WeGift Raises $12M in Series A+ Funding

WeGift, a London, UK-based company providing the infrastructure for the incentives economy, closed a $12m funding round.

The round was led by AlbionVC with participation from new investor CommerzVentures, as well as Stride.VC, SAP.iO Fund, and Unilever Ventures.

The company intends to use the funds to continue to expand operations and its business reach.

Led by Founder and CEO Aron Alexander, WeGift provides a cloud-based platform and open API solution serving a broad set of needs for medium and enterprise businesses, including acquisition, retention, recognition, and reimbursements. Operating in more than 30 countries, and dozens of languages and currencies, the company’s digital payouts platform and open API solution is directly integrated into every brand on its platform, offering corporate buyers a global network with direct access to more than 700 brands. Habito, Perkbox, Seated, Sodexo, Vodafone, and Vouchercodes all use WeGift’s to digitally engage their audiences.

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Crosschq Co-Founder Named to Forbes Next 1000 List

Crosschq, the pioneers of Human Intelligence Hiring™ for building diverse, winning companies, today announced that CEO and Co-Founder Michael Fitzsimmons was named to the Forbes Next 1000 list in the first class of 250 standouts.

The Forbes Next 1000 list is a first-of-its-kind initiative designed to spotlight bold and inspiring entrepreneurs on their way to great success, celebrating ambitious entrepreneurs who are redefining what it means to build and run a business today, especially in the ‘new normal.’ According to Forbes, by year’s end, the list will include 1,000 entrepreneurs that “will have a “running start to land on the cover of Forbes.” The judges include a panel of A-list leaders from every sector, from entrepreneur Ayesha Curry and National Geographic Society Chairwoman Jean Case, to LinkedIn CoFounder Reid HOffman and  baseball legend Alex Rodriguez among others.

“I’m honored to be recognized by Forbes in this way,” said Fitzsimmons. “These are never individual awards. Every member of our Crosschq family, from employees, investors, advisors, customers, and partners, make these happen.”

Crosschq is committed to fundamentally leveling the playing field for job seekers by enabling companies to go beyond the resume and look at the full picture of a job candidate when making a hiring decision. Crosschq already helps more than 100 companies of all sizes screen, source and hire the best talent through our digital and automated reference checks.

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Verusen and NTT DATA GSL Form Business Alliance to Transform SAP Materials and Inventory Management Deployments Through AI

As manufacturers and businesses ramp up the digital transformation of their supply chains to meet challenging times during the pandemic, Verusen, the Atlanta startup that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)  to build the intelligent, connected supply chain, and NTT DATA Global Solutions Corporation (NTT DATA GSL), a leading SAP partner in Japan, providing digital transformation and information technology services worldwide together with NTT DATA Group alliance, today announced their new business alliance.  The collaboration utilizes Verusen’s cloud-based AI platform and real–time inventory data management capabilities to strengthen and optimize customers’ existing SAP supply chain and inventory management implementations. 

Verusen’s purpose-built AI platform provides a supply chain solution that transforms material data and inventory optimization to bring “material truth” to organizations. By analyzing and visualizing the inventory information stored at different locations, the solution helps clients reduce their inventory, increase working capital and prevent opportunity loss due to either excess or deficiency of inventory. The relationship marks the debut of the Verusen cloud platform in the Japanese market.

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Startup Injects Pandemic Vaccine Cold Chain With a Healthy Dose of High-Tech

The combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) technology (AIoT) may be the biggest disruption to the industrial refrigeration industry since the invention of the first commercial ice-making machine two centuries ago.

In this second year of a modern pandemic, startup Youtiligent has developed an AIoT-based technology to help companies keep vaccines cold across complex distribution supply chains. Moving far beyond sensor-based temperature monitoring, Youtiligent’s promise is to securely capture real-time electric power anomalies in onsite commercial refrigerators, allowing distributors to take action before vaccine spoilage.

“Sensors that capture when a product’s temperature has decreased below the acceptable degree range are not effective when it comes to distributing something like the coronavirus vaccine,” said Avichai Belitsky, co-founder of Youtiligent. “We combined AI with IoT technology to deliver real-time alerts for cost-effective predictive and preventive maintenance. Organizations can act faster in making data-driven business decisions based on what’s happening in real time, such as sending in a repair technician before it’s too late.”

