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Top 10 Post-Pandemic Tech Trends

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by OurCrowd

OurCrowd presented its top ten post-pandemic tech trends on Wednesday, broadcasting them live to an audience around the world. With so many changes and challenges during the last year of the pandemic, from shortages of consumer goods to moving life online, the tech industry has been more important than ever in providing creative solutions. It has also been a record-breaking year for venture capital investing, and overall growth in the tech industry.

The online event was based on a popular session of the OurCrowd Global Investor Summit held annually in Jerusalem and which was canceled this year due to the pandemic.

“It’s extremely important this year given the unprecedented growth of the tech investment scene driven by the unbelievable digital transformation that has affected all of our lives,” said Jon Medved, the founder and CEO of OurCrowd, as he opened the event. “There is no better time to analyze what the tech trends are for the smart investor, and where the technology market is moving.”

Many of the ideas and solutions that emerged during the pandemic will be vital even after the virus wanes, Medved said. Several entrepreneurs, industry leaders and OurCrowd investors participated in the event, which was hosted by Alex Roy, a motorsports champion turned tech investor and entrepreneur.

“I’m obsessed with making the impossible possible, and making science fiction, science fact,” Roy said. “The best way to predict the future, is to build the future.”

These are the top ten tech trends:

1. “Work, Pray, Love”: Pivot to virtual

Much of life, including shopping, work and social gatherings, has moved onto the screen, and creative start-up companies are helping to make this shift possible. Even after the pandemic fades, many entrepreneurs and consumers expect much of life to still happen online, or in some combination of in-person and virtually.

“We believe that the world of events is going hybrid,” said Eran Ben-Shushan, co-founder and CEO of Bizzabo, which saw massive growth during the pandemic, even as most in-person events were cancelled.

Other startups fueling this trend include payroll solutions-provider Papaya Global and cybersecurity company JumpCloud, which allows IT managers to track and manage users, devices and platforms on their networks.

2. “Science is for Dinner”: The rise of foodtech

Lab-produced and plant-based food is disrupting a $6 trillion global food industry. Quality, quantity and sustainability are the driving forces to finding new and alternative sources of food, and better ways to produce food.

“One of the biggest challenges in the food industry is finding alternative protein sources to feed the increasing world population,” said Tammy Meiron, chief technology officer at Israel’s Fresh Start FoodTech Incubator, adding that the market for alternative protein is expected to reach $27 billion by 2027. “We are in a continuous process of a climate crisis that negatively affects crop yields. In addition we have more people to feed with the same land and water resources. We are intensively working on startups that are going to make a revolution in the field. When you bring science into the food, you can create new concepts and flavors.”

Other big players in this field include indoor vertical-farming company Plenty, cell-based seafood products company BlueNalu, alternative dairy products-maker Ripple, and cultured meat startup Aleph Farms.

3. “Retailers Double Down on Digital”: E-commerce

Currently, 60% of customers’ interactions with retailers are online, and companies are leveraging the power of artificial intelligence and augmented reality to ramp up their investments in personalization, location, voice shopping and chat bots.

“COVID-19 forever changed shopping and retail as we know it,” said Andrea Wasserman, head of global commerce at Verizon Media. “Technology that had been nascent in the industry suddenly became a lifeline for survival.”

Wasserman said the challenge now is retaining all the customers who switched to digital shopping during the pandemic. One of the companies helping make that possible is ByondXR, which creates virtual versions of brands’ stores online, where consumers can see products arranged on shelves, and even look out the windows to see views of the streets.

“It’s a platform that brings the best properties of the physical world into the online world, basically creating a perfect harmony between the two,” says Byond XR’s CEO Noam Levavi. Other creative players include personalized advertising startup Clinch and Ordergroove, which focuses on frictionless and ongoing customer experiences.

4. “Water Means Business”: Watertech

Innovation is improving the safety and availability of the world’s most precious resource, water. Both companies and individuals are benefiting from new and creative solutions.

“What we are seeing today is a new breed of companies which are truly technology companies,” said Eli Nir, a watertech investor and OurCrowd partner. “With significant and excellent IT in a range of fields, all the way into AI and cybersecurity, using machine learning to prevent hackers getting into critical water infrastructure.”

