20-50% of help desk calls are in reference to password resets. 80% of cybersecurity attacks are focused on passwords. 92% of businesses believe passwordless authentication is the future of business. HYPR makes a passwordless future a reality with its multi-factor authentication platform that provides industry-leading security without the hassle of remembering passwords. The company focuses on delivering a better user experience with the convenience of smartphones combined with the security of a smart card. The immense shift to work from home has only further accelerated the need for modern security solutions in a remote world and HYPR has been able to more than triple its ARR since its previous funding in the fall of 2019. AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounder and CEO George Avetisov to learn more about the impact the pandemic has on the state of security, the company’s impressive traction, growth plans, and latest round of funding led by Advent International.
According to the NIH, 71% of college students reported that stress and anxiety had increased due to COVID. Some of the most common stressors identified were concern over personal and familial health, difficulty concentrating, disruptive sleeping patterns, and decreased social interactions. However, only 5% of these respondents reported using mental health counseling services. Mantra Health is a digital mental health platform that partners with universities and colleges to make mental healthcare accessible to these students. The company offers at its core, a telehealth platform that provides students with access to licensed psychiatrists and therapy providers in the Mantra network and a back-end platform that allows the university to refer and monitor their students’ cases, supported by a robust EHR system. Students can now access vetted providers in minutes rather than weeks without worrying about cost; payment is a blend of insurance and university-sponsored. Mantra is live at campuses across six states presently with plans to provide nationwide coverage before the fall semester. AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounder & CEO Ed Gaussen to learn more about the importance of making mental health accessible for college students, the company’s future expansion plans, and recent seed extension from investors that include Canaan Partners, City Light Capital, and Baleon Capital, and Dr. Nitin Nanda.
The pandemic has increased the adoption of digital technologies for a number of industries. But this adoption isn’t necessarily symmetric for all industries, especially mom and pop independent pizzerias that have traditionally shied away from technology. Slice empowers these businesses by enabling them to harness the power of technology at a time when these restaurants need it the most. At its core, the company features an end-to-end ordering and marketing platform that helps local pizzerias build their digital and online presence in order to address the preferences of today’s digital consumers. The company also offers “Slice Register” (a proprietary POS system), a networked rewards/loyalty platform for pizza lovers, and an acceleration program that invests directly into technology for its partners. Supporting pizzerias on the front end is the consumer app that allows users to order directly from and support over 15,000 pizzerias. Slice charges a nominal, flat per-order fee, saving these pizzerias from the onerous, hefty commissions charged by third-party apps that are percentage-based. By its estimate, the company has already saved its partners over $250M in fees. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Founder Ilir Sela to learn more about the immense impact Slice has on not only pizzerias but also local economies, the value that selecting the right investors has had on the company’s trajectory, latest round of funding from investors that include Cross Creek, Dick Costolo and Adam Bain of 01 Advisors, GGV Capital, KKR, and Primary Venture Partners.
The most effective treatment for cancer relies on early detection as this is before cancer has spread and is easiest to remove. The prognosis becomes bleaker when cancer has metastasized, referred to as Stage 4, and becomes difficult to control and cure. Therapies have traditionally been focused on treating primary cancer locations but these therapies are ineffective when cancer hasn’t been contained. Volastra Therapeutics is focused on developing cutting-edge therapies for chromosomal instability (CIN), an aberration from the normal 46 chromosomes. When CIN occurs, it’s one of the conduits that causes cancer to spread. Using a blend of machine learning, imaging, and bioinformatics to identify CIN, the Harlem-based company is able to pinpoint which cancers have a high likelihood of spreading and develop therapeutics accordingly. AlleyWatch caught up with Charles Hugh-Jones, MD to learn more about how Volstra’s technology is helping develop new therapeutics, future strategic plans, and recent seed extension round from investors that include Vida Ventures, Catalio Capital Management, Polaris Partners, Droia Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, and Quark Venture.
Americans have an insatiable appetite for snacks and the idleness of the pandemic has only increased our yearning for snacks. There are countless subscription services for snack boxes and many of these companies offer gifting services to expand their market share beyond their primary customers. Recipients of a gift snack box never know what they are going to get until now. SnackMagic is a customizable snack box gifting service that allows the recipient to choose the contents of the box. All the sender needs to know is the amount they’d like to spend and the email address of the receiver. The company emerged out of a pandemic-induced pivot from a corporate lunch delivery service and is on track for a $20M ARR. SnackMagic focuses on edible gifts presently with plans to expand to meal kits, alcoholic beverages, desserts, and swag. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Shaunak Amin to learn more about the company’s pivot, traction, future plans, and recent round of funding led by Craft Ventures.