EKG for cooling appliances

Based in Israel, Youtiligent is piloting its offering with healthcare organizations in that country. Belitsky also expected high interest from refrigeration manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies, as well as medical and other institutions with clinics, pharmacies, and research labs, such as hospitals and universities. The startup continues to serve customers in its original target markets that include the food and beverage and retail industries.

“This is what we call the ‘EKG for appliances,’ tracking electric current across compressors, engines, and pumps that power any cooling machine, whether it’s making ice cream to be sold the next week or cooling expensive chemicals that researchers can safely store and use over many years,” said Belitsky. “Every machine action has a unique fingerprint, and being able to track each one with algorithms yields valuable, actionable insights.”

Real-time data prevents problems, opens opportunities

When the customer connects a machine’s power cord into the Youtiligent “smart” plug at the wall socket, the solution’s AI and IoT technology translates the electric consumption signals, by machine part, into usage data that’s saved in the cloud. As the technology detects potential problems, it sends real-time alerts to designated contacts on any device. People can also view detailed historical activity dashboards for recordkeeping and proof of cold-chain compliance.

“Our plug-and-play solution delivers significant ROI with low total cost of ownership,” said Belitsky. “Manufacturers in some industries also like this solution because they can offer products-as-a-service, whether they embed Youtiligent into new refrigerators or as an aftermarket add-on to customers with existing machines.”

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Rheaply Raises $8M to Scale the Circular Economy and Enable Businesses to Take Action Against Climate Change

Rheaply, a climate tech company that combines a resource-sharing network with a user-friendly asset management platform, today announced that it has raised $8M in a Series A round led by High Alpha, with investment from 100 Black Angels & Allies Fund, Concrete Rose Capital, Hyde Park Angels, M25, MCJ Collective, Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, and Salesforce Ventures. Rheaply’s platform eliminates potential waste by instituting the principles of a circular economy, a model that emphasizes “designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.”

Rheaply’s Series A is one of the largest rounds ever raised by a Chicago startup with a Black founder, and the majority of new investors are impact funds.

In the U.S. economy, over $630B of physical workplace assets sit idle every year.2 Not knowing what assets exist and where they are frequently leads to inefficiencies in procurement practices, the inability to properly track and manage asset depreciation, and the purchase of duplicate assets, significantly impacting every organization’s bottom line. If never put to use, these assets will add over 60M tons of waste to landfill.

If you would like to know more about how Rheaply is helping Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. Federal Government better track and utilize their resources, visit rheaply.com.

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How to Genetically Sequence the Life Cycle of a Trend

Hindsight may be 20/20, but with artificial intelligence (AI)-fueled technology you just might be able to see into the future before anyone else. NWO is a U.S.-based startup piloting a predictive trends platform designed to capture the fast-changing voice of the consumer.

“We’re genetically sequencing the life cycle of trends as they’re created and evolving. You can select any topic in the world and immediately have a full report documenting how saturated a trend is in the minds of consumers, globally and by region,” said Sourav Goswami, co-founder of NWO. “It’s like talking to a human expert who can tell you when, where, and why a trend is growing, declining, or about to reach an inflection point with impact on your business.”

Among the recent early signals Goswami held up as proof of NWO’s prescience were reports predicting the resurgence of Bitcoin, the financial impact of locust swarm movements on sugar and cotton futures, and notably, in the fall of 2020, a firestorm of online and offline behaviors around guns and tactical weaponry that constituted an “electoral powder keg” months before an angry mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The startup is working with beta customers in product innovation, marketing, and supply chain management at companies in the U.S. and Europe – and has plans to move into Asia and the Middle East. While initially targeting consumer brands, Goswami said NWO’s offering cuts across any industry, such as logistics and supply chain companies.

