are a hot commodity these days, thanks to rising delivery needs.

Akudo: A neobanking startup in India geared toward providing teenagers with credit cards, hoping to help young people in the country manage their money in a smart way. The company combines a credit card, savings account and rewards with tools to help increase financial literacy.

Image Credits: SenpAI.GG

SenpAI.GG: AI-powered video game coach. They’re building a tool that uses overlays and a voice assistant to help you figure out the best move to make, or the best character to pick. Olcay Yilmazçoban says they currently have over 450,000+ monthly active users and are seeing 20% growth month over month. See our previous coverage of SenpAI here.

Iona Mind: Iona Mind is a mental health app that wants to teach people how to overcome anxiety and depression. The company’s content is derived from evidence-based protocols and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). The platform is sold directly to employers that are growing their benefit programs and searching for ways to boost engagement.

Storylane: Selling a digital product or service is a lot easier when the customer can try it for themselves. Storylane lets marketing teams deploy personalized product demos to prospective customers, which they have found increases conversions considerably.

Ivy Homes: Opendoor is worth more than $10 billion as a public company today, so it is not a huge surprise to see a startup working on bringing the model to other countries. Ivy is taking the concept to India, where it claims the real estate market is obscured by a lack of information. The company has secured a $500,000 credit line and has bought its first property. So, it’s early days for Ivy, but given the scale of the market they are taking on, that’s no sin.

Liv Labs Inc.: The startup is building fitness programs that help women deal with incontinence, building exercise programs that help women strengthen their pelvic floor muscles and decrease risks of pee leaks, an issue the startup says 27 million American women struggle with.

Sitenna: Helps wireless carriers speed up the process of finding new sites to put up towers — a particularly well-timed idea, as 5G requires considerably more towers to work well. The company says it can shorten the process of finding a location from 24 months to 6 months. Read our past coverage of Sitenna here.

Ferveret: Ferveret, inspired by nuclear plants, has created a liquid-cooling technology for data centers. The startup helps reduce costs and carbon footprint while improving server performance. So far, Ferveret has landed two paid pilot contracts with Enel and Crusoe Energy.

Coulomb AI: Electric vehicles run on batteries, and batteries degrade with use — but exactly how much? When should companies replace theirs? What’s the cost of preventative maintenance? Couloumb AI aims to provide battery analytics for any and all EV companies (focusing first on fleets in India and government applications) and hopes to become the standard analytics platform worldwide.

Arengu: If the startup market can support a host of companies just working to improve checkout flows, there may be room for tech upstarts just focused on sign-up flows, right? That is the bet at Aregenu, which is building signup flow for other companies. Its pitch noted that a host of major companies devote whole teams to this work, something it points out that smaller firms can’t afford. If the fundraising history of checkout companies is any indicator, we expect Arengu to raise a mountain of money by Thursday.

Yemaachi Biotechnology: The biotech startup is aiming to diversify the cancer diagnostics and therapeutics testing pipeline by collecting and sequencing samples across Africa, an effort to help Africa’s genetically diverse population get more accurate treatment. The founding team has decades of experience in the health research field.

q&ai: Analyzes company sales calls to provide insights for the sales team to help them tune messaging.

Image Credits: GamerPay

GamerPay: An escrow-style system for selling digital items and skins in games (starting with CS:GO) to hopefully reduce the rampant scams.

BluumBio: Companies are under pressure to reduce their environmental impact, and BluumBio allows them to do this simply by seeding bioengineered plants and bacteria at sites polluted by microplastics, heavy metals or petroleum byproducts. These engineered organisms have regulatory approval and are heading to their first field trial this fall, and the company already has lucrative partnerships lined up.

Goodkind: I hate being called on the phone, so I am not exactly sure if promising me that in the future more companies will video call me than ring me up is a great idea, but Goodkind thinks its vision of the future is going to be big business. Powering video messaging for “B2C teams,” the company has racked up $375,000 in ARR, a figure it claims is growing by 28% on a month-over-month basis. That figure could rise if its pipeline comes through by a factor of more than two.

Matidor: Matidor is a project management platform combining geospatial data with team collaboration software. The startup has $80,000 in ARR and is chasing the $4 billion natural resources market.

Promakhos Therapeutics: Promakhos is a therapeutics platform focused on curing inflammatory diseases using bacteria. The company’s first drug is focused on reversing symptoms in Crohn’s disease patients. They’re also looking to help patients suffering from multiple sclerosis and Type I diabetes.

Whaly:  A no-code platform for modeling your business data, automatically imported from tools like Hubspot, Google Ads, Google Analytics, etc.

Vital: An API for collecting at-home health data. Using at-home lab tests and fitness wearables like Oura or Fitbit, Vital aggregates data without requiring one to step foot into a doctor’s office. The developer-designed API is currently in closed beta.

Moving Parts: Rebuilding your UI to accommodate new features or migrate to a new code base can be costly and time consuming. Moving Parts is a component library from former Apple and SoundCloud designers full of “Apple-quality” UI bits and pieces that companies can drop in and customize to cover common needs like sign-up and log-in processes.

Monet: The concept of getting workers access to their earnings ahead of traditional paydays is heading to Latin America thanks to Monet, which claims its service will work with any worker in the region who has both a bank account and a salary. No employer buy-in required. That’s frankly pretty cool. Monet claims to have 6,000 users waiting to use its service. That should be enough early demand to prove its model. Let’s see how it scales.

Enerjazz: A battery-swapping network for the 2 million electric vehicles in India. The company is hoping to build out a sizable network that’s well positioned to cater toward the electrifications of India’s 8 million rickshaws and 187 million scooters.

Image Credits: Ivella

Ivella: A bank for couples, beginning with a debit card that automatically splits expenses between two users.

Malloc: A mobile app that prevents other mobile apps from recording and sharing data without the user’s approval. It notifies users when a mobile app uses their camera or microphone and offers a monitoring console to understand how long those features are being used. Malloc’s spyware tracker has 80,000 active users and over 100,000 users to date.

Flowbo Inc.: Flowbo wants to help creators access funding, fast. Instead of forcing creators to rely on payment from traditional brand deals or sponsors, they can upload proof of those income streams to get a loan upfront. Then, creators are invited to pay money back over time through a percentage fee based on total monthly revenue.

Synth: Synth is building software to help knowledge workers better recall the information that they consume, be it in video format or text. The founder said that current software products like Roam just don’t cut it. We’ll need to play with this to truly understand it, but the concept is neat.

