[Consumer Physics in Near Eastern Agriculture] Consumer Physics Launches New Dry Matter Analyser To Optimise Silage Harvesting

“We bring lab-level accuracy to the farm, with added simplicity,” said Terry AllenConsumer Physics’ North America head of business development. “The process is instant and simple – fill up SCiO Cup with green chop or silage, click the button once, and get results on your phone within ten seconds.”

Read more here.

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GoDaddy Launches First .GoDaddy Website

 DomainInvesting.com: In April of this year, GoDaddy announced that it would be acquiring Neustar’s registry business. Neustar has operated and offers back-end services for more than 215 domain name extensions, including .US, .CO, .NYC, .Biz, and a number of other extensions. The acquisition closed yesterday, and the Neustar registry business is now…

APEX Ventures launches €50 million fund for early-stage digital health startups

Today APEX Ventures has announced launching its second fund, focusing on digital health startups. The fund will back seed stage deep-tech companies with defendable IP. APEX Ventures invests in exceptional talented teams who are committed to improving patient outcomes and lives, and firmly believes that diversity and inclusion are key to building a strong community of entrepreneurs. 

The announcement follows a successful few weeks for APEX Ventures, which saw an exit for portfolio company ‘contextflow’ and the completion of four new investments in the areas of digital pathology, radiology and neurology. 

The fund will be headed by partner Gordon Euller, a qualified doctor and radiologist who has previously worked at AKH, Vienna’s General Hospital, as well as at McKinsey in London. “COVID-19 demonstrates to us worldwide how vulnerable our medical systems and processes are, particularly regarding capacity. These issues can only be solved by new innovative technologies as well as generous and wise investments in this asset category,” said Euller.

Founded in 2017, to date most of APEX Ventures’ investments have been made in the DACH region, through its Austrian base. With APEX Digital Health, the focus area will expand from DACH-based companies, to those based in the rest of Europe, Israel and the US. 

Venture partner Kelly Klein has recently joined the Fund to head up the firm’s activities in Israel. “Digital health is really prospering in Israel,” says Klein, “and one way this is done is by leveraging its medical data; Israel has 25 years of data and 90% of this is digitalised. One of the most important things once an Israeli startup gets funding is to internationalise it, and APEX can help to expand in the US, Europe and Asia.” 

In addition, APEX Ventures will shortly issue a call (along with the Herman Hauser Investment Group) for the best European startups in the strategic areas of In-silico trials and AI supported healthcare data marketplaces.


Sav launches domain sales landers with 4% commission

Company seeks market share with low commissions.

Sav landing page for CivilForfeiture.com domain

Sav’s for sale landing page.

Domain name registrar Sav has launched a new marketplace for domain investors to sell domains through for-sale landing pages.

The company has two key selling points for its marketplace: low commissions and an optimized lander.

Sav charges just 4% of the sales price, effectively giving the service away for free when you consider credit card payment processing fees. Compare this to 7.5% for Squadhelp and 9% for DAN.com.  (It’s worth noting that neither Squadhelp nor Sav currently protect against chargebacks. Sav founder Anthos Chrysanthou said the company is looking to guarantee payments in the future.)

Sav says it tested landers across hundreds of thousands of domains and one (pictured) stood out from the rest of the pack in terms of conversion rates.

Domain investors need to apply to join the beta. I signed up today to test it and found it very simple to use. Note that all domains must be priced.

Sav has made inroads into the domain investor community since launching last year. Key selling points include low registration fees, free SSL, and no-fee backordering. The low-commission sales option should help it attract more domain name investors.



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Facebook launches commerce and connectivity-focused accelerator programs

Facebook launched two 12-week accelerator programs for startups on Monday as the social juggernaut looks for new ideas and solutions to expand its commerce and connectivity efforts.

Facebook’s Commerce Accelerator will select 60 startups from the EMEA and LATAM regions for the program, the company said. The startups that make the cut will explore building shopping solutions to drive commerce inside Facebook’s family of apps.

“Our goal is to make shopping seamless and empower anyone from an entrepreneur to the largest brand to use our apps to connect with customers,” wrote Michael Huang, Head of Startup Programs at Facebook, in a blog post.

The company said a recent global survey it conducted in partnership with the OECD and World Bank found that at least a third of small to medium-sized businesses on Facebook reported 25% or more of their sales being made digitally in the past month.

“With so many sales being made online, the importance of intuitive and positive e-commerce experiences for customers has become even greater,” the company said in a statement.

The other accelerator program, called Connectivity, will feature 30 startups from the LATAM and North America (Americas) regions. These startups will be tasked with developing affordable connectivity solutions that make internet access available in more places and to at least 100,000 additional people.

