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This Is A Eureka Moment For Sustainability: Affordable Products

Once upon a time, we easily traded-off product sustainability for reasonable prices, quality, and safety. Now we expect companies to bake sustainability into business as usual, and startups like Simreka have the technology to make it happen. Its cloud-based simulation software helps manufacturers experiment faster to create more sustainable products.

“We are accelerating the design and manufacture of products that are both cost-effective and sustainable,” said Dr. Akshay Patel, co-founder and CEO at Simreka. “Companies can quickly collect and analyze data including materials, manufacturing processes, quality and performance standards, pricing, safety and compliance, and carbon emissions to simulate design options. With these insights, leaders can make product design decisions that will best meet business targets.”

Simreka’s customers are primarily consumer packaged goods (CPGs) and chemical materials manufacturers in the United States, Europe, Middle East, and Mexico. Professionals in product research and development (R&D), supply chain, materials, quality assurance, sustainability, and manufacturing operations are relying on the software’s AI-based algorithms to answer critical questions like should we develop this new product, redesign an existing one, select this particular material, or take another manufacturing approach? The company also provides data from public sources to support customer decisions.

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Cutting carbon with AI: Emitwise CEO on making sustainability profitable

On January 20, on his first day in office, US President Joe Biden signed the country back into the Paris Agreement.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that action on climate is “vital in our discussions of national security, migration, international health efforts, and in our economic diplomacy and trade talks.”

But while the anti-climate rhetoric of the last four years has been consigned to history, the effects of pumping out more carbon will last for decades to come.

The US is responsible for 13 percent of global emissions, and China recently signaled in a virtual climate summit that it is willing to cooperate with the rival superpower on the climate crisis.

China’s own five-year plan for 2021-25 aims to increase its share of renewable energy, and for the country dubbed ‘the world’s factory’ to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

President Biden said in April that the US is aiming to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent to 52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. A more aggressive target than China’s, but one that doesn’t go far enough for some.

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How to better negotiate convertible loans—an entrepreneur’s perspective

An entrepreneur, an investor, and a lawyer participate in an interview series… What sounds like the setup for a joke is serious business: In a new series, we present three different perspectives on convertible loans, term sheets, and shareholders’ agreements so that you can gain new insights to negotiate with more confidence. We start the series with the entrepreneur’s perspective on convertible loans: PXL Vision founders Michael Born and Karim Nemr share their experiences with this financing method.

In the first part of a new series, we look at convertible loans. Convertible loans are a financing method that is becoming increasingly popular in Switzerland: Startups receive a loan that will be converted into equity (common stock or equity shares) at the next qualified financing round. Investors who provide convertible loans can receive interest payments and a discount on the stock price they pay compared to the price incoming investors have to pay in the financing round. Convertible loans often come with a cap—a maximum valuation at which the loan can be turned into equity.

This financing method has the advantage that the loans can usually be executed quickly and without too much administrative effort. The startup may postpone the valuation discussion until it has reached additional milestones with the help of the loan.

To learn more about an entrepreneur’s perspective on convertible loans, we asked not one but two experts: Michael Born and Karim Nemr, two PXL Vision founders, share their thoughts on this specific financing method for startups. Michael and Karim are both serial entrepreneurs: The two founded software company Dacuda, which Magic Leap acquired in 2017. After the successful exit, Michael, Karim, and fellow Dacuda team members founded PXL Vision, a Venture Leaders Mobile 2021 that provides fully automated digital identity verification.

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Vacation Vibes Filter Across Men’s and Women’s Fashion

Vacation Vibes Filter Across Men’s and Women’s Fashion. In addition to occasion wear, beach-ready fashion was abundant in Resort 2022 and Spring/Summer 2022 men’s collections, with several brands putting a “psychedelic, funky twist” on typical beach attire, according to data-driven fashion trend forecasting firm Heuritech.

The destinations designers were dressing for, however, are varied with some channeling the breezy, bohemian vibe of Tulum with linen and crochet and others embracing the retro coolness of Hawaii with printed shirts and vibrant colors. Meanwhile, the heap of pastels for men and women signals a sunnier and more optimistic outlook for fashion overall.

The universally beloved themed gives retailer a lot to work with. Here, Heuritech provides a rundown of most promising vacation-inspired fashion trends to know for 2022.

Crochet

From Casablanca’s yellow scalloped-edge sets to bra tops by Ambush, designers are exploring the DIY look and feel of crochet.

“Knitwear has been a huge trend in fashion for over a year, and crochet has taken the lead as the go-to trendy knit textile as of late, with big brands and independent designers alike integrating the textile in their collections,” Heuritech reported.

Linen

No fabric sums up “vacation mode” as well as linen. “It is not only desirable for its practicality in the heat but also for its growing reputation as a sustainable material,” Heuritech stated.

Though linen is prevalent in current summer collections, its popularity is expected to grow as the sustainability movement continues to gain momentum. Key women’s items will be beachy tops and dresses, though labels like Lemaire are also showcasing the natural fabric as an option for workwear. Heuritech said retailers can expect this trend to reach additional segments soon, including mainstream dressers.

