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Inside Batch 25 at 500 Startups




Guest Post: Rishika Jhamb is the Marketing Lead at Alluva. Under no circumstances should any of the below content be construed as legal, tax or investment advice from 500 Startups or any of its affiliates.

Alluva at 500 Startups: What it was really like being a part of Batch 25

In March of 2019, Alluva was accepted into Batch 25 of 500 Startups.

As part of the founding team at Alluva, my thoughts ranged from excitement at the incredible learning opportunity to worry about how challenging 500’s batches were rumored to be.

The outcome was that it was both – and when you’re at Demo Day, you’re going to be grateful to the part that’s ‘too challenging’.

What Alluva is about

At Alluva, we’re building the world’s largest analyst marketplace, where analysts can earn for their insights and companies get a look at predictive data on market movements. We launched our beta earlier this year and while our growth in terms of users has been great, we are constantly evolving to give those very users the best experience. Our goal at 500 was to build on our product, marketing, product-market fit, and all those other nuances that are typical to an early-stage startup.

But 500 had other ideas!!

Challenge Accepted!

When we started, we were focused on making Alluva user-friendly, getting more people on board, and improving the stats of our web app. Our vision is to make Alluva the biggest global analyst marketplace, which allows analysts to get into the field at no cost in exchange for earnings and followings. At the same time, it gives large data companies, financial houses, and media companies a predictive outlook on market movements, allowing them to see tomorrow’s prices, today.

Telling analysts around the world that such a marketplace exists and getting them to try it out was just Step 1. But one week in, it became pretty clear that Step 1 wasn’t going to go at a comfortable pace. Demo Day was in four months. Which meant that we had four months to get to a point where the audience, individual analysts, data companies, and investors could see Alluva from our point of view – as the marketplace and predictive insights provider it is going to be.

That went much beyond Step 1, and a lot of this was going to be about marketing and client engagement. Given that that was my area of focus at Alluva, I was especially excited about 500 Startups, what it would teach me, and how it would improve everything we’d planned.

What you expect versus what you get

The lessons, mentorship, guidance, and insights you get as part of a 500 Startups’ Batch is widely known. You get office hours with experts, talks on topics specific to growth, fundraising, and other aspects of running a startup, mentoring, and help with finetuning your funding pitch among others.

What you get, though, is very different than the simple picture that that knowledge paints.

One-on-One Weekly Reviews: 

Every week, you sit down with your assigned mentor and he/she will more or less give you a lesson in why you’re doing things wrong. Harsh? Yes. But that’s the point. We walked out of some of those meetings feeling like we had no idea what we were doing. But that forces you to think harder, more creatively. And you find yourself going way beyond the objective, big picture view you thought was right. You get real objectivity, see things like never before, and make changes that give you the outcome you really desire. That applies equally to making a product that customers actually like and to speaking to your customers in a way that they actually reciprocate. That is the critical outlook that helped us greatly improve Alluva’s engagement and helped us design an interface that our clients wanted to see.


It’s not all tough love at 500 though. The mentors and staff at 500 understand the struggles of startup life and work because they’ve seen a lot of people dealing with it and have, in most cases, done it all themselves too. That is what makes them tough on you, but also compassionate and understanding. Very often, you get to see the softer side of your mentors – where they share tips and suggestions on how to handle stress and work chaos, where they tell you to occasionally take a breather and appreciate everything that you have done instead of only focusing on improvements required, and where they remain just an email away to help you out with inputs that solve hindrances you may be facing. Another thing that definitely helps is that the people at 500 understand the importance of relaxation, which is why Friday evening catchups with the entire batch are a weekly event. Not only do you get to relax and unwind after a long week, you also get to have casual conversations with your batchmates as well as mentors; you get the chance to address issues that go beyond your tasks and goals, so as to boost your energy and find greater positivity in your outlook.

Network and Global outlook: 

As part of 500 Startups, you receive access to a host of investors and experts, but that is not the only network that you enter. 500 Startups is a family, made up of those that run the company itself, and all the startups that have graduated from their batches. Once a part of 500, always a part of 500 – that is a motto that is followed diligently by everyone who’s been part of 500. Discussions with older batchmates, sharing of perks, networking for resources, sharing relevant information, reaching out for feedback and beta testing – it’s like a micro-ecosystem of the global market, and it’s right at your fingertips for you to participate in, and rely on too. That gives you insight that can influence your very approach. Being able to speak to people with different viewpoints that are influenced by culture, geography, background, their own ventures and more, makes you take a much greater international stand such that your startup is geared for growth from the get-go.

