Home / Tag Archives: enterprise

Tag Archives: enterprise

Stripe debuts Radar anti-fraud AI tools for big businesses, says it has halted $4B in fraud to date

Cybersecurity continues to be a growing focus and problem in the digital world, and now Stripe is launching a new paid product that it hopes will help its customers better battle one of the bigger side-effects of data breaches: online payment fraud. Today, Stripe is announcing Radar for Fraud Teams , an expansion of its free AI-based Radar service that runs alongside Stripe’s core payments API to help identify and block fraudulent transactions. And there are further efforts that Stripe is planning in coming months. Michael Manapat, Stripe’s engineering manager for Radar and machine learning, said the company is going to soon launch a private beta of a “dynamic authentication” that will bring in two-factor authentication. This is on top of Stripe’s first forays into using biometric factors in payments, made via partners like Apple and Google. With these and others, fingerprints and other physical attributes have become increasingly popular ways to identify mobile and other users. The initial iteration of Radar launched in October 2016 , and since then, Manapat tells me that it has prevented $4 billion in fraud for its “hundreds of thousands” of customers. Considering the wider scope of how much e-commerce is affected by fraud — one study  estimates $57.8 billion in e-commerce fraud across eight major verticals in a one-year period between 2016 and 2017 — this is a decent dent, but there is a lot more work to be done. And Stripe’s position of knowing four out of every five payment card numbers globally (on account of the ubiquity of its payments API) gives it a strong position to be able to tackle it. The new paid product comes alongside an update to the core, free product that Stripe is dubbing Radar 2.0, which Stripe claims will have more advanced machine learning built into it and can therefore up its fraud detection by some 25 percent over the previous version. New features for the whole product (free and paid) will include being able to detect when a proxy VPN is being used (which fraudsters might use to appear like they are in one country when they are actually in another) and ingesting billions of data points to train its model, which is now being updated on a daily basis automatically — itself an improvement on the slower and more manual system that Manapat said Stripe has been using for the past couple of years. Meanwhile, the paid product is an interesting development. At the time of the original launch, Stripe co-founder John Collison hinted that the company would be considering a paid product down the line. Stripe has said multiple times that it’s in no rush to go public — and statement that a spokesperson reiterated this week — but it’s notable that a paid tier is a sign of how Stripe is slowly building up more monetization and revenue generation. Stripe is valued at around $9.2 billion as of its last big round in 2016.

Read More »

Cloud Foundry Foundation looks east as Alibaba joins as a gold member

Cloud Foundry is among the most successful open source project in the enterprise right now. It’s a cloud-agnostic platform-as-a-service offering that helps businesses develop and run their software more efficiently. In many enterprises, it’s now the standard platform for writing new applications. Indeed, half of the Fortune 500 companies now use it in one form or another. With the imminent IPO of Pivotal , which helped birth the project and still sits at the core of its ecosystem, Cloud Foundry is about to gets its first major moment in the spotlight outside of its core audience. Over the course of the last few years, though, the project and the foundation that manages it have also received the sponsorship of  companies like Cisco, IBM, SAP, SUSE, Google, Microsoft, Ford, Volkswagen and Huawei. Today, China’s Alibaba Group is joining the Cloud Foundry Foundation as a gold member. Compared to AWS, Azure and Google Cloud, the Alibaba Cloud gets relatively little press, but it’s among the largest clouds in the world. Starting today, Cloud Foundry is also available on the Alibaba Cloud, with support for both the Cloud Foundry application and container runtimes . Cloud Foundry CTO Chip Childers told me that he expects Alibaba to become an active participant in the open source community. He also noted that Cloud Foundry is seeing quite a bit of growth in China — a sentiment that I’ve seen echoed by other large open source projects, including the likes of OpenStack. Open source is being heavily adopted in China and many companies are now trying to figure out how to best contribute to these kind of projects. Joining a foundation is an obvious first step.

Read More »