The pandemic has accelerated the digital shift in many industries and healthcare has been a primary beneficiary. While the rise in telehealth comes top of mind, there have been a number of innovative IoT technologies that have been deployed during the pandemic to keep patients safer and care continuously like remote tracking of insulin levels and pacemakers or non-surgical robotics used for contactless disinfection. This has led to an increase in the number of connected devices being deployed in the field and ultimately these devices need to be secure. Cylera is a comprehensive cybersecurity and intelligent platform focused on IoT in the healthcare industry. The company focuses on asset management, risk analysis, and threat detection so that healthcare organizations can be safeguarded against any vulnerabilities as the adoption of devices increases. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Timur Ozekcin to learn more about the inspiration for the business, the state of the healthcare IoT market, and the company’s recent funding from Concord Health Partners and Maverick Ventures, Contour Venture Partners, Two Sigma Ventures, Dreamit Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Red Bear Angels, and Samsung NEXT.
Freight forwarding and logistics have long been an industry that relies on disparate workflows, heavily reliant on a pen and paper model despite trillions of dollars of annual trade. The pandemic has led to an increase in digital adoption as the need to continue commerce superseded the industry’s traditional unwillingness towards anything digital. Nuvocargo is an all-in-one digital platform that’s focused on cross-border trade between the US and Mexico, a $600B+/yr market. The company offers freight forwarding, customs brokerage, insurance, and is also looking to make a mark in trade financing. Supporting businesses with unprecedented transparency and efficiency, the company grew revenue 25X during the pandemic with plans to expand its geographic footprint and headcount. AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounder and CEO Deepak Chhugani to learn more about how his own personal paint point with his family’s business led to the need for this business now, the company’s future plans, and latest funding round from investors that include QED Investors, FJ Labs, Clocktower, NFX, ALLVP, MAYA Capital, Magma Partners, One Way Ventures, and Ride Ventures.
The popularity of socially responsible investments continues to grow. Between 2018 and 2020, sustainably invested assets under management grew to $17.1T, up 42%. This accounts for nearly 1/3 of US assets under professional management. Ethic is an asset management platform that lets advisors build socially conscious investment portfolios. The platform lets these wealth advisors purchase indexes and efficiently tailor them by opting out of individual investments that may not be suited to the client’s preferences based on 19 societal issues. The number of assets on Ethic has grown 10x since 2019 and the company now is helping wealth managers manage $760M in assets. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Doug Scott to learn more about the red-hot environmental, social, and governance (ESG) market, the company’s future plans, and latest round of funding from investors that include Oak HC/FT, Fidelity Investments, Nyca Partners, Sound Ventures, ThirdStream Partners, Urban Innovation Fund, and Kapor Capital.
The pandemic and the massive transition to video-conferencing solutions have made the world flat but what happens when there are language barriers? KUDO is a video-conferencing platform that provides real-time language interpretation for live meetings and conferences. Attendees can listen and speak in their native languages, while expert interpreters translate so that everyone else in the audience is able to participate and understand. The platform currently supports 100+ languages and experiences a 3500% increase in demand since the lockdown began. The company has recently launched an on-demand marketplace for conference interpreters as the world opens up and enters a new era of hybrid meetings. AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounder and CEO Fardad Zabetian to learn more about the company’s impressive progress since we spoke after the company’s seed round last June, future strategic plans, latest round of funding from investors that include Felicis Ventures, Maverick Ventures, Elephant VC, FJ Labs, Global Founders Capital, and Bill Ackman.
20% of GenX required glasses during their childhood; today that is closer to 40% according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Find out how PAIR Eyewear is tackling this growing market.
The pandemic has unexpectedly led to an unprecedented boom for sports cards. Whether it’s the boredom of the pandemic or the speculative mentality that fueled the Gamestop run-up, sports cards have become a serious business, with a number of high-value cards trading at all-time highs in the multi-millions. StarStock is a centralized platform structured as a stock market that allows serious and casual collectors to easily purchase and sell their favorite sports cards. Users submit their cards to a repository with StarStock acting as a custodian. Trades of these cards occur on the platform and there is no need to ship the physical card as StarsStruck records the change the ownership similar to settlement for equities. The marketplace is dynamic with prices changing in response to events in the sports world, providing unparalleled liquidity to a previously sparsely-traded market. For this convenience, the company charges a 5% fee taken from the seller’s proceeds. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Scott Greenberg to learn more about the company’s mission to turn sports cards into an investment class, the company’s future plans, and latest round of funding from Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from several angel investors including NBA all-star Trae Young, Twitch Cofounder Justin Kan, Chief Operating Officer of BetMGM, Ryan Spoon, and Ilkka Paananen, Cofounder of Supercell.