For instance, understanding how different geographies and industries look at a specific disruptive tech (like crypto or blockchain) was crucial to our messaging. Similarly, the numerous discussions on crypto and blockchain with other batchmates from around the world, was instrumental in a change in our roadmap. While we had always planned to add different asset classes to the app, discussions with other batchies played an important role in showing us that we needed to move up these plans, and turn our focus away from adding more cryptoassets as initially planned.


Most importantly though, 500 Startups manages to give you an incredible amount of clarity. Clarity on your own actions, on your product’s feasibility, on your marketing and sales plan, on the way you approach your business growth, and on every large and small aspect of the startup journey – personal and professional. 

These are hard truths that don’t come easily to you when you’re part of a startup because you get so caught up in daily business. These are the smaller victories that you often overlook, allowing your thoughts to focus only on upcoming goals and unintentionally stressing yourself out. 500 gives you the ability to take that necessary step back and see everything that you need to do, but also everything that you have already achieved.

The many sessions and activities that run for four whole months as part of a Batch at 500 Startups will leave you exhausted, yet exhilarated. And it’s all made even more exciting because of the big day towards which you’re working – Demo Day!

Alluva founder and CEO, James Giancotti, presents at 500 Startup’s Batch 25 Demo Day

Demo Day: The Big Finale that is also the Great Beginning

In many ways, Demo Day is the finale of the months you’ve spent at 500, growing and improving. It was the day where we could show people what we’d built Alluva into over the past four months – the analyst marketplace where everybody could see tomorrow’s prices, today. But it’s also a beginning because, as Jess Erickson of 500 Startups says, “After Demo Day, you’re thrown out into the real world where you have to succeed – or die trying.”

At 500, you don’t get any life hack, magic pill, or secret recipe to succeed as a startup. Instead, what you get is a reality check. You get to take that elusive step back and look objectively at everything you’ve been doing and want to do. You may feel that you manage to do that just fine as part of your daily business-as-usual schedule.

500 is the critic that shows you how that may not be the case, and how you can get from where you are to where you want to be. What it expects from you in return is the ability to critically judge every decision you take to ensure that it is optimal, to develop an outlook so that you can look at strategies and plans from angles that were previously ignored, and to take hard work in your stride. 

In short, it expects you to live the real startup life, so that the real world is just a little easier. And it definitely helped us do just that.

By Demo Day, we’d moved much beyond Step 1. We’d expedited our development by focusing on exactly what our individual users and corporate customers wanted. Which is why we went up on that stage with a much better product, a clientele that was already being established, and a steadily growing userbase. Now, we’ve launched an updated version of our app with a host of new features that our customers love, and have gone much beyond just cryptoassets to add various other asset classes. 500 helped us move much faster along the route to our destination of being the world’s largest analyst marketplace, and you can check out our new interface here.

This article was written by Rishika Jhamb, Marketing Lead at Alluva. See original post on Medium.





Overview and Market Trends of Crypto Games in 2021





The number of gamers worldwide is estimated at around 2.6 billion in 2020. The upward trend will add another 125 million by the end of 2021. About half of them hail from the Asia-Pacific region. The crypto gaming scene is representing an increasingly large portion of that number. Crypto games are still a relatively unknown term, at least to the general public, but in 2021 they are expected to explode due to various trends detected in this year. The potential is just too great to be ignored. Ability to reward players and let them trade for real money their in-game items is something a lot of games have tried – mostly unsuccessfully – to achieve in the past. Thanks to blockchain technology, that goal is possible now.

What Is Crypto Gaming?

Crypto games are a relatively new addition to the gaming world. The first games appeared just a few years ago. The main aspect of crypto games is collecting items that rise or fall in value and that can be sold at any time, provided you can find a buyer. One of the first popular crypto games was CryptoKitties. In the game, you can buy a cat and groom it. You can even buy two and breed new kittens. The price goes up and down and you can sell your cats or buy new ones. The most expensive cat ever sold on CryptoKitties reached an astonishing price of $117,000. It was to be expected that the first crypto games would be about cats, but they came in all shapes and flavors. You can collect heroes, monsters, fish, even hamsters. Considering the choice of genres, it is easy to find a game that suits your preferences.

Crypto and iGaming

The iGaming industry is one of the fastest-growing segments of gaming. It is expected to reach a value of 300 billion by 2025. It is no wonder then that a lot of crypto developers are pivoting to it, making their coins iGaming-friendly. 2021 will be huge in terms of using bitcoin for iGaming, judging by some indicators. There is even talk of creating digital coins exclusively for online gambling, although that is far-fetched at the moment. Already established coins, like Bitcoin, Tether, and Ethereum are functioning just fine and are being adopted by more and more online casinos. At this rate, there won’t be an online gambling platform that doesn’t accept them by the end of 2021.

