SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv Launches Accelerator Program Focused on Consumer Products

SAP kicked off its consumer-products-focused business-to-business (B2B) technology accelerator program at SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv, with seven early-stage startups focused on manufacturing, supply chain, sales and marketing solutions.

The SAP.iO zero-equity-ask program is designed to accelerate innovation and drive new business models for SAP’s customers. This cohort will tackle top-priority challenges including personalization, consumer experience, data-driven insights, sales automation, and demand and supply planning.

Startups in the program will have access to curated mentorship, exposure to SAP technology and application programmable interfaces (APIs), and collaboration opportunities with SAP customers.

“Our customers are looking for innovative solutions to help improve agility and speed, especially in these challenging and transformative times,” said Peter Maier, SAP president of Industries and Customer Advisory.

The following startups are participating in the SAP.iO Foundry Tel-Aviv:

  • Aiola’s natural-language sales analytics platform integrates data from multiple planning software systems of consumer packaged goods companies, generating accurate sales and demand forecasting, trade promotions optimization, new product launch analysis and market-share forecasting.
  • Hexa helps retail partners share information by converting their existing product information into immersive content (three-dimensional/artificial reality) in an efficient and cost-effective way.
  • Pecan is an automated predictive analytics platform that uses advanced artificial intelligence to connect and unify various data sources, allowing quick and automated development and deployment of predictive use cases.
  • Sampler is a direct-to-consumer product sampling platform that allows brands to target, track and measure their sampling programs from start to finish.
  • SRP Analytics’ advanced digital retail format connects brands, local stores and consumers on a single nearby platform, increasing sales growth, supply-chain efficiency and consumer loyalty.
  • TrenDemon is a content marketing analytics platform that integrates a company’s digital assets and maps the customer journeys, providing insights and action items to improve content impact and return on investment.
  • TVPage provides brands with the ability to present 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.

Plum Continues to Expand Their Enterprise Customer Base, Gaining Bentley Systems as a Customer

Plum, a software-as-a-service company that provides enterprise organizations with the data they need to quantify the potential of their workforce, announced today that they acquired a new enterprise customer, Bentley Systems, the leading global provider of software solutions to engineers, architects, geospatial professionals, constructors, and owner-operators for the design, construction, and operations of infrastructure, including public works, utilities, industrial plants, and digital cities.  

A number of large enterprises, including Scotiabank, Deloitte, SAP, Bloomberg, and Hyundai, are using Plum to enable data-driven decision-making when it comes to their talent acquisition strategies. 

Plum CEO Caitlin MacGregor says, “We are seeing success growing our customer base with enterprise companies that are focused on improving candidate experience, reducing bias in the hiring process, and helping provide efficiency in their recruitment pipeline. We’re excited to support Bentley Systems in these endeavors.” In September Plum announced a $4.2 million round of seed funding to continue to focus on their product strategy and grow their enterprise customer base.

Working in close collaboration with SAP SuccessFactors and as a SAP App Center partner, Plum provides added value to the SuccessFactors recruitment module. The SAP SuccessFactors partnership was a key factor in the decision to purchase Plum, says Bentley Systems’ Chief Talent Officer Florence Zheng. “Leveraging predictive talent data will enable Bentley Systems’ teams to be even more effective in our process and ensure that we are placing the right people in the right roles,” said Zheng. “There are a lot of great tools out there. The integration of Plum in SuccessFactors, besides the value Plum brings to the talent acquisition process, makes it a perfect choice for us.

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SAP: Accelerator Program helps B2B Startups in Tel Aviv

By launching its consumer products focused, business to business (B2B) technology accelerator program at SAP.IO Foundry in Tel Aviv, the software company will begin its focus on seven startups in manufacturing, supply chain, and sales and marketing. Those within the program will have access to curated mentorship, as well as exposure to SAP technology and application programmable interfaces (APIs), and collaboration opportunities.

“Our customers are looking for innovative solutions to help improve agility and speed, especially in these challenging and transformative times,” commented Peter Maier, SAP president of Industries and Customer Advisory.

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Paradox Raises $40M Series B to Help Companies Embrace the Future of Work with Conversational AI

Paradox, the conversational AI platform helping HR and talent teams automate administrative tasks and deliver real-time candidate and employee communications, announced today $40M in Series B funding, led by Brighton Park Capital. The Arizona-based startup, whose 200+ global enterprise clients include McDonald’s, CVS Health, and Unilever, will leverage the funding to expedite its vision of a future where AI is a liberating force to help people do their best work.

