Greetings again from the Harbour City. Amazing to think roughly 7 weeks away from the “summer” break for Xmas. Being a native North American it does still seem a bit odd to think of Xmas and New Year’s Day occurring during the summer. Dealing with balmy temperatures instead of the relative cold I experienced growing up in Seattle during that time of the year.
In my last article I looked at growing tech trends to look for in 2021. Initially the article was to include hot digital startups too. But I realised that would have made the piece a bit lengthy and the purpose of a blog is to provide snippets of info. You’re not reading Digital Fixation because you’re looking for volumes of information. You’re here for a bit of info and my witty writing style correct? Without that being said here’s a look at some tech startups worth checking out:
Snackpass (e-commerce, $23.1M in funding thus far)
Is everyone familiar with Netscape? To the “elderly” Internet users among us it was our first conduit to the online world. A solid Internet browser that served its purpose before being hammered by Microsoft Internet Explorer. The founder of Netscape, Marc Andreessen’s venture capital company “Andreesen Horowitz” has provided the 23.1 million to found the operations of Snackpass. Essentially Snackpass is a social media app that makes ordering food more convenient and social. Who can argue with that? In addition to its convenience Snackpass is relatively inexpensive and geared towards college students. During the pandemic, Snackpass offered free use of their service for a period of four months.
SurveyAuto (funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)
The mere fact that Bill Gates has provided funding for this growing company has to be a good thing, right? It also has the distinction of being the first startup from Pakistan to receive funding from Bill Gates. SurveyAuto relies on a crowdsourcing model and relies on Machine Learning to decide on who reports data, where it’s collected and when and how often it’s reported. Their unique business model is relying on individuals locals with smartphones to report data opposed to comparably expensive research teams.
Eyeware ($1.9M in funding)
This Switzerland based company develops 3D eye tracking software that enables machines to understand and analyse human attention. It’s able to accurately detect where a human happens to be looking. In a nutshell the User is able to control interfaces with their eye-gaze. Doesn’t that sound quite compelling? And the product is one that could have many implications in industries like gaming, automotive, robotics and marketing. It was recently rated the 3rd most innovative ICT startup in Switzerland.
Dapper Labs ($51M in funding)
Remember my mention of Andreesen Horowitz? They’ve also provided the funding for this Vancouver, Canada based startup. They’ve also received up to $12 million in funding from a number of NBA players. Dapper Labs uses a Flow Blockchain that’s built for fun and games and supports digital collectibles. Their signature product is CryptoKitties, which allows players to purchase, collect and breed virtual cats. This clearly struck a chord with the many cat lovers out there. The NBA players have signed on to fund a product known as NBA Top Shot, a collectible featuring top highlights of your favourite teams. As a Laker fan this certainly holds lots of interest for me.
Kitopi ($89M in funding)
It’s properly pronounced as “Kee-Toh-Pee” and is short for Kitchen Utopia. This Dubai based startup is a state of the art managed kitchen platform that’s hosted in the cloud with over 1k employees across the Middle East. The business model is referred to as “Kitchen As a Service” (KaaS). And the platform enables restaurants to open delivery-only locations by providing the necessary infrastructure and software with minimal capital expenditures and time. Recently CNN covered Kitopi and referred to it as a “Ghost Kitchen”, one that’s really taken off during the pandemic. To use an example a chain like Pizza Hut will outsource the production of their product to Kitopi, they provide the recipes, provide training on how to prepare the food and Kitopi will cover the end-to end operation. Somewhat similar to a more traditional franchise operation. The company plans to expand into the US and the UK also in the near future.
Sendbird ($102M in funding)
Sendbird is a fully customisable chat and messaging service for mobile and web based applications. It’s SDK (Software Development Kit) enables developers to build, scale and maintain relatively complex messaging and chat platforms. Using Sendbird can provide a way for companies to incorporate internal messaging channels within their apps. They currently have customers in up to 150 countries and are taking off in industry verticals such as gaming, e-commerce and on-demand services.
If you’re familiar with any of these companies what are your opinions of them? And looking forward to 2021, what other top tech startups would our audience recommend we review? I know there’s a plethora of businesses and opportunities as a whole that we can discuss. There’s always a niche or several that can be commercialised even within the recent chaotic times. That’s the irony of life. Drop us a line here and provide feedback. Until then take care and enjoy the Digital Fixation 🙂