Boom – Supersonic Passenger Airliner Raises $33M

It’s been one year since we started dreaming about affordable supersonic passenger airplanes with Boom, one of our portfolio startups. But, building such airplanes is not cheap and it not only requires time but also a great team. And to make it all happen, Boom has successfully raised $33M in Series A round. This funding amount is enough for Boom to build its Baby Boom (XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator) that is one third scale realization of actual Boom passenger airliner and most probably it would fly next year to demonstrate the key technologies for practical supersonic travel.

“This funds our first airplane, all the way through flight tests,” explained Boom founder and CEO Blake Scholl in an interview. “Now we have all the pieces we need – technology, suppliers and capital – to go out and make some history and set some speed records.”

“We have almost all the engineering completed, and the first wing components are showing up in the office this week,” Scholl told me about their progress since wind tunnel testing. “We’re about to do structural tests, and then we’re probably about a year away from flight.”

The investors contributing to the new round include 8VC, Caffeinated Capital, Palm Drive Ventures, RRE Ventures and YC’s Continuity Fund. YC President Sam Altman joins the board alongside this round, as does entrepreneur and investor Greg McAdoo. Boom’s total funding is now at $41 million, and also includes investment from Lightbank and Paul Graham.

Please read full story at TechCrunch.

Zillionize Invests in IQBoxy – AI-Based Technology That Replaces Human Bookkeepers

Whether you are a freelancer, business owner or accountant, you have to keep records of your financial transactions for self management and being compliant with tax obligations. It’s boring and tiring but still very important. There are tons of accounting solutions available for desktop, web and mobile platforms. All have their own pros and cons. Some are too big and complex that normal users don’t use them comfortably. Some lack features and some don’t deliver better user experience. And most importantly, data privacy is also a big concern when using online tools for accounting purposes so it’s hard to find a product that solves all above problems.

But, our latest portfolio startup, IQBoxy does provide a smart, secure and complete solution to most of your bookkeeping problems.

Zillionize Invests in IQBoxy – AI-Based Technology That Replaces Human Bookkeepers

IQBoxy just got graduated from YCombinator’s Winter 2017 batch. It not only offers web and mobile apps to collect, manage and automate your receipts or bills but it also connects you with many popular cloud services like Xero, Sassu, QuickBooks, FreshBooks, DropBox, Box, Evernote, Google Drive, One Drive, Office 365 and Slack through its integration apps. For example, if you just tag a receipt with “xero” in IQBoxy app, it will automatically be transferred to your Xero account with all information including the original receipt image.

IQBoxy makes use of modern AI-based technologies like machine learning, NLP (Natural Language Processing) & OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to bring you an end to end machine based bookkeeping solution that involves ZERO human involvement which means no humans review or edit your receipt data. For example, when you take picture of any of your receipt or bill through IQBoxy mobile app, it parses all data on the receipt line by line to extract and categorize it to reconcile with your bank or credit card statement. This also helps IQBoxy to offer best user experience with minimum response time. For example, if you submit a receipt through IQBoxy app, it gets processed in less than 15 seconds.

Since everyone is conscious about security and privacy of their financial information so IQBoxy takes highest security measures. For example, all data gets AES-256 encrypted and transmitted over HTTPS using TLS 1.2. Not just that, all passwords are also encrypted so no one can see it even if the data is exposed. Last but not least, IQBoxy also allows you to define your own business rules to automate your bookkeeping requirements. There is much more but its better if you try it yourself so get IQBoxy on your iOS or Android device and start automating your bookkeeping.

Zillionize invests in Snappr – Affordable On-Demand Professional Photographer Booking Service

Hiring professional photographers with special equipment for example high quality DSLR cameras is mostly expensive. It’s normal for big companies to hire professional photographers for their photo shoots but it’s not affordable for common people. What if you get the facility to book such highly professional photographers for your own photo shoot needs but at the price you can easily afford (like starting from just $59)?

If you find this idea interesting then you would love Snappr.

Snappr – Affordable On-Demand Professional Photographer Booking Service

Zillionize is glad to share that it has invested in Snappr – a company that let’s you book professional photographers at very affordable rates. All photographers are vetted by Snappr to ensure that you get the services of only the best ones. Not just that, when a customer shares details about his photo shoot requirements, Snappr’s application uses its instant matching features to find the photographers who have the right expertise and the right equipment to deliver beyond your expectations. After your booking, Snappr photographer will bring their professional kit to your chosen location for photo shoot and within 72 hours of your shoot, you can directly download your edited photos from Snappr’s secure hosted gallery. If you want to give it a try, book your Snappr today!

Zillionize Invests in Armory – Cloudera, for Spinnaker

If you are in software industry, we hope that you would have heard of Spinnaker, a Continuous Delivery (CD) platform originally developed by the popular Netflix and then open sourced in 2015. If not then you must be aware of Jenkins, a popular open source Continuous Integration (CI) software which can also be turned into a continuous delivery network. You can also think of Spinnaker as a simplified option to Jenkins for continuous delivery of your software on the cloud. Spinnaker was developed with the objective of making multi-cloud deployments a breeze. For example, if a vendor used Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform or Microsoft Azure for their hosting needs then they mostly got locked-in with that specific cloud platform since multi-cloud continuous delivery was complex and risky. But with Spinnaker, you can reliably automate deployments to multiple cloud platforms together with a multi-cloud pipeline.

