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Tales of the tech unicorn’s impending demise might be somewhat exaggerated. Spoke Intelligence and VB Profiles released a report recently that counted more than 208 of the mythical creatures, not to mention an additional 21 of the even more rarely spotted decacorns — startups with a valuation in excess of $10 billion. Almost half of them live in California. Ninety-eight of the unicorns are in the consumer space, especially in retail and the sharing (or “collaborative”) economy. Examples of unicorns in retail include the online marketplace Etsy and Alibaba, the massive Chinese commerce platform.

In the collaborative economy, you’ll recognize names like Airbnb and Lyft. “Unicorns are everywhere across the technology landscape,” said Spoke CEO Phillipe Cases. Examples in IoT include Nest (acquired by Google), DJI (the drone company), and Jasper Technologies, which builds technology for self-driving cars. Where the unicorns live All told, 101 unicorns are headquartered in California. Could This Radical Concept Airline Be The Future Of Travel? - D'Marge. A ban on carry-on luggage. Yearly memberships. Middle seats that feel exclusive. It sounds like the drug-fuelled fever dream of a frequent traveller, but one day it could be reality.

What if there was a startup airline, modelled after the ultra-disruptive success of Uber and Airbnb, that could transform the status quo of flying? For starters, Poppi would eliminate both checked baggage fees and cabin luggage. Then there’s the bane of every last-minute traveller’s existence: the middle seat. Other Poppi propositions include replacing elbow-busting beverage carts with vending machines, an app for reselling tickets or swapping seats, and a “cinema class” for movie buffs that features a huge screen and blacked-out lights for a better viewing experience. The airline industry is notoriously resistant to change, but with any luck, we’ll see some of Poppi’s ideas come to life in the next 5-10 years. Start-up Profiles - ZipMoney gets $100 million in firepower to take on the big retailers. Online retail finance startup zipMoney now has $100 million in “firepower” to take on the major players. The money is in the form of a $108 million credit facility backed by large US firm Victory Park Capital, marking its “first deal in Australia” and it will also contribute at least $1 million in equity.

Sydney-based zipMoney provides paperless online consumer finance for small to medium retailers as an alternative to the big corporations, offering point-of-sale credit and digital payments. Billed as “online lending meets the checkout”, online retailers can embed its software into the checkout process, with its customers then getting the option to purchase an interest-free zipMoney account instead of paying with a credit card or PayPal. It’s not a new concept, with big retailers like Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi offering their own brand of retail financing, but with the large cash injection, zipMoney will now be able to compete with these big players.

Expanding the offering. Top Invoice App for iOS and Android | Invoice2go. Hardware As A Service: Tile Finds A Way To Keep Making Money. Tile cofounder and CEO Mike Farley sat down with me Tuesday afternoon at our e2e Conference to talk about hardware innovation. He had a lot to say—since the company's record-setting crowdfunding campaign for a $25 Bluetooth fob that you can attach to anything you want to find, the company has shipped 2 million units. People put them on smartphones, wallets, umbrellas—even dogs. The most interesting news Farley revealed in our conversation, though, was the rollout of Tile's ReTile program. It's been more than a year since the first Tiles shipped, which means the built-in batteries are starting to wear out. For customers who reup for more Tiles, they get them for $12 apiece, plus $3 shipping. Business Model By Design In some ways, ReTile is an inevitable consequence of a design decision Tile made to use nonreplaceable batteries.

What's interesting to me is that Tile's effectively moving to a subscription model. The Network Is The Device Photos by Owen Thomas and Lauren Marinaro for ReadWrite. Business ideas - Riding the fintech WAIV to a $100 million valuation. It was a problem that used to keep John Fenga up at night. One day his daughter, who is now five years old, will be travelling the world, and what if he needed to transfer her money urgently? “If my daughter was overseas and she was in a cab at midnight and couldn’t afford to pay, she’d have no option,” Fenga says. “Sending funds abroad is an absolute nightmare. It costs a fortune and takes forever.” Mainly for his own peace of mind, Fenga decided to come up with a quick and transparent solution, and WAIV emerged. “This system we built would enable her to call me and I could transfer those funds,” he says. “In less than four seconds she’d have clear funds to pay for the taxi.” The idea spun into an online system for global remittance that allows customers to use a debit card to quickly transfer and receive money globally.

After securing funding from a group of Chinese investors, it’s now valued at over $US100 million. A strategic alliance “It was a mixed bag. Australia a tough market for fintech. 50 Companies That May Be the Next Start-Up Unicorns - The New York Times. Photo It used to be a rare thing when start-ups were valued at $1 billion or more by their investors. Now it’s become so common that there are at least 131 start-ups boasting such valuations and a term — “unicorns” — to refer to the companies. So which start-ups are next to reach the unicorn level? CB Insights, a research firm that tracks venture capital and start-ups, recently ran a data screen for The New York Times to answer the question. The exact valuations of the companies are hard to pin down because the start-ups are private and are not required to disclose their finances, but CB Insights determined that they might be on a path toward a $1 billion value through an algorithm that analyzed factors including amount of financing raised, employee turnover and social media mentions.

Here are the results, arranged alphabetically: 17zuoye What it does: Online educationWhere it’s based: Beijing 3D Robotics What it does: DronesWhere it’s based: Berkeley, Calif. Airware Avant Beepi Betterment Edaijia. Taxicab Industry Has A New App To Compete With Uber - ReadWrite. This post appears courtesy of the Ferenstein Wire, a syndicated news service. Publishing partners may edit posts. For inquiries, please email author and publisher Gregory Ferenstein. The tech sector has shaken up innumerable industries, and whenever that happens, some enterprising types wonder if there's some opportunity in helping established players stave off the inevitable.

But beating back the forces that threaten to destabilize their businesses is even harder than it looks, and few succeed. The taxi industry is no different. Would-be tech partners and investors sometimes ask me if they should design for, or invest, in this industry. See also: I Tested The Cutting Edge Of Taxi Innovation, And Things Went Awry Not that the industry doesn't keep trying.

Partnering with cab companies can be tempting, since many have the resources to pay for a pretty app that apes those of Uber, Lyft and Sidecar. Cars Are Capped, And Riders Are Impatient. Uber And Lyft Can Innovate Quickly. Bits.blogs.nytimes. Business ideas - Agent of change: New startup helps young investors take first steps. Tarang Patel made his first investment when he had only just become a teenager.

His grandfather gave him a little bit of money when he was 13 years old, and he’s been a keen investor ever since. Now he has co-founded a new Australian startup hoping to help other young people get involved with investing at an early age, using just their loose change. It’s called FirstStep and is a mobile app allowing users to invest loose change from electronic transactions into the company’s diverse portfolio. The service it provides is exactly the same as US startup Acorns, which is soon to launch here in Australia.

Taking the first step Fellow co-founder Shiraj de Silva says young people can often feel the barrier to entry is too high in investments. “A lot of people don’t invest because of the very high minimum investments and a lack of knowledge about what to invest in,” de Silva says. “Making the first step is really hard for them.” An overseas rival Sydney Incubate Raising your first round of capital?