Those at the forefront of this trend include BlueGreen Water Technologies, which solves toxic algae growth; IXDen, which protects tiny sensors and other connected devices used on infrastructure from cyber attacks and malfunction; and WINT, which uses artificial intelligence to find and stop leaks at their source.

5. “Logistics are Suddenly Sexy”: Supply chains

The last year, with shortages in goods ranging from toilet paper to lumber, and the temporary shut-down of the Suez Canal due to a large container ship that ran aground, has highlighted how vital, and vulnerable supply chains are.

“It is clear that supply chains must evolve in efficiency, capacity, agility,” said Ilan Reingold, CEO of BionicHive, which makes robots that can be retrofitted for any warehouse. “There is a strong need to automate and improve the major part of the supply chain that starts at production and ends at the last mile of micro fulfillment.”

Others enabling these needed changes in supply chain logistics include Freightos, an online freight shipping marketplace and Trellis, which uses artificial intelligence and other technology to optimize food and agricultural supply chains.

6. “Data Gets Really, Really Big”: Data

Data is the world’s greatest non-natural resource. Now, new technologies are harnessing its true power to increase understanding about everything from health to materials. It is a field that is impacting every industry and creating new ones.

“They call data ‘the new oil,’ and the reason is because information lets us understand the engine of our world, and how it works,” said Stav Erez, a partner at Jerusalem-based incubator Labs/02. “Data is the main driver of business action in the field of automotive, healthcare, communication, banking, energy, and basically whatever else you can think of.”

Leading companies include Materials Zone, which is speeding up the processes for creating new industrial materials; Dataloop, which helps with the development of vision AI systems; and data.world, which makes platforms to help businesses better use and understand information in order to answer questions and make decisions.

7. “Telemedicine a Day Keeps the Doctor Away”: MedTech/Digital Health

Development like online medical visits and remote monitoring are just the beginning of a huge revolution in healthcare. With technology, care will hopefully get better, more accessible and less costly.

But it’s not just about remote care; the pandemic has also challenged hospitals to take care of patients in safer and more efficient ways. Technology like TytoCare’s handheld examination tool allows doctors to listen to patients’ hearts and lungs while they are at home. During the pandemic, it also came in handy for checking on hospitalized patients without requiring staff to enter the room and potentially be exposed to the virus.

“Nobody thought of using this inside the hospital,” said Eyal Zimlichman, deputy director general, chief medical officer, and chief of innovation at Sheba Medical Center. “But during this COVID crisis, we wanted to have minimal contact between our staff and their patients.”

Other startups driving innovation in medtech include Sweetch, an app that helps patients monitor medical conditions and maintain healthy habits; and Diagnostic Robotics, a triage platform based on artificial intelligence.

8. “Spatial Computing Maps the Future”: Human-Machine interaction

Artificial intelligence technology is both driving and taking advantage of spatial computing revolution, which will pave the way for more machines interacting with each other and with humans.

“The new wave of computing is spatial, it’s all around us,” said Ori Inbar, an industry expert in augmented and extended reality, referring to the advancement of virtual reality and augmented reality. “We see information in 3D, and it behaves just like real objects behave in the real world.”

Interesting companies in this sector include Edgybees, which overlays situational information over real-time maps and images; volumetric video capturing company TetaVI, and CorrActions, which detects human brain signals, and prevents human error while operating cars and other machines.

9. “Energy Goes Green, Clean, and Lean”: Green Energy

The answer to surging energy demands and sustainability lies in technology. It is something more people are becoming aware of and trying to implement.

“I think there has really been a shift in the way people are thinking about this, partly because while climate change has been a conversation for a long time, it is becoming very real now,” says Kathy Hannun, co-founder and president of Dandelion Energy, which replaces furnaces and air-conditioners with geothermal heat pumps, which use the constant-temperature air found underground to heat or cool a home. The system reduces fossil fuel use and cuts carbon emissions. 

Other companies driving this trend include mPrest, a platform that brings artificial intelligence to applications like energy grids and connected cars, and H2PRO, which enables large-scale production of environmentally-friendly hydrogen.

10. ”Quantum Computing Beefs Up, Scales Up, and Shores Up”: Quantum computing

While the long-anticipated advent of quantum computing has been held up by challenges in scalability, programming, and security, solutions are on the way.

