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.
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.
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 benefits of clean eating are plentiful and include improved heart and brain health, weight control, stronger immune system, and increased energy levels just to name a few. But with our busy schedules, it’s often difficult to actually eat clean. This NYC startup makes it easier. Sakara Life provides a plant-based, completely organic nutrition service that’s ready-to-eat. Rather than building a simple meal delivery service, the company takes a holistic approach to nutrition by integrating modern science, ancient healing practices, and natural remedies into its offering, viewing “food as medicine”. Sakara also provides a growing set of functional snacks, supplements, and educational content to support the end-to-end customer journey focused on achieving full nutritional wellness. AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounders and Co-CEOs Danielle DuBoise and Whitney Tingle to learn more about the inspiration for the business, the company’s expanding product offering, building a CPG brand beyond meal kits, the company’s latest funding from investors that include One Better Ventures, Silas Capital, and Annox Capital.
The pandemic has exacerbated the mental health crisis that the US has been facing for many years. According to the US Census Bureau, 42% of Americans reported symptoms of anxiety or depressions, an increase of 11% from 2019 levels. 15.8% of adult Americans are taking some form of mental health medication. Minded is a recently-launched psychiatric telehealth platform that allows patients to quickly and efficiently refill their mental health prescription needs. The availability of virtual psychiatric services and access to medication has been absolutely critical during the pandemic, at a time when people are struggling with an array of issues. The platform pricing starts at an accessible $30/mo fee versus having to pay several hundred dollars for a single in-person visit, no insurance is required, and deliveries for prescriptions are done in less than 24 hours. Minded is currently available throughout the city and on Nassau County and is currently providing medication for depression, anxiety, and insomnia with plans to expand both geographically and in conditions treated.
AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounder, CEO, and serial entrepreneur David Ronick (cofounded Stash) to learn more about the launch of Minded, the company’s future plans, and latest round of funding led by Streamlined Ventures and Link Ventures.
Starting an e-commerce business is easier than ever with a number of plug-and-play platforms like Shopify to alleviate heavy technical burdens. Starting a successful e-commerce business is a much more difficult task. It’s no longer a case of if you build, they will come. The most seasoned e-commerce operators recognize the importance of data analytics and how leveraging this data effectively drives sales and marketing through strategic customer acquisition, marketing mix, customer retention, social media spend, segmentation, and promotion strategy. Zenlytic makes uncovering valuable insights easier with its no-code analytics platform, built specifically for e-commerce and direct-to-consumer businesses. The platform makes it easy for operators and marketers alike to easily make data-driven decisions without technical expertise or the need to set up sophisticated queries. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Ryan Janssen to learn more about how the data science consulting he was doing while pursuing his masters inspired the company, future plans, recent funding from investors that include Primary Venture Partners, Company Ventures, Correlation Ventures, and angels.
Most independent retailers don’t have much time to source products for their stores. Instead, they are reliant on distributors that visit the store with products or on attending tradeshows. There are a number of emerging brands that would like to be on these shelves but don’t have the huge sales staff necessary to visit these retailers independently. Abound connects the two with its online wholesale marketplace. Retailers get access to a curated selection of products from vetted brands spanning various product categories like Accessories, Baby & Kids, Beauty, Food & Drink, Home, and Jewelry while getting flexible payment and return terms; the brands are able to secure retail placement through the platform. In 2020 despite the pandemic, Abound grew rapidly, registering a 20x growth in monthly sales volume, adding 180,000+ products to the marketplace. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Bill Shope to learn more about the business, future plans, and the company’s latest funding round from investors that include Left Lane Capital, RiverPark Ventures, All Iron Ventures, and Red Antler.
A look at the future of retail and Mastercard’s role in powering next-generation commerce with the leaders at the forefront of innovation at Mastercard’s NYC Tech Hub.
The restaurant industry has been devastated as a result of the pandemic with closures and layoffs. However, platforms that have emerged during the pandemic like WoodSpoon are giving chefs much-needed income and new forms of distribution while being safe. WoodSpoon is the craft, food marketplace that delivers homemade gourmet food from local home chefs. Chefs on the platform have worked and trained in the kitchens of NYC’s most coveted restaurants that include Cipriani, Jean-Georges’ Nougatine, Nobu, and more. AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounder and CEO Merav Kalish Rozengarten to learn more about how the yearning for the taste of home from the founding team sparked the launch of the company, future plans, and recent round of funding from investors that include World Trade Ventures and Silvertech Ventures.
Over the last few years, the number of startups and solution providers in the technology space has been growing to handle everything from social media marketing and customer experience personalization to fraud prevention and shipping management. A market crowded with service providers can be good for e-commerce merchants, because it’s easier than ever to find solutions that work with your business model. But technology isn’t the only factor to consider. To make sure you’re picking vendors and partners who will stand the test of time and help you compete in a rapidly accelerating field, it’s also wise to consider each option’s funding structure, experience, and data resources.
After an intense workout, downing a bottle of Gatorade may feel refreshing but it’s not doing your body any favors – a 20 oz bottle of Gatorade has 34g of sugar; effectively negating your workout. As wellness continues to gain popularity and influence fitness, dietary habits, and metabolic health, people are increasingly conscious about healthy alternatives to combat hydration and replenish electrolytes. Cure Hydration is the organic, plant-based hydration powder mix that has 4x the electrolytes of popular sports drinks without the added sugar; the company uses natural, organic coconut water as a base. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Lauren Picasso to learn more about how training for a triathlon inspired the company, the company’s experience distributing to essential stores during the pandemic, recent round of funding from investors that include Lerer Hippeau, M3 Ventures, Litani Ventures, Andy Roddick, Nas, Matthew Dellavedova, Philip Krim, Nick Green, and others.