Five startups that will make developers and customers of other startups happy
Millions of startups all over the world work every day to launch and improve platforms, applications and technology to improve people's lives. In other words, they work to make them happy. Here is a list of the most promising ones.
Financial services applications, facial recognition algorithms to customize commercial offers to match users, online shopping, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality... There are million of startups working daily to launch products to improve people's lives. The end goal is to raise capital and make the user happy. Here is a list of the most promising startups.
Kensho defines itself as the Siri (the iOS/Apple virtual personal assistant) or Watson (the IBM artificial intelligence system) of the financial markets. And that is a description sufficiently attractive to catch our attention. Another point of interest is that in early 2014 it secured a round of funding of $10 million and at the end of the same year secured another $15 million.
What does Kensho do? It is a statistical analysis platform using unstructured data to answer complex financial questions, with an attractive interface and good user experience.
The company, based in Cambridge (Massachusetts, USA), uses natural language processing and machine learning, like IBM Watson and Siri, but applied to data generated by financial markets. Kensho has a system in which a senior executive or a broker can inquire about the economic outlook of a sector or company and the Kensho platform answers with data and charts.
This platform allows advertisers to deliver consumer-customized advertising to mobile devices. Known originally as Millennial Media, it was one of the startups that captured all the attention of investment funds in 2014. In fact, it closed a funding round of $175 million. This Baltimore-based company now has offices in Boston, New York, San Francisco, London and Singapore. AOL bought it in September for 238 million.
Its Applications Development Kit includes new advertising formats:
- Autoplay videos: a trend in social networks like Twitter and Facebook. They increase the view-count and the possibility of an impact on consumers.
- Vertical video: a high definition format entirely filling the mobile screen. A format that is interesting in that it incorporates vertical video into the user’s consumer habits with the arrival of applications and social networks like Periscope and Snapchat. The format includes buttons to interact with the video and some multimedia elements.
- Native video: inclusion of native brand videos on social networks like Facebook that are interested in video as a strategic content to compete with YouTube and a key element in onetization.
How many companies in the world want to know exactly what their customers are thinking at all times? The answer is simple: all of them. Affectiva is a startup based in Boston with a facial recognition technology that identifies reactions, moods, feelings and opinions based on expressions. It is an emotional thermometer. It goal: to make products and contents that connect better with the customer.
Investment funds have already set their sights on Affectiva, which has received three rounds of funding worth $19.7 million.
Its Affdex platform provides data and real-time metrics on consumer reactions to products, brands and content on any channel (television or online, for example) and any device. The system captures the user's facial expressions via webcam, identifying facial expressions of joy, boredom, anger, yawning, etc, relates all this information to moods and generates data.
The Affectiva platform allows times and user profiles to be adjusted in order, for example, to place calls to action or to enhance promotional content for the film and advertising industries.
Affdex has SDKs to develop interactive apps for the iOS, Android and Microsoft Windows operating systems.
In 2014 this startup convinced three investment funds (Sequoia, Accel Partners and Insight Venture Partners) to put $150 million on the table. Why? Because they consider their platform of surveys designed to detect customers’ feelings toward a brand or product to be promising.
Some Qualtrics solutions:
- Qualtrics Vocalize: configurable surveys to capture the opinions and learn from the experience of customers with the products. In both the offline and online worlds, such as social networks.
- Customizable dashboards with performance indicators in real time. The executive team and the development team can take decisions and find appropriate solutions to problems.
- Creation of automatic alerts based on location, response types, user behavior, etc. A very effective early alert system.
- A flexible and scalable tool.
Nothing defines a company better than its professional team. The team recruitment process has become a differentiating factor. Talent is in short supply, and everyone competes to capture it. ZipRecruiter is a startup with a technology based on machine learning algorithms that helps with the recruitment of professional staff. In 2014 it raised $63 million of private funding to promote its product.
ZipRecruiter has obvious advantages for companies and job seekers:
- It incorporates in a single list all the applicants for a particular offer, making the work of reviewing candidates much simpler.
- It has a database of more than four million possible candidates currently seeking a job. It is a one-stop shop for professionals with different profiles.
- It uses machine learning algorithms to prepare a customized e-mail daily for each applicant, with the 25 most recent job offers related to the applicant's profile.
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