Humane Genomics: The startup is building a development platform for making artificial viruses focused on cancer therapeutics. The team has helped design hundreds of ​​unique oncolytic viruses and was previously working on a COVID-19 vaccine candidate that it recently discontinued efforts on.

Mailmodo: A no-code platform for easily building forms and widgets to embed within emails.

SafeBeat Rx: SafeBeat Rx wants to replace hospitalization for new arrhythmia patients through its take-home kit that combines EKG software with FDA-cleared hardware. While the concept of software replacing a hospital stay may seem like a moonshot, the startup recently completed a 103 patient pilot to test out its hypothesis. It estimates that the take-home kit will be on the market within one year.

Karbon Card: It’s Brex for India. With $110,000 already coming in monthly and 1,100 companies already signed up, this is about as sure a thing as you’re going to find in this list. Expect a trillion dollar valuation by the end of the week.

Digistain: One of several startups in this cohort taking on the cancer market, Digistain wants to use infrared scanning to better understand which breast cancer patients are truly a fit for chemotherapy. Its view is that more folks than needed get chemotherapy, which is not only expensive but can actually kill you. I am not an expert on regulatory approval, but using tech to avoid taking poison juice to the jugular sounds pretty great.

Odwen: Odwen is building a massive warehouse network in India, aiming to leverage underutilized space at existing warehouses with a tech-enabled platform that helps users with storage needs find their own solution across a wide network.

Rinse: Pitched as “One Medical for dental,” Rinse is looking to make it easier to book same-day dental cleanings and exams — because more checkups = less drilling.

Swipe: A billing and payments solution for Indian small and medium-sized businesses. The over 1,000 businesses that use Swipe today are able to create easy invoices, WhatsApp-friendly payment links and more. Swipe has hit over $1 million in monthly transaction volume. As my colleague Alex Wilhelm put it, Swipe is Stripe, with a W.

Nasdisc: The market for vinyl records has exploded over the last couple decades as these collectibles have reentered the vogue. Nasdisc thinks it’s time for a modern, dedicated vinyl marketplace like those that exist for sneakers and other hot C2C goods. They’re live now and doing $1,000/week in sales, so maybe it’s time to pull out those old records and make a buck or two.

PropReturns: Working against a similar problem set as Ivy Homes, PropReturns wants to bring more data to the Indian real estate market, which it also views as somewhat poor today. But instead of buying homes, PropReturns wants to facilitate transactions. It has facilitated some $3.9 million in property value. That generated $74,000 in revenue. Let the Make India’s Property Market Better Startup War begin!

DiveHealth: Dive helps migraine sufferers find the right treatment among the dozens of migraine drugs on the market today. Users take a genetic test, fill out a questionnaire and receive a custom treatment plan. Twenty million Americans currently suffer from migraines, so it’s a huge opportunity.

Zinite: This team wants to help companies build better performing chips within the same product real estate with what it says is “only high-performance transistor which can be built along the z-axis.”

Kiwi Biosciences: Built by an IBS patient and former IBS digital health founder, Kiwi has created an enzyme that helps customers digest food better by breaking down common dietary triggers. It charges $50 a month for the patent-pending enzymes — and as of last pull, Kiwi has $23,000 in monthly recurring revenue.

Algen Biotechnologies: Born out of CRISPR co-inventor Jennifer Doudna’s lab, Algen aims to treat cancers with no known effective drugs by applying machine learning to RNA messaging and finding ways to change it. They’ve already found one oral inhibitor for one such cancer and aim to enter clinical trials within 18 months — and of course Big Pharma is already sniffing around.

Kalam Labs: Kalam Labs wants to use games to help kids from 6 to 14 years old learn STEM. Targeting the Indian middle class, the company has racked up 1,500 paying customers and has reached $15,000 in MRR. The company won’t expand north to China, however, as that country is cracking down on paid edtech services. And cutting back on gaming hours for minors. Whatever. The edtech market in India is hot, and this could fit into it neatly.

Pillar: Pillar is building a health coaching platform to help Americans live healthier lifestyles and minimize costs associated with lifestyle-based diseases. The startup is aiming to build a solution that easily plugs into corporate health platforms, allowing clients to easily access health coaches.

SalaryBook: Pitched as “Gusto for India,” SalaryBook helps SMBs in India handle payroll, employee attendance and expenses. The company says it has 80,000 employers on the platform already.

Coinfeeds: Former Robinhood and Uber machine learning specialists are building a Bloomberg for crypto. The startup tracks and aggregates news, as well as social sentiment, for crypto enthusiasts. Users can customize their news feed to get specific information about their portfolio coins and also track broader trends such as upcoming tokens and legal developments.

Gobillion: Gobillion is taking the highly successful Pinduoduo model of group purchasing and applying it to India’s daily grocery buyers. Customers can band together and save 25%-40% by purchasing in bulk — and the team, vets of India’s e-commerce world, know how to get the retail giants on board.

Commery: An interesting flip on the commercial real estate marketplace. Commery lets tenants submit an ask for real estate, which brokers work to match. Brokers pay the startup. So far it has snagged 25 listings. The timing of this company is interesting thanks to a shift in the world away from IRL work, but as Commery also works with industrial spaces it could still have a market to sell into.

Neodocs: Neodocs is building a platform for instant lab tests that users in India can complete with their smartphone. The company has created a test helping track parameters with insights on liver health, kidney health, digestion, hydration and more.

Mentum: An API for fintech companies in Latin America to offer investment services. Currently available in 13 Latin American countries.

Nino Foods: With over $165,000 in monthly revenue, Nino Foods is building a cloud kitchens service for premium brands in India. Brands using Nino include Francesco’s Pizzeria and Nino Burgers. The startup is already profitable in three Mumbai locations.

Banner: Commercial real estate managers are handling billion-dollar projects in Excel, where a transposed digit or errant click can lead to a multimillion-dollar error. Why not have an OS for commercial real estate that makes it safer and more convenient? Oh, that’s what Banner is? Great!

Pideaky: A Square for Latin America. The startup helps neighborhood corner stores digitize payments, billing and internet operations, ultimately increasing revenue for these customers. It has $42,000 in monthly recurring revenue and is growing 30% monthly.

Talus Bio: Talus Bio is a drug discovery biotech startup focused on studying gene regulatory proteins in their natural cell environments. The company hopes this new platform will help further grasp the role of these proteins in various diseases and facilitate therapeutics that tackle them.

Freterium: A collaborative platform for managing shipments and transports, aiming to replace the complicated spreadsheets the industry uses today.

Nabla Bio: The startup co-develops antibody drugs “that are more likely to get approved” with pharmaceutical companies. The company has partnered with three top-tier companies resulting in $800,000 in revenue.

