How TVPage Brings Online Sellers to E-commerce

As more and more brands have shifted to the E-commerce world as their primary sales channel, they seem to have forgotten one crucial player along the way: the seller. Especially today, as people are less frequently walking into stores and avoiding physical engagements altogether, the role of the online seller is critical; people buy from people, not ads. These sellers operate as brand ambassadors who represent the brand online, much like a salesperson would in a physical store.

The solution that seamlessly helps brands provide expertise and guidance to consumers through digital ambassadors? TVPage.

TVPage provides every brand the ability to turn on ambassador digital storefronts on their websites, empowering subject matter experts, in-store sales associates, influencers, and savvy customers to promote and sell their products online. With TVPage, brands transform their sales team into ambassadors who sell on their digital storefronts on the brand’s site, with an intuitive platform that measures results and commissions ambassadors on their actual sales. Today’s consumers depend more and more on recommendations to help dictate their purchasing decisions, and TVPage allows brands to seamlessly engage with their consumers through digital ambassadors.

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Crosschq Announces New Round of Investment from Tiger Global and Rocketship.vc

 Crosschq, pioneers of a new software category for the recruiting industry called Human Intelligence Hiring™, announced today a new round of financing that includes investment from Tiger Global Management and Rocketship.vc. This latest round comes immediately following a strategic financing from Slack and SAP.iO in June which also included re-investment from GGV Capital and Bessemer Ventures.

“We are proud to be partnering with these two great firms as we enter the next phase of our growth,” said Mike Fitzsimmons, CEO of Crosschq. “If we have learned anything from the last several months, it is that the future of work is ripe for disruption. Our use of human intelligence is becoming a foundational element of modern company building.”

Crosschq brings speed, efficiency, accuracy, transparency and accountability to the obsolete, manual process of vetting new job candidates. The new investment comes as Crosschq crosses the 100 customer milestone with customers including Dish, NBA, Upwork, Snowflake, NerdWallet and Glassdoor using the platform to enhance recruiting and make better hires.

“SAP strongly believes that the future of work is inclusive and diverse, and that starts with removing biases in the candidate experience,” said Ram Jambunathan, SAP senior vice president at and managing director of SAP.iO. “Crosschq will bring increased objectivity and consistency to the candidate reference checking process, thereby improving outcomes for both candidates and SAP customers.”

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Enterprise-Tech Startups Focused on Risk, Security, Attract Venture Dollars

Security startups among the most-funded in New York City’s tech scene

Risk-management and security startups are in the spotlight among venture capitalists in the wake of increased remote work and a rise in high-profile cyberattacks.

And while current lockdowns and economic conditions may interfere with traditional deal making, a recent report tracking New York City-area startups reveals a surge of new funding.

These New York startups, which include BigID Inc., Payfone Inc. and BlueVoyant, offer software for cybersecurity, data governance and other risk-management functions.

Business interest in such technologies has intensified in recent years as companies seek ways to better manage risk-and-compliance issues associated with an explosion of user data, said Ram Jambunathan, a managing director of SAP.iO, the early-stage venture-capital arm of business software maker SAP SE.

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Mobile Robotics Startup Powers Warehouse Productivity Safely

When Rahul Nambiar, co-founder and CEO of Botsync, transformed his passion for robotics into autonomous mobile robots with three other co-founders, little did they imagine their efforts will become key in the new reality of business today.

“As a company, we want to resolve the mismatch between consumer demand and limited labor supply in the logistics and manufacturing sectors,” said Rahul. “It is estimated that by 2028, there will be 2.4M jobs unfulfilled in these industries. So, we knew there will be a definite demand for the autonomous mobile robots we are building. What we hadn’t expected was how quickly this demand would evolve.”

In today’s new normal where businesses resuming operations are facing new restrictions due to COVID-19 infection risks, the logistics and manufacturing sectors are finding it challenging to operate. They face mandatory sanitation measures, safe distancing rules, and a manpower crunch due to restrictions in travel. This has seriously affected productivity levels.

