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Joanna Riley, CEO And Co-Founder At Censia, Wins Silver Stevie® Award In 2021 Stevie Awards For Women In Business

Censia has announced that CEO and Co-Founder, Joanna Riley, was named the winner of a Silver Stevie® Award in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year  – Business Services – 11 to 2,500 Employees category in the 18th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business.

Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award winners were determined by the average scores of more than 160 business professionals  around the world, working on eight juries.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business honor women executives, entrepreneurs, employees, and the companies they run- worldwide.  The Stevie Awards have been hailed as the world’s premier business awards.

Winners will be celebrated during a virtual awards ceremony on Thursday, January 13, 2022.

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SundaySky Video Experience Creator Now Available on SAP® Store

SundaySky video platform delivers 20-30% engagement improvement, deepens customer relationships through integration with SAP Commerce Cloud

SundaySky, an SAP® silver partner and leader in video experiences, announced that the SundaySky Video Experience Creator is now available on SAP Store, the online marketplace for SAP and partner offerings. Customers using SundaySky can now accelerate video content velocity, as well as deploy data-driven contextual and relevant experiences on SAP Commerce Cloud sites and via email to outperform acquisition, retargeting, upsell, and loyalty goals. The SundaySky Video Platform is fully integrated with the SAP Commerce Cloud solution. Additionally, data from SAP Customer Data Cloud or core data services can be leveraged for video personalization with SundaySky’s native data connectors.

SAP Store, found at store.sap.com, delivers a simplified and connected digital customer experience for finding, trying, buying and renewing more than 1,800 solutions from SAP and its partners. There, customers can find the SAP solutions and SAP-validated solutions they need to grow their business. And for each purchase made through SAP Store, SAP will plant a tree.

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Too Good To Go Celebrates 1 Year Fighting Food Waste in the U.S.

Too Good To Go, the tech-for-good company powering the world’s #1 anti-food waste app, today celebrates its first anniversary in the U.S. and the impact it’s had fighting food waste across the country, from New York City, Washington, D.C. and Chicago to Austin, San Francisco and Seattle. Via the Too Good To Go app, available for iOS in the Apple store or Google Play for Android, the company has successfully connected millions of Americans with surplus from local restaurants, bakeries, cafes and grocery stores so delicious food doesn’t go to waste, or further contribute to the climate crisis.

The newest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released last month, called attention to a shocking reality of the climate crisis, notably that food waste now contributes to 10% of all global greenhouse gas emissions—up from 8% in years prior. With this in mind, Americans now have an easy way to take action against food waste through the Too Good To Go app. In just one short year in the U.S., over 1.5 million Americans and 5,000 food businesses have downloaded the app, and collectively saved over 800,000 meals – the carbon footprint equivalent to 394 flights around the world.

“The U.S. has really embraced our super simple concept for saving surplus food, to the point where we’ve never seen this amount of impact and growth in a new market this quickly,” said Lucie Basch, Co-founder of Too Good To Go. “We’re so excited to bring our solution to even more U.S. cities in the coming months and we can’t wait to see what next year holds.”

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Constructor finds $55M for tech that powers search and discovery for e-commerce businesses

One of the biggest problems in the world of e-commerce is the predicament of shopping cart abandonment: when shoppers aren’t getting to what they want fast enough — whether it’s finding the right item, or paying for it in a quick and easy way — they bounce. That singular problem is driving a wave of technology development to make the experience ever more seamless, and today one of the companies closely involved in that space is announcing some funding on the back of healthy growth.

Constructor, which has built technology that powers search and product discovery tools for e-commerce businesses, has picked up $55 million in a Series A round of funding. Constructor says that it powers “billions” of queries every month, with revenues growing 233% in the last year. Customers it works with include Sephora, Walmart’s Bonobos, Backcountry and many other big names.

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Love checkout-free stores? This S.F. company just landed $30M to compete with Amazon Go’s technology

San Francisco startup Zippin, which develops technology powering checkout-free retail stores in the style of Amazon Go, has tripled its funding with a new $30 million round to scale its platform across “tens of thousands of stores” by 2025.

The Series B trough — courtesy of new and existing investors OurCrowd, Maven Venture, Evolv Ventures and SAP — brings its total backing to more than $45 million. The company said the new money will fund further development of maintenance functions and time-to-deployment.

Zippin’s technology facilitates entry and purchases for customers via a smartphone app and utilizes overhead cameras and shelf sensors to monitor goods.

It is used by retailer clients such as Lawson, Japan’s ubiquitous and third-largest convenience store chain, Aramark Corp., Compass Group, and Brazil’s largest retailer, Americanas. The platform was operational in 29 stores in the U.S. and around the world as of June, per its website, and CEO and co-founder Krishna Motukuri said demand has increased during the pandemic as retail stores sought to limit physical touch points.