Clear: Skin care is super important to a whole lot of people, and they happen to also spend quite a bit on it. Clear is a debit card just for cosmetics and skin care, giving cash back on numerous brands. But it also grants access to a social media community of skin care enthusiasts who can share their routines … full of useful data for cosmetics companies, too!

Image Credits: Playhouse

Playhouse: Playing on the trend of browsing Zillow “for fun,” Playhouse is a mobile app for quickly perusing video listings of homes for sale. Co-founder Alex Perelman says the company’s most engaged users are watching 50+ videos on their first day alone.

Genuity: Genuity is building a SaaS platform that helps enterprises manage their IT and source business software. It’s a space with plenty of entrenched players, but Genuity is hoping to win over customers with an inexpensive offering that helps IT professionals get done what they need to.

InstaKin: Helps immigrants in the U.S. manage projects and tasks back in their home countries, connecting them with verified vendors from afar and handling payments securely.

Odiggo: The services platform helps Middle East/North Africa (MENA) consumers get car services within minutes. Some cities demand car owners have brand new tires or even limit dustiness of the vehicles, so Odiggo is in the business of completing those requests. In July, the company had $500,000 in GMV and $44,000 in revenue.

Covie: If you have an app or service that needs to check or track a customer’s insurance coverage to work, Covie wants to make it easy to do that right in the app. Most rental and car insurance policies are supported and they’re signing up providers and aggregators to simplify this process for everyone.

ShipBlu: Promising “Amazon level logistics” for companies in MENA, ShipBlu does 24-hour delivery with live tracking. Co-founder Ali Nasser says that 47 merchants have signed on so far.

Dime: Dime is building an NFT marketplace that’s more accessible to users looking to buy digital collectibles with USD not crypto. Crypto wallets are notoriously complicated, and Dime is hoping that they can combine the benefits of the blockchain with easier user onboarding.

Nomod: Helps international merchants process payments on their phone, minus the need for Square-style hardware.

Verano Health: Flagged as the nonprofit of the batch, Verano Health wants to help Medicaid patients access telehealth services. The startup uses SMS and digital coaching to help diabetic, underserved patients navigate their condition. Verano Health is raising $2 million in donations and, per the founder, expects to be profitable by 2023.

Pluggy: Pluggy is Plaid for Brazil: a simple way for developers to access users’ financial data, like bank accounts and investments, within an app or service. They’re totally focused on Brazil and already cover 90% of the banks there. With thousands of users already signed up they seem to be well on their way.

Algofi: A lending market built on the Algorand blockchain. Algofi’s Owen Colegrove says they hit over 2,000 users a week after launching.

Scispot.io: Scispot is building a project management platform for bio companies leveraging automation to help track projects, samples and inventory while collaborating with team members.

Image Credits: Muse

Muse: A no-code editor for building immersive 3D websites, charging $12 per site per month. Co-founder Benjamin Ha says users have built 300+ websites so far.

FloatPays: Payday lending can be one way to bring financial inclusion and access to underserved communities, and FloatPays wants to make it on-demand. The startup is building a wage access service built for African businesses and has landed 34 customers so far. It has also engaged with financial institutions, landing distribution partnerships with two African banks.

Zeit Medical: Zeit has created a wearable headband that warns users and caregivers of early signs of stroke while sleeping, preventing damage to the brain from progressing too far before treatment. I wrote them up here!

Kurios: Online courses for professionals in Latin America. Co-founder Carlos Lau says the company is currently seeing $60,000 revenue and 25% growth per month, with 90% of users completing their courses.

Buoyant Aero: Buoyant is using electric blimps to move air freight over medium-range distances, which the startup says is 4x more efficient than using small aircraft. The company has built four airships and is aiming to tackle the $6 billion rural U.S. middle-mile freight market. We wrote about them here!

Infiuss Health: Many clinical trials lack African participants, resulting in side effects/shortcomings that go undiscovered for far too long. Infiuss is a platform meant to allow U.S. and EU pharma companies to more efficiently run clinical trials in Africa.

KaiPod Learning: The Boston-based startup wants to be the go-to place for online learners and learning pod families to get in-person interactions into their curriculum. KaiPod learning grows through launching centers, reminiscent of Kumon and WeWork, that welcome children to swing by during the school day — either for a refresh in existing curriculum, or for some social activities with peers. Read more about Kaipod here.

SolarMente: SolarMente is a marketplace for solar rooftops focusing on Europe. They’re bringing in $120,000/month already for installations and financing, at about $10,000 per home. Spain is their first market because electricity costs are high — so SolarMente takes over the whole process, soup to nuts, and hopes to do so for millions more.

idemeum: Helps small/medium-sized businesses manage employee access to their ever-growing collection of SaaS apps, aiming to replace manual password-sharing with biometrics.

Revolve Surgical: Revolve is building surgical robots for operating rooms, aiming to create a device that’s much smaller (and cheaper!) than the incumbent solution.

Hotswap: Helps you onboard companies when they’re looking to switch from another vendor, breaking vendor lock-in and automating the import of complex data from one platform to another.

Image Credits: Luminate / Wild Island Pictures

Luminate Medical: Hair loss from chemotherapy is one of the medical world’s most recognizable side effects, and Luminate may have a solution: a compression therapy helmet that prevents the drug cocktail from reaching and damaging the hair follicles. It’s on its way to clinical trials and FDA approval — you can read more about the company’s tech here.

Filta: Face filters are hugely popular on Snapchat and other apps, and Filta aims to monetize them with an NFT market for limited edition filters that creators can sell to their fans. Look for them on the app store in November.

Coinrule: Helps individual/retail investors automate their crypto trading. The team says it’s currently seeing $80,000 monthly recurring revenue, with an average of 30% MoM growth over the last 12 months.

Customily: A design tool for helping online stores sell more personalized products. Companies can use Customily to design, sell and print customizable products, letting users take control with their embeddable tool.

Union54: An API to help companies (think banks, fintechs and large retailers) issue debit cards in Africa.

HeyCharge: Patent-pending technology for customer-friendly indoor EV charging. HeyCharge wants to bring low-cost EV charging to offices and apartment buildings. Two unique bits of the startup’s tech: It claims to work offline and underground, a rarity for the industry.

Clarity: Clarity is a workspace for teams that focuses on simplicity without losing too much in capability. With document collaboration, project management and task tracking built in, it’s meant to reduce your tab load, organize and centralize.

QOA: Cocoa-free chocolate developed through precision fermentation, with the goal of making chocolate “10x more sustainable and 20% cheaper.”