“No one goes into recruiting or HR because they like screening resumes, scheduling interviews, or managing paperwork,” said Paradox founder and CEO Aaron Matos, who started his career as an HR practitioner. “Our clients love our AI assistant Olivia because she helps them get back to doing the strategic people work that got them into recruiting and HR in the first place.”

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New product displays COVID-19 stats on airline, hotel and OTA websites

Bacarai – one of PhocusWire’s Hot 25 Startups for 2020 – has developed a new API service that connects COVID-19 statistics to airport codes and hotel locations so that airlines, hotels and online travel agencies can display the data within their shopping workflows.

SmartCheck provides statistics such as total cases, new cases by day, total tests, number of people recovered and number of deaths, with data pulled from publicly available sources around the world. Airlines, hotels and OTAs can access SmartCheck via an API and then customize how the information is displayed on their sites – for example showing the trend of new cases on a line graph.

Bacarai is part of the current SAP.iO Foundry San Francisco, a B2B travel technology accelerator, and Totten says some of the SAP Concur teams are now looking at SmartCheck.

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What COVID-19 means for a travel startup focused on sustainability

One perhaps unintended consequence of travel coming to a near halt due to COVID-19 is the return of clearer skies and fewer carbon emissions.

For the startup Jet-Set Offset, which is a donation-based carbon offsetting tool for air travel, this is temporary good news on the sustainability front, but the startup is now reevaluating how it can help its partners amid the travel slowdown.

With Jet-Set Offset, named one of PhocusWire’s Hot 25 Startups for 2020, travelers can offset carbon emissions from flying by automatically donating one cent per mile to environmental organizations working to reduce carbon emissions.

However, “as travel has slowed or even ceased, real-time mileage-based donations to our partners are also down,” says the company’s co-founder and CEO, Anna Ford.

“These nonprofits need our help now more than ever to continue their planet-saving projects,” she says, and to that end, Jet-Set Offset has pivoted its messaging and launched a month-long campaign to celebrate April as Earth Month and allow travelers to offset carbon emissions from past flights.

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Marketing data platform Adverity raises $30M Series C led by Sapphire Ventures

In the time many of us live in now, we all know our online media consumption is — to state the obvious — going through the roof. Subsequently, the amount of data pertaining to online marketing is, equally, reaching stratospheric heights and in recent years tech companies like Datorama and Funnel.io, SuperMetrics and Adverity have appeared to give marketeers a data intelligence platform to deal with the welter of spreadsheets and reports necessary to track everything.

Last year, Vienna HQ’d Adverity closed an €11 million Series B funding round for its AI-driven platform to produce actionable insights in real-time for marketers.

Today it’s announcing a Series C financing round of $30 million, bringing the total amount it has raised to $50 million. The latest funding round is led by Valley-based Sapphire Ventures . Also participating is Mangrove Capital Partners, Felix Capital, SAP.iO and aws Gründerfonds who have all re-invested in this latest round. 

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6 startup CEOs explain strategy for making sure layoffs are only ever a last resort, from slashing expenses to asking employees what kind of pay cut they can afford

As the coronavirus crisis escalated in March, Emil Mikhailov, CEO of the AI startup XIX, sent an email to his employees, warning them to prepare for a recession when their top priority will be to “to survive the storm.” 

“It’s not clear what is going to happen,” he wrote.

Then he made a vow: “We as a team will not lose anyone. We will sacrifice short-term to make sure everyone is OK.”

The downturn has upended the world of startups, many of which are scrambling for ways to cut expenses, including layoffs. But some startups are stressing the need to protect their employees’ jobs as they figured out ways to survive the downturn. 

Some CEOs and founders, like Mikhailov, have even promised not to cut anyone.

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How Businesses Can Stay On The Right Side Of History During Tough Times

Every day the news features stories about how businesses are adapting to the COVID-19 crisis. Whether it’s small companies developing new revenue streams to stay afloat, or larger ones reorienting operations to provide critical support, one thing is clear: Businesses are pivoting quickly.

But there can be missteps too. COVID-19 related promotions fill my social feed and inbox. Buy a comfy work-from-home bra! Puzzles (that are sold out) to help entertain the family!

Bonin Bough is a digital marketing guru, startup investor, and author of “Txt Me: Your Phone Has Changed Your Life. Let’s Talk about It.” His latest venture, OpenMessage, creates dynamic, branded text messages to drive customer loyalty. The company was selected by SAP.iO Foundry (a global startup accelerator) to participate in its new cohort of customer experience and retail companies.

