July 24, 2013

Live From The 500 Startups Accelerator’s Sixth Demo Day

The sixth group of startups from the 500 Startup Accelerator program will be making its debut today in Mountain View, Calif. — and then going on to do demo days in San Francisco and New York City as well. Can’t make it yourself, or can’t wait until 500 Startups comes to your town? You can check out the live stream above, which will be going for the next few hours.

While we’ve gotten some idea of what these startups do, today is their time to shine, as they pitch their products and services to investors at the Demo Day. We’ll be live from the scene, writing up the most interesting companies we see here. In the meantime, tune in to the stream yourself if you want to see what they’ve been up to.

And here are the startups:


This startup is seeking to boost the amount of money that can be made by African-American hair stylists by helping them to take advantage of the incredibly lucrative hair extension business. That demographic spends $6 billion on hair extensions, outspending every other demo by 3-1. Mayvenn gives every stylist their own e-commerce-enabled website and connects them with supplies that otherwise would be sold at a beauty supply store, helping stylists to make more money.


POPAPP is the “quickest, easiest way to prototype your mobile app,” enabling users to convert a pen and paper sketch of an idea into an interactive prototype. Since POPAPP launched in November, they say they’ve had 70,000 users. The company makes money on a subscription basis, offering two free trials and then monthly fees for individuals and businesses.


The company is an influencer marketplace to “make online word of mouth marketing viable.” The secret sauce is a deep database of influencers and a platform to match businesses and PR firms with them. Also tools to pay influencers and track campaigns. The influencers have a cumulative reach of a billion page views, and the startup has more than 350 businesses and PR firms using the platform already.


Floqq aims to change online education in Latin America. You can watch instructional videos on any skill from cooking to finance. “None of them know shit about how to sell in Latin America, because we are different!” one of the founders exclaimed about Floqq’s online video competitors, explaining that Floqq uses different payment methods by country based on residents’ preferences.


This startup wants to help online retailers in China to sell directly to U.S. customers. There are 2 million Chinese sellers in the market, selling to more than 100 million U.S. consumers, but shipping is typically slow and returns are close to impossible. That means that even at low prices, sellers aren’t making very much money. BOXC helps speed up shipping to 3-5 days without having to keep inventory in the U.S.


Koemei makes educational videos searchable and collaborative. The company uses its technology to convert learning videos into text and makes them searchable. Students can have access to the automatically generated text of lectures after classes, and can take notes, share thoughts with classmates, link videos together, and organize their content in one place. Koemei has three major contracts, including from the City University of New York, and so far has six-figure revenues.


The company helps app developers acquire customers through peer referrals, which work best for mobile app conversion. You can use the product with just one line of code, optimize code through A/B testing and increase click-through rates. It operates on a freemium model, with free metrics and customers only paying when they take action and use A/B testing or other premium features.

TR Data

TR Data is the “Bloomberg for emerging markets.” The company has more than 100 companies using them already to make informed trading decisions, as it claims poor coverage of data in emerging markets is costing companies billions in trades.


Credii is trying to help businesses make smart decisions about the products and services they use. It asks them a series of smart questions about what they need and makes instant recommendations of products and services that fit those needs. It can help them pick and customize products to save them money. It makes money through premium support to customers and highly qualified leads for vendors.


This company is based on the idea that less than 1 percent of online content in app stores is accessible to Arabic users, even though Arabic is the 4th largest language in the world. Tamatem takes popular game app in the U.S. market and converts them into Arabic equivalents that its audience can understand. In one month, Tamatem’s first game saw 650,000 downloads.


Flyer is disrupting the way commercial real estate is marketed. It lets brokers drag and drop information into the browser right on their website to build a flyer. Once that’s done they can export to print and PDF, and push everything to social media with one click. It also brings analytics to the market.


Schooladmissions was started to simplify the school application process in India. Students can manage the entire process online by using a school-matching engine, admission alerts, networking with other parents and multiple submissions in one click. The website charges schools and parents for membership and listings, as well as for the schools their students are admitted to.


This company is creating a peer-to-peer marketplace for geeks to provide tech support direct to users, rather than through storefronts like Best Buy. That means it’s cheaper for the customer, and they don’t have to give up their computers. Geekatoo has 3,000 geeks around the country who are certified to provide support. It takes a 35 percent cut of the transaction for connecting customers with tech support providers.