Careerist: Edtech meets SaaS in Careerist’s job placement learning platform. The startup trains job seekers through live and self-paced training taught by third-party tutors. The adaptive learning software is meant to help candidates prep for tech interviews. Once a candidate is well equipped, Careerists uses automation to help them apply for jobs. The startup doesn’t require tuition until candidates are placed.

Abstra: A Figma-inspired no-code app builder meant for designers. Bruno Vieira Costa says the product, currently in beta, is seeing $2,000 in monthly recurring revenue with seven customers.

2Cents: 2Cents is building an Ethereum protocol for communities, basically bringing web3 dynamics to users wanting to create a Reddit-like community, turning active members into “owners” of the community.

Lago: Growth teams need to segment and sync customer data across lots of channels, like marketing, sales and more, but the existing tools for this are expensive, require engineering work and are generally enterprise-oriented. Lago does it no-code style so smaller teams can onboard quickly and simply with no extra hires or second mortgages.

Matrubials Inc.: Another startup in the health tech space, Matrubials is creating milk-derived therapeutics to target bacterial infections. It’s starting with a product that targets recurrent bacterial vaginosis with an antimicrobial peptide that attacks the bad bacteria, but not the healthy biome it is attacking. The company plans to target other infections in the future.

Encuadrado: Encuadrado is a payments and booking provider that helps entrepreneurs in the service industry in Latin America manage customer onboarding and logistics while minimizing unnecessary administrative work.

Reframe: An app that aims to use psych concepts to help users drink less and provides them with a private/anonymous support community. Co-founder Vedant Pradeep says 80% of their users see a “significant reduction” in alcohol consumption within two months.

Hypercore: Helps lenders automate workflows and access real-time analytics through software. The team estimates that more than 90% of private lenders use Excel or antiquated systems to manage processes, so Hypercore would be a welcome, albeit late, addition amid the broader landscape of digitization. The startup has $3,500 in monthly recurring revenue and launched officially during the accelerator.

Safer Management: Safer Management helps public schools track attendance, an important metric for funding — and, of course, education. It’s a modern system of QR codes and facial recognition that reliably tracks who’s in class. They’re already in 75 schools and two colleges and pulling in $621,000 yearly.

Fluke: Google Fi is a MVNO, or mobile virtual network operator here in the United States. Fluke is building something similar, but for Brazil. The company says that Brazilian mobile carriers offer poor service, which they want to take on. The startup also won our heart for talking about its CAC and LTV results, both of which it claims are better than its in-market competition.

Pipekit: Pipekit is looking to help enterprise customers scale their data pipelines quickly, with a control panel for Argo workflows, allowing for speedy implementation.

Image Credits: Zen

Zen: Webcam-based posture correction software that alerts the user when they’re slouching. Meant to be offered as a perk to employees to reduce a company’s workers’ comp costs.

Meticulous: A tool to catch bugs in web applications. The startup reduces the need for manual/integration testing, freeing up developer time to work on more complicated issues. The startup has two pilots and one secured deal for its software.

Fingo Africa: Fingo Africa has a simple proposition: a pan-African neobank backed by the biggest traditional bank on the continent. It plans to cut fees from 10% of payments to 1% and make money anyway with volume. Sounds like it’s going to work to me.

SliceQ: Sure, some startups are building delivery robots and ordering systems that include new tech. But SliceQ wants to take a very old tech and refurbish it for the modern world. The service lets restaurants take orders over the phone using automation technology. The startup claims that its service helps its customers boost sales by 10%, and it helped process $200,000 in GMV last month.

Carbonfact: The sustainability startup is creating a carbon footprint database for consumer products, helping certify companies that have low-carbon-output product offerings and providing a tool for comparing a company’s sustainability efforts to industry averages. In the past 10 weeks, the company has onboarded 20 brands to the platform.

Cloudthread: Analytics meant to help engineers build for the cloud more cost-efficiently, and incorporate cost into engineering decision-making.

Pabio: This startup wants to make furnishing your apartment a light lift, metaphorically speaking. For a monthly subscription, Pabio creates a 3D scan of your apartment, has it professionally furnished by an interior designer, and then offers rent-to-own furniture that matches your aesthetic. The service is currently available in Switzerland but is soon expanding to other countries.

Plai: Plai is an ad tool for microbusinesses that lets people like Etsy sellers and YouTubers launch targeted ads from their phones in seconds. It’s a simple, low-risk way to get your brand out there, and with more people than ever working for themselves, that’s an attractive proposition.

ContraForce: ContraForce wants to bring security alerts and other related incidents into a single place. The company claims five customers and $75,000 in current ARR. Security breaches plague businesses of all sizes, with ContraForce pitching itself as more of a product for the SMB market.

Inspector Cloud: Inspector Cloud is building computer vision software that helps consumer brands track how their products are being displayed at physical retailers. The analytics software help brands audit their network and analyze the effectiveness of stores selling their products.

Image Credits: Deed

Deed: A modern, super pretty take on the backend powering your employee’s charity/donation/volunteering system. Handles donation matching, volunteer hours, etc. Already working with companies like Airbnb, Stripe, Doordash and Adidas. We wrote about Deed here.

Genei: Too long, didn’t read? Good, meet Genei. This startup has created a way for content writers to get cliff notes on background reading to boost productivity, and speed up the time it takes to comprehend a complicated topic. Automatic summarization may be the use case that robots and writing can actually pull off, versus the controversial world of article generation. It’s starting by selling to freelance writers and has $9,000 in monthly recurring revenue.

Orderli: It’s Square, but for Europe! Easy to explain, probably super hard to build. Orderli works as a point-of-sale system and is already in 57 bars and pubs and pulling in over $600,000 in receipts.

Portão 3: The market for products to make corporate travel and expenses is never-ending, as most existing products are awful. Portão 3 (Gate 3) wants to make better travel and expense software for the Latin American market. The company is notable in that expense management and travel management are sometimes distinct products. Brex is not Travelocity, for example. But by bringing both together the company could offer a more cohesive solution than other products.

Pactima: Pactima is building an e-signature platform that reaches the use cases that DocuSign can’t, letting users tap real-time video-signing when a witness is required as well as in-person digital signing.

Shopscribe: Subscriptions for local shops! Think coffee shops pre-selling a weekly coffee at a discount, or nail salons selling regular manicures. Shopscribe takes a 10% cut of each subscription.

Preki: A way to help LatAm businesses create cheap, easy-to-use websites. In July, Preki hit $4,000 in GMV, and its Shopify-competitive software currently services 208 merchants.

