A compilation of important news from the startup world:
3 Tech Startups Fighting ISIS With a Holy War on Poverty
Indonesia, which is the world’s most populous Muslim country has the lowest proportion of its citizens fighting in ISIS brigades overseas. This is because the government, religious organizations, and private industries are effective at waging a valiant war of influence against the evils of ISIS. The government and religious organizations are tackling ISIS doctrine head on while private companies are working to dry up the pool of recruits by giving poor people opportunities to earn livable wages. As in most countries in the world, startups are at the forefront of the most innovative efforts enabling a transfer of wealth to improve the earning capacity of blue collar workers. Indonesian startups are playing a significant role in growing small businesses, and therefore, the middle class. Service providers like home cleaners, car mechanics, and repairmen in wealthy economies have the luxury of using advertising to find new clients. They can take out yellow page ads, use direct mailers, run Adwords campaigns, or promote themselves on social media. Go-Jek connects passengers needing a ride, but also offers additional services including the ability to hire an Ojek driver to purchase concert tickets or go grocery shopping.
WIT Japan champion startup THERE helps South Koreans find and book tours & activities
South Korea’s THERE, which won this year’s WIT Japan and North Asia Startup Pitch competition, aspires to be the country’s first ‘things to do’ booking platform offering curated tours, activities, dining, attractions, shows and local transport, at the lowest available price. Currently, THERE exists in 15 locations around the world, offering over 300 bookable activities. It aims to help travellers be more economical and more knowledgeable about the ‘must-see’ and ‘must-do’ activities in any given destination, by curating local offerings within each. The team plans to tackle the growing market landscape of free and independent travellers (FITs) who spend an estimated 46% of their travel budget on tours and activities.
Samsung to acquire US cloud service firm to boost software
The South Korean company said Thursday that its acquisition of Joyent Inc. will enable Samsung to access its own cloud platform to run its internet-based services, apart from renting other companies’ data centers. The move will likely accelerate Samsung’s push to develop services that rely on external computing power for quick and large-scale data analysis. The company did not disclose financial terms. The company has been buying U.S.-based startups, responding to suggestions that it use outside expertise and technologies to more quickly adapt to the changing business environment. Among other notable acquisitions, Samsung bought mobile payment technology developer LoopPay last year. Using LoopPay’s technology, it launched mobile payment services in the U.S., China and South Korea, among other countries.
Co-working space extraSlice creates safe haven for tech startups in Bellevue
What Bellevue startup extraSlice is doing differently is building around the technology startup. Binu Reghunathan, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of extraSlice, said the location was meant to help startups avoid the hindrances he experienced in his own foray into technology startups. Companies can get a membership in extraSlice (which gets several days of office use, meeting times and discounted services) for as low as $49 a month, with prices starting at $220 a month for a desk and $499 a month for a complete office. A technology training program (extraSlice Career School) can actually teach people skills to be placed in jobs in the booming tech market.
Tech Slowdown? Israeli Startups Raise $145 Million in Three Days
Israeli startups offering everything from anti-collision technology to augmented reality raised nearly $145 million in the past three days, a pace that suggests the global slowdown in tech funding hasn’t reached Israel.Eyeview, a New York-based video-advertising technology company said Wednesday it raised $21.5 million in a round led by Qumra Capital and joined by Marker LLC, Innovation Endeavors, Nauta Capital, Gemini Israel Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Co-working: The future for tech companies?
Firms of all sizes, across a variety of sectors, have increasingly started to supplement the traditional office spaces within their core real estate portfolio with a range of flexible and shared office concepts, such as co-working, in order to provide a choice of settings to their employees. The growth of co-working in recent years has been impressive. JLL estimates the size of the global co-working market to be in the region of circa $210m (£150m) a month, and the number of individuals using co-working spaces is predicted to reach 1 million by 2018. The growing technology sector has demonstrated a significant capacity to utilise co-working spaces. For starters, tech start-ups, especially in London, are already on the move. The capital has witnessed a number of tech and media companies moving into cheaper premises in East London. Acollaboration space for employees shared with external organisations/individuals in an external co-working environment. Here tech start-ups can find themselves surrounded by other like-minded companies, allowing for the free exchange of advice and ideas.
Dropbox CEO Says Startups Are in ‘Post-Unicorn Era’
Dropbox CEO Drew Hudson, himself a member of the decacorn club, just revealed his opinion of unicorns’ future in tech: They’re going extinct.. Focusing on sustainability makes sense given the tech industry’s trend towards financial belt-tightening this year. In a post-unicorn era, public tech company’s stock prices are down and venture capitalists are becoming more and more skeptical of their investments. The tech world is getting leaner and meaner. For large-scale operations, consolidation is inevitable. Post-unicorn startups should lower their ambitions in order to stay alive.
Can Target And Techstars Turn Minnesota Into The Next Silicon Valley?
A year ago, Siddiqi created a startup called Branch Messenger, which is trying to change the status quo. In November 2015, he launched a free messaging app that allows co-workers to contact one another, check their schedules, and swap shifts. Many employees are already using the app in places like J.Crew, Panera, 24Hour Fitness, and Arby’s, but Siddiqi wants his technology to become a mainstay of the retail industry. Techstars intentionally defined the concept of “retail” loosely for this program. It considered startups that developed products that could be sold on shelves, ideas that could enhance supply chain and sourcing capabilities, data and analytics platforms, and marketing and customer communications. Techstars Target partnership and is now managing the program. Over the course of several months, Target and Techstars publicized this initiative by sending representatives on a road trip throughout the country, organizing events for entrepreneurs who might be interested in the program.