InstaGIS is a global real-time data platform designed to provide insights and data for marketing campaigns. With a monthly subscription, marketing managers can see where certain demographics are concentrated and discover new insights about different locations. InstaGIS provides this information through government data, social networks and private sources.


This hardware hopes to provide the next generation of wheelchair mobility, with a new chair designed to look good and be ultra-functional. One big selling point is a front wheel made up of 24 different wheels to provide full mobility. Really has to be seen to be believed.


Binpress is trying to be the “marketplace for commercial open source,” providing monetization tools for those working on open-source projects. It’s a marketplace, connecting developers with potential customers. As such, it takes a 30 percent commission on all sales that happen on its platform.


This startup provides up-to-date real estate data through a transaction management platform for customers and agents. According to Reesio, information from publicly traded companies such as Zillow and Trulia can range from two days to two weeks old. Reesio will show transactions from users as they happen, including offers, contract signing, sharing information and more.


Dakwak is a translation and globalization platform for websites. Today, only 27 percent of the Internet population understands English, which means you can reach an additional 1.5 billion customers translating and localizing your website content. Dakwak allows you to control the translation, whether it’s low-priced machine translation or high-quality human translation. The website translation industry is a $3.3 billion business and growing, and Dakwak wants to be a big part of it.


This compact device will help pet owners keep track of pets with GPS and monitor their physical activities. The U.S. and Brazil are the largest pet markets in the world, with over 200 billion pets combined. Pinmypet attaches to your pet and gives a real-time location, as well as a record of sleeping and exercising habits.

Seat 14A

Seat 14A seeks to simplify men’s fashion by sending customers one email a week. In that email they’ll find one complete outfit, and if they like it they can buy it. All clothes are made to order, so the startup holds no inventory. And since they control the entire supply chain, they can provide options that are cheaper and higher quality. That also means that they’re profitable on every sale, with 50 percent margins on a $150 sale.


Dropifi helps small businesses convert online visitors to customers with a SaaS platform. The application lets businesses see a client’s information and feedback through a profile, as well as collaborate in real-time with the client. After nine months, Dropifi has 7,100 businesses signed up for its service.


This company is a marketplace for real-world leisure activities, currently operating in India. It’s looking to connect 300 million Indians with local things going on nearby, not just attractions for tourists. It also allows users to book activities on the platform, and share them with friends.


NativeAD is a new method reaching audiences meant to replace display advertising, since 99.9 percent of audiences don’t click on online ads. The company manages branded content for publishers including Yahoo, MSN, The Huffington Post and Terra.


Tastespace is helping restaurants in Latin America make sales and take orders online. It provides manages restaurant websites, mobile apps, and presence on Facebook through a single platform. Already it’s generated $2 million in sales, and has an order placed on its platform every three minutes. It’s in three of the top five countries in Latin America, and expects to reach 15,000 restaurants in half the time it took GrubHub to reach that number.


PriceBaba is a platform for mobile phone shopping in India. Most retailers don’t have a point-of-sale system, so PriceBaba compiles prices and inventory to allow customers to see what is available near them, and for what price. The platform also provides mobile phone sellers with relevant and measurable leads with its data.


This startup wants to provide an alternative to today’s text messages, with video, because “life is bigger than texting.” You can instantly send quick video messages to anyone in your contact list, and when done can start sending another. All videos are stored in the cloud, so they’re always available to users. The company is pushing 1,000 video messages per day already, off of 12,000 downloads.


GreenGar created Whiteboard, a collaborative drawing app with more than 8 million downloads. About to hit $1 million in revenue, Whiteboard connects mobile devices globally through a freemium model. You can synchronize presentations and communicate visually with other users.


This company is going after the children’s book industry, helping to take it digital. It has a software platform for transforming books into digital titles, and distributing them across multiple formats and multiple storefronts, and is using its own brand and links to cross-promote titles.


Feast provides a simple platform for beginners learning how to cook. Users receive daily emails with basic lessons on cooking and can collaborate with other students online. More than 40 percent of Feast’s users are opening an online lesson every single day.

Article By Ryan LawlerBilly GallagherStephanie Yang
Tech Crunch

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