Friday, November 28, 2014

SendMyBag Launches in US



CNBC's Phil LeBeau reports on the launch of Sendmybag.com in the U.S. The service will ship bags internationally for a fee that's lower than most airlines charge. 
http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Partake : This App Saves Marriages + Relationships




Married and live-in couples can now share their expenses easily with the first ever Personal Finance app designed just for them. It's called Partake. (https://getpartake.com/) Partake is the first app that lets you sync your bank accounts and credit cards so that you don't have to manually enter each expense. Just open the app, select your bank, and login with your online banking credentials. The entire process is secure and only takes a few seconds. Partake never stores your bank credentials, and uses industry-grade 128-bit AES encryption to protect your data. Your transaction data is kept private, so only you can see them. Your wife or partner will only see the ones you split. Partake, available in IOS and Android, just launched last month and is already getting a lot of traction among Techies here in NYC and in the Valley.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

ADstruc : The Future of Billboards

When top OOH (Out-of-Home) advertising execs want to see the future of their business, they visit a 19th Century industrial loft in NYC's Soho, home of ADstruc, the most advanced AdTech platform for planning and buying-selling OOH ads. CBS Outdoor, Lamar Outdoor Advertising and Clear Channel execs have all visited ADstruc. Ad Agency CEOs too. Michael Roth, CEO of IPG, visited and invested $2m in the 4-year-old startup. IPG's Rapport unit now uses ADstruc for all their OOH media buys. "By streamlining the process, ADstruc enables agency account teams to maximize their time spent on client service and results, rather than on Excel, PDF maps, and Photosheets," CEO/Founder John Laramie said. "We built the entire plumbing system for the OOH industry and it’s now ready to connect with other media and platforms." ADstruc currently covers over 90% of the U.S. OOH inventory and is on track to handle over $200M in OOH sales/transactions this year. In partnership with Clear Channel, Lamar, and CBS Outdoor, along with hundreds of independent, regional owners across traditional and digital formats, media buying agencies can fully automate their planning and buying of OOH media. In Q1 2014, IPG invested in ADstruc because it believes outdoor advertising is transitioning “to a more digital channel." Magna Global, IPG’s research arm, estimates the OOH market will grow by 4.8% in the U.S., up to $7.3 billion in 2014.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

FinTech Saves Wall Street

Four tech start-ups in New York raised in excess of $100 million last month. Betterment, Paperless Post, LearnVest and Squarespace raised about $25-30 million each in the latest round of financing. The first quarter of this financial year has already seen several New York-based firms raising record sums of money from venture capital and equity funds. Digital Ocean, Integral Ad Science and Kaltura all raised millions of dollars, saying they would like to expand overseas. The hottest sector for VC investing is FinTech. Betterment, which raised $32m in a Series C round, has pioneered "Robo Advisor" investing, where computer algorithms replace financial advisors. While money managers charge 1.50%, Betterment charges 0.15%, saving investors a lot of money. Personal Finance is the fastest growing area, but there are many new FinTech startups that are disrupting Wall Street as well. ACE Portal, which has NYSE Euronext backing, is pioneering a platform for Private Securities offerrings, taking advantage of the new JOBS Act regs on equity crowdfunding. ACE's founder Peter Williams is part of a new breed of ex Wall Streeters who see opportunities at the nexus of Tech and Finance. Ultimately, the FinTech boom could help reshape NYC's Wall Street Financial district. I visited the new BitCoin Center near the NYSE. The proximity of its "mining" servers to the Exchange is noticeable. Eventually, all those financial transactions handled by humans will be totally automated. The Age of "Robo Wall Street" is here.

Monday, December 16, 2013

2013 Was the Year of Native Ads/ CONTENTLY

2013 Was the Year of Native Ads. This new ad medium got only $1.9b of the Ad Pie, but garnered a lion's share of attention from the Ad Trades, Ad reporters and even the FTC, which has Native Ads in its sights Who invented this business? A hot 3-year old startup called CONTENTLY. These fathers of Brand Publishing, (www.contently.com) are now a BRUNI PR client. As NYT's David Carr points out, Contently "has raised $2.3 million in financing, developed a roster of 27,000 writers, grown to 24 employees and has 40 Fortune 500 companies among its clients..." Their motto is "make stories, not ads"...you'll be hearing that mantra often in 2014 on Madison Avenue and beyond.

Monday, October 07, 2013

"What's in your Stash for tonight?" You might overhear that buzzphrase at the upcoming CMJ Music Fest in NYC. NYC's hipsters are downloading "Stash", a hot new iPhone app for bookmarking (or "stashing") and sharing all kinds of NYC Nightlife, Culture, Sports and Film/Entertainment events. It's the first real Mobile Events app to hit NYC. Young New Yorkers hate to be told "what's cool". Events guides/apps (Flavorpill, Thrillist, and even that new one, Sosh) dictate "what's cool.", Stash is total Democracy. The Stash members decide what to "stash" and share with their friends on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Think Pinterest for Events and Culture. Crowdsourced Events advice. Stash is going viral fast. Since launching last Spring, 300,000 NYC events have been viewed on Stash. About 20k events are "stashed" monthly by Stash users. Stash currently covers over 100 NYC area venues. They love Stash too.. During the last 30 days, 8,000 users purchased tickets for venues straight from the app. Stash is designed primarily for the Mobile Experience. Young New Yorkers make their NightLife and Culture decisions -- On The Go. "Good Times are Hard to Find", is the Stash motto.

Monday, September 16, 2013

AgFunder Launches Sept. 23rd

Modern Farmer predicts it will "Kickstart" Agriculture with the "world's first equity based crowdfunding platform for Ag investment opportunities". Only accredited Investors will be allowed to invest in its AgTech projects, which will be thoroughly evaluated and approved before listing. NY-based AgFunder (www.agfunder.com) launches next week. Numerous AgTech companies and investors have already signed up as beta users .http://beta.agfunder.com. Modern Farmer predicts it will "Kickstart" Agriculture with the "world's first equity based crowdfunding platform for Ag investment opportunities". Only accredited Investors will be allowed to invest in its AgTech projects, which will be thoroughly evaluated and approved before listing. NY-based AgFunder (www.agfunder.com) launches mid-September. Numerous AgTech companies and investors have already signed up as beta users .http://beta.agfunder.com. AgTech Investing is booming. CB Insights recently reported that $100m+ was invested in AgTech last year, a record. CB Insights concluded: "Agriculture Technology companies (Ag Tech) have hauled in as much VC and angel investment ($100M) as more celebrated areas like transportation tech (think Uber, Lyft, RelayRides). AgTech has also pulled in 2/3 of the amount that has gone to (and which may evaporate from) App Discovery Platforms." What's AgFunder's key advantage? How can it tap into this AgTech investment trend? Modern Farmer sums it best: "Although AgFunder’s model is based on the FundersClub (just like Kickstarter), if a project isn’t up to par, it won’t get funded. And that’s an important detail," says CEO/Founder Rob Leclerc.