Squarefoot raises $7M to give offices an easier way to find space

While smaller companies are seeing a lot of new options for distributed office space, or can pick up a couple offices in a WeWork, eventually they get big enough and have to find a bigger office — but that can end up as one of the weirdest and most annoying challenges for an early-stage CEO. Finding that space is a whole other story, outside of just searching on Google and crossing your fingers. It’s why  Jonathan Wasserstrum started Squarefoot , which looks to not only create a hub for these vacant offices, but also have the systems in place — including brokers — to help companies eventually land that office space. Eventually companies as they grow have to graduate into increasingly larger and larger spots, but there’s a missing sweet spot for mid-stage companies that are looking for space but don’t necessarily have the relationships with those big office brokers just yet, and instead are just looking through a friend of a friend.  The company said today that it has raised $7 million in a new financing round led by  Rosecliff Ventures, with RRE Ventures, Triangle Peak Partners, Armory Square Ventures, and others participating. “If you talk to any CEO and you ask what they think about commercial real estate brokers, they’ll say, ‘oh, the guys that send an email every week,'” co-founder  Jonathan Wasserstrum said. “The industry has been slow to adopt because the average person who owns the building is fine. They don’t wake up every morning and say this process sucks. But the people who wake up and say the process sucks are looking for space. That was kind of one fo the early things that we kind of figured out and focused a lot of attention on aggregating that tenant demand. Squarefoot starts off on the buyer side as an aggregation platform that localizes open office space into one spot. While companies used to have to Google search something along the lines of “Chelsea office space” in New York — especially for early-stage companies that are just starting to outgrow their early offices — the goal is to always have Squarefoot come up as a result for that. It already happens thanks to a lot of efforts on the marketing front, but eventually with enough inventory and demand the hope is that building owners will be coming to Squarefoot in the first place. (That you see an ad for Squarefoot as a result for a lot of these searches already is, for example, no accident.) Squarefoot is also another company that is adopting a sort of hybrid model that includes both a set of tools and algorithms to aggregate together all that space into one spot, but keep consultants and brokers in the mix in order to actually close those deals. It’s a stance that the venture community seems to be increasingly softening on as more and more companies launch with the idea that the biggest deals need to have an actual human on the other end in order to manage that relationship

Read More »

Wonolo picks up $13M to create a way to connect temp workers with companies

AJ Brustein was out spending time with a member of his merchandising team when a nearby store ran out of stock of some goods — but there was no one on staff responsible for that location. Fortunately, the employee he was with had already showed him how to restock the shelves, and he offered to peel off and do it himself. But that gap in the workforce may have just continued, leading directly to potential lost revenue for companies that sell products in those stores. That’s why Brustein and Yong Kim started Wonolo , a tool to connect companies with temporary workers in order to fill the unexpected demand those companies might face in those same out-of-stock situations. Wonolo employees sign up for the platform, and the companies that partner with the startup have an opportunity to grab the necessary workers they need on a more flexible basis. Wonolo today said it has raised $13 million in a new financing round led by Sequoia Capital, including existing investors  PivotNorth and Crunchfund, and new investor Base10. Sequoia Capital’s Jess Lee is joining the company’s board of directors as part of the financing. “There’s a big opportunity  helping people fill in their schedule with shifts,” Brustein said. “We really found there’s this huge untapped market of people who are looking for work who are underemployed. Let’s say Mary is a great worker and has a great job at the Home Depot, but no matter how good she, is she can only get 29 hours of work. It’s hard to manage schedules between different employers that want you to work the same hours. That’s the market we’ve really focused on, the underemployed market, which is a growing unfortunate trend in the U.S.

Read More »

Q1 2018 global diversity investment report: Investing trends in female founders

I n this report, we look at venture and seed investment trends in female-founded startups over the last five quarters. For this time period, we look at more than 9,119 venture deals and 6,802 seed deals for companies with founders associated. To begin, $3.6 billion was invested in companies with at least one female founder in Q1 2018. That result was up 60 percent from Q1 2017’s $2.2 billion tally but down from Q4 2017 by 30 percent. We fully expect this amount to go up as more fundings are added for the quarter retroactively. Overall, the money invested into companies with at least one female founder represents just nine percent of venture dollars invested in Q1 2018. That is one percentage point below Q1 2017’s 10 percent result. The second, third and fourth quarters of 2017 all presented higher percentages, as well: 14, 15 and 15 percent of venture dollars invested in those quarters, respectively. When we narrow the criteria, however, the figures fall. In the Q1 2018, three percent of venture dollars were invested in solo female founders. From a deal volume perspective, Q1 2018 saw 14 percent of venture deals include at least one female founder

Read More »

Resy rolls out a new suite of tools for restaurants

Resy launched in the summer of 2014 with a simple premise : If you want a premium reservation at a restaurant on short notice, you should be able to pay for it. Four years and 160 markets later, Resy has changed a lot since then. But today, the company is about to change things up even more. This morning, Resy has announced a brand new suite of tools for restaurants, including a new inventory management system called ResyFly. As it stands now, restaurants have two options when it comes to inventory management for their reservations. They can choose a slot system, where diners are seated at 6pm, 8pm and 10pm, or they can opt for a flex system, where they take reservations as they’re called in and build the night’s reservations based off what comes in first. Unfortunately, most restaurants have to choose between these two systems, as there are no inventory management systems that offer the ability to do both, according to Resy. ResyFly uses Resy’s troves of data to determine the best way for restaurants to eliminate gaps in their inventory throughout a given night, taking into account things like date, time, weather, and even the average time spent eating at a given restaurant. The tool gives restaurants the ability to schedule different floor plans, reservation grids and hours of operation for special days like Valentines Day. Alongside ResyFly, the company is also introducing Business Intelligence, a window into important information like KPIs, revenue, and ratings with third-party information from platforms like Foursquare layered in and integrated with POS software providers to offer real-time revenue reporting.

