Neoassist: atendimento ao cliente de verdade chega nas mídias sociais. Semana passada estive no Congresso E-commerce Brasil Search & Vendas, evento cheio de gente boa de algumas das empresas mais bacanas desse mercado abrangente.
Logo na chegada tive uma conversa muito interessante com um empreendedor pra lá de paciente. Testei a ginga de Albert Deweik com uma série de saias-justas sobre situações do dia-a-dia do atendimento a clientes e as diferentes abordagens que encontramos no mercado. Não posso botar a mão no fogo, mas gostei do que ele me contou sobre como sua empresa, NeoAssist lida com as grandes empresas que são seus clientes, para que essas atendam bem aos seus.
I9Brasil investe na Virtual Target para otimizar campanhas de e-mail marketing da Farm. Ubee: de Pernambuco para aceleradora em Stanford. Fui contatado pelo empreendedor André Ferraz, da startup ubee, que comemora a seleção (confirmada ontem) para participar do processo de aceleração E-Bootcamp na Universidade de Stanford (patrocinado pela investidora Sequoia Capital), entre 12 e 15 de abril.
A Intel Educação patrocina a ida da ubee. Soon Even Your Mom Can Invest: Senate Passes Crowdfunding Bill (With Protections) Well, this just in from a dispatch on Capitol Hill: The Senate has passed legislation that will essentially legalize crowdfunding in startups by practically anyone, even your mom.
U.S. Senators Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Oreg.), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) collectively introduced the “CROWDFUND Act” (S. 2190) earlier this month, which adds measures to the House of Rep’s now well-known JOBS Act to ensure that companies would be able to use SEC-approved crowdfunding platforms to raise money from “small-dollar investors.” While the CROWDFUND Act passed 73-26, and received bipartisan support, as one might expect when the potential for any old investor to enter the well-guarded circle of angel investing (especially in Silicon Valley) comes around, both the JOBS Act and the CROWDFUND Act have been controversial in the business community. Many worry that lowering the barriers to investing in startups could increase the amount of fraud inherent to the process. Groupon Acquires FeeFighters, The BillShrink For Business Services. FeeFighters, a three-year old comparison shopping site for credit card processors, is announcing today it has been acquired by Groupon.
The Chicago-based startup, which provides businesses with a way to find the best merchant account provider for their needs, has also been offering businesses other tools such as its new payment gateway called Samurai. FeeFighters says that the acquisition will not impact any major changes to its product line, and that most of the team will be transitioned to Groupon. Pair Is A Path For The Two Of Us. Let’s say you’re in a serious relationship, but you work all the time and you’re long-distance.
How do you stay close to the other person? I’ve personally had this situation for the last year and a half. My girlfriend and I use Skype, email, our phones, Facebook, and everything else we can to stay connected. We’ve even been using Instagram as a two-person social network to share photos about what we’re up to each day. But now there’s an app to solve this exact problem. The interface starts out deceptively simple. Once they “pair” with you, you’ll be put into the app together. Build A Beautiful Data Dashboard With Leftronic. Y Combinator-backed Leftronic is launching a new service allowing companies to create custom dashboards that visualize all of your company’s important data.
With Leftronic, you can pull data from a number of services, including Google Analytics, Twitter, Chartbeat, Mixpanel, and Zendesk, and then customize the layout with a drag-and-drop interface. These dashboards are designed for large screens, so companies can set up a display that’s visible to everyone in the office — that way, everyone knows when traffic spikes, or when the website goes down, or whatever. For example, there’s a Leftronic display in Y Combinator headquarters with stats from YC’s Hacker News website.
The company was actually part of the incubator’s Summer 2010 class — in fact, I wrote that it was one of my favorite companies I saw at that demo day. Co-founder and CEO Lionel Jingles tells me that the model has changed since then, and the company is taking the private beta label off the new service today. Scoople Turns Reading The News Into A Game. If you’re a news junkie who wants to make the experience a little more active, Scoople may be the iPhone app for you.