The Trending Platform in 2021

Most crypto games available today are based on the Ethereum blockchain and we don’t see that changing in 2021. Simply put, the Ethereum blockchain is an extremely convenient platform for this kind of apps. IT is readily available, easily modified, and has great tech support to bail out developers when they hit a snag. All these attributes make Ethereum perfect for crypto gaming since the majority of the studios developing games are independent. As such, they can’t afford the muscle power large developers have at their disposal, and having friendly tech support and a platform that can be easily adapted to their needs is crucial. However, this too can change in the upcoming year, but more on that later.

The Developers

As we mentioned earlier, there is only a handful of big names in crypto gaming. Most developers are small indie companies and startups. For the last two or three years, they have been working diligently to create games and in 2021, they are poised to reap the benefits of their hard work. Some of the games, like My Crypto Heroes or Blockchain Cuties, already boast thousands of players and are ready to blow. This will allow their creators to emerge as the first crypto gaming powerhouses on the market. On the other hand, a lot of established studios are eyeing crypto gaming and making plans to join in the fray. They will bring to bear a massive amount of money, influence, and talent, which will affect the segment in a considerable way.

The Benefits of Crypto Gaming

Blockchain technology is on the verge of transforming the Internet. The benefits it offers are huge, but one thing that is slowing its implementation is that most people don’t know enough about it. Crypto games can help with that. By presenting this newfangled technology in a familiar manner – and what is more familiar than gaming – crypto games will allow people to get acquainted with it. This familiarity will make the adoption of all other applications of blockchain that much easier. Even casual gamers, who spend just a few hours weekly playing crypto games will be familiar enough with it that blockchain won’t sound so alien to them. Crypto games will help the world adjust to blockchain in preparation for its wide application.

Crypto Games That Will Mark 2021

Predicting which games will be huge in 2021 can be ungrateful, but we will give it a try. One of our favorites is Forgotten Artifacts. It appeals to our Dr. Indiana Jones fantasies, as it lets you collect various items and artifacts around the game world. The game is still in beta and one limitation is that it can only be played with an Enjin wallet. My Crypto Heroes is another game that shows tremendous potential. Based on Japanese mythology, it allows you to collect various heroes and train them to add new characteristics and increase their value. For our final recommendation, we have chosen Blockchain Cuties. Think of it as Tamagotchi, but with cute monsters instead. You can collect them, breed them, and train them to increase their skill in battle.


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Zumo launches smart portfolio feature to view and manage overall crypto assets





  • Zumo Smartfolio allows users to clearly access the current and historical value of their digital currencies


  • The feature, included in the app’s 2.13 version, also provides insights into possible exchange opportunities to make a profit


Edinburgh, UK – 21 December 2020.- Zumo, the digital wallet and payments platform, has launched Zumo Smartfolio, the latest of the app’s innovative features enabling users to view and manage their overall crypto assets and track the relative position of each of their exchanges in a simple and intuitive way.

The introduction of Zumo Smartfolio in the 2.13 version of the app allows users to access the current and historical value of their exchanges, as well as to see how much gain, or loss, they have made on them over time. The new feature includes a smart portfolio score calculated by matching a user’s buying positions with their sales, providing insights into possible exchange opportunities that could make them profit.

In addition, Zumo Smartfolio has been designed to ensure users can view their data in an intuitive way through interactive pie and line graphs. Users can set the time frame of their Smartfolio to see how their asset values have changed with one day, one week, one month, three months, and all-inclusive timeframes.

Paul Roach, chief product officer of Zumo, said: “By offering Zumo users this feature, we make it even easier for them to take control of their own funds and become responsible smart money-savers, investors or traders. Or even all three.

“Zumo Smartfolio is the latest of a series of innovative features we are launching in the next few months. Users will soon be able to view and download their entire exchange history, as well as their associated Smartfolio data, and spend cryptocurrency alongside traditional money in everyday situations with the upcoming Zumo convertible debit card.”

Zumo App was launched in the UK to make the benefits of blockchain and cryptocurrencies more accessible to everyone by offering users the chance to buy, sell, spend, and send both fiat and cryptocurrencies. The launch of Zumo version 2.12 in November introduced Exchange Price Alerts, a feature that allows users to set up price alerts, notifying them when the price of Bitcoin or Ether reaches a certain level.




