Mike Edelhart of Social Starts walks us through some observations on how COVID-19 has impacted trends from a VC’s perspective.
The future work is changing and the freelance economy is thriving. Though for freelancers, getting paid is still a constant problem. Willa has built a payment platform specifically for freelancers that is more popular than Paypal, Quickbooks, or other invoicing platforms. CEO and Cofounder Kristofer Sommestad shares some on the state of the fintech market, how the needs of freelancers have not been addressed, and the company’s recent funding round led by EQT Ventures.
The world was moving towards direct-to-consumer anyway, COVID just accelerated it because people got forced into new behaviors. Now that people have had a taste, it’s going to be very hard to “wean them off” of the convenience, price power, and enjoyment of e-commerce buying. It doesn’t mean that people aren’t going to go to stores anymore, it just means that a lot of consumers have added e-commerce into the mix or that e-commerce is now a bigger percentage of their overall activity. Find out what you should be doing to capitalize on this shift.
DMarket is an in-game item trading platform and a monetization technology for game developers, content creators, brands, and players. DMarket technology is an engine to power platforms and digital worlds, creating a virtual economy. CEO and Founder Vlad Panchenko shares more on how the company is using blockchain to make gaming profitable for brands, creators, players, and developers.
With video games immersive and interactive experiences captivating audiences like never, Treehouse Games announced the launch of its gaming studio that designs interactive, cooperative games instead of narrative-based single-player games. Treehouse Games is currently building its first game and the team is hard at work to translate the feeling of doing something with/for others into the gameplay. At a time where society is longing for social connections, even if virtual, and with American video game usage increased by 75 percent during the quarantine, Treehouse Games is poised to make an impact.
CEO Michael Chu tells us more about building games that focus on cooperation rather than competition, the challenge of fundraising during COVID-19, and the company’s upcoming plans.
The most common mistake brands make is believing that running an online store simply equals having an e-commerce platform. However, successful brands know that building, operating, and scaling a direct-to-consumer channel requires so much more than that. Multiple departments need to align with the right infrastructure, expertise, tools, and operations – something that, traditionally, retailers were bringing to the table, not brands. Scalefast is the all-in-one e-commerce solution that enables brands to launch, manage, and maintain their own direct-to-consumer platform. CEO Nicolas Stehle walks us through the company’s inspiration, traction, and funding round from investors that include FJ Labs, Xplorer Capital, Benhamou Global Ventures, Stereo Capital, and Adara Ventures
It has been said that trust is the real flaw of the banking system. Inevitably counterparties must outsource their trust in each other to the bank as an intermediary, and with recent headlines, we can see that consumer confidence in banks is weakening.
No more canary in a coal mine. Datch is the AI-powered voice assistant for the mining, manufacturing, and utility sectors. Mark Fosdike, a first-time founder and CEO of Datch, walks us through the practical application of Datch’s technology in industry, raising as a first-time founder in a new country, and the company’s recent funding round from investors that include Plug and Play Ventures, Stage Venture Partners, Acceleprise, Tuhua Ventures, and Predictive Venture Partners.
With COVID-19 spreading rapidly throughout the nation, summer travel plans have been halted and people are planning to spend more time at home and in their backyards. The demand for outdoor furniture, grills, and patio heaters is surging. Outer is an innovative direct-to-consumer outdoor furniture brand that’s meeting this demand. CEO and Cofounder Jiake Liu walks us through how the brand is adapting to the pandemic, the company’s plan to expand its line, and latest funding round from prominent LA investors and operators that include Mucker Capital, Wavemaker, George Ruan, Eddy Lu, Nick Green, Ariel Kaye, and Mark Geller.
A look at how businesses can transform their TVs from background noise to short-form entertainment that could increase revenue in a Post-COVID-19 world.
While working at the largest 529 provider in the United States, Ksenia Yudina saw firsthand the inefficiencies with the process of setting up college savings plans. She launched UNest to make it more accessible for parents to start saving for college without complex paperwork and exorbitant cost. With UNest, parents can set up 529 plans in less than 5 minutes and it only costs $3M per month. Yudina shares more about the UNest’s mission, the company’s impressive growth, and recent funding round from investors that include Anthos Capital, Baron Davis, Northwestern Mutual Ventures, Artemis Fund, Draper Dragon, and Unlock Ventures.