Tag Archives: pitch

Startup Battlefield returns to Sub-Saharan Africa this December

TechCrunch is headed to Lagos to host our second Startup Battlefield Africa competition on December 11! Last year, we held our first Startup Battlefield Africa in Nairobi, where startups from across the continent highlighted how technology is optimizing supply chains, increasing access to education, strengthening farmers’ revenues and so much more. Since the last Startup Battlefield Africa, the continent’s tech scene has continued to develop at a rapid pace. VC investment in African startups doubled between 2015-2017. Overall, there’s been an uptick in committed VC for Africa’s startups and accelerators, including $2.1 billion  across at least four funds. There are more than 300 tech hubs across the continent (and counting) that are building, supporting and bringing together African startups, mentors and innovators. We’re looking for Sub-Saharan Africa’s best innovators, makers and technical entrepreneurs to participate in TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa 2018 . We’re looking for startups most likely to produce an exit or IPO; startups of any kind may apply. TechCrunch will host the event in Lagos in front of a live audience and top judges, and the show will be covered on TechCrunch. The judges will choose a winner, “Sub-Saharan Africa’s Most Promising Startup,” whose founders will win US$25,000 in no-equity cash plus a trip for two to compete in the Battlefield at TechCrunch’s flagship event, Disrupt 2019 (assuming the company still qualifies to compete at the time). Applications are open now and you can submit your startup here .

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PitchBook now offers users suggested companies when they search

This one’s for all the due diligence fiends and competitive landscape mapping mavens out there. PitchBook , the data and analytics service for private equity and public markets, is rolling out an automated suggestions feature for premium users when they’re doing searches on companies for market intelligence. The new service is based on machine learning technology that scours PitchBook’s financially focused information and data set. Each word in a description is represented in 300 dimensional space using the global vectors for word representation software lifted from researchers at Google and Stanford, and those vectors are then applied to companies to determine their various relationships. “The differentiator for why the output of this is going to be high quality. When we look up a company is because we have this proprietary set of financial related news and information,” says Tyler Martinez, the director of software engineering and data science at PitchBook. During an advanced search, the Suggestions algorithm stores the entire search as a vector ad compares it against a larger word embedding model to find similarities among companies. Behind the new features is a years-long effort to get more financial data at more scale, according to the company. PitchBook invested in web mining tools and an automated news collection technology that can process 30 billion words. And the amount of material that PitchBook and its competitors have to track has expanded exponentially since the company was initially launched years ago. There was $28 billion invested into 1,700 deals across the globe in the first quarter of 2018, and the geographic expansion of the private equity business and the explosion of interest in private markets has created a new demand among investors who don’t know what they don’t know, according to PitchBook.

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