Read More »

Drift raises $60 million to be an Amazon for businesses

When you’re raising venture capital, it helps if you’ve had “exits.” In other words, if your company has been acquired or you’ve taken one public, investors are more inclined to take a bet on anything you do. Boston -based serial entrepreneur David Cancel has sold not just one, but four companies.   And after a few years running product for HubSpot, he’s in the midst of building number five. That startup,  Drift,  managed to raise $47 million in its first three years . Now it’s announcing another $60 million led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from existing investors CRV and General Catalyst. The valuation is undisclosed. So what is Drift? It’s “changing the way businesses buy from businesses,” said Cancel. He wants to eventually build an alternative to Amazon to make it easier for companies to make large orders. Currently, Drift subscribers can use chatbots to help turn web visits into sales.  It has 100,000 clients including Zenefits, MongoDB, Zuora and AdRoll. Drift “turns those conversations into customers,” Cancel explained. He said that technology is comparable to what is commonly used for customer service. It’s the “same messaging that was used for support, but used in the sales context.” In the long-run, Cancel says he hopes Drift will expand its offerings to compete with Salesforce.

Read More »

Utah’s Pluralsight unveils IPO filing

Pluralsight, the Utah-based education technology company, has revealed its IPO filing.  Given the timing of the unveiling, the company is likely targeting a May public debut. Its core business is online software development courses, helping people improve their skills in categories like IT, data and security. Businesses small and large pay Pluralsight to help train their employees. It also has offerings for individual subscribers. In the filing, the company acknowledges that it is a competitive landscape, and names Cornerstone OnDemand, Udacity, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning as others in a comparable market. It also mentions General Assembly, which was recently acquired by Adecco for $413 million.  This is the first glimpse we get at Pluralsight’s financials. For 2017, the company brought in $166.8 million in revenue, up from $131.8 million in 2016 and $108.4 million in 2015. Losses are growing, however. This is partly due to a sizeable increase in sales and marketing expenditures. For 2017, the company lost $96.5 million. This is up from losses of $20.6 million in 2016 and $26.4 million in 2015. Pluralsight has been around since 2004. Like many startups outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, the company bootstrapped its business and didn’t raise significant outside funding until 2013. Pluralsight previously raised nearly $200 million in financing. The largest shareholder is Insight Venture Partners, which owned 46.1 percent of the shares prior to the IPO, an unusually high percentage. Co-founder and CEO Aaron Skonnard owned 13.4 percent and investment group ICONIQ owned 8.1 percent

Read More »

Sensu raises $10M to build a robust monitoring system for all your different operations

While companies’ operations become increasingly fragmented into a wide variety of different spots — especially if they exist somewhere in a group of different cloud tools — making sure those operations are still healthy has become more and more critical. And for companies whose lifeblood is directly keeping that software online longer, it’s even more important. Uptime maps directly to revenue, and that’s why Caleb Hailey — who previously worked on this as a consultancy — decided to start Sensu to try to piece together the monitoring operations into a single spot where a company can keep an eye on the health of their operations. The company said it has raised $10 million in a new financing round led by Battery Ventures, with existing investor Foundry Group participating. Battery’s General Partner Dharmesh Thakker is joining the company’s board of directors. “Big enterprises are hesitant to work on startups, they’re risk averse, and it reduces the risk exposure to double down on an open source stack,” Hailey said. ” But this open source technology, it’s used in the largest institutions in the world, and we have found that by delivering cost savings in a competitive market we have already established a rapidly growing developer stream.” While all those different tools may have their own way of monitoring the health of a system, Sensu tries to get all this into one place to make things a little easier than checking things one-by-one. The aim is to be more proactive and try to flag problems before they are even noticed by the people using Sensu, plugging directly into services like Slack or sending emails to flag potential issues before they end up becoming larger problems. Like others like Cloudera, Sensu builds its business around helping companies deploy this otherwise open source technology efficiently. Sensu’s backstory starts as a consultancy for Hailey, which was focused on infrastructure and automation — especially as more and more companies moved to a hybrid cloud model that existed partially in some box somewhere on Azure or AWS. Starting off as an open source project is one way that he hopes to convince larger enterprises that might already be using similar tools to adopt a known entity rather than just giving some random startup the keys to maintaining their operations. The monitoring space is still a competitive — and crowded — one. There are tools like AppDynamics or New Relic, but Hailey argues that Sensu can be competitive with those as they are very bundled while his startup helps companies piece together a more complete solution.