Linen’s look for men is slightly different. Compared to its “strong beachy connotations” for women’s wear, Heuritech described men’s linen as minimalistic safari. The fabric takes on desert undertones in garments such as Hed Mayner’s tunic tops and Yohji Yamaoto’s relaxed epaulette-embellished blazer.

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Linc Integrates CX Automation Solution with SAP Store

Linc’s CX Automation platform has been added to the SAP Store, providing retailers and companies using SAP solutions with end-to-end solutions for resolving 85 percent of all customer service inquiries without the need to escalate to a human agent.

Linc’s patented no-dialogue tree technology allows customers to engage in two-way conversations across all communication channels throughout the entire customer journey with seamless hand-off to people in the contact center, at a store, or in an advocate network. Linc is fully integrated with SAP Commerce Cloud to provide a first-line responder to customers.

The key benefits of utilizing the Linc solution for SAP companies include the following:

  • Support for a wide range of service intents and questions;
  • Real-time assistance to customers’; critical buying questions on topics ranging from product information to promo use;
  • Extensive integration with leading e-commerce platforms, shipping carriers, and customer support platforms.

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SAP Works with Hanko to Develop Passwordless Logon for SAP Universal ID

Enterprises face an explosion of cyberattacks and data breaches, many of them enabled by weak passwords. Once attackers compromise an employee’s account, they can gain access to sensitive corporate data as well as the internal network.

Data breaches can cost companies millions of dollars in direct and indirect costs. According to the Cost of a Data Breach Report 2020, the average cost of a data breach was $3.86 million last year. Calculation of the cost includes value of lost data, remediation and response effort, ransom payments, regulatory fines, lawsuits, lost customers, and brand damage.

At the same time, imposing robust security restrictions on employees to avoid account compromise could create barriers to usability and productivity.

To address these dual risks, SAP decided to team with German startup Hanko to add biometrics-based passwordless security protection to its recently launched SAP Universal ID, which provides SAP users with a unified account that enables access to all SAP products and services in one place.

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Klarna Buys Online Commerce Startup Hero

Klarna Bank AB, one of Europe’s most valuable financial startups, said it struck a deal to buy e-commerce technology firm Hero Towers Ltd., a move that will expand its foothold in online shopping.

London-based Hero connects online shoppers with retail workers via text messages, videos and online chat rooms. It helps retailers who sell major brands such as Nike and Adidas to compete with Amazon.com Inc. by offering better customer service, according to Hero’s founder, Adam Levene.

Klarna will pay about $160 million, according to people familiar with the deal.

Klarna specializes in buy-now-pay-later services, an increasingly popular type of cash advance that lets merchants offer a way for customers to pay for goods and services in installments without paying interest. Klarna makes money by charging the merchants a fee. It competes with traditional credit-card companies.

CENSIA Raises $21m in Series A Funding to Bring Bias-free Intelligence to Human Capital Management

Censia, a leading provider of Talent Intelligence technology, today announced it has raised $21M in Series A funding in a round led by Marbruck Investments. Marbruck joins existing investors Streamlined Ventures, Merus Capital, The CXO Fund, and CerraCap bringing the company’s total funding to over $30 million.

With this funding, Censia will expand go-to-market efforts, scale their API-first offering, and continue product innovations for talent acquisition and workforce planning powering HR technologies of the future with AI.

Censia was built on the belief that unconscious bias in talent decisions is affecting billions of highly capable people around the world from getting opportunities they deserve, contributing to the talent shortage, and impacting organizations’ bottom line.

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ViewAR secures Strategic Investment for Expansion

ViewAR, a leading global provider of augmented reality (AR) software. The creator of new AR ecosystems, is pleased to announce a strategic investment from Lansdowne Investment Company Cyprus Ltd (“LICC”) and Breeze Invest GmbH (“Breeze Invest”).

The multi-million Euro capital investment from LICC and Breeze Invest will allow ViewAR to increase its head count, accelerate the development of its award-winning technology, and further enhance its ability to address key markets and industry segments globally.

LICC is an investment vehicle managed by Lansdowne Partners Austria GmbH (“LPA”), which is an Austrian Alternative Investment Fund Manager with a strong focus on investing in and fostering European innovation. LPA is part of the Lansdowne Partners group of companies.

Breeze Invest, based in Vienna and Liechtenstein, is a private equity company focusing on investments in medium-sized industrial companies in the DACH region and neighboring CEE countries.

Founded in Vienna in 2010, ViewAR has created the only AR solution of its kind, providing a complete infrastructure to create, manage, test and publish augmented reality applications. The ViewAR System lets developers and inexperienced creators use cutting-edge AR technologies to create immersive AR experiences across a broad range of domains. The ViewAR All-in-One system covers the solutions for indoor navigation and guidance; Industry 4.0 & IoT; remote assistance and product visualization. ViewAR has won several awards for its technology, including the highest award in the field of AR: Auggie Award from Augmented World Expo.

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Pexapark launches first renewable PPA pricing tool to account for technology and local weather conditions

Provider of software and advisory services for post-subsidy renewable energy sales, Pexapark, has announced it has added a new pioneering feature which accounts for site- and technology-specific production to its renewable energy pricing system, PexaQuote.