Spinnaker is a powerful and complex technology that has huge potential but some company has to take the challenge of wide-spreading its usage just as GitHub promoted the use of Git and Cloudera did for Hadoop.

Armory – Cloudera, for Spinnaker

Meet Armory, our new portfolio startup from YCombinator’s Winter 2017 batch that takes the challenge of building another Cloudera but for Spinnaker. Armory offers hosted spinnaker to take care of its security, upgrades, backups etc. so that their customers only focus on building and deliverying their products to save their time. For enterprises concerned about their privacy, Armory also provides an on-premise version called Armory Deploy with enterprise support and weekly updates. Armory Spinnaker Dashboard allows customers to manage their users, groups, permissions, spinnaker instances and access advanced analytics (including deployments tracking by users/applications and logging etc.) from single user interface. And not just that, with the use of latest machine learning and AI technologies, Armory has also built a smart product called Armory Elevate that helps you to identify and prevent bad deployments before they happen.

In short, you can trust your deployments with Armory so, don’t wait and Try it!

Zillionize Invests in Riley – Lead Qualification As a Service

Whether you are a real estate agent or a broker, you better understand how hard is it to convert leads. But, do you know that one of the important factors that effects conversion rate is response time?

Yes, according to a latest research, leads that are responded in less than 5 minutes have 21 times more chances to convert. But, is it possible to respond leads so quickly?

Well, normally most of the properties are listed on the real estate websites or mobile apps with inquiry forms which potential buyers fill in to get contacted by the agents. Buyers can check your properties any time and hence any time leads can be created. You may not respond to those leads in time if it’s your family time or you are busy dealing with some other customers. Sometimes, even leads are missed and never contacted back hence many potential opportunities are lost. So, what’s the solution to these problems?

Zillionize Invests in Riley – Lead Qualification As a Service

The answer to this problem is Riley, our new portfolio startup from YCombinator’s Winter 2017 batch that offers lead qualification as a service to real estate agents and responds to leads within 2 minutes, 24/7 via SMS. Riley also applies lead scoring to identify the hottest leads and produce more results. In the age of artificial intelligence, Riley brings a 100% human powered solution to its customers that has the ability to double the conversion rates from their leads. Internally, Riley works as Uber for Concierges where concierges have to pass certain tests to join Riley and on top of them, there are concierge managers and quality control managers to manage everything. One of the amazing features offered by Riley is that customers can see live conversations between Riley concierges and their leads. At any time, if a customer wants to take over the conversation, he can jump in and talk to the lead directly. It also helps customers to review performance of their concierges. Riley concierges use proven scripts to have conversations with the leads but if customers want, they can also use custom scripts and assign them to different types of leads.

Riley offers all of these goodies as flexible pricing plans starting from $199 per agent for up to 50 leads per month and operates at 81% gross margins. For now, Riley focuses on residential real estate agents but has plans to grow its business by also targeting insurance & car sales agents and mortgage lenders.

If you are interested in using Riley as first point of contact for your leads and would like to learn more about it, go ahead and Schedule a Call!

Zillionize Invests in – AI-Based Technology Making Smartphones Predict Your Needs

Smartphones have become an important part of our lives. We can’t even think of spending a single day without them. We use them to do our business, perform day to day jobs, order things, share anything we want with the world and most importantly, stay connected with our customers, colleagues, partners, friends, family members and everyone close to us. These little gadgets are the smartest companions we have.

Then how about making them even more smart and turn them into true companions we always wished them to be?

It’s simple. A true companion is the one who understands you, who always stays with you no matter what and who knows what would you need and when. Isn’t it?

If so then you would be amazed with the technology brought to you by, our latest portfolio startup from YCombinator’s Winter 2017 batch.

Zillionize Invests in – AI-Based Technology Making Smartphones Predict Your Needs is a machine learning and artificial intelligence based technology for smartphones that predicts users’ needs and shows related information and actions to them on their smartphone home screen automatically. XIX learns more about you by following your daily routine like when do you take your bus, which route you follow, what food do you order and when, which phone calls, meeting or group conversations you make daily at specific time etc. and then whenever you have to do something at specific time and/or at specific location, XIX would anticipate it automatically and show you related information with actions. For example, it can predict that you order coffee every morning from specific coffee shop and when the time comes, it would automatically order your favorite coffee using the coffee app on your smartphone and show on your home screen to confirm the order with just one tap.

XIX aims for a future where smartphones perform all routine jobs automatically for users so that they only have to confirm actions and see required information on their screens to save their time. The current prediction accuracy rate of XIX is 90% and with a solid team of top AI engineers from Google Research, OpenAI and Berkeley University, they are confident to achieve 99% accuracy rate which means XIX would be able to predict user needs almost 100% accurately. If you find it interesting then check and Join Waitlist.

