Startup update, or news from the world of startups
The world of startups is dynamic. This update is divided into three categories: financing/acquisitions, Warsaw University and startups and opportunities for new companies (conferences, special offers).
60 million dollars – the total amount of investment in Meero
What is Meero? It's a French company that creates artificial intelligence-based algorithms that are intended to improve photos through automatic editing. The main target group of Meero's solutions are photographers who, thanks to the company's solutions, will be able to work faster and more efficiently, without having to edit photos step by step on their own.
Research conducted by Meero shows that often the process of editing takes more time than just taking a photo (1 hour on a set, 4 hours working on a photo at home). It is a paradox, which the company wants to solve with the help of a specially designed AI. It should be emphasized that the algorithms, which improve photo editing, are only one element of the service provided by Meero. French company offers access to photographers in over 100 countries. Meero's target customers are companies such as Just Eat, Expedia, Trivago, Uber or other entities such as. real estate agencies, coffee shops, which thanks to pretty pictures can encourage consumers to their offer. Companies can search for a photographer (in total 40 thousand. people in the database), who will come and take a photo. The use of modern technology means that most often within 24 hours we receive our, already edited, photo.
Meero's position is impressive: only 2 years in business, 25 million photos taken, 30,000. customers, a transaction every 30 seconds and a good chance for further growth. Not surprisingly, the latest round of funding ($45 million.), led by Alven Capital and Idinvest, the total investment in Meero reached $60 million. Eight months ago the startup has raised $15 million from Global Founders Capital, Aglaé Ventures, Alven Capital and White Star Capital. Funds will be used to open an office in the U.S. and increase employment.
Doctolib acquires MonDocteur
Compared to our national startups, Znanylekarz.pl, a service used to make appointments with doctors via the Internet, is unique in the world. It is a Polish service that has managed to well define a niche in the market. Now the DocPlanner group, to which Znanylearz belongs.pl, is present in over 25 countries. 7.5 million people use solutions of the Polish company, improving communication on the doctor-patient level. As such, it's worth looking at companies that provide services similar to DocPlanner and solve similar problems.
One of such companies is Doctlib. This French startup recently acquired its competitor – MonDocteur – in its home market. With the transaction, Doctlib wants to dominate the market and also become the leader in Germany. It is interesting to note that the value of MonDocteur is not the number of employees (about 150), but the base of both doctors and customers (10 thousand health care representatives, 4 million patients via WWW. It is these numbers that may have encouraged Doctlib to do the deal. Also Germany, since the company's debut on that market at the beginning of 2018, has been an important field for the company.
How attractive (and profitable) it is to help patients and doctors communicate with each other can be seen in the expansion of the Polish portal – abcZdrowie, from the Wirtualna Polska portfolio. In 2018, it was enhanced with a feature that allows you to make an appointment with more than 7,000. doctors. Wirtualna Polska, by entering the doctor's appointment market, expands its business into another e-commerce segment, after tourism, fashion, interior design and financial services. For the first time we are building it ourselves. So far we have focused only on acquisitions," said Jacek Świderski, President of WP. But, experts believe that DocPlanner's position due to the scale of its operations and the size of the group, nevertheless, is not threatened.
UW's first spin-off company representing the humanities
The biggest university in our country believes in entrepreneurship. On the one hand, it supports scientists who intend to commercialize their invention. UWRC, a UW spin-off company established in 2012, is currently engaged in knowledge and technology transfer from UW outside the walls of the university. How it works? UWRC takes minority stakes in spin-offs and in return supports their development on behalf of UW. On the basis of a special licence agreement, spin-off companies may use the UW logo and the term "Warsaw University spin-off", which increases the company's prestige. The appearance of such companies in the UW environment is beneficial for them (scientific research, knowledge, experience, reputation, laboratories). It also means the creation of new jobs for university graduates.
To date, there have been 7 spin-off companies in which UW has been involved through UWRC – RDLS, Warsaw Genomics, AmerLab, Spektrino, MIM Solutions, BACTrem and GeoPulse. On July 11, a new company joined – Information Refining Center. This is a unique moment, because it is the first spin-off, operating at the UW, which represents the humanities.
For seven years, researchers from the Department of Media Information Technology of the Faculty of Journalism, Information and Bibliology have been conducting research related to the analysis of Big Data. As a result of their research, a technology was created that allows searching and analyzing large collections of texts. They use thousands of robots that search and collect data from particular websites. After collecting information in thematic databases, they are refined, i.e. analyzed. How effective the solution created by CRI is can be seen by the fact that they managed to predict the result of the parliamentary elections in 2011 and 2015. In a world where there is so much information and we have trouble analyzing it, CRI technology is gaining in value. What is important, the companies will be able to use CRI's services not only to determine the given phenomenon, but also to order the forecasts of development of researched processes. The founders of the CRI company are employees of WDIB UW: prof. Włodzimierz Gogołek, PhD. Wiesław Cetera, Piotr Celiński and Dariusz Jaruga.
Third edition of BraveCamp
I don't know if you know, but Warsaw University also has its own program supporting startups. It is BraveCamp, a training camp organized by Inkubator UW. BraveCamp means workshops, integration, working on projects, networking and talks with experts.
The last one (already 3.) edition of the competition, where a grant of 10 thousand PLN was to be won. The prize of PLN 112 for the deaf, funded by Pfizer, was won by Dorota Jankowska, the initiator of the "112 for the deaf" project. It intends to create an application thanks to which deaf people can contact emergency services using special pictograms.
The jury also decided to award two distinctions to students of the Medical University of Warsaw. These are the projects "UHURA", presented by Katarzyna Pęksa and "Medstudenting" by Anna Nowak. The "UHURA" team wants to develop a solution for people who, as a result of an accident or surgical intervention, have lost the ability to speak. In turn, the second of the awarded projects assumes selling stationery dedicated to students of medical faculties.
The audience award went to Katarzyna Skoczylas, the author of the project entitled "To investigate the smog". And Stanisław Serafin, the author of the project "Mucha.Ma" project involving the creation of unique men's flies will be able to take advantage of a free one-year pre-incubation period at UWRC.
The third edition of BraveCamp was organised as part of the Programme of integrated actions for the development of Warsaw University and financed by the European Social Fund.
Applications for the TOP Startup of Eastern Poland 2018 competition are underway
Applications for this year's edition of the contest for startups will be accepted until September 3rd. The relevant registration form is now available here. This is an interesting event, because in accordance with its name, it is aimed at the most innovative startups, operating in one of the following provinces of Eastern Poland (Podlaskie, Warmińsko-Mazurskie, Podkarpackie, Lubelskie and Świętokrzyskie). The aim of TOP Startup Eastern Poland contest is to support both projects and services which have worldwide impact and those smaller, innovative, which creatively approach the needs of the local market. The competition is open not only to those who are already monetizing their solutions, but also to those who are just at the stage of planning business activities.
Startups which will qualify to the final ten will have a chance to present their projects at the Eastern Economic Congress (Białystok, 3-4 October). Participation in the event is free of charge.