PexaQuote currently supports developers and investors managing over 250 GW of global renewable energy investments as the industry pushes further into a subsidy-free future. The renewable energy PPA market is expected to exceed 10 GW this year, with over 5.5 GW already signed across 68 deals since the start of 2021. According to Pexapark’s ‘PPA Times’ report, this rapid growth is being driven by the entry of large corporate buyers, which are setting new records for volume of PPAs across Europe.

However, as the market is becoming more mature and offerings more structured, many renewable energy companies must now deal with increased analytics demands to master the complexity of PPAs, and thereby reduce structuring and execution losses amidst heavy competition for limited liquidity. Renewable energy companies have also continued to battle against opacity around price data in the market, limiting their ability to accurately value potential PPAs for new assets. Among others, site- and technology-specific characteristics are key price determinants when assessing the correct market value in any PPA transaction.

PexaQuote accounts for and adjusts prices in line with all relevant factors such as a given site’s local weather properties and production profile based on type of renewable energy technology in line with the chosen PPA structure.

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Agranimo’s analytics platform wins funding boost

Brilliant Hire’s Smart Job Matching

Agritech start up Agranimo has announced that it has received €2m from Nector Holdings, the agtech arm of HL Halls, to allow it to further develop its data analytics platform for the produce industry.

The technology uses farm climate, soil and leaf sampling data to forecast orchard yields and help optimise field management and logistics.

Agranimo, which has offices in Santiago and Berlin, said the investment would enable it to improve its analytics to better use on-farm data in the supply chain, and expand the suite of tools to address the needs of smaller farmers and larger corporate clients looking for streamlined plant-relevant soil and climate data analysis.

Announcing the investment, Agranimo said Nector’s global presence in fruit production, sourcing, and made it the ideal partner.

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Explorium And Ventana Research To Share Strategies For Boosting Analytics ROI With External Data

Explorium, the External Data platform that automatically discovers thousands of relevant data signals and uses them to improve analytics and machine learning, opened registration for its July 14, 12pm ET webinar: “How to Boost Your Analytics ROI with External Data.” The event brings together David Menninger, Research Director & SVP at Ventana Research, and Ajay Khanna, CMO at Explorium, to discuss tips for leveraging external data to earn better insights from analytics programs.

The webinar, “How to Boost Your Analytics ROI with External Data,” explores the best approach to incorporating external data into analytics programs for more impactful insights. Using the playbook of successful data-driven companies, participants will learn how they can quickly enrich their predictive models with external data and boost their performance while staying compliant with current data privacy regulations.

“Our latest research shows that by 2024, more than 60% of all data processes will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to boost the value that can be derived from data. Organizations need to strongly consider how external data can enhance their analytics models for marketing, finanacial, risk assessment and other use cases. This webinar will give you everything you need to drive highly competitive analytics strategies,” said David Menninger, SVP & Research Director at Ventana Research.

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Mention Me research flags permanent shift to online first retail

The coronavirus pandemic has cemented the shift to e-commerce, with Q2 2021 online sales up +64% compared to the same time period in 2019, according to research from Mention Me.

The referral marketing platform’s Retail Insights team compared data trends since 2019 across beauty, home and garden, fashion, and food and drink to identify long-term trends in the market, beyond the fluctuations caused by changing lockdowns.

While Q2 sales in 2021 are down -15% compared to the extraordinary peaks seen in Q2 2020, prompted by consumers panic buying, the data shows that online shopping has increased significantly compared to 2019. Across the four sectors analysed, online sales have increased +64%.

he beauty sector has performed best over this time period, with online orders up +78% from Q2 2019.

This is closely followed by fashion (+58%) and home and garden (+67%). Despite the re-opening of physical retail, the four sectors are only tracking 2% down from where the research team would expect them to be at this time of year.

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Wise Systems Expands to Japan to Address Global Demand for Autonomous Last-Mile Delivery Solutions

Amid global demand for the company’s autonomous last-mile delivery solutions, Wise Systems, the leading AI-driven routing and dispatching platform provider, announced the opening of Wise Systems Japan.

The company also announced the appointment of Keiichiro Araihara as Country Manager to lead the company’s Tokyo-based Japan operation. Mr. Araihara brings over 20 years of experience working with leading enterprise technology companies to drive go-to-market strategies.

Year after year, Wise Systems has seen increasing demand for its autonomous solutions. The pressures of the past year have only increased the need for these solutions, as companies accelerate the shift to ecommerce and more dynamic operations models. As a result, the global logistics and transportation industry is rapidly shifting from static to more dynamic delivery infrastructure, where Wise Systems excels.

“As one of the busiest last-mile markets in the world, Japanese fleets are looking to modernize their delivery operations to both maximize fleet utilization and efficiency while improving customer experience,” said Chazz Sims, CEO and co-founder of Wise Systems. “The playbook for AI-enabled transportation solutions is being written right now, and first movers like Wise Systems have a distinct opportunity to lead the industry’s transformation. We are honored to have Mr. Araihara join Wise Systems to lead our operations in Japan. He’s an entrepreneur at heart and brings many years of valuable experience to his role.”

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