Predictive Insights from Unexpected Inflection Points

Operating like a search engine that filters data from keywords, NWO is deceptively simple. However, a proprietary algorithm translates time-shift lagging indicators into predictive insights. The system generates detailed trend reports in about 60 seconds, analyzing patterns from tremendous amounts of social media chatter, news, and search activity, as well as information from various databases, such as patents and filings from the Federal Drug Administration in the U.S. and its European counterpart, along with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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SAP Startup Spotlight: Future Grid

SAP invests in a lot of promising startups, and it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all of them. E-3 Magazine has selected the most interesting companies to showcase in our SAP Startup Spotlight Series. In this article, we will take a look at Future Grid.

Chris is the co-founder and CEO of Future Grid. He is dedicated to helping utilities around the world to integrate renewables at scale and thus decarbonising the grid. With over 20 years of experience in the energy market working for companies like AusNet Services, AGL in Australia, and the startup GridNet in San Francisco, he is well connected within the industry. Chris is a wine connoisseur, a coffee lover, and enjoys riding his bike. In this interview, he talks about what his company has to offer and what’s next for Future Grid.

E-3 Magazine: What exactly does Future Grid offer?

Chris Law: Future Grid is a software that turns smart meter data into improved grid reliability, asset management, and customer safety. Our software creates new visibility into the health of critical yet ‘invisible’ electricity assets such as wires, transformers, and fuses in support of the transition to renewable energy. Using Future Grid’s software, utilities are empowered to manage the increasing shifts in power quality due to renewables. Utilities can then deliver safe and reliable electricity to their customers. That’s how Future Grid is enabling the renewable grid of the future.

How does your solution work?

Law: Future Grid is a software that works by creating a real-time feedback loop that updates key utility systems with real-time insights from invisible assets within the grid. The Future Grid software has been designed to integrate many different sources within the utility, including smart meters, to create a near real-time ‘map’ of grid assets and network health. Future Grid will then execute a range of real-time analytics and integrate the results back into key systems such as SAP, ADSM, and GIS for operational actions. We call this the feedback loop, as for the first time, utilities have the ability to take grid edge data from smart meters (and in the future DER) and feedback real-time insights to help inform grid operations and control.

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SAP.iO & Publicis Sapient partner to mold the next generation of consumer engagement startups

Early stage strategic incubator, SAP.iO has joined forces with digital business transformation company Publicis Sapient to help shape the upcoming  SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv – startup accelerator program – batch of startups. The program  will focus on advanced marketing and commerce solutions that offer new ways for brands to improve consumer engagement. “For startup companies that develop relevant solutions, this is a unique opportunity to grow and go global ” says Lior Weizmann, who leads SAP.iO Foundry in Israel.

“A significant springboard for startups”

The SAP.iO Foundries are SAP’s global network of equity-free startup accelerators that help promising startups integrate with SAP solutions and accelerate their entry into a curated, inclusive ecosystem whose offerings can be easily accessed and deployed by SAP customers. Current locations of SAP.iO Foundries are in major startup hubs, including Paris, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Munich, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Tokyo and Bangalore.

Publicis Sapient, which is part of the advertising giant Publicis, and an SAP client, will help SAP identify suitable startups from the global landscape to participate in the SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv – a 12 week program focused on elevating the very best startups with the very best solutions to the next level.

“In addition to partner with SAP and Publicis, which is a strategic achievement by itself, the start-ups that will participate the program and the joint solutions developed in it will be introduced by SAP and Publicis to their joint clients, which include some of the largest brands in the world. The initial exposure will be to the major consumer product companies, where we identify a strong need to strengthen the relationship with the end consumers,” Weizmann added.

The program is intended for enterprise software startups after their Seed or A round, that offer one or more of the following solutions: Personalized marketing, product discovery, social engagement, improved segmentation, consumer experience, 1st party consumer insights, new business models for direct-to-consumer marketing, and innovative integration use cases with Emarsys, SAP’s latest acquisition and a leading omnichannel customer engagement platform.

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SAP.iO and Publicis Sapient partner up for advanced marketing accelerator

SAP.iO, an Israeli early-stage venture arm for multinational software powerhouse SAP, has announced a partnership with Publicis Sapient for a startup accelerator program based in Tel Aviv. The program, which will last 12 weeks, will focus on advanced marketing and commerce solutions helping new brands improve consumer engagement. Publicis Sapient, part of advertising company Publicis and a SAP client, will work alongside SAP to identify startups across the world to participate in SAP.iO Foundry. The program will take place virtually and start in April 2021 after applications close and the startups are finalized. The deadline for companies to apply is February 26th.