Aleph Solutions: A tool for offline businesses to bring their services online. Aleph Solutions is building an online marketplace for resellers, which it monetizes through a SaaS and transaction fee whenever a sale occurs. It revealed 18% month-over-month growth, with $115,000 monthly recurring revenue.

Datlo: Datlo is building a data analysis service for Latin American companies. It wants to help customers’ sales and marketing teams import large datasets, sort them and visualize the results. So far it has landed two large Brazilian banks as customers and reached $20,000 MRR. Our question is how the product is tuned for the Latin American market as opposed to the larger world. Regardless, it sounds cool.

TrackChain: TrackChain is an online freight marketplace for Latin America that’s looking to streamline logistics for shippers and carriers moving freight through the region. The company currently has 600 carrier companies onboard.

Chari: Next-day item procurement for small retailers in North Africa. The company says it’s seeing a monthly GMV of $1.4 million after launching 18 months ago.

Palenca: Palenca lets employers in LatAm share and check employment records, do background checks and identity verification, then offer financial services based on that data. You know they’re going to be a success because, as the founder noted, they’re literally the only option for this! Hopefully this kind of accountability benefits the workers as well as the employers.

Flow Club: A virtual coworking space modeled on group fitness classes and social clubs intended to motivate people to work in sprints. Join for a few hours when you need that push to stop procrastinating — and who doesn’t every once in a while in this day and age?

Onfolk: The success of Gusto in the United States in terms of both securing capital and customers is drawing startups into creating similar companies targeted for their home markets. Onfolk is building a Gusto-like service for Europe. Given the number of companies in the larger EU, it won’t lack for TAM. And since it intends to monetize through B2B SaaS, investors shouldn’t struggle to understand how it intends to scale.

Pide Directo: The startup is building a white-labeled solution for local businesses in Latin America to sell and deliver to their customers, teaming an online storefront, marketing service and delivery network.

Codex: Deeper collaboration for programmers, built especially for remote/async teams. Lets you, for example, highlight code in your editor, determine who wrote it and request information without switching screens.

Image Credits: Tablevibe

Tablevibe: Customer loyalty is an important objective for restaurants, so Tablevibe wants to find ways to better track and engage folks while they’re chowing down. The startup helps capture feedback through QR-code-based surveys, exchanging loyalty incentives for insights. So far, the early-stage startup has landed 100 paying customers, tracked 25,000 experiences and positioned itself ahead of the industry’s digitization beyond Toast.

Lernit: Lernit is a corporate learning platform aimed at the LatAm market. Companies can train their employees and track their performance gains, simply and with plenty of built-in features.

Café: The remote work boom is now so entrenched that startups are being built to make remote work better. Cafe is one of them. The company wants to help remote and hybrid workers figure out where to work from each day. Apparently the answer is not, well, in your home office. The company has $8,000 in MRR and sees a future where offices are optional and not mandatory.

Búho Contable: The startup is building a TurboTax for Mexico, building out a tech-enabled tax filing and accounting firm geared toward helping small businesses in the country navigate the process.

Payflow: A mobile app that allows employees in Spain and Latin America to “get paid whenever they want,” rather than waiting for their paycheck to come in monthly bursts. Free for employees, it’s sold to companies as a perk. The company says there are currently 40,000 employees on the platform.

Argus: A compliance tool for employees with investment restrictions. Personal trading can be complicated for employees at banks, law firms and crypto exchanges due to potential conflicts of interests and various other restrictions. Eventually, Argus wants to become an investment adviser for these employees — right now, it’s just starting by helping them not screw up.

Cabal: Cabal is a private workspace for founders, investors and advisers to update one another and organize things like equity distributions. Sure, you could do it in Slack or something, but this one is built with the startup and stakeholder crew in mind. Plus it’s cool to be able to say “join our Cabal.”

Hedgehog: Back to the robo-adviser theme, Hedgehog is an SEC-approved service that helps consumers buy crypto products. It claims to offer trades at the best possible price, and $70 million in AUM. Personalized crypto advice is a neat idea, given that mostly what we’re told on Twitter is either “hodl” or “go fuck yourself.” If Hedgehog can scale its AUM, Coinbase might swoop in with its checkbook.

Examedi: Examedi is a home healthcare marketplace for Latin America helping consumers match with healthcare providers and take at-home medical exams on their own schedule. The company grew 160% in August.

Potion: AI to help R&D teams (starting with beauty companies) formulate their products, replacing processes that generally require lengthy trial-and-error with simulation.

Trii: Launched six months ago, Trii is a U.S. and local stock investment platform for retail investors in LatAm. Across its 30,000 users, the startup has processed more than $60,000 in transactions and has $10 million in assets under management. Trii looks to circumvent local brokers, who have high fees and required minimums, with $2 per trade fee and no required minimum.

Synder: E-commerce companies need to do accounting too, but as we’ve seen suggested by other companies, it’s not particularly easy or simple. Synder aims to automate as much as possible, looping in all the major sales platforms and doing the bean-counting magic every company needs to do to make sure they’re actually making money. With 3,900 customers already, it seems plenty of folks were waiting for something like this.

OneSchema: CSV imports can be a bit of a mess, and cleaning up data is a huge pain in the backside. OneSchema wants to hammer on both issues at the same time with a spreadsheet UI that can correct CSV data, in theory allowing customers to upload data with fewer errors. Excel holds up much of the modern world, and lots of folks stuck making Microsoft’s spreadsheet tool work for their needs could use some help. Let’s see if OneSchema can help.

Image Credits: Onebrief

Onebrief: Talk about purpose built. Onebrief is a tool built to help military headquarters with their joint planning needs, while keeping things presentation-ready in order to boot out PowerPoint. The company says it recently signed a $350,000 deal with a four-star military HQ.

CostCertified: CostCertified is building a marketplace for players in the residential construction world, allowing suppliers, contractors and consumers to connect inside a single platform, ensuring that estimates stay accurate and minimizing surprises.

Legion Health: Helps psychiatrists and therapists sell their time to telehealth companies by the hour.

Ahazou: A SaaS-platform for local businesses in LatAm bring businesses online through services such as payment processing, digital marketing and reviews. It is the latest startup aimed at helping local shops, from nail salons to painters, prepare for a post-COVID landscape. Over 16,000 companies pay for Ahazou’s software, resulting in $1.2 million in annual recurring revenue. Still, it’s just a drop in the bucket for what the team estimates will be a $4 billion market of local business in LatAm.

Dots: If you’re a seller or service provider, the platform you sell on may very well not want to pay you in the way you want to be paid, whether that’s old-school ACH or instant transfer via Venmo or CashApp. Dots provides a single API to marketplaces that lets them pay out via any of those methods and more, simplifying the finances of everyone involved.

