News from around the world – May 17

What's happening around the world...
 

A compilation of important news from the startup world: 

 

E-Com, Tech Startups To Spur Job Growth
With the startup revolution, e-commerce and tech start-ups domain will see 23.6 per cent growth in jobs between April and September this year, according to the Teamlease Employment Outlook Report. The e-commerce sector has created a huge number of jobs in two categories: drivers, who are in demand by taxi aggregator apps/companies; and delivery personnel, hired in large numbers by online shopping websites and apps, the report says. Ecommerce and Tech Start-ups (2 points up, 23.6per cent job growth), FMCG (3 points up, 11.4per cent job growth) and Telecommunications (3 points up, 10.13per cent job growth) grow marginally in a routine show by sectors.

How tech startups and scaleups can make the most of mergers and acquisitions
The way to successfully navigate the transition phase is to develop a strategic integration plan which allows for the two companies to merge their technologies. It is fundamental to be inclusive and recognise that every area of a business will most likely be impacted in some way. Bringing teams together that have spent years facing the same issues has the potential to generate immense creativity and accelerate the pace of innovation, but this is will only happen if both teams have the right leadership.

Tech startups come up with some creative definitions for ‘profitable’
Last September, SpoonRocket was running out of money. Founders of the Berkeley, Calif., meal-delivery company had initially sold investors on aggressive expansion plans and the promises of a high-growth business. By the time it completed a planned rollout to San Diego and Seattle early last year, the funding environment had changed. Venture capitalists had begun to prioritize profit over growth. After just a few months, SpoonRocket retreated from its new markets and focused on improving the economics of its business. “For a long time, we were like, Their efforts failed to achieve profitability by conventional definitions. However, the startup calculated that the business had become “contribution margin positive,” meaning that it sells an item—in this case, pre-made meals delivered to customers—for less than the cost to manufacture, distribute, and sell it. There is, apparently, some wiggle room in what expenses can be left out. Tsui said SpoonRocket’s definition included the costs of food, delivery worker pay, utensils, food waste, distribution center rental, and certain marketing programs. It excluded costs of customer service, central employees, office rent, and marketing to drivers.

How A Mexican Startup is Turning Mango Scraps Into Nutritional Gold
EatLimmo is using food science to turn mango seeds, peels and leftover pulp into a fiber-packed powder that can serve as an emulsifier to replace up to 50% of the eggs and fat in baked goods, substitute for sugar, pectin and anti-foaming agents in jams and jellies and even serve as a texurizer and natural preservative in sausages and other processed meats. And they’re not stopping with mangoes. The company, which has a patent pending on its proprietary process, is also researching uses for the seeds and peels of avocados and other tropical fruits produced in Mexico.

African startups invited to attend VIVA Technology event in Paris
South Africa-based ad-tech company Popimedia has launched a campaign to encourage African startups to take part in the VIVA Technology event in Paris, France, which is co-hosted by Publicis and takes place from June 30. Popimedia, which is part of Publicis Groupe, is facilitating African participation in the event, which is expecting 30,000 attendees, including entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and venture capitalists. The aim of VIVA Technology is to provide a real-time platform for collaboration and a high-level stage for discussions around the impact technology has on both businesses and society.

3 ways startups are fighting for digital and physical security
Internet accessibility for all people, of all ages and in all places has unleashed unprecedented resources and opportunities. It also unlocked our digital and physical security. The sacrifice of safety is an unintended consequence of the Internet age. Can the tools that caused this vulnerability be reappropriated to make us safer? There’s a rise in startups who think so. They are building platforms to strengthen our personal safety where we need it most — whether on the street, at school or online.

NZ startups and cybers get Budget funding boost
Kiwi startups are in for an extra NZ$15 million of funding as the New Zealand government looks to promote more high-tech exports in its Federal Budget. The money, spread over four years, will go towards boosting two schemes aimed at speeding up the commercialisation of research and tech companies, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce said. he Pre-Seed Accelerator Fund, which helps scientists turn research into commercial products, will get NZ$12 million of the sum, taking its total annual funding to about NZ$8 million each year. The other NZ$3 million will be spent on extending a three-year pilot program to fund new accelerators.

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