Facebook said through these accelerator programs it aims to provide local development opportunities for entrepreneurs. The company holds one or two similar accelerator programs each year in some markets. In total, the company has launched accelerator programs in 11 countries to date.

The coronavirus pandemic, which has forced Facebook to conduct the accelerator programs virtually this year, has “exposed the hard truth of the digital divide and the critical need for reliable, affordable internet connectivity,” wrote Huang.

Participating startups will gain access to cost-free training, 1:1 mentorship, and access to Facebook products, its expertise and access to a global network of startup peers and successful founders. But the company is not offering monetary benefits to startups —  something it has in some of its previous accelerator programs — at accelerators announced on Monday.

Startups interested in either of the accelerator programs can submit their application.

“At Facebook, we strongly believe that by connecting, training, and growing entrepreneurs and startups through our programs, we can empower people to solve relevant, meaningful problems. We aim to build products that billions of people can use and benefit from,” Huang wrote.

Facebook has long focused on connectivity efforts, but its interest in commerce is relatively new. In May, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg unveiled Facebook Shops to make it easier for companies to list their products on Facebook and Instagram.

Startups – TechCrunch

[Nexa3D in 3D Printing Media Network] Nexa3D launches xCLEAN, an eco-friendly cleaning solvent for resin-based 3D printers

Nexa3D is introducing – with immediate commercial availability – xCLEAN, an effective and environmentally friendly washing solvent that is designed to work consistently with most photopolymer 3D printers and resin systems available on the market.

Read more here.

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Luxembourg-based ANote Music launches its music royalties blockchain investment platform

Today ANote Music, a European marketplace for investing in music royalties, has officially launched its investment platform, following a pre-order sale by Irma Records that generated over €140K in auction bids. The platform presents music rights as a new investment category for both retail and institutional investors, allowing users to invest in music, own rights from content creators, and earn returns through the royalties that are generated over time.

Founded in 2018, and built using blockchain technology, ANote Music provides a secure and transparent platform for artists, record labels and publishers to become financially independent, offering immediate access to funding through the sale of music rights, while keeping 100% of their artistic control. 

How does it work? ANote Music offers the rights from artist catalogues to investors through an auction system. Once the auction closes and upon successful bidding, investors receive the shares of rights and can then trade with others on ANote Music’s secondary market at prices determined by supply and demand. On behalf of investors, ANote Music manages royalties and ensures that investors receive royalty (cash) flows generated by the underlying asset. 

ANote Music currently has listed assets valued at €357K. In addition to the assets listed from Irma Records, new assets come from Italian publisher Benvenuto Edizioni Musicali, which includes songs performed by Laura Pausini, Ivana Spagna, Caparreza, Adriano Celentano, Paola & Chiara, Marco Masini and Sugarfree. Music has also been listed from renowned Polish artists Tomasz Lubert and Piotr Konca.

Marzio Schena, CEO and co-founder at ANote Music, said, “Investors have been starved of accessible ways to invest directly in the music industry. By opening up music royalties as an alternative asset class, we are showcasing the hidden benefits and value in owning music. By launching our investment platform, we endeavour to make music royalties globally accessible to all in a marketplace that bridges the gap between the music industry and capital markets.”

Roberto Bonizzoni, otherwise known as Roby Benvenuto, CEO of Benvenuto Edizioni Musicali publishing company, said, “ANote Music is the kind of project that can give a huge boost to the music industry. I am happy to partner with them and bring the Benvenuto Edizioni Musicali publishing catalogue to the retail investors and music fans alike. With songs in this catalogue performed by some of the biggest international artists, I’m excited to see how the auction will perform.”

Massimo Benini, CEO of IRMA Records, added, “I’m glad to have given our trust to ANote Music by offering our catalogue as the first to their platform. Not only has it raised €150K during the pre-order period alone, it has also generated an increase in the number of streams. It just proves the potential this project has, and I am looking forward to seeing what the future will bring.”

ANote Music’s catalogue selection consists of artists with a minimum of three years stable earnings, guaranteeing a worthwhile, secure, and reliable investment for users. All assets undergo a thorough due diligence process in order to determine valuations. 


[Consumer Physics in No-Till Farmer] Consumer Physics Launches Portable Dry Matter Analyzer

Ag-tech company Consumer Physics, is introducing SCiO Cup – the world’s fastest, portable, lab-grade forage dry matter analyzer. The smartphone-operated device transforms feed analysis by enabling frequent dry matter analysis. SCiO Cup enables on-farm decision making ensuring consistent dry matter intake and reducing feed leftovers. In addition, SCiO Cup can be used on-field for planning silage harvest timing at optimal moisture levels.

