The tech companies on the cusp of market disruption
Still from a video by #NikeDigital's campaign
Stand still in the tech sector, and you'll get left behind. This year’s European Women in Tech is a revolutionary take on the ever-changing industry, staying ahead of the curve with content on new innovations. From startups to industry leaders, here are the the latest innovations on the market and the companies driving them.
UiPath uses AI and scripts to build a software platform that helps organisations efficiently automate business processes. Put simply, their software reduces the time and money it costs businesses to complete repetitive tasks. They recently closed a Series D round of €50 million at a post-money valuation of €6 billion. Their latest round of funding, led by Coatue, and will be used to move into front-office and customer-facing areas, such as customer support and sales.
Founded by Caroline Noublanche, Apricity is a virtual fertility clinic developed with global IVF experts. It aims to create a "warmer, more empowering" experience of fertility treatment and uses AI improve chances of conception. The app connects users to the best clinicians, as well as providing individual and continuous support and guidance. They recently raised €6 million in a Series A round from AXA's Kamet Ventures, bringing the total raised by the startup to €8.8 million.
Beautystack is a booking app and social platform for individual beauty professionals. It was created by Wah Nails founder Sharmadean Reid before being joined by co-founders Dan Woodbury, Chris Chris Whittleston, and Ken Lalobo. With a heavy focus on social, Reid's idea is to close the gap between seeing results of a beauty treatment online and being able to book it. She told TechCrunch "Girls see millions of images of beauty treatments on social media and have no idea about who did it, how much it cost or what it even is,” she says. “We want to close the loop on the journey of seeing what you want, liking it and booking it. With Beautystack we use visual menus so you can search and book what you like.” The company recently picked up €4.5million funding led by Index Ventures. Previously, the company received funding from LocalGlobe (led by Suzanne Ashman) and angel investors include David Rowan (ex-Wired) and Audrey Gelman (The Wing).
Attention Insight, Hamburg
The German-based software uses AI to predict where users will look while engaging with content. Part of Google for Startups' Spring Cohort, the product is the first of its kind and aims to bring better ROI for marketers. Using deep learning, it's trained with data from previous eye tracking studies and has an 84% accuracy rate. The company was founded in 2019 by Kamile Jokubaite, and has already recieved €200,000 funding over one round. Still in its early stages with under 10 employees, Attention Insight holds promise for the year to come.
With 26.4m active customers and sales of €5.4bn last year, Zalando is Europe's largest online-fashion retailer, ahead of Amazon and Britain's Asos. Founded a decade ago, the company puts tech and diversity at the forefront. Tech innovations include a partnership with Google to test Project Muse, an AI Fashion Design System. In a world's first, the results use tech to create customised outfits, some of which were transformed into real life clothes with fashion from Zalando’s zLabels,. As well as being ahead of the curve when it comes to merging fashion and tech, the company puts D&I at its core both internally and externally. They've held workshops for women looking to get into programming and provide scholarships to allow students from technical backgrounds to go abroad and work on a project related to the UN's Global Development Goals.
Using 'AI-powered selection technology', Harver creates pre-hiring and assessment software to replace CVs with online judgement, personality and intelligence tests. Started in 2013, the company now have offices in Amsterdam, New York, with clients across the globe including Netflix, Vodafone, Booking.com and Casper. In 2017, they created a TalentPitch for smaller companies.
StehoMe, Poznan, Wielkopolskie, Poland
StehoMe is a 'Home Stethoscope' powered by AI. It's wireless and electronic, working with a dedicated smartphone app. Aimed at parents with young children, it's the first medical diagnostic device of its kind – one that monitors the respiratory system in a precise and user-friendly way. The device can warn parents of potential respiratory issues and share data with the child's doctor. Recent achievements include winning 2019's EC2VC Pitch Competition, as well as the IOT/WT Innovation World Cup for Healthcare in 2018. Investors include SpeedUp Group, Programa.pl, TDJ Pitango Ventures and Manta Ray VC.
Margo Bank, Paris
Margo Bank is a FinTech startup that provides small to medium businesses with digital deposit account services. Launched in 2017, it's the brainchild of Jean-Daniel Guyot - famous for building ticket-buying app, who is known for acquiring app Captain Train before selling it to TrainLine for €169 million in 2016. Before launching their first product, in March 2018 Margo Bank had already secured investment from high profile tech investors such as Marc Simoncini and VC firm Daphni.
"If it lives on a screen, Nike Digital makes it happen." The company use digital to transform their business. They're reimaging how technology connects with and motivates consumers, and have spent over €1 billion on its omni-channel transformation in just one year. They've recently announced their online-to-store tech partnership with Size? and Hero, a service which lets customers chat with a member of staff to help them with their online purchase. Linking digital sales with physical retail stores is a key part in their strategy, something they are focusing on this year with the Nike App. The company is planning to launch it in China and 13 other markets, with triple-digit revenue growth for the quarter. In terms of D&I, the company has implemented several processes including eight Employee Networks, NikeUNITED, that offer resources to a diverse spectrum of individuals across Nike.
Tech company HP claim that sustainability is key to their recent success. According to George Brasher, managing director, UK and Ireland, sustainable projects drove over $900 million of new revenue last year. As part of the Planet Partners project, they have manufactured more than 4.2 billion ink and toner cartridges using recycled plastic from old cartridges, apparel hangers and post-consumer plastic bottles. The company aims to increase recycled plastic in its personal systems and print hardware and supplies to 30 per cent by 2025.