500 Startups San Francisco

500 Startups Batch 9 : 5 Startups That Stand Out

Earlier this week, 500 Startups had its batch 9 demo day. There were a ton of great companies in this batch, so even though we are a tad late, here is a rundown of some of the Batch 9 startups that stood out, in no particular order:

 

 Targeting Mantra

Targeting Mantra offers a unique personalization and analytics platform for eCommerce. They have a pretty strong benefit proposition:

Our personalization platform tailors the customer’s online experience to his/her unique interests. By ensuring a personable shopping experience for the customers, it not only increases customer loyalty, but also boosts sales and conversion rates, aids discovery of tail items, and enables promoting relevant campaigns.

Content is useful and relevant, only when delivered to the right person at the right time in a meaningful manner. Therefore, through TargetingMantra we provide features like similar products, personalized recommendations and automated targeting to achieve the same goal. We work closely with business owners to help them achieve their goals, while putting customers at the center of their retail strategy.1

Waffle

Waffle is a collaborative video platform. In a nutshell, Waffle gives users a grid style tile interface. In these tiles, users can swap out videos and pictures:

Waffle gives users a grid of four squares that they can fill with different pictures and videos. By swiping a square, friends can remix tiles, allowing users to collaborate to make content that evolves over time.2

GoGoCoin

Bitcoin is rapidly rising in popularity. However, is is still somewhat of a niche currency, with only the early adopters using it. GoGoCoin is looking to lower the barriers. Essentially, GoGoCoin offers pre-paid bitcoin cards:

GogoCoin is the easiest way to buy bitcoins instantly. We solve the problem of buying bitcoin through our prepaid card. The Prepaid Bitcoin Card is the most scalable method for buying bitcoins with cash.
By visiting a retailer, you can purchase stored-value (in dollars) with the ability to buy bitcoins on GogoCoin.com. Like Coinbase, we provide users with a web wallet with the ability to spend their bitcoins, and send them directly to other people online.3

Stitch

“Stitch is a small technology company with the grand vision of helping address social isolation and loneliness for older adults in every country around the world.” Essentially, then, Stitch is an online dating service for the over 50 demographic. Though the company never really mentions dating:

Stitch lets older adults find companions in a way that fits these needs. Interest & activity matching. Secure communication. Identity verification. And all the different types of companionship that older adults want.Stitch lets older adults find companions in a way that fits these needs. Interest & activity matching. Secure communication. Identity verification. And all the different types of companionship that older adults want.4

Popup Archive

Popup Archive has built an incredibly unique platform. In a nutshell, the company indexes audio, and allows users to search for audio. Sure, there is Shazam for music and video, but Popup Archive takes this much, much deeper, allowing users to search through radio shows and other audio content.

Pop Up Archive indexes audio, making it searchable. It already has several customers, including NPR and KQED, and has been seeing a 50 percent month-over-month growth rate. It has a 70 percent margin, and its translation is so accurate that it catches things that Google Translate doesn’t, according to co-founder Anne Wootton.5

Certainly, there are many other promising companies in 500 Startups Batch 9, these were just the 5 that stood out to us.

  1. Targeting Mantra, “About Us”  
  2. CrunchBase, “Waffle”  
  3. 500 Startups, “GoGoCoin”  
  4. 500 Startups, “Stitch”  
  5. Kia Kokalitcheva, VentureBeat, “5 startups that caught our eye from 500 Startups’ Batch 9,” 29 July 2014