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Sampler Raises $4 Million as demand spikes amid pandemic

Sampler has raised a $4 million round in funding. The round was led by existing investors StandUp Ventures and BDC Capital with participation from EDC, Factory LLC as well as new investors from Calgary-based ​female-led financial platform​, The51. The closing was managed by Chase Irwin, partner at Dentons Canada LLP, and brings Sampler’s total amount raised in equity financing to $10.3M since its inception in 2013.

The product sampling platform, which helps CPG brands distribute product samples to digitally targeted consumers direct-to-home, saw a spike in demand as in-store sampling, trade shows, and events were cancelled worldwide as a result of COVID-19. The company experienced a 300% increase in sales in Q2 2020 compared to the same period last year and user engagement doubled during the months of March and April as consumers looked to discover new products from home.

“We’ve been working on Sampler for seven years and built a unique platform that connects brands and consumers through in-home product experiences. Though we could not have predicted the sudden shift in the market, we were ready. When the pandemic hit and in-store demos, events, and trade shows were brought to a sudden halt, brands had to quickly rethink how they were going to deliver such a crucial element of their marketing strategy as product sampling in a socially distant world. Our company’s growth accelerated quickly and we’re thrilled that this investment will allow us to continue carrying our vision forward while driving new product offerings that will change the way retailers, trade shows, and events conduct product sampling forever.” said Marie Chevrier, Founder and CEO of Sampler

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ScanTrust and SAP to enhance food traceability

Over the last ten years, large, global food producers have been steadily losing market share to smaller, local brands mainly due to the loss of trust in the food industry. Addressing these challenges, ScanTrust, the developer of patented QR-codes and the global software solutions provider SAP have partnered to develop end-to-end, farm-to-consumer material traceability solutions for the SAP Logistics Business Network.

The solution enables brands to collect and trace batch-level information on raw materials, ingredients and finished products. Among other benefits, brands can use this to identify which products are affected by product recalls instantly. 

Thanks to the integration with the Scantrust connected goods platform, this data can now also be linked to a unique ScanTrust QR code, which is printed on product packaging and made available directly to end consumers. Scanning codes with a smartphone enables brands to deliver compelling stories around the provenance of their products, gain valuable data and insights on consumer behaviour based on QR codes and create a direct communication channel with consumers.
With the integration and the combined solution offering, ScanTrust and SAP together accelerate digitization in the food chain. It is expected that as more projects come online, the benefit of being able to connect directly to consumers will pay for itself, both as a win for brands and for consumers.

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AI-Fueled Startup Turns Disrupted Supply Chains Into Last Mile Opportunity

When Shamir Rahim, founder and CEO of VersaFleet, transformed his bio-medical startup into an AI-powered transportation management system, he never imagined being at the epicenter (in a good way) of a supply chain revolution during a worldwide pandemic. As anyone desperately searching for toilet paper discovered earlier this year, the last mile is the crucial link in every supply chain.

“We wanted to provide our customers with a command center view of last mile product delivery with cost and time savings,” said Shamir Rahim, founder and CEO of VersaFleet. “As our customers slowly open up again, VersaFleet is providing greater agility so they can quickly adjust logistics for maximum efficiency, whether people are out sick or returning to work, quarantines are lifted or imposed again, and operational hours shift at any time.”

Huge time savings improve customer experience 

Planners using VersaFleet’s SaaS-based cloud platform can dynamically schedule, dispatch, and track deliveries. Meantime, drivers send updates on completed deliveries in real-time using a mobile app. The algorithm also factors in data from orders connected through an ERP system like SAP S/4HANA.

“In a few clicks, planners can see which drivers are available, including their working hours and location preferences. They can select the most efficient route plan that uses the fewest vehicles traveling the least amount of distance for the highest number of items delivered,” said Rahim. “This reduces planning time from hours to minutes, saving valuable resources.”

Based in Singapore, VersaFleet serves customers primarily in Southeast Asia across many industries including consumer packaged goods, food manufacturing, white goods, casinos, and environmental services. One customer’s recent go-live actually coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in Malaysia. It proved fortuitous for the global health and beauty retailer.

“Their implementation of VersaFleet couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Rahim. “Despite working remotely from their respective homes, the planners were able to work collaboratively in real time. They were able to restock high-demand items like toilet paper and sanitizing wipes up to five times a day, something they had never been able to do before.”