Zillionize Invests in Cowlar – Wearables for Dairy Cows

Whether you own few cows or have a dairy farm, you know better about all the hard work required to manage your cows. Whether it’s about milking the cows or keeping an eye on them to monitor their health, estrous cycle and behavior etc., it’s all about timing. A simple example is to monitor estrous behavior or silent heat of cows from time to time because missing an estrous may delay cow breeding from 2 to 3 weeks which ultimately may cause delayed lactation. Monitoring all these checks manually requires lots of efforts and we know your pain. You might have dreamed of some magic that automatically informs you about your cows’ health, estrous cycle, temperature and behavior at the right time so that you don’t have to check yourself every time.

If so then your dreams have come true and there is such a magical technology for your cows now whose name is Cowlar and it’s one of Zillionize’s portfolio startups now.

Cowlar – Wearables for Dairy Cows

Cowlar is a smart neck collar for your cows. You just need to wrap it around the neck of your cows and install the solar powered Cow router (that connects with all Cowlars within 2 miles range) to get go. Sensors integrated in Cowlars track all data related to cow’s temperature, behavior and activity and send to Cowlar servers through Cow router where all this data is processed after applying complex machine learning algorithms and dairy science to make sense. Based on processed information, Cowlar servers send actionable alerts and recommendations to farmers to detect early diseases, estrous cycles etc. Farmers can also view information, statistics, alerts and all analysis using Cowlar web and mobile apps. You also don’t have to worry about power consumption of Cowlar because it almost runs an year with a single recharge.

You may Join Wait List, If you like this magical wearable and would like to try it on your cows.

Zillionize Invests in Pit.AI – Artificial Intelligence Based Investment Management

When we talk about investment industry and investment funds, we can’t ignore hedge funds who are big players of the market with trillions of dollars in their capital. Hedge funds are different from mutual funds because they almost invest in all types of assets and hence involve more risks. To minimize those risks and be able to gain profits in both rising and falling markets, hedge funds take services of experienced management firms. These fund management companies and fund managers have huge fees including management fees (also called annual percentage which is mostly 2% of the fund’s net asset value) and also performance fees which is mostly 20% of fund’s annual profit. All these fees are simply huge and there was no other option that could help reducing these fees or save such expenses of hedge funds but there is one now and it’s Pit.AI.

Pit.AI – Artificial Intelligence Based Investment Management

Meet Pit.AI, a team of AI researchers from Oxford university with first-class experience in financial markets and our latest portfolio startup from YCombinator’s Winter 2017 batch who believe that Artificial Intelligence can replace human investment managers and help hedge funds save their management fees. Pit.AI is doing this by building AI agents that can develop deeper insight from massive financial data and learn how to invest by themselves by using proprietary machine learning technology.

Doesn’t it sound exciting? If this also interests you, check it out by yourself.

Zillionize Invests in UpKeep – Mobile-first Maintenance Management CMMS

Most of you are already aware of CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) software. There are plenty of them being used in different industries for many years provided by lots of information technology companies including big giants like IBM and SAP. But, most of these CMMS software are desktop based, complex and higher management focused. Even some CMMS software also provide mobile apps though most of the technicians don’t use them happily since they are not user friendly to them. How about a simple CMMS software that’s accessible by anyone from anywhere on any device and is equally loved by both technicians and managers?

UpKeep - Mobile-first Maintenance Management CMMS
UpKeep – Mobile-first Maintenance Management CMMS

The answer is new member of our portfolio startups from YCombinator’s Winter 2017 batch, UpKeep that lets users, technicians and managers collaborate almost in real time from anywhere on any device with the help of its Cloud and mobile apps. UpKeep offers comprehensive maintenance management solutions for small to large businesses including asset management, facility management, mobile CMMS, request portal, smart monitoring (in partnership with Monnit) and several enterprise features like enterprise level reporting, account management with different access levels etc. Give it a try!

Zillionize Invests in Scaphold – GraphQL Based Universal API Service Provider

For developers, it’s very common to integrate their applications with other 3rd party APIs. A very simple requirement to allow users logging into your apps using their Facebook, Twitter, GitHub or Google accounts would need you to integrate your applications with Facebook, Twitter, GitHub & Google APIs. That’s just a simple use case. Such integrations can be too many and even overly complex depending upon your business needs. To integrate with every 3rd party API, you not only have to study its documentation separately but also have to develop and test each integration which consumes too much time. Life would have been a whole lot easier if there is some service that consolidates all 3rd party APIs into a universal API and takes care of all integration stuff to save your time so that you can just focus on your business logic and build applications rapidly.

Good news is: such service does exist and its name is Scaphold.

Scaphold – GraphQL Based Universal API Service Provider

Scaphold recently graduated from YCombinator Winter 2017 batch and attracted us so much that we have added it to our list of portfolio startups. Scaphold API replaces hundreds of APIs to provide a single user friendly interface that developers can use and save their time. Scaphold does this magic using an application layer query language called GraphQL which is more latest, simple, stable and efficient than REST APIs. Combining your business logic with hosted data services and management tools offered by Scaphold, you can quickly build your applications and create value for your customers. So, don’t wait and start building now!