About Zumo

Founded in Edinburgh in 2018 by experienced entrepreneurs Paul Roach and Nick Jones, Zumo’s fully decentralized, patent-pending, HD wallet infrastructure is available direct to consumers through Zumo App and to businesses through ZumoKit (our SDK) and enterprise partnership solutions in the developing world.


Zumo is a purpose-driven fintech business with transparency and financial inclusion at the core of our values. We’re on a mission to bring the benefits of decentralization, digital assets, and blockchain technology to ordinary people, everywhere. Our platform enables users to safely store, send, spend, and exchange digital money anywhere in the world easily and cheaply from a mobile device. We do this in the fastest, most transparent, and secure way possible. Our core technology is patent-pending and massively differentiated, giving us the potential to create a world-leading position for a British company, whilst making a big contribution to financial inclusion at a time of the global crisis caused by Covid-19.


For more information

Scott Reid

Mob +44 7912 483423

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Beyond Limits to Expand Industrial AI in Energy with Nvidia




LOS ANGELES, CA – December 16, 2020 – Beyond Limits, an industrial and enterprise-grade AI technology company built for the most demanding sectors, today announced it is working with NVIDIA to advance its initiative for bringing digital transformation to the energy sector.

Beyond Limits will collaborate with NVIDIA experts on joint go-to-market strategies for Beyond Limits’ products and solutions in the energy sector. The company will also take advantage of NVIDIA technical support and GPU-optimized AI software such as containers, models, and application frameworks from the NVIDIA NGC catalog to improve the performance and efficiency of its software development cycle.

“AI has the potential to make a major impact on problems facing the heart of the global energy business, but the technology requires high levels of computing power to operate on the level and scale required by many of today’s global producers,” said AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond Limits. “That’s why we’re so excited to collaborate with NVIDIA, a leading provider of AI computing platforms. With NVIDIA technology support and expertise, Beyond Limits is better positioned to offer faster, more intelligent, and efficient AI-based solutions for maximizing energy production and profitability.”

Breakthroughs in novel high-performance AI solutions are projected to have significant impacts throughout the energy industry. One key challenge facing the upstream oil and gas sector includes the resource requirement for optimizing well deployments, especially when data on a region’s geological properties is highly uncertain. To overcome this problem, Beyond Limits developed a novel deep reinforcement learning (DRL) framework trained using NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs, capable of running 167,000 complex scenario simulations in 36 hours. Following initial tests, the DRL framework yielded a 208% increase in NPV value by predicting and recommending well placements, based on the number of actions explored and the expected financial return from reservoir production over time.

“The NVIDIA A100 offers the performance and reliability required to meet the demands of the modern-day energy sector,” said Marc Spieler, Global Energy Director at NVIDIA. “The ability to process hundreds of thousands of AI simulations in real-time provides the insight required for Beyond Limits to develop scalable applications that advance energy technologies.”

Beyond Limits Cognitive AI applies human-like reasoning to solve problems, combining encoded human knowledge with machine learning techniques and allowing systems to adapt and continue to operate even when data is in short supply or uncertain. As a result, Beyond Limits’ customers are able to elevate operational insights, improve operating conditions, enhance performance at every level, and ultimately increase profits. For more information, please visit

About Beyond Limits

Beyond Limits is an industrial and enterprise-grade artificial intelligence company built for the most demanding sectors including energy, utilities, and healthcare.

Beyond traditional artificial intelligence, Beyond Limits’ unique Cognitive AI technology combines numeric techniques like machine learning with knowledge-based reasoning to produce actionable intelligence. Customers implement Beyond Limits AI to boost operational insights, improve operating conditions, enhance performance at every level, and ultimately increase profits as a result.

Founded in 2014, Beyond Limits leverages a significant investment portfolio of advanced technology developed at Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA space missions. The company was recently honored by CB Insights on their 2020 List of Top AI 100 most innovative artificial intelligence startups and by Frost & Sullivan for their North American Technology Innovation Award.

For more information, please visit

Contact Information:
Ed Cruz

LEWIS for Beyond Limits





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7 Ways to Skyrocket Business Growth Using Blockchain




Every business owner is looking for ways to expand their market reach and boost their revenue generation. Luckily, technological advancements are providing new strategies that can set them apart from competitors in the market.

Blockchain technology is one of those fresh strategies that is quickly transforming the business realm. This technology stores transaction in an electronic register (database) in the form of blocks, where they cannot be altered in any shape or form. People only associate Blockchain technology with cryptocurrencies, misunderstanding that it is just a branch. This article highlights how your business can benefit by adopting the path of Blockchain technology.