PaletteHQ: If you haven’t worked in a sales team, you might not be aware of how the commission process works. It varies company to company, and can change based on evolving corporate goals and product releases. So managing a commission setup that sales folks can understand — and therefore find motivating — is complex. Palette wants to shake up the issue with software and has reached $10,000 in MRR thus far. Twist: Sales people selling sales-focused software to sales team leaders? Surely that’s an advantageous market perch.

Inai: A no-code platform for handling payments globally. It hooks into your payment providers (like Stripe, Paypal), fraud tools (like Sift) and tax tools and wraps them all up in a easy to configure dashboard.

Artillery: Pitched as a “modern load testing” platform, Artillery hammers your product with traffic (millions of requests per second originating across 13+ different regions) so there are no surprises later.

Breadcrumbs.io: Analyzes customer and prospect data to help companies identify hidden revenue opportunities. The no-code scoring engine has attracted $185,000 in annual recurring revenue to help startups make sure they don’t leave any lucrative breadcrumbs behind. Non-obvious revenue may just pique investor interest, especially when it comes to serving their portfolio companies.

Protex AI: Protex AI is a computer vision company that identifies dangers in industrial workplaces before they become a problem. Maybe that’s workers too close to dangerous processes, or a machine starting to fail or something catastrophic — catching them even a second or two earlier might avoid disaster. Their first install caught 60% more safety violations than human monitoring, an increase that might alone justify the company’s $25,000 per site fee.

ContainIQ: An easy to install platform for monitoring Kubernetes events and metrics over time, with hooks like Slack support for alerting your team when things break.

Epsilon3, Inc.: Built by a team with hundreds of rocket launches under their belt, Epsilon3 is an “operating system” for spacecraft launches (and other complex operations) — effectively taking the ridiculously complicated but too often still paper-based procedures/workflows and making them digital.

Hotglue: A developer tool designed to help create native SaaS integrations with data sources in minutes, aiming to help users sidestep jumping through development and maintenance hoops.

Source: Apple’s upcoming Watch is suffering production snags as manufacturers adjust to a new design, likely leading to supply constraints or shipment delays (Bloomberg)

Bloomberg:
Source: Apple’s upcoming Watch is suffering production snags as manufacturers adjust to a new design, likely leading to supply constraints or shipment delays  —  – Revamped device has a larger screen and other new features  — Wearables category has been one of fastest-growing for Apple

Tribe and Arkam back Jar app to help millions in India start their savings journey

Even as hundreds of millions of people in India have a bank account, only a tiny fraction of this population invests in any financial instrument.

Fewer than 30 million people invest in mutual funds or stocks, for instance. In recent years, a handful of startups have made it easier for users — especially the millennials — to invest, but the figure has largely remained stagnant.

Now, an Indian startup believes that it has found the solution to tackle this challenge — and is already seeing good early traction.

Nishchay AG, former director of mobility startup Bounce, and Misbah Ashraf, co-founder of Marsplay (sold to Foxy), founded Jar earlier this year.

The startup’s eponymous six-month-old Android app enables users to start their savings journey for as little as 1 Indian rupee.

Users on Jar can invest in multiple ways and get started within seconds. The app works with Paytm (PhonePe support is in the works) to set up a recurring payment. (The startup is the first to use UPI 2.0’s recurring payment support.) They can set up any amount between 1 Indian rupee to 500 for daily investments.

The Jar app can also glean users’ text messages and save a tiny amount based on each monetary transaction they do. So, for instance, if a user has spent 31 rupees in a transaction, the Jar app rounds that up to the nearest tenth figure (40, in this case) and saves nine rupees. Users can also manually open the app and spend any amount they wish to invest.

Once users have saved some money in Jar, the app then invests that into digital gold.

The startup is using gold investment because people in the South Asian market already have an immense trust in this asset class.

India has a unique fascination for gold. From rural farmers to urban working class, nearly everyone stashes the yellow metal and flaunts jewelry at weddings.

Indian households are estimated to have a stash of over 25,000 tons of the precious metal whose value today is about half of the country’s nominal GDP. Such is the demand for gold in India that the South Asian nation is also one of the world’s largest importers of this precious metal.

Jar’s Android app (Image Credits: Jar)

“When you’re thinking about bringing the next 500 million people to institutional savings and investments, the onus is on us to educate them on the efficacies of the other instruments that are in the market,” said Nishchay.

“We want to give them the instrument they trust the most, which is gold,” he said. The startup plans to eventually offer several more investment opportunities, he said.

The founders met several years ago when they were exploring if MarsPlay and Bounce could have any synergies. They stayed in touch and, last year during one of their many conversations, realized that neither of them knew much about investments.

“That’s when the dots started to connect,” said Misbah, drawing stories from his childhood. “I come from a small town in Bihar called Bihar Sharif. During my childhood days, I saw my family deeply troubled with debt because of poor financial decisions and no savings,” he said.

“We both understand what a typical middle class family goes through. Someone who comes from this background never had any means in the past but their aspirations are never-ending. So when you start earning, you immediately start to spend it all,” said Nishchay.

“The market needs products that will help them get started,” he said.

That idea, which is similar to Acorn and Stash’s play in the U.S. market, is beginning to make inroads. The app has already amassed about half a million downloads, the founders said. Investors have taken notice, too.

On Wednesday, Jar announced it has raised $4.5 million from a clutch of high-profile investors, including Arkam Ventures, Tribe Capital, WEH Ventures, and angels including Kunal Shah (founder of CRED), Shaan Puri (formerly with Twitch), Ali Moiz (founder of Stonks), Howard Lindzon (founder of Social Leverage), Vivekananda Hallekere (co-founder of Bounce), Alvin Tse (of Xiaomi) and Kunal Khattar (managing partner at AdvantEdge).

“Over 400 million Indians are about to embrace digital financial services for the first time in their lives. Jar has built an app that is poised to help them — with several intuitive ways including gamification — start their investment journey. We love the speed at which the team has been executing and how fast they are growing each week,” said Arjun Sethi, co-founder of Tribe Capital, in a statement.

Transactions and AUM on the Jar app are surging 350% each month, said Nishchay. The startup plans to broaden its product offerings in the coming days, he said.

Retailer leak suggests Google’s Pixel 6 will have 23W wireless charging

Image: Google

Google may be working on a new wireless charging stand for its Pixel phones, according to a leaked image of a retail inventory backend mentioning a “Google Pixel 23W WL Stand” published by Android Police. The name suggests the charger could support 23W wireless charging, and if Google does end up releasing this stand, it seems likely that the upcoming Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro would support 23W charging as well.