The company has slashed daily planning time by 90 percent, from up to four hours down to under 10 minutes. In addition, by digitalizing proof-of-delivery, the retailer sped up billing processes four-fold. Instead of waiting for drivers to return from their routes with paper-based records, finance immediately receives delivery confirmation for same day invoice processing. This kind of business agility cascades down to boost the customer’s experience.

“Companies can reduce stock-outs, which is so important in meeting people’s heightened demands, especially with fast-moving consumer goods,” said Rahim. “Several of our other customers have improved customer service levels by 50 percent.”

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RetailNext Announces ShopSafe Initiative to Help Brick-and-Mortar Retailers to Reopen Safely

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the retail industry in ways no one could have imagined. A vast majority of retailers have needed to close doors, leaving many unemployed or furloughed while sales stalled. As the country begins to reopen, the retail industry is looking to stabilize and welcome shoppers back safely. It is imperative the industry keep guests and employees safe and technology can aid in this journey with transparency of crucial occupancy and shopper density metrics to help guide safer experiences in physical stores.

RetailNext, with support from a consortium of private enterprise companies, retailers, and property owners, has created ShopSafe – a not-for-profit enterprise focused on getting American retail businesses open again with infrastructure to deliver real-time occupancy data for shoppers to better understand precautionary measures in place. This free framework delivers transparency to crucial occupancy metrics to help guide safer experiences in physical stores

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Hasura launches managed cloud solution

Hasura is an open-source engine that can connect to PostgreSQL databases and microservices across hybrid- and multi-cloud environments and then automatically build a GraphQL API backend for them, making it easier for developers to then build their own data-driven applications on top of this unified API . For a while now, the San Francisco-based startup has offered a paid version (Hasura Pro) with enterprise-ready reliability and security tools, in addition to its free open-source version. Today, the company launched Hasura  Cloud, which takes the existing Pro version, adds a number of cloud-specific features like dynamic caching, auto-scaling and consumption-based pricing, and brings those together in a fully managed service.

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Verusen Debuts on Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s SDCE 100

 Verusen, an innovator in artificial intelligence, materials inventory and data management technology, announced today that it has been named to the Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s SDCE 100 for 2020. The prestigious list spotlights successful and innovative projects that deliver bottom-line value to small, medium and large enterprises across the range of supply chain functions. These projects can serve as a map for supply chain executives looking for new opportunities to drive improvement in their own operations.

Verusen’s successful work with a Fortune 500 pulp and paper manufacturer with more than 60 North American facilities exemplifies the impact its AI-based intelligent technology platform can quickly make. The manufacturer set an aggressive initiative to reduce working capital by $5 million, obtain enterprise inventory visibility and rebalance inventory through a virtual maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) inventory network.

With Verusen’s cloud platform, the team laid the appropriate data foundation by structuring its material master (MM) data in weeks instead of a year. AI ultimately cleansed the MRO data, allowing the company to begin a “self-cleansing” data strategy as well as an internal “buy-from-self-first” inventory optimization strategy. Additionally, the AI delivered optimized insights on where inventory could be reduced as well as how to avoid creating excess. In less than 100 days, Verusen’s AI platform produced more than $20 million in verified savings.

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No-code industrial robotics programming startup Wandelbots raises $30 million

Dresden, Germany-based Wandelbots  — a startup dedicated to making it easier for non-programmers to “teach” industrial robots how to do specific tasks — has raised a $30 million Series B funding round led by 83North, with participation from Next47 and Microsoft’s M12 venture funding arm.

Wandelbots will use the funding to help it speed the market debut of its TracePen, a hand-held, code-free device that allows human operators to quickly and easily demonstrate desired behavior for industrial robots to mimic. Programming robots to perform specific tasks typically requires massive amounts of code, as well as programmers with very specific, in-demand skill sets to accomplish. Wandelbots wants to make it as easy as simply showing a robot what it is you want it to do — and then showing it a different set of behaviors should you need to reprogram it to accomplish a new task or fill in for a different part of the assembly line.

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