Silicon Valley seed fund 500 Startups has announced the latest batch of startups it will be helping navigate through the tough road to sustainable profitability — and they include a number of brand new companies in local commerce, marketing, and tech.
“We’re so excited to have 28 companies from all over the world in our tenth batch of startups,” said 500 Startups marketing manager Mark Saldaña. “For the founders, joining means an investment from 500, a packed accelerator curriculum and access to our massive community of mentors, investors and partners.”
The four-month program, hosted at 500 Startups’ Mountain View facility, works with the companies on issues like data, design, and distribution in order to accelerate their growth.
Here are some interesting hyperlocally focused companies from the latest group:
Rover’s iBeacon platform helps retailers deliver a better customer experience by transforming their mobile apps into “in-store shopping companions.” The iBeacon platform allows retailers to easily integrate a complete “context aware” retail experience into their existing mobile apps. It makes it possible for customers to get all the product info they need without interference from a third party site or app.
LendSquare helps small businesses and local consumers keep it in the community. Small business owners can borrow money from their customers and neighbors. On the flip side, it helps community members loan money to local small business in exchange for interest and perks. The idea is to create better businessess by allowing consumers to finance the businesses they care about.
Mind My Business
Mind My Business allows brick-and-mortar businesses to gauge what is going on outside and around their store. The company mines open government data and make it useful for mom-and-pop shops. For instance, the app lets business owners know their risk for fines as well as keeping them in the loop concerning construction, traffic and repairs in the neighborhood.
RAIN helps small businesses effectively reach local customers by making mobile marketing easy and affordable. With only a few simple steps, small businesses can use RAIN to promote themselves on the most popular apps and websites, ranging from Facebook to CNN. RAIN is a full-service digital agency that brings together talent from “every corner of the creative space.” Their goal is to connect brands and audiences in “astounding” new ways.
Giversurance is a cause marketing network of insurance professionals that provides a platform for charities and non-profits to convert the preferences of their support base into a new revenue stream. The idea is to repurpose the funds insurance companies use for marketing and advertising toward supporting charity. By partnering with companies such as Progessive, MetLife and Safeco, Givesurance makes it possible for people to make recurring donations without ever changing their policy.
CareLulu’s is a marketplace connecting parents with licensed daycare providers and preschools. Their aim is to make finding safe, affordable and high quality child care as easy as possible. Instead of spending hours doing research and legwork, CareLulu offers parents a personalized, online search to find the daycare options that are right for them.
Billed as “the easiest way to build an online shop,” Shopline seeks to help non-tech savvy merchants launch and run self-branded online shops. In a matter of minutes, even the greenest noob can be managing their own online business. Based in Hong Kong, Shopline targets Chinese speaking cities in Asia.
Uplette lets brands and advertisers know who their customers are while helping to increase conversion rates by delivering highly personalized post-ad mobile landing pages. Uplette enables automated content optimization and improved audience targeting through a real-time feedback loop. The idea is to provide a simple, scalable solution for creating a mobile landing page that uses context-aware filters to deliver the right content to the right audience.
Mason Lerner is a reporter with Street Fight.