Here are 7 ways to skyrocket your business growth using Blockchain:

1.    Helps Build Trust with Customers

Many businesses fear that changing up strategies can be detrimental to their success. But the truth is that if businesses want to stay relevant in the long-run, then they need to embrace new trends and technologies.

This fear is often associated with Blockchain technology as it is relatively new compared to more traditional systems. But leveraging Blockchain can help companies unlock unearthed potential and improve their audience reach. The best way to get started is by showing existing customers how this technology can offer a lot of advantages, the most important being increased confidentiality.

Businesses that aren’t ready to accept this change will get left behind, so now’s your chance to make the shift.

2.    Adds Ease In Employing Reliable Staff

Businesses need to have a cooperative and committing staff to be able to increase their business’s development because “team-work makes the dream work.”

However, it requires a lot of time and research to be able to recruit employees that are dedicated enough. Blockchain can ease that burden and does the job quickly.

Most candidates will add information in their CVs that might not be accurate; Blockchain can allow you to legally have access to all their personal records, like academic and past employment. This way, you can check the legitimacy of their aptitude and be able to recruit the most talented.

Hence, this method can help you hire the staff that will help you reach your goals in your business and gain success.

3.    Prevents Irrelevant Ads

Online advertisement has been around for a very long time. They can’t be taken down or get removed as a lot of money has been spent on them. How many times have we been interrupted by ads while browsing the web for something? Too many! Blockchain can play a major part in eliminating the amount of spammy content we’re subjected to while browsing. Since ads cannot be removed from the internet, Blockchain gives clients the liberty to choose what kind of ads they would like to see while surfing the net. This way, the person who creates those ads can also benefit from this by gaining qualified traffic and having more exposure.

4.    Makes Online Transactions Secure And Confidential

Most people worry about their personal information being compromised or getting hacked when performing online transactions. However, the Blockchain prevents that from happening.

It makes sure that all the weak points are fixed so that it cannot be tampered with or hacked. It allows you to perform online transactions on the internet without needing to use payment processors like PayPal, Bank, Credit Card, etc.

It also ensures that a customer’s previous transactions can’t be viewed unless it’s someone who is a relative or involved with the customer. For example, a carpet cleaning company leverages Blockchain technology to aid customers in conducting anonymous online transactions, eliminating all kinds of additional charges which are involved when using traditional payment methods. This will definitely act as a draw to those tech-savvy audiences that are keen to shop online without leaving any traceable tracks behind.

5.    Improved Auditing

The Blockchain serves as a balance sheet to document transactions and check if they are efficient and authentic. The process of evaluating recorded transactions to check if it is precise, applicable, and dependable is known as an audit.

For example, instead of asking third parties to send confirmation statements, auditors can easily validate transactions by using free Blockchain ledgers online.

6.    Easy to Raise Funds

There used to be a time where you would need to request a loan from a bank to be able to fund your business, but now the times have changed drastically. Now you can find multiple ways to fund your business.

ICO (Initial Coin Offering) has become the most well-known and admired way to raise capital for your business venture. It can also be known as a token sale. Investors are offered a token in the form of cryptocurrency in exchange for real money or any other digital currency. This new methodology helps to raise funds as it offers some form of value to the investor.

7.    Successful Marketing Campaign

Companies depend on data related to consumer interest’s drive better marketing. Market research is another area where Blockchain technology can help third-party companies to obtain actionable insights. There have been some notable use cases of Blockchain that are empowering digital marketers to build better relationships with customers. This is known as Blockchain Marketing.

Since Blockchain requires no middleman, there is an emphasis on consumer data confidentiality. And the data is owned by the customer, so they’re able to share it willingly with the advertising platform. Once the data is provided, marketers can direct more personalized campaigns towards specified audiences, so there are higher conversions. Moving forward, we are more likely to see this form of digital advertising being leveraged by companies.

Conclusion – Using Blockchain the Smart Way

If you are planning to upgrade your business through the implementation of Blockchain, it is advised to keep in touch with a legitimate Blockchain development firm. This technology has just entered the phase of implementation, with research being conducted to discover its range of applications. With little knowledge available about its hidden challenges, it will be tough to navigate obstacles due to lack of experience. But with its immense potential, it would be foolish not to harness the power of this technology.

Source: Shaheryar Sadiq. Shaheryar provides ghostwriting and copywriting services. His educational background in the technical field and business studies helps him in tackling topics ranging from career and business productivity to web development and digital marketing.


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