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Express Scripts is offering SilverCloud Health’s line of mental healthcare tools for free

The pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) is offering digital therapeutics (DTx) vendor SilverCloud Health’s line of tech-enabled mental healthcare solutions to the consumers it serves free-of-charge during the coronavirus pandemic, FierceHealthcare reports.

For context, PBMs generally act as middlemen between drug makers, retailers, and insurers, and are largely responsible for setting the price of pharmaceuticals. But in the past year, Express Scripts and other leading players have branched into the digital health realm to craft lists of effective DTx tools that their payer clients can sift through, which can help them choose the solutions they’d like to offer their members.

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SilverCloud Health Announces $16M Series B Funding for Digital Mental Health Platform

SilverCloud Health, the world’s leading digital mental health platform for healthcare systems and providers, health plans, and employers, today announced a $16 million Series B funding round led by MemorialCare Innovation Fund, which included LRVHealth, OSF Ventures and UnityPoint Health Ventures, elevating the company’s total funding to more than $30 million. Existing investors Act Venture Capital and B Capital Group participated in the round as well.

Four of the Series B investors, MemorialCare Innovation Fund, UnityPoint Health Ventures, OSF Ventures and LRVHealth are associated with leading U.S. healthcare systems that currently use SilverCloud, a testament to the quality and results of the platform.

“We are committed to providing truly impactful mental health support to all those with need,” said Ken Cahill, CEO of SilverCloud. “The need has never been greater than during this unprecedented global crisis. SilverCloud enables easier, earlier access to clinically validated mental health care that shows results equivalent to face-to-face care for the 1 in 5 people with a diagnosable mental health condition. With millions of people being asked to stay home and health systems needing to prioritize care, we recognize the heightened need for virtual support as the world copes with the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, SilverCloud is providing its clients, free of charge, expanded access to its platform to even more healthcare professionals, their families and patients to help make a difference for those in need in the current crisis.”

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Is Fashion Really Getting More Sustainable?

It’s now boast-worthy to participate in sharing-economy.

Solutions must be more than just green, which is why Stephanie Benedetto talks up financial and inventory-management benefits as she makes the case for Queen of Raw, a technology platform she cofounded in 2018 to connect people and brands with leftover fabrics—an estimated 15 percent of every production run. Queen of Raw caters to home sewers as well as big fashion companies, and Benedetto estimates that dead-stock textiles could become a $120 billion business. “It’s insane, the volume that is out there,” says Benedetto, who has listed fabrics up to a million yards long, or as short as a few yards, for a base of over 130,000 clients. “Never doubt you can change the world,” she says. “We will.”

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Coronavirus: Brand Moves for Monday April 6

Cloud-based enterprise software firm SAP has established a €3 million COVID-19 Emergency Fund to support the urgent needs of the World Health Organization (WHO), the CDC Foundation, and smaller nonprofits and social enterprises that work on the front lines serving local communities in crisis. “SAP stands with the WHO and supports its leadership in coordinating the global effort to mobilize the fight against COVID-19,” said Alexandra van der Ploeg, head of SAP CSR. “Specifically, SAP is donating €1 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the WHO hosted by Swiss Philanthropy Foundation and the United Nations Foundation for virus prevention and detection. SAP is also making resources and expertise available to help our nonprofit and social enterprise partners effectively shift to remote operations. We want to help ensure they can maintain their much-needed services to their communities and not lay off staff.” Meanwhile, SAP is collaborating with an ecosystem of business-to-business startup partners through its SAP.iO program – startups which center on managing a distributed workforce. The list includes secondment and staff re-allocation tool Andjaro; Bravely, a platform connects employees to on-demand professional coaching; Clearmetal, which enables accurate delivery forecasts and exception management in multi-modal container-based transport; Cultivate which facilitates growth in-management capability and organizational health through passive data acquisition and analysis of employee feedback; Disco which enables employees to recognize and commend each other, building employee engagement; mobile microlearning platform Gnowbe; Goodr, a startup tackling hunger by connecting sources of surplus food with those in need, such as food banks; the MeQuilibrium well-being and performance platform; Plum, a psychometric-based talent acquisition and management platform; WeGift, a leading platform for real-time on-demand digital incentives, payouts, and rewards due to eGift cards; and Wethos, which curates virtual teams of contingent creative and marketing experts.

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