Investors said in a statement they were impressed by the technology’s performance in high-traffic settings such as sports venues, which might see 500 customers in one hour.

“Zippin’s continued growth in such challenging environments is evidence of their superior technology,” said Jon Medved, CEO and founder of OurCrowd, a Jerusalem-based platform for investments in early-stage startups. “(It’s) also a competitive advantage, allowing their AI to train on some of the richest datasets provided by those challenging environments.”

Zippin opened its own check-out free store and showcase for its technology in SoMa in 2018 but shuttered it in June after opting not to renew its lease June 30, the company said in a blog post this summer.

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On-Demand Coaching Platform Bravely Announces $15M Series A Funding Round

Brilliant Hire’s Smart Job Matching

Bravely, the technology platform connecting people to on-demand professional coaching and development, announced a $15 million funding round led by Telescope Partners. This funding round will further Bravely’s rapid growth and advance its mission to transform the way companies support inclusive, high-performing teams by providing universal access to coaching.

“The world of work is undergoing the biggest change we’ve seen in our lifetimes,” says Sarah Sheehan, Co-Founder and President of Bravely. “The competition for talent right now is unprecedented, and there’s more attention than ever on the tools companies offer to support their employees’ growth and development. The choice is: rise to meet the new standards, or lose your most valuable asset, which is your people.”

Bravely is the first coaching platform designed to scale whole-population support for companies of all sizes, and boasts the most highly-vetted coaching network in the industry. With this funding round, Bravely will both expand its global reach and develop powerful new data capabilities, allowing for an even deeper understanding of, and capacity to serve, diverse individual employee needs. In addition to new automation and personalization, this capital will also power research informing Bravely’s ethical, inclusion-focused use of data, as well as developing a People Science function at the company.

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Paradox acquires Baltimore-based Traitify to simplify recruiting process

Paradox, a recruiting software designed to make the process more conversational and personalized, has announced its acquisition of Traitify, a mobile-first digital assessment platform based in Baltimore, to simplify the recruiting process.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Paradox founder and CEO Aaron Matos expects the Traitify platform to further enable Paradox’s mission to “simplify hiring through automation with a human touch.”

“They share our passion for recruiting and our philosophy that software should make things simpler, faster and easier — not add more work,” Matos said in a statement.

Scottsdale-based Paradox was founded in 2016 after Matos observed recruiters spending way too much time managing their application tracking system (ATS), following up on emails and scheduling interviews.

Matos saw an opportunity to automate much of these tasks. This idea plagued him like a “pebble in his shoe,” which is what drove him to start Paradox. He believed software should be doing the work for us, not the other way around. He wanted to build software to help recruiters spend less time with software and more time with people. Olivia, the company’s conversational AI assistant, has been developed to make that happen.

Since then, Paradox has experienced rapid growth and has been recently ranked in the top 5% of the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies. Some of Paradox’s major clients include Unilever and McDonald’s.

The company’s acquisition of Traitify is the next step in its growth strategy.

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UK experienced largest peak season parcel growth in Europe, finds report

Parcel Monitor, the sister site of cloud-based e-commerce delivery platform Parcel Perform, has published a study outlining the e-commerce logistics performance of different regions including the UK, Germany, France and Poland. According to Parcel Monitor, Europe’s e-commerce revenue is projected to exceed US$450bn by 2021, with e-commerce users surpassing the 500 million mark – the equivalent of nearly 60% of the region’s population shopping online.

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Unity Acquires OTO to Foster Safer Gaming Environments

Unity announced the acquisition of OTO, an AI-driven acoustic intelligence platform that can be leveraged to build and foster safer gaming environments with voice and text chat environments. OTO will be integrated into Unity’s industry leading Vivox platform as a cornerstone for solving one of gaming’s global challenges: the rise of toxic behavior that leads to poor player experience, and ultimately, lost revenue for game creators.

“Over the past year, we saw how people all over the world found respite in gaming, due to the desire to connect with friends and family,” said Felix Thé, VP of Product Management, Operate Solutions, Unity. “The findings of our survey being released today also illustrate that with the rise in cross platform, multiplayer gaming, most players also felt there was a surge in toxic behavior. With OTO’s integration into our portfolio of gaming services, we aim to empower creators with a simple, scalable solution to design safe virtual environments that promote friendly experiences and detect problematic social behaviors.”