The app was created by a startup called Dygest. When you’re using it, you get a stream of news stories, and each story has an associated poll. For example, you can read a story about the iPad’s new Retina display, and then fill out a poll about whether you’ve preordered the iPad already, earning points in the process. You can also vote on what you think the majority of Scoople users will say. There’s even a leaderboard of those who do the best job of predicting the the larger response. Eventually, the polls are closed and the final tally is posted in the “results” section. Behind the scenes, Scoople’s technology is following various news sites and automatically aggregating multiple stories into a single Scoople article (with links to the original sources, of course). Disconnect: Ex-Googlers Raise Funding To Stop Google, Twitter & More From Tracking Your Data.
In the age of endless sharing, super cookies, social search results, and that ever-present social graph, it’s comforting to know that there are some who are still prioritizing privacy.
(And a few of them are former Googlers no less!) In October 2010, Google engineer Brian Kennish created Facebook Disconnect, a Chrome extension that disables all traffic from third-party sites to Facebook servers but still allows you to access Facebook itself. The extension was an immediate hit, racking up 50K active users in two weeks (it now has 200K+), prompting Kennish to leave his job at Google to focus full-time on helping the average web user take back control of their data. Y Combinator-Backed Streak.com Takes On Salesforce With A Simple CRM For Gmail. Life is painful for those of us who try to manage our daily workload in Gmail.
The stars, the labels and filters, Google’s inaccurate “Priority Inbox” ranking system, the extensions… well, they all sort of help out. But my inbox is still a mess and yours probably is, too. Until someone comes up with a vastly superior communication protocol (one of those frighteningly ambitious problems), a new startup called Streak is trying to create order from the inside. Part of last year’s summer Y Combinator class, the company is bringing customer relationship management (CRM) functionality directly into Gmail. Right now, most people who are trying to track customers are using separate systems (Gmail plus Salesforce, for example). Streak shortcuts through the problem by offering a simple customer relationship management extension for Chrome.
Ad Tech Startup Integrate Raises $11M, With Backing From Comcast. Integrate, a startup that helps advertisers integrate (yes, I said it) their different ad channels and products, has raised an $11 million Series B round of funding.
Co-founder Jeremy Bloom says the current ad landscape is “incredibly fragmented,” with “a ton of point solutions.” So Integrate offers one tool where advertisers can track and manage all of their campaigns. The company claims that its data is real-time, meaning that advertisers can adjust how they spend their money on-the-fly, based on how a campaign is doing. Integrate works with both online and offline advertising. Online Work Platform oDesk Raises $15M From T. Rowe Price, Benchmark.
Online work platform oDesk has raised $15 million in Series D funding from T. Rowe Price Associates with participation from Benchmark Capital, Globespan Capital Partners and Sigma Partners. This brings oDesk’s total funding to $45 million. oDesk offers a “marketplace for talent” that makes it easy for companies to hire workers online for work that can be done remotely. This work ranges from writing to marketing to data analysis and more. oDesk contractors are currently earning more than $300 million on an annual basis, and worked a record 2.1 million hours last October through the oDesk website. oDesk believes the market will grow to $1 billion by this year.
Companies simply post a job for free, and contractors can apply. oDesk will provide prior work histories and feedback ratings for contractors who have used the site previously. oDesk makes money by taking a 10 percent cut of every work transaction made through the site. Check out our TCTV piece with CEO Gary Swart addressing the news. TokBox SDK Brings Video Chat To iOS Apps. Just over a year ago, video chat startup TokBox shuttered its consumer application and began focusing exclusively on its platform strategy — using its technology to enable video chat on other websites. Today, it’s expanding that effort into mobile. Specifically, TokBox is announcing a software development kit allowing iOS developers to add face-to-face video chat to their apps. There are other video chat apps, of course, such as Skype and Apple’s FaceTime. But the point here is to incorporate these features into broad swath of apps. Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Back Marketplace For Local Fashion Boutiques, Shoptiques.