Read more here.

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Italian VC Lumen Ventures launches a €25 million fund for innovative tech startups

Rome and London-based Lumen Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm, has launched its approx. €25 million maiden fund. After obtaining authorization from the Bank of Italy as the first Simple Investment Company (SiS) in Italy, Lumen Ventures begins its adventure of investing in tech SMEs and startups with high growth potential.

So what is a Simple Investment Company (SiS)? In Italy the ‘SiS’ is a lean investment vehicle, and was legally introduced for the first time in 2019. It is aimed at raising capital from private individuals to boost innovation, via venture capital. SiS are allowed to collect resources of up to a maximum of €25 million, for investments in unlisted small and medium-sized enterprises that are in the experimentation, establishment and startup phase.

Lumen Ventures has fulfilled all the criteria to become a SiS, and therefore now launches its around €21.5 million fund. The finance will be to be invested over four years into a number of sectors, including fintech, insurtech, healthtech, and foodtech. They are looking for early stage startups to meet their ‘criteria of excellence’, regarding business model and growth potential. 

Startups receiving funding can expect to receive support to launch both in the Italian and wider European markets, coming from a young team of investors who have experience as entrepreneurs themselves.

Lumen Ventures CEO and founder Davide Fioranelli, former founder of Freetrade in London, said: “I firmly believe there are Italian business realities being in no way inferior to similar examples from abroad. Therefore, I decided to embark on the Lumen Ventures challenging project in my home country, putting to good use the skills I gained in London first as the founder of a startup myself and then as an investor. I designed Lumen Ventures together with an under-30s team, that has already invested in a number of startups, preferring the simple investment company as a vehicle. “A solid experience in the field” Fioranelli continues “is for us essential to support startups. Without having operated in the front line, it is difficult to understand the real needs of those entering the market: this is certainly the added value of Lumen Ventures single investment company. We are industry agnostic, but we expect to benefit from Fintech’s experience looking in a first instance at the Healthcare, Foodtech and Insurtech sectors.”


Berlin-based startup Grover launches its own e-scooter model on a monthly subscription basis

Mobility post the coronavirus is an important topic, which is still being figured out. However, solutions for last mile connectivity are now being introduced. From electric bicycles to e-scooters, there are a host of options available for a safer last-mile commute. The Berlin-based startup Grover rents out consumer electronics and they recently started offering e-scooters as well. Now, the company has gone a step further to launch its own-branded e-scooter.

GroverGo: Monthly e-scooter subscription service

Since lockdown is now lifted, e-scooters are now making a return to the European micro mobility scene. The startup Grover is also offering its new e-scooter that is aimed at providing a personal mode of transportation that enables people to practise social distancing and avoid enclosed spaces. The new model was launched after Grover used customer survey insights to discover that monthly e-scooter subscribers use their scooters for daily, essential trips rather than spontaneous and leisure rides. 

Grover’s new e-scooter has a 25km range to enable daily short and medium-length trips to and from work or university. It weighs just under 13kg, is foldable and can be stored away as well. Grover’s e-scooter is available on Grover.com starting at a monthly subscription fee of €24,90 when one selects the 12-month subscription plan. It will be delivered to the customer’s door. Grover assures that like all its rental products, subscribers are on the safe side in case of accidental damage as ‘Grover Care’ is said to cover 90 percent of the repair costs.

“In the past months we’ve seen that compact, light-weight e-scooters with slightly shorter ranges are popular amongst our subscribers,” says Grover’s CEO and Founder Michael Cassau. “Grover’s e-scooter is our answer to people’s changing mobility habits. Especially now, post-coronavirus, our e-scooter is the perfect alternative to public transport and the well-known pay-per-ride services, allowing subscribers to go beyond the last mile and reach their daily destinations quickly and conveniently, all while avoiding shared spaces or surfaces.”

Focussing a bit more on e-scooters

Grover is a Berlin-based startup that was founded by Michael Cassau, which was launched back in 2015. The company offers a pay-as-you-go subscription model for various tech consumer products. Back in January this year, the company closed a new asset-backed financing deal, to bump up its total funding to €250 million and said that the new funds will be used to expand the company’s product range and purchasing assets. 

After offering e-scooters of other manufacturers on a subscription basis, the company is now focussing a bit more on the segment with its own e-scooters. This makes sense since e-scooters demand can be expected to shoot up in a post covid world.

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Startups – Silicon Canals