Startups news: what happened in July

The global venture capital market slows, but still we have a lot of news. Here they are.

➡️ ​​A study by Accenture found that the $492B global social commerce industry is expected to grow three times as fast as traditional ecommerce to $1.2 trillion by 2025.

In light of the above Social commerce startup Flip raised $60M at a $500M valuation.

Flip enables Shoppers watch shoppable, user-generated, 60-second videos about different products, with one-click checkout and same-day shipping, according to a press release. Shoppers also have the opportunity to become creators by sharing their own video reviews, with the potential to monetize them via community engagement and having shoppers click-through. 

More:

  • Flip has raised $95M since its inception in 2021.
  • Its user base has risen by 500% this year, while total transactions are up more than 600% to undisclosed amounts.
  • Flip’s platform has a product catalog that includes 500 brands, namely Olaplex, Supergoop, Youth to the People, Honest Beauty, and Tata Harper.

➡️ Conversational commerce, a term coined by former Uber employee Chris Messina in 2015. This trend is going aline with Social Ecommerce trend. The global market of conversational commerce, also known as chat commerce or conversational marketing, is expected to increase to $290 billion by 2025, up from $41 billion in 2021, representing a 590% rise for the next four years, according to a report by Juniper Research.  Conversational commerce implies companies usage of live chats, messaging apps, chatbots, voice assistants and more to encourage their consumers to part with their cash. As part of that broader movement, the mighty WhatsApp, a dominant force in the messaging world, has been pushing deeper into the business arena with myriad tools to connect retailers with customers — from product catalogs and collections, to shopping carts and Instagram Shops integration.

A quick peek around the world reveals a flurry of activity in the conversational commerce space, with the likes of Whym, Zeals, Yalo  and Wizard all recently raising funds to target markets in Asia or the Americas. Elsewhere, Vonage snapped up Singapore-based conversational commerce company Jumper

Last week, Charles raises $20M to bring conversational commerce to WhatsApp in Europe. Charles pitches itself as a full, end-to-end product spanning backend and interface, connecting the APIs from messaging services such as WhatsApp with popular e-commerce and CRM (customer relationship management) systems like Shopify and Salesforce. Then, businesses can sell products, send newsletters and offer follow-on support. While the sales and service aspect is to be expected from any conversational commerce software, the newsletter facet is an interesting addition.

➡️ Meta supports the trend of Conversational commerce, and will roll out a new “payments in chat” feature, enabling users to purchase items from some small businesses in the U.S. via Instagram DMs. (Conversational commerce?) Once a user expresses interest in buying something, companies can request payment, and users will be shown a prompt that lets them complete their purchase.

More:

  • Users will also be able to track their orders and ask follow-up questions.
  • The feature is available for businesses that don’t use Instagram Shops.
  • Users have to pay using Meta Pay, and the payment is processed by PayPal.
  • Meta revealed that 1 billion people communicate with a business through one of its messaging platforms every week.

➡️ Search in internet has evolved over time. Ten years ago we’d get most of our answers from Google. According to Insider and Google’s Knowledge & Information team, “nearly half of Gen Z is using TikTok and Instagram for search instead of Google” when looking for a spot to eat. Mark Zuckerberg announced yesterday Instagram is introducing a searchable map which allows users to explore popular tagged locations around them and filter location results by specific categories including restaurants, cafes and beauty salons.

The past week has shown that creating understandable products in large markets allows rising good rounds. The most bright examples are below.   

➡️ Bloom 

Round: $6.5M 

Bloom (Sudan), a digital banking platform that offers high-yield returns for savings: $6.5M Seed round financed by Visa, Y-Combinator and other funds and numerous angel investors.

➡️ X1 Card

Round: $25M

X1 Card (California), a smart credit card company that offers users reward programs, smart limits, and other automated features: $25M

  • In the beta stages, the firm has already racked up $50M in monthly transaction volume and is projected to hit $1B in annualized spend by the end of this year.
  • There are 500,000 users on the company’s waitlist for the smart credit card.
  • The USP of X1’s card is that it can offer consumers a five-fold higher credit limit than traditional credit cards with no annual fees since it evaluates applicants based on their income rather than their credit ratings.

➡️ Spiritt 

Round: $5M seed

Spiritt, a platform that allows users to build an app simply by describing it to a chatbot. 

➡️ Residently

Round: $5.3M

Residently, an online home rental platform that lets users make offers, view listings, make deposits, and view their houses.

➡️ Morgen

Round: $1.02 million, July 12, 2022

Morgen merges user calendars, to do’s, productivity apps and schedulers so users can stop flipping between calendars, apps and browser tabs, and just get work done. Synchronize Google Calendar, Outlook, iCloud, CalDAV and more. So far, none of the calendars dominates the market, and will not dominate, as a result, the target audience that uses various calendars and devices will only increase.

➡️ Okendo

Round: $26M, July 14, 2022

Okendo is a set of features for creating and managing user-generated content, including ratings and reviews, user-generated content, questions and answers. Omnichannel marketing in Google Search, Google Shopping, Facebook и Instagram. Collecting and adding user content to the description of your marketplace allows you to become a unique platform for goods, and not a simple catalogue.

➡️ Proto

Round: $4.27 million, July 15, 2022

Proto is an AI constructor of chatbots with multilingual natural language processing. The project automates customer support with online no-code chatbots via WhatsApp, Facebook, SMS, Messenger, Zalo, Telegram, MS Teams, Webchat, and more.

➡️ Medusa

Round: $7.99M, July 15, 2022

Medusa is an online store as-API. Any marketplace can be presented as a set of user actions (choose a product, add to cart, pay, etc.), and not just as an interface. Any action can be described using a set of functions, and functions as an endpoint.

There is also the Gordian project. It provides for airline companies with a set of APIs with which they can sell their additional services, and not just flight tickets on third-party sites. Last Round: $25M, 19.07.2022.

➡️ Priori

Round: $15M, July 20, 2022

LegalTech! Marketplace! Priori is the global legal marketplace for in-house teams. It uses data and technology to rapidly connect legal departments from 1 to 1000+ with the right outside counsel for projects globally, saving them time and money.

➡️ WESAVE

Round: $500K, July 20, 2022

WeSave is a new Socially Responsible e-commerce platform.  WeSave has partnered with 2500 of your favourite stores with exceptional prices on over 90 million name brand products. WeSave is a profit-sharing model. You get cash back for each purchase. You get cash when your friends purchase. 

➡️ Quint Workspaces

Round: $2.12M, July 18, 2022

Another furniture marketplace. Feature in personalization for the client.

➡️ Roomless

Round: $1.52M, July 18, 2022

More one Airn Bnb All Inclusive in trend of nomad economy.

➡️ PodcastOne

Round: $8.10 million, July 15, 2022

Podcast One is a distribution platform for podcast creators.

➡️ Ghost — this is a marketplace where sellers and manufacturers can wholesale goods that have been stale in their warehouses. Not only discounters, but also ordinary retailers and international distributors can buy such goods. Sellers can limit the visibility of their products, for example, so that competitors cannot see them. Last round: $13M, 07/18/2022. What is interesting in the project? Ghost reached $1 million a day in less than a year. The reason is simple, just selling wholesale in B2B. It was only necessary to find a large warehouse and connect large discounters that can also sell their warehouse.

➡️ Contentsquare

Round: $200M, July 21, 2022

Contentsquare offers a variety of web analytics solutions to help you make better decisions. It’s one thing to look at numbers with tables, it’s another thing to see a graph, pictures and anomalies in a beautiful design. Web analytics is becoming more complex, the tools for it are simpler.

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