Image: Android Police
Android Police’s image seemingly revealing the existence of a new Pixel Stand.

That wireless charging speed, if accurate, would be more than the iPhone 12’s maximum 15W wireless charging with a MagSafe charger and surpass the 10W wireless charging offered by the original Pixel Stand…

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Olsam raises $165M to buy up and scale consumer and B2B Amazon Marketplace sellers

On the heels of Heroes announcing a $200 million raise earlier today, to double down on buying and scaling third-party Amazon Marketplace sellers, another startup out of London aiming to do the same is announcing some significant funding of its own. Olsam, a roll-up play that is buying up both consumer and B2B merchants selling on Amazon by way of Amazon’s FBA fulfillment program, has closed $165 million — a combination of equity and debt that it will be using to fuel its M&A strategy, as well as continue building out its tech platform and to hire more talent.

Apeiron Investment Group — an investment firm started by German entrepreneur Christian Angermayer — led the Series A equity round, with Elevat3 Capital (another Angermayer firm that has a strategic partnership with Founders Fund and Peter Thiel) also participating. North Wall Capital was behind the debt portion of the deal. We have asked and Olsam is only disclosing the full amount raised, not the amount that was raised in equity versus debt. Valuation is also not being disclosed.

Being an Amazon roll-up startup from London that happens to be announcing a fundraise today is not the only thing that Olsam has in common with Heroes. Like Heroes, Olsam is also founded by brothers.

Sam Horbye previously spent years working at Amazon, including building and managing the company’s business marketplace (the B2B version of the consumer marketplace); while co-founder Ollie Horbye had years of experience in strategic consulting and financial services.

Between them, they also built and sold previous marketplace businesses, and they believe that this collective experience gives Olsam — a portmanteau of their names, “Ollie” and “Sam” — a leg up when it comes to building relationships with merchants; identifying quality products (versus the vast seas of search results that often feel like they are selling the same inexpensive junk as each other); and understanding merchants’ challenges and opportunities, and building relationships with Amazon and understanding how the merchant ecosystem fits into the e-commerce giant’s wider strategy.

Olsam is also taking a slightly different approach when it comes to target companies, by focusing not just on the usual consumer play, but also on merchants selling to businesses. B2B selling is currently one of the fastest-growing segments in Amazon’s Marketplace, and it is also one of the more overlooked by consumers. “It’s flying under the radar,” Ollie said.

“The B2B opportunity is very exciting,” Sam added. “A growing number of merchants are selling office supplies or more random products to the B2B customer.”

Estimates vary when it comes to how many merchants there are selling on Amazon’s Marketplace globally, ranging anywhere from 6 million to nearly 10 million. Altogether those merchants generated $300 million in sales (gross merchandise value), and it’s growing by 50% each year at the moment.

And consolidating sellers — in order to achieve better economies of scale around supply chains, marketing tools and analytics, and more — is also big business. Olsam estimates that some $7 billion has been spent cumulatively on acquiring these businesses, and there are more out there: Olsam estimates there are some 3,000 businesses in the U.K. alone making more than $1 million each in sales on Amazon’s platform.

(And to be clear, there are a number of other roll-up startups beyond Heroes also eyeing up that opportunity. Raising hundreds of millions of dollars in aggregate, others that have made moves this year include Suma Brands [$150 million], Elevate Brands [$250 million], Perch [$775 million], factory14 [$200 million], Thrasio [currently probably the biggest of them all in terms of reach and money raised and ambitions], HeydayThe Razor GroupBrandedSellerXBerlin Brands Group [X2], Benitago, Latin America’s Valoreo and Rainforest and Una Brands out of Asia.)

“The senior team behind Olsam is what makes this business truly unique,” said Angermayer in a statement. “Having all been successful in building and selling their own brands within the market and having worked for Amazon in their marketplace team – their understanding of this space is exceptional.”

3D Printing Your Own Sturdy Lens Caps

Lens caps are important for protecting expensive camera lenses from damage. Dust, grit, and other nasty things will all quickly spoil the quality of a shot, and can even permanently damage a lens if you’re unlucky. However, lens caps are also lost quite easily. Thus, it’s useful to be able to make your own, and [DSLR CNC DIY] has the low down on how to do it. 

The benefit of printing your own lens caps is customization. No matter the oddball size and shape of your lens, when you’re 3D printing your own cap, you can design it to fit. The video also shows off the benefits of being able to embed text right into the body of the cap, so you’re never confused as to which cap goes with which lens. The caps use the metal lever from a binder clip in order to provide the clamping force necessary to hang on to the lens. It’s an improvement over some living-hinge designs that grow weaker over time.

Overall, if you’ve got a bunch of lenses that need a new cap, this could be the project for you. It’s also likely much cheaper and easier than hunting down replacement caps for obscure lenses online. Alternatively, contemplate what you could do with fancy lens adapters. Video after the break.

Syndicate, a decentralized investing platform that wants to make it easier for users to create DAOs, raises $20M Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz (Dan Primack/Axios)

Dan Primack / Axios:
Syndicate, a decentralized investing platform that wants to make it easier for users to create DAOs, raises $20M Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz  —  Syndicate, a decentralized investing platform, raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz.

Our favorite startups from YC’s Summer 21 Demo Day, Part 1

Y Combinator kicked off its fourth-ever virtual Demo Day today, revealing the first half of its nearly 400-company batch. The presentation, YC’s biggest yet, offers a snapshot into where innovation is heading, from not-so-simple seaweed to a Clearco for creators.

The TechCrunch team stuck to its tradition of covering every single company live (but, you know, from home,) so you’ll find all of the Day 1 companies here. For those who want a sampling of standouts, however, we’re also bringing you a host of our favorites from today’s 1-minute pitch-off extravaganza.

As reporters, we’re constantly inundated with hundreds of pitches on a daily basis. The startups below caught our picky attention for a whole host of reasons, but that doesn’t mean other startups weren’t compelling or potential unicorns as well. Instead, consider the below to be a data point on which startups made us do a double-take, be it due to the size of the market opportunity, the ambition exhibited by the founding team or an idea that was just too clever to pass up.