“For startup companies that develop relevant solutions, this is a unique opportunity to grow and go global,” says Lior Weizmann, who leads SAP.iO Foundry in Israel. “In addition to partnering with SAP and Publicis, which is a strategic achievement by itself, the startups that will participate in the program and the joint solutions developed in it will be introduced by SAP and Publicis to their joint clients, which include some of the largest brands in the world. The initial exposure will be to the major consumer product companies, where we identify a strong need to strengthen the relationship with the end consumers.”Oded Lavie, VP of Innovation and Value Creation at Publicis Israel, added: “When we started exploring a collaboration with SAP, we understood that our combined expertise in technology and business, as well as our network of clients across major industries, could be a significant springboard for startups. We are excited to help our mutual clients, which include some of the biggest companies in the world, implement innovative solutions that address concrete business challenges and deliver immediate value.”

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SAP Startup Spotlight: Net2Grid

SAP invests in a lot of promising startups, and it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all of them. E-3 Magazine has selected the most interesting companies to showcase in our SAP Startup Spotlight Series. In this article, we will take a look at Net2Grid.

Bert Lutje Berenbroek has 20 years of experience in the semiconductor business with innovative companies in Silicon Valley and Boston. He started Net2Grid 10 years ago with the vision that access to real-time energy data is a necessary piece of the puzzle supporting the energy transition. In this interview, he talks about what his company has to offer and what’s next for Net2Grid.

What Does Net2Grid have to offer?

Bert Lutje Berenbroek: Net2Grid is an AI-enabled software company which turns energy consumption data into personalized and actionable insights, empowering end users to become energy efficient. Our clients are energy companies based in Europe, North America, and Australia who offer our products and services to their clients. Increasingly we see interest in our services by tech and financial corporations, too.

One concrete example of what our services can do is the successful collaboration we have with E.ON Germany. Net2Grid is the hardware, platform, and NILM (Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring) supplier of E.ON’s app iONA. Through iONA, customers can view and control their electricity consumption in detail, helping them prevent energy guzzlers, compare devices, and gain an overview of the breakdown of costs. E.ON Germany saw a customer engagement increase from 3 minutes/year to 120 minutes/year after adopting Net2Grid’s energy insight solution.

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Mind the Chat with Alexa Gorman – SAP, SAP.iO

Mind the Bridge and the International Chamber of Commerce recently awarded SAP as a TOP 25 Corporate Startup Stars last December. Indeed, with a hundred thousand employees, the B2B SaaS technology giant outperforms the majority of Fortune 500 corporations on the implementation of their Open Innovation programs and creates win-win-win relationships with startups, SAP’s clients and of course SAP.

In this Mind the Chat, we had the joy to sit down with Alexa Gorman, SVP and head of SAP.iO foundries in EMEA. Alexa joined SAP in 1999 in the retail space and led various teams and initiatives from marketing to strategy in both New York and Paris before finally joining SAP.io in Berlin, in 2017.

During the conversation, we covered the multiple areas of activities that SAP undertakes in the world of startups, namely SAP.iO, Sapphire Ventures, SAP’s Intrapreneurship program – SAP.iO Venture Studio, and the University Alliances. We took a deep dive into the structure of the SAP.iO, its Foundries, and the growing number of SAP’s innovation outposts around the world.

SAP.iO

SAP.iO is part of the New Ventures and Technology group that reports directly to the CTO office. The role of SAP.iO is to manage both startup-driven innovation and acceleration, as well as employee-driven innovation and acceleration.

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Supply Chain Recovery Index monitoring business recovery in Europe

Shippeo, the European leader in real-time supply chain visibility, releases today an update of its “Supply Chain Recovery Index”.

Shippeo tracks nearly 10 million transport orders every year, from 140,000 carriers operating in more than 3,000 industrial sites and warehouses across Europe. Thanks to this data, Shippeo has built a weekly index to measure the business recovery in 4 industrial sectors on a European scale.

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