AirHelp – Online Legal Service to Claim Compensation on Flight Delays Raises $12M

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It’s just two years ago when we invested in AirHelp and our portfolio startup has kept growing since then. To keep this growth steady and even expand further, AirHelp has now successfully raised $12M in Series A funding round from many investors. Some notable investors include Evan Williams and Khosla Ventures.

AirHelp promises to get you money from airlines when you deserve it. And they’ve helped 900,000 customers so far — sometimes even filing lawsuits on their behalf.

AirHelp wants to “take all that hassle and paperwork away from people,” co-founder and CEO Henrik Zillmer tells TechCrunch. We “saw an opportunity in automating the process so we could handle thousands of claims and not necessarily have to do it manually.”

This is particularly useful in Europe, where customers are legally entitled to refunds for significant delays. (In the U.S., you must pay for travel insurance.)

Please read full story at TechCrunch.

LeadGenius – B2B Lead Generation Solution Raises Another $10M

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In October 2014, we announced about $6M of Series A funding round for one of our portfolio startups, LeadGenius – a sales acceleration solution for businesses. And today we are glad to share that LeadGenius also has successfully raised another $10M in Series B round.

Formerly known as MobileWorks, LeadGenius helps customers find likely sales leads and reach out to them with automated emails. The company says revenue increased 6x in the past 20 months, with customers including eBay, Box and Weebly.

Please read full story at TechCrunch.

Zillionize Invests in People.ai – Report Card of Sales People

Any sales teams play a key and decisive role in the organizational growth and building efficient sales teams is not an easy job. Even more, hiring the wrong person and leaving them unmonitored can be a costly mistake. A good salesperson commands a base salary of $100,000-200,000 per year. More importantly, they’re responsible for a pipeline of $2-3 million in revenue that won’t get closed until you hire a replacement who then needs to spend time getting ramped up, learning about the product and establishing relationships with customers. What sales managers need is to be able to fix the problem before it gets to that point. Of course it is not straight forward because a lot of data needs to be scanned before making a concrete decision. The data includes calendars, email conversations, phone calls and many other data sources which is manually impossible to accurately scan or analyze. This is where People.ai comes to do these jobs intelligently.

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Zillionize happily announces its new portfolio startup, People.ai – a company bringing machine learning algorithms to sales operations.

The service works by scanning email, calendar, phone, WebEx, conference tools and other data sources. It records all the events that happen across the different platforms used by salespeople, and identifies common threads. It then isolates what it deems to be the average best way to close a deal. So not only is the tech able to see what a salesperson did correctly, but also where they deviated from the playbook. Find more info at TechCrunch and give it a try today!

ShipBob – On-Demand Packing and Shipping Service Raises $4M

 

One of our portfolio startups, ShipBob – an on-demand packing and shipping service has raised $4M funding in Series A round.

According to ShipBob co-founder Divey Gulati, whether they sell on eBay, or Etsy, or run their own e-commerce stores built with tools like Shopify, Bitcommerce or Woocommerce, small businesses can sign up for ShipBob, have the company store inventory for them, then when it’s ordered, pack and ship it to customers at the best possible rates.

Typically, a successful ecommerce business can save 20-25% in overhead by using ShipBob, Gulati claimed.

Customers pay ShipBob a small subscription fee for its service, and the cost of discounted postage.

ShipBob provides packaging design help, and sources packaging materials for customers. In some markets, ShipBob can pick up inventory from a store or other small business.

Hyde Park Venture Partners’ founder Ira Weiss said he expects ShipBob to use the new funding for hiring and to build warehouses in at least 5 new U.S. cities over the next year.

Please read full story at TechCrunch.

Meta – Augmented Reality Startup Raises $50M in Series B Round

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We are excited to share that one of our portfolio startups, Meta has raised another $50M in Series B round.

Meta, which makes an AR headset/glasses of the same name, as well as software to run on it, has raised $50 million in a Series B round of funding. The company plans to use the money to continue building out its technology, developing apps, expanding into new markets like China, and working on the next generation of its headset, the Meta 3 — according to a short statement announcing the round. The news comes just ahead of the E3 gaming conference kicking off this week, where we may see yet more AR and VR news emerge.

“It is incredibly gratifying to have the support of big thinkers and investors who understand the importance of creating a new human-computer interface, anchored in science. Our… investors really get what we’re doing and why Meta is different from the other players in AR,” Meron Gribetz, Meta’s CEO said in a statement today. “They understand that the combination of our advanced optical engines along with our neuroscience-based interface design approach are what will create a computing experience that is 100 times easier to use and more powerful than traditional form factors.”

This latest round includes investments from Horizons Ventures Limited (which led its $23 million Series A round), as well as a list that includes several strategic backers with several specifically out of China: Lenovo, Tencent, Banyan Capital, Comcast Ventures, and GQY.

Please read full story at TechCrunch.

Luka – A Messenger App for Bots and Humans Raised $4.42M

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An year ago, we added Luka, an AI-powered messenger app to list of our portfolio startups. At that time Luka was helping people to find best restaurants and dishes nearby but now Luka has grown and has added many chat bots to it service to help people with anything they desire. To keep this growth pace steady, Luka has successfully raised $4.42M in Series A funding round.

Users can still ask restaurant-based questions, but Luka will also connect users with a bot for weather reports, news reports, bots to help you find images and gifs, bots that play adventure games, and trivia game bots.

What’s more interesting is that users don’t have to ask specifically for the bot they want, but simply explain their needs and desires to Luka, who will understand and make the right connection.

For example, the user could say “I’m bored” and Luka would pass the conversation off to a game-based bot so the user can play a game.

Cofounder and CEO Eugenia Kuyda said the company will eventually open up the platform to third-party developers, but for now the team wants to ensure that all the bots are of the highest quality.

The company is also announcing the close of a $4.42 million Series A led by Sherpa Capital, with participation from Y Combinator, Ludlow Ventures, and Justin Waldron.

Please read full story at TechCrunch.

Zillionize Invests in Boom – Affordable Supersonic Passenger Airplanes

Concorde, the most popular supersonic passenger jet took its last flight in October 24, 2003. No supersonic passenger jets have taken a flight since then. It was also very expensive to travel on supersonic jets. It looks like a dream to again see supersonic passenger flights up in the air. And even if this dream comes true, would it be ever possible to make supersonic flight affordable for most of the air passengers?

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Boom – Affordable Supersonic Passenger Airplanes

Meet Boom, latest portfolio startup of Zillionize, which is building the fastest passenger airplane ever. Yes, it’s even faster (1451 MPH) than Concorde (1431 MPH) and the best part is, with more speed, it’s still 30% more fuel efficient than Concorde. Because of Boom’s fuel efficiency, it would also lower costs bringing its fares to same as business class. With Boom, business class passengers would be able to save lots of time. For instance, travel from San Francisco to Tokyo will be reduced from 11 hours to 4.5. Boom will fly next year in 2017.