“In the last few years it has turned from a dream to reality,” said Nir Minerbi, CEO of Classiq, which is working on algorithms for quantum computers. “And in a few years we will have large-scale quantum computers that will be able to perform tasks that no super computer in the world could have ever done.”

Leading startups pushing quantum computers forward include Entangled Networks, which is working to solve issues of scale; QuantLR, which is developing low-cost cryptography for quantum computers; and Quantum Machines, which makes a universal software and hardware control program for quantum computers.

Bonus Trend! “Cyber Securing the World”

Recent months have seen several high-profile cyber attacks as well as an increase in so-called ransomware attacks, where criminals exhort money. The coronavirus pandemic has led to an overall increased cyber risk, as well as a push for more effective solutions.

“Because of all of the employees that moved to work from home, the threat surface just expanded dramatically,” said Richard Steinnon, an IT security expert. “The security industry saw a bump in spending, and this is probably going to be the best year ever for the cybersecurity industry.”

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://blog.ourcrowd.com/top-10-post-pandemic-tech-trends/

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Radar Payments Now Offers Stand Alone Product for Tipping

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Radar Payments has launched a standalone service for tipping and gratuity, according to a release. Radar Payments is a payment processing provider supporting financial institutions, including payment service providers (PSPs), banks, acquirers, issuers, and Fintechs.

Banks may use the Tippay as a standalone app available in their business client outlets and to partners. The service is designed to allow banks to reach new customers while generating additional revenues by taking a small fee on every tip registered. Radar believes that as cash payments decline and digital payments rise the service can add value to the payments ecosystem.

Radar Payments adds that it has worked with financial institutions to “co-innovate” to create Tippay.

Workers can visit the bank’s Tippay page and register using their phone number while setting up their password. They can also add their card details if they are not a customer of the bank providing the Tippay service. Users can generate a personal QR code which they can share with people who wish to tip them.

Jane Loginova, CEO of Radar Payments, commented:

“This shift in payment behaviour is a positive development for businesses and financial institutions as it reduces cash handling cost. Simultaneously, it also offers a future of fairer wages for the worker, increased operational efficiency for the business, and a more seamless experience for the customer. Everybody wins – and nobody is shortchanged.”

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/09/180636-radar-payments-now-offers-stand-alone-product-for-tipping/

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Radar Payments Now Offers Stand Alone Product for Tipping

Published

on

Radar Payments has launched a standalone service for tipping and gratuity, according to a release. Radar Payments is a payment processing provider supporting financial institutions, including payment service providers (PSPs), banks, acquirers, issuers, and Fintechs.

Banks may use the Tippay as a standalone app available in their business client outlets and to partners. The service is designed to allow banks to reach new customers while generating additional revenues by taking a small fee on every tip registered. Radar believes that as cash payments decline and digital payments rise the service can add value to the payments ecosystem.

Radar Payments adds that it has worked with financial institutions to “co-innovate” to create Tippay.

Workers can visit the bank’s Tippay page and register using their phone number while setting up their password. They can also add their card details if they are not a customer of the bank providing the Tippay service. Users can generate a personal QR code which they can share with people who wish to tip them.

Jane Loginova, CEO of Radar Payments, commented:

“This shift in payment behaviour is a positive development for businesses and financial institutions as it reduces cash handling cost. Simultaneously, it also offers a future of fairer wages for the worker, increased operational efficiency for the business, and a more seamless experience for the customer. Everybody wins – and nobody is shortchanged.”

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/09/180636-radar-payments-now-offers-stand-alone-product-for-tipping/

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Insurtech bolttech Finalizes $210M Series A Round led by Activant Capital Group

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bolttech, one of the fastest-growing global Insurtech unicorns, reveals that it has completed an extension of its $180 million series A round that was led by Activant Capital Group, bringing the series total to $210 million.

As mentioned in a release, this is the largest ever Series A investment round for an Insurtech firm. The company confirmed that it has added new strategic investors, including Singapore-headquartered global investor EDBI and Alma Mundi Insurtech Fund, Spain.

As noted in the announcement:

“With a full suite of digital and data-driven capabilities, bolttech powers connections between insurers, distributors, and customers to make it easier and more efficient to buy and sell insurance and protection products. bolttech has built a global footprint that serves more than 7.7 million customers in 26 markets across 3 continents – North America, Asia, and Europe.”