Read More »

Sensu raises $10M to build a robust monitoring system for all your different operations

While companies’ operations become increasingly fragmented into a wide variety of different spots — especially if they exist somewhere in a group of different cloud tools — making sure those operations are still healthy has become more and more critical. And for companies whose lifeblood is directly keeping that software online longer, it’s even more important. Uptime maps directly to revenue, and that’s why Caleb Hailey — who previously worked on this as a consultancy — decided to start Sensu to try to piece together the monitoring operations into a single spot where a company can keep an eye on the health of their operations. The company said it has raised $10 million in a new financing round led by Battery Ventures, with existing investor Foundry Group participating. Battery’s General Partner Dharmesh Thakker is joining the company’s board of directors. “Big enterprises are hesitant to work on startups, they’re risk averse, and it reduces the risk exposure to double down on an open source stack,” Hailey said. ” But this open source technology, it’s used in the largest institutions in the world, and we have found that by delivering cost savings in a competitive market we have already established a rapidly growing developer stream.” While all those different tools may have their own way of monitoring the health of a system, Sensu tries to get all this into one place to make things a little easier than checking things one-by-one. The aim is to be more proactive and try to flag problems before they are even noticed by the people using Sensu, plugging directly into services like Slack or sending emails to flag potential issues before they end up becoming larger problems. Like others like Cloudera, Sensu builds its business around helping companies deploy this otherwise open source technology efficiently. Sensu’s backstory starts as a consultancy for Hailey, which was focused on infrastructure and automation — especially as more and more companies moved to a hybrid cloud model that existed partially in some box somewhere on Azure or AWS. Starting off as an open source project is one way that he hopes to convince larger enterprises that might already be using similar tools to adopt a known entity rather than just giving some random startup the keys to maintaining their operations. The monitoring space is still a competitive — and crowded — one. There are tools like AppDynamics or New Relic, but Hailey argues that Sensu can be competitive with those as they are very bundled while his startup helps companies piece together a more complete solution. For example, a company might need higher granularity in their reports, and Sensu aims to try to provide a robust toolkit for companies that have many disparate operations they need to keep online and running smoothly.

Read More »

Bubblz lets you collaborate on painful processes

Meet Bubblz , a French startup that wants to optimize all the boring processes that slow you down. If you’re trying to hire someone, if you need to collect information from many people, if you regularly put together marketing campaigns, you can use Bubblz to automate all the steps and collaborate with your coworkers. Many people use Trello or another kanban-based tool to manage potential new hires and all sorts of processes that require multiple steps. Bubblz uses the same metaphor but with a few extra tricks. Setting up a process is going to take some thinking and a bit of time. But the idea is that you’ll save a lot of time once you have created a process in Bubblz. Each step is represented as a column. You can then configure some actions based on each step. For instance, if you’re trying to hire someone, your first step could be an online form to collect information and upload files. After that, you can review each application and configure multiple buttons. If you click yes, it can move the application to the next column. If you click no, it can send a rejection email and archive the application. If you decide to hire someone, you can track that the person has signed their contract or automatically send an email to the IT department to make them aware of the new hire. You can define a short todo list for each step

Read More »

Background checks pay for Checkr, which just rang up $100 million in new funding

Criminal records, driving records, employment verifications. Companies that use on-demand employees need to know that all the boxes have been checked before they send workers into the world on their behalf, and they often need those boxes checked quickly. A growing number of them use Checkr , a San Francisco-based company that says it currently runs one million background checks per month for more than 10,000 customers, including, most newly, the car-share company Lyft, the services marketplace Thumbtack, and eyewear seller Warby Parker. Investors are betting many more customers will come aboard, too. This morning, Checkr is announcing $100 million in Series C funding led by T. Rowe Price, which was joined by earlier backers Accel and Y Combinator. The round brings the company’s total funding to roughly $150 million altogether, which is a lot of capital in not a lot of time. Yet Checkr is very well-positioned considering the changing nature of work. The company was born when software engineers Daniel Yanisse and Jonathan Perichon worked together at same-day delivery service startup Deliv  and together eyed the chance to build a faster, more efficient background check. The number of flexible workers has only exploded in the four years since. So-called alternative employment arrangements, in the parlance of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, including gig economy jobs, have grown from representing 10.1 percent of U.S. employees in 2005 to 15.8 percent of employees in 2015

Read More »