Startups news: what happened in August

A little bit about giants as Shopify and Apple, and a lot about startups.

Shopify rolled out Shopify Collabs, which is designed to introduce merchants to content creators. Shopify says once a creator has applied and been granted access to a Collabs account, they can start looking for brands that are relevant to their audience.

  • Creators will be able to promote a brand’s products via Shopify’s link in bio tool Linkpop, which was introduced in March.
  • Merchants can track critical information such as order status and inventory from their Shopify admin page.
  • Creators will be paid via PayPal.
  • Currently, Shopify Collabs is only accessible to merchants and creators in the U.S. and Canada.

Apple could introduce advertising in its Apple Maps, Podcasts, and Books apps, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. Before, Apple’s policy allowed users to disable tracking tools advertisers use for targeted ads.

Gorgias, a customer service support platform for e-commerce firms, raised $30M at a $710M valuation. The company’s tools are used by over 10,000 online stores, up from 4,500 in Dec. 2020, when it raised $25M at a $305M valuation. CEO Romain Lapeyre said e-commerce sales growth has slowed down since 2020, and companies have begun trying to generate more revenue from their current customers as acquisition costs for new ones have risen and produced lower margins. The service offers tools and integrations that allow you to provide support in a single window mode, right in the user channel, without the need to open the store’s CRM, which automates and regulates the work of customer support.

VidMob helping brands track and optimize the performance of their creative advertising campaigns, raised $110M in financing. Growth, demand, media, and creative teams can now have direct access to VidMob’s powerful suite of integrated analytics, creative automation, production workflows, and creative talent network. WebEngage ($14M) offers CDP, Omnichannel Campaign Manager and Web & App Personalization Engine – to help brands boost their revenue from existing customers.

Northbeam ($15M), a machine-learning platform that helps e-commerce brands measure their marketing. Northbeam helps customers understand the ROI of their marketing and then delivers actionable insights to drive profitable growth. Brands get a clearer picture of their customers’ buying behavior across all channels, including influencers, owned media, TV, podcasts, press, and direct mail.

Take App creates a shopping cart website that can be linked to the user’s bio, and the ordering and sale of goods is done through WhatsApp. The shop can be created in 15 min, each product is added in 5 min. For a small product assortment this is a good quick fix for $9 per month.

Phyllo ($15M) is a toolkit for cloud service providers targeting creative economy players. After the developers add a few Phyllo API calls to their service, the service will be able to receive statistics of their clients from all the platforms (800 platforms for 20 different types of content creators). The creative economy is growing and it is expected that already in 2023 its size will reach 985 billion dollars. And this means that services that will begin to offer financial services to players in the creative economy will grow well.

The embedded finance market is growing faster than the fintech services market. Clara ($150M) embeds finance into accounting and ERP systems for companies. Sabipay ($5.5M)  adds embedded finance to Nigerian invoicing app for small businesses. Fi.Money ($17M) makes a mobile wallet in India and embeds cashback and offers from ecommerce and banks into it. Fi is a financial app that comes with an in-built savings account, Fi helps you know your money, grow your money and organise your funds, it has many smart tools in the app for investing and saving.

BNPL service for Atome ($10M) beauty and clothing store with popular brands in Singapore.

Reversso ($1.1M) is a platform through which an online store can help its customers return and exchange items that do not suit them. As soon as the online store connects Reversso to itself, each customer of the store has a portal – by going to which he can quickly return or exchange goods purchased in this store, while 72% of buyers agree to an exchange instead of a refund.

BuyEazzy ($1.30M) is an online group shopping app for women. Shop with your friends and avail discounts on lastest fashion trends and designs at lowest prices. In reality, the project allows you to create your own showcase on the marketplace from the presented goods in the form of a separate page and show it to your friends through referral links and QR codes and earn money when they buy in the usual place. In general, this carries a powerful social effect of interacting with your friends.

Here is a new bunch of fresh rounds.

Chinese e-commerce giant Pinduoduo will enter the U.S. market in September.

Lionize ($4.5M) helps brands, agencies, and social media teams manage every aspect of the Influencer Marketing lifecycle. Project finds profiles of influencers, sends offers and organizes interaction with them, collects reports and makes payments.

Duel ($3M) similarly to Lionize organizes brand interaction with influencers and bloggers, but unlike the previous one, it gathers brand ambassadors using offers in the form of widgets on the brand’s website, so any site visitor can become a brand advocate for a fee.

Hello Clever ($1.92M) is a new shop-to-earn ecosystem connecting individuals & businesses – making shopping, payments & money management easier for all. On the one hand, the platform provides payment instruments for the seller, on the other hand, it provides integration with the buyer’s account. It works only in Australia, but has already connected 10 million customers and created integrations for popular e-commerce platforms.

Roleshare ($1.2M) matches freelancers, part-time and fractional workers to job share, helping companies retain and attract coveted skills and talent. The project offers an innovative approach to doing the work. Two people can work in one position, for example, one before lunch, the second after lunch. It doesn’t look unusual for the digital world, because a remote worker can also hire an assistant who will work under his account instead of him.

Credify ($1M) is an SDK and API for embedding BNPL, microloans, insurance, cashbacks into merchant services and provides the ability for financial organizations to provide services to customers through their connection. Credify solution enables financial industry participants to connect with consumers at the right time in the right way. ($1.6M) is a product management suite that brings all the things needed to define, manage, and collaborate on your product at one place. Zeda is CRM for product managers

CreatorDAO($20М) a decentralized community that invests in creators by providing capital, technology, and operational support.

More examples. BeatBread is an investment in aspiring musicians. In February they raised $34M. For YouTubers, there is a similar startup Spotter, for entrepreneurs – Entrepreneur First, for Roblox developers – Infinite Canvas.

Lal10 ($5.5M), an Indian B2B platform for sourcing one-of-one artisan products. Currently, Lal10 has a supply base of over 2200 verified MSMEs and 45,000 digitized products from Tier II, III, and IV belts in India utilising the tech-enabled full-stack platform to digitise their inventories for global wholesale, get skilled with contemporary design trends, and source raw materials directly from factories.

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