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Conga Acquires Contract Wrangler

Conga, the global leader in Commercial and Revenue Operations transformation, today announced the acquisition of Contract Wrangler, a leader in applying AI and ML to understand the terms and obligations in contracts that impact revenue, risk and cost once the contract is executed. With the combination, companies of all sizes will be able to holistically manage all of their contracts, whether on the company’s or third-party paper, to manage risk while optimizing revenues.

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SoftBank Invests in Adverity in $120M series D round

Vienna-based marketing analytics startup Adverity has raised $120 million in an equity funding round led by SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund 2, helping it to tap growing demand for consumer data.

The startup sees an opportunity in allowing sellers to improve their marketing as Apple Inc. and Google make it harder for brands to track consumers, increasing the value of other sources of information on how people behave online.

“It’s a great opportunity for marketing teams to get ahead again because it’s leveling the field for everybody,” Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Alexander Igelsbock said in an interview.

Established in 2015, Adverity says it pulls in data from more than 500 sources to offer analysis and insights on a brand’s marketing efforts across platforms such as Amazon.com Inc. and ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok.

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Eye-Tracking: Control Your Computer with Your Gaze

Historically, exceptional situations always give innovations a nudge. When the pandemic hit, companies of all sizes and areas of business had to rethink the ways their workforce would work best in the ‘new normal.’

Many companies have always been investing heavily in how their workforce can work best, whether they are developers, sales and services employees, or in administration. Each has individual needs, but what they all have in common is that they need access to a computer in order to fulfill their tasks. They use a keyboard, a mouse, and touch as the de-facto, standard interaction with the machine. This technology hasn’t evolved much over recent years.

At offices, we are used to working according to ergonomic standards whereas in our home offices we may not have these standards available.

Next Generation of User Experience – From ‘Touch Less’ to ‘Touchless’

Did you know that, on average, 25% of a work day is spent using a mouse, accounting for thousands of clicks and scrolls? We switch between the keyboard and mouse up to 2,000 times per day. In an internal pilot at SAP with 35 users from different departments, almost 500 kilometers of mouse-movement distance was measured within six weeks.

This not only costs a lot of time but also causes stress-related diseases, such as repetitive strain injuries (RSI), also known as ‘mouse arm.’

With the eye-tracking solution NUIA from SAP partner 4tiitoo GmbH Munich, it is possible to provide an innovative tool to employees, working to address their ergonomic situation, reduce mouse movements and mouse-keyboard swaps, and improve efficiency and appearance during customer calls.

All SAP colleagues can order this solution to use in the office and even their home offices.

Following its pledge to flex, SAP’s future of work plans include monitors equipped with eye-trackers by default and the ability to download necessary software just by scanning a QR code.

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Chicago-Based Startup Anthill Raises $3 Million in Seed Funding

Chicago-based startup Anthill AI, Inc., the talent management platform designed for the deskless workforce, announced it has raised $3 million in seed funding. Founded in 2020 by co-founders CEO Muriel Clauson and CTO Young Jae Kim, Anthill makes it possible for companies to connect with, develop, and retain deskless employees in manufacturing, distribution, and retail at scale. The HR SaaS startup has created a comprehensive talent platform based upon skills data and people science for employers paired with a mobile experience for employees. The startup’s goal is to better understand and develop the deskless workforce (those who do not work at a desk or computer), who are 80 percent of the global workforce.

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Mentor Spaces Now Available on SAP Store

Mentor Spaces has announced that its community-driven mentorship platform for underrepresented talent is now available on SAP® Store, the online marketplace for SAP and partner offerings. Mentor Spaces provides mentorship technology to businesses that use SAP® SuccessFactors® solutions to scale diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

“As a participant of the HR and future of work program at SAP.iO San Francisco, we are thrilled to be continuing our partnership with SAP,” said Chris Motley, founder and CEO of Mentor Spaces. “With Mentor Spaces, human resources and DEI professionals have the opportunity to leverage the power of scalable mentorship technology to easily attract, hire and retain underrepresented talent. We are proud to be working alongside SAP to help advance the careers of underrepresented talent.”

Mentor Spaces facilitates conversations with experts aligned to one’s professional interests and goals through both Q&As and live sessions. The power of Mentor Spaces’ technology enables companies to enhance brand, engage colleagues, and mentor historically marginalized populations to cultivate diverse talent pipelines. Organizations that partner with Mentor Spaces benefit from up to a 30 percent increase in employee retention, a 50 percent decrease in time spent on admin and talent sourcing, and a significant increase in employee engagement.

SAP Store, found at store.sap.com, delivers a simplified and connected digital customer experience for finding, trying, buying and renewing approximately 2,000 solutions from SAP and its partners. There, customers can find the SAP solutions and SAP-validated solutions they need to grow their business. And for each purchase made through SAP Store, SAP will plant a tree.

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