The release also mentioned that the additional funding should assist bolttech with further enabling its partners and clients with robust technology and digital capabilities. Bringing on these new  investors should also help with strengthening its presence in Southeast Asia, Europe, and its other existing markets, “as the business accelerates its international growth strategy.”

Rob Schimek, bolttech’s Group CEO stated:

“We are thrilled to welcome such high calibre strategic investors. They bring an extensive network and deep expertise in their respective markets which will help propel our growth and support our innovation for our partners and customers around the world. Together with their partnership, we look forward to accelerating our international growth and realising our vision to connect more people around the world with ways to protect the things they value.”

Chu Swee Yeok, CEO and President of EDBI, remarked:

“With an extensive technology-enabled insurance exchange and distribution network, bolttech is poised to lead the digital transformation of Southeast Asia’s insurance sector. EDBI looks forward to partnering Rob and his team to strengthen their innovation hub in Singapore and support the growth of their businesses in the region.”

Javier Santiso, Mundi Ventures’ CEO and General Partner, said that they really value investment partners like bolttech that are willing to streamline and improve the insurance sector with innovative technologies and great products, and “particularly new, game-changing distribution models.” Javier also noted that they “look forward to working with Rob and his world-class team as they build-out their presence and partnerships here in Europe.”

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/09/180621-insurtech-bolttech-finalizes-210m-series-a-round-led-by-activant-capital-group/

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Social Trading and Digital Investment Platform eToro Appoints Michael Plasznik to Board of Directors

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eToro Group Ltd, a multi-asset investment platform that aims to empower individuals to grow their knowledge and wealth, reveals that it has appointed Michael Ptasznik to its Board of Directors.

As mentioned in a release, Michael will be joining the eToro Board at “the closing of eToro’s merger with Fintech Acquisition Tech V (Nasdaq: FTCV) which is anticipated in Q4 2021.” He will also become “a member of the eToro Board’s Audit and Risk Committee.”

Yoni Assia, Co-founder and CEO of eToro stated:

“We are thrilled to welcome Michael to the eToro Board. He brings with him a wealth of experience including in-depth knowledge of finance, regulation, corporate strategy, and risk management. Michael was part of the team that achieved accelerated growth for Nasdaq as a global technology leader, so it feels very fitting that he will join us as our merger closes and eToro joins the Nasdaq as a publicly traded company. Michael will provide us with invaluable guidance as we embark on the next chapter in eToro’s story and continue our own accelerated growth.”

As a Board Member, Michael will be sharing key insights and expertise from his “decades of experience.”

Recently, Michael had retired as CFO EVP of Nasdaq Inc. where he had been leading corporate strategy, M&A, finance, investor relations, risk management, corporate real estate and ESG. Before his role at Nasdaq, Michael worked as CFO for TMX Group Limited, where he offered financial leadership, including the firm’s successful IPO and various M&A deals.

Previously, Michael also worked in various financial roles at Procter & Gamble Canada Inc. He graduated with an honors BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) and earned his Chartered Director designation from McMasters University.

Michael has reportedly served on several boards, which includes the Canadian Depository for Securities Limited, Candeal, the Accounting Standards Oversight Council of Canada and the Board of Directors of the Children’s Aid Society of York Region.

Michael Ptasznik remarked:

“I’m delighted to be joining the eToro Board. I’ve had a front row seat to the evolution of the exchange industry and I now look forward to advising eToro as they embark on the next stage of their journey as a publicly listed company. I’ve been fortunate to work with incredibly talented, creative and dedicated individuals over the course of the last 30 years and I knew when I met Yoni and the eToro team that it would be a perfect fit. eToro has a hugely innovative and differentiated offering and I’m excited to be part of their expansion in the United States and beyond.”

eToro was launched back in 2007 with the mission of opening international markets so that everyone is able to easily trade and invest in a transparent manner. It has created an investment platform that is “built around social collaboration and investor education and created a community where users can connect, share, and learn.”

On eToro, users are able to look at other investors’ portfolios and stats, and interact with them to “exchange ideas, discuss strategies and benefit from shared knowledge.”

eToro serves as a bridge or connection between the traditional and modern worlds of investing. On eToro, clients are able to take positions in traditional assets like equities, currencies or commodities along with emerging digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/09/180619-social-trading-and-digital-investment-platform-etoro-appoints-michael-plasznik-to-board-of-directors/

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