Genei

Genei is, dare I say, a refreshing mashup between robots and writers. The startup has a simple goal: Automatically summarize background reading so content creators can grab the top facts, attribute and move onto the next graf. Writing is innately an art, so I find Genei’s positioning as a tool for writers instead of a replacement out to take their jobs as smart. Better yet, it’s launching by targeting some of the hardest workers in our industry: freelance writers. These folks often have to balance consistent pitches, diverse assignments and tight deadlines for their livelihood, so I’d presume a sidekick can’t hurt. Down the road, I could totally see this startup playing the same role as a Grammarly: a helpful extension of workflows that optimizes the way people who write for a living, write. — Natasha

Streamers organize #ADayOffTwitch walkout to bring awareness to the recent increase of “hate raids”, and say Twitch isn’t taking the issue seriously enough (Ash Parrish/The Verge)

Ash Parrish / The Verge:
Streamers organize #ADayOffTwitch walkout to bring awareness to the recent increase of “hate raids”, and say Twitch isn’t taking the issue seriously enough  —  On Wednesday, September 1st, a number of channels on Twitch will go dark as streamers participate in #ADayOffTwitch …

Sanas aims to convert one accent to another in real time for smoother customer service calls

In the customer service industry, your accent dictates many aspects of your job. It shouldn’t be the case that there’s a “better” or “worse” accent, but in today’s global economy (though who knows about tomorrow’s) it’s valuable to sound American or British. While many undergo accent neutralization training, Sanas is a startup with another approach (and a $5.5M seed round): using speech recognition and synthesis to change the speaker’s accent in near real time.

The company has trained a machine learning algorithm to quickly and locally (that is, without using the cloud) recognize a person’s speech on one end and, on the other, output the same words with an accent chosen from a list or automatically detected from the other person’s speech.

Image Credits: Sanas.ai

It slots right into the OS’s sound stack so it works out of the box with pretty much any audio or video calling tool. Right now the company is operating a pilot program with thousands of people in locations from the USA and UK to the Philippines, India, Latin America, and others. Accents supported will include American, Spanish, British, Indian, Filipino and Australian by the end of the year.

To tell the truth, the idea of Sanas kind of bothered me at first. It felt like a concession to bigoted people who consider their accent superior and think others below them. Tech will fix it… by accommodating the bigots. Great!

But while I still have a little bit of that feeling, I can see there’s more to it than this. Fundamentally speaking, it is easier to understand someone when they speak in an accent similar to your own. But customer service and tech support is a huge industry and one primarily performed by people outside the countries where the customers are. This basic disconnect can be remedied in a way that puts the onus of responsibility on the entry-level worker, or one that puts it on technology. Either way the difficulty of making oneself understood remains and must be addressed — an automated system just lets it be done more easily and allows more people to do their job.

It’s not magic — as you can tell in this clip, the character and cadence of the person’s voice is only partly retained and the result is considerably more artificial sounding:

But the technology is improving and like any speech engine, the more it’s used, the better it gets. And for someone not used to the original speaker’s accent, the American-accented version may very well be more easily understood. For the person in the support role, this likely means better outcomes for their calls — everyone wins. Sanas told me that the pilots are just starting so there are no numbers available from this deployment yet, but testing has suggested a considerable reduction of error rates and increase in call efficiency.

It’s good enough at any rate to attract a $5.5M seed round, with participation from Human Capital, General Catalyst, Quiet Capital, and DN Capital.

“Sanas is striving to make communication easy and free from friction, so people can speak confidently and understand each other, wherever they are and whoever they are trying to communicate with,” CEO Maxim Serebryakov said in the press release announcing the funding. It’s hard to disagree with that mission.

While the cultural and ethical questions of accents and power differentials are unlikely to ever go away, Sanas is trying something new that may be a powerful tool for the many people who must communicate professionally and find their speech patterns are an obstacle to that. It’s an approach worth exploring and discussing even if in a perfect world we would simply understand one another better.

Reframe your Metaphors, and other lessons from Y Combinator S21 Day 1

After a 17-hour marathon through nearly 200 startup pitches, the Equity team was fired up to get back on Twitter and chat through some early trends and favorites from the first day of Y Combinator’s demo party. We’ll be back on the air tomorrow, so make sure you’re following the show on Twitter so you don’t miss out.

What did Natasha and Alex chat about? The following:

First Impressions: We started by going through top-line numbers, geographic breakdown, and how the accelerator is doing when it comes to the representation of diverse founders. The last bit had a tiny bit of progress, but diversity continues to be an issue in YC’s batches – even as cohort size grows. We also chatted about what startups pitching can work on: like better mics, which are cheap and good.
Our early favorites: Metaphor, Lumify, Alex’s favorite duo Indian real estate plays, Akudo, Reframe, and Playhouse.
And some hmmm moments, including our thoughts on Writesonic, which Natasha has a potentially paranoid theory on.

TechCrunch has extensive coverage of the day on the site, so there’s lots to dig into if you are in the mood. More tomorrow!

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PST, Wednesday, and Friday at 6:00 a.m. PST, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts!

Analyst Katy Huberty talks Apple Car, Tim Cook’s legacy in new interview

What you need to know

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty sat down for an interview on the Apollo Effect podcast series.
The analyst talked about why and when Apple will release an electric car.
Huberty also reflected on what Steve Jobs would think about Tim Cook’s leadership of Apple.

Huberty has nice things to say about Apple and Cook all around.

In a recent episode of the Apollo Effect podcast series, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty talked about Apple Car, Tim Cook’s leadership, and what Steve Jobs would think of where Apple is now.

As reported by MacRumors, Huberty speculated that the successful car of the future would integrate hardware, software, and services – a combination that Apple is known for.

“When you think about what will differentiate the car of the future, it’s certainly being creative around new supply chains … It’s about vertical integration of different components, hardware design, software, and ultimately, the services that can be delivered in that automobile. It’s about consumer trust and credibility, and certainly brand when it comes to a consumer product. And all of those categories are ones where Apple is a leader.”

The analyst also talked about Tim Cook’s leadership, saying that Steve Jobs would be proud of the way that Cook forged his own path while still protecting the culture of innovation that Jobs infused into the company.

“I really think that Tim Cook has done a pretty phenomenal job allowing for Steve’s legacy to carry on, protecting that legacy while building his own very separate legacy … Steve was very much about design and innovation and getting in the weeds in those two areas. Tim has allowed the culture of the company to continue on that front, but at the same time, he’s layered in some of the softer aspects that are harder to measure.”

“I think if Steve was looking down, he would be very proud of the way that Tim has built his own legacy while protecting the culture and the differentiation around design and innovation that Steve started.”

Cook recently celebrated his 10th year as CEO of Apple. According to a recent report, the executive wants to launch one more product category before his retirement.

That product category will most likely have to do with augmented or virtual reality rather than an Apple Car, as the latter is not expected to launch until closer to 2030.