As an avid shopper, I tend to buy clothes, jewelry, and accessories from both big-name stores as well as smaller boutiques. But as a whole, some of my most coveted items in my closet are from local boutiques who carry designers and fashions that you would never be able to find at stores like Bloomingdale’s. But while I can peruse the boutiques of Chicago, I can’t access the smaller boutiques in New York, LA, San Francisco and other cities without visiting those areas.
Until now. FindTheBest Launches A Data-Driven Approach To The Classifieds. FindTheBest, the startup led by DoubleClick co-founder Kevin O’Connor and backed by Kleiner Perkins’ sFund, has been trying to help consumers make the right decisions by giving them more, and better-structured, data. Now the company is bringing that strategy to a new market — classified ads. FreedomPop’s New iPhone Case Promises Users Free Wireless Data. Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom’s new FreedomPop project was initially shrouded in secrecy, but they’ve recently become a bit more talkative about how the company plans to offer “free wireless broadband” to their customers. FreedomPop VP of Marketing Tony Miller spilled the beans about the company’s WiMax-based freemium wireless data service to Forbes, but left yet another question unanswered — what’s the “innovative” new wireless device they’ve got in the works? Well, according to a high-level source inside FreedomPop, it’s an iPhone 4/4S case… with an integrated WiMax radio.
Skimlinks Releases Full API For Web Publishers. Skimlinks, a content monetization platform for web publishers, has released a comprehensive API suite. Part of this allows publishers to learn more about their users’ shopping habits. The startup made the news recently when it was briefly used by hot startup Pinterest to monetize its outgoing links – although that arrangement foundered after it attracted controversy. The four APIs include: Link, Merchant, Reporting, and Product.
With the world of apps no longer in its early days, we are starting to see the emergence of a lot more services that give developers more sophisticated ways of interacting with users, and monetizing what they create. One of the more popular has been the rise of real-time messaging within apps; and today, one player in that space, PubNub, has picked up $4.5 million in funding to expand that line of business even further. The Series A round was led by mobile-specialist VC Relay Ventures, itself just launched today as the rebranded, $150-million fund formerly known as ATP Capital (the firm that runs JLA Ventures, Clairmont Capital, and BlackBerry Partners Fund. There was also participation from TiE Angels. Cisco, Benchmark And Venrock Back Cloud Storage Company CTERA Networks.
Semantic Recipe Search Engine Yummly Raises $6M From Unilever And Others. Yummly, a semantic recipe search engine, has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by Physic Ventures and Unilever Corporate Ventures, the venture capital arm of food giant Unilever, with contributions from returning investors Harrison Metal Capital and the Harvard Commons Press, among others. 42Floors Takes Commercial Real Estate Online (Because Searching For Office Space Sucks) Slated Raises $2M To Bring The AngelList Approach To the Film Industry. Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz And Khosla Back Big Data Startup ClearStory. There’s more money from big-name investors for big data. Trying To Be Mint.com For Student Loans, Binksty Raises, Redesigns, Hits $10M In Debt-Under-View.
Last October, we wrote about Binksty, a young startup that aims to give college students saddled with debt a one-stop shop to manage loans, pay off debt, as well as educate them on the best ways to save money. The student loan situation in the U.S. was atrocious then, and it continues to be atrocious now. Amazon Acquires Online Fulfillment Company Kiva Systems For $775 Million In Cash. Amazon has just announced that it will acquire order fulfillment company Kiva Systems for $775 million in cash. We’ve embedded the release below. Kiva Systems’ interconnected hardware and software package is designed to streamline the process of picking, packing and shipping e-commerce products for delivery.
The company uses hundreds of autonomous mobile robots and a sophisticated control software, to provide a fulfillment system for retailers. Averail Raises $6M To Help Enterprises Share Documents On Mobile Devices. Orange Publicis Fund’s First Investment: $15M For Ad Personalization Provider myThings. FutureAdvisor Raises Funding From Sequoia To Bring Financial And Investment Advice To The Masses.