Apple AAPL +0.05% had long been rumored to make a big play in payments, and on September 9 finally unveiled the first step with Apple Pay. The demo was slick, showing an elegant payment experience – so fast that they had to repeat it “in case you blinked.” Apple CEO Tim Cook was proud to reveal a frictionless reality that makes paying completely seamless. As the Founder of a mobile payments startup, I’ve received dozens of calls and emails from our investors, advisors, customers and partners asking “what now?”
HowGood, Now With $2M In Funding, Releases Apps For More Sustainable Grocery Shopping
New mobile applications from HowGood want to help shoppers become better informed about which food is best to eat – and not just which food is healthiest, as the name suggests, but whether the animals were treated humanely, if the workers were paid fair wages, if the food was produced locally or sustainably, and much more. In addition, the company is announcing that in order to accelerate growth, it has taken in $2 million in outside funding from FirstMark Capital, Highline Ventures, Serious Change LP, Jake Lodwick and Joanne Wilson.
B2B Marketplace Kinnek Raises $10 Million From Matrix To Help SMBs Find And Purchase Supplies
Over the last decade, an increasing number of consumer goods have become available online, leading most users to be able to find more or less anything they could ever want through one website or another. Those goods frequently have detailed product specs, as well as reviews on most frequently purchased items. That’s not the case though, for purchases by small and medium-sized businesses. In many cases, SMBs can’t even find the items they need online, and if they do, all they can access or product descriptions. It’s rare they can actually purchase those items online. Instead, most SMBs were stuck working with local suppliers, which meant they were often not paying the best price or able to shop around before making a purchase. B2B marketplace Kinnek wants to change all that. It’s working to connect SMBs with suppliers that will offer up the goods they need and provide competitive prices for them. Based on its growth in recent months, the company has raised $10 million from Matrix Partners and others to continue expanding its marketplace into new verticals and markets.
Peer-To-Peer Airport Car Rental Startup FlightCar Raises Another $13.5M Led By GGV Capital
FlightCar wants to enable its users to rent out their cars at airports all around the country, and today is announcing that it has raised an additional $13.5 million to help fund that expansion. The new financing comes from GGV Capital, whose managing partner Hans Tung will be joining the company’s board. With FlightCar, travelers leave cars at the company’s lots near various airports around the country and receive free parking for the time that they are out of town. Those cars can then be made available to visitors to that airport, who pay highly discounted daily rates for rentals compared to more traditional car rental agencies.
Uncertain About Hiring, Some Companies Try ‘Test Drives’
Hiring and retaining employees is a struggle for all sorts of companies, but at smaller ones the stakes can be especially high. “One bad seed can really have an impact on your culture,” said Mona Bijoor, founder and chief executive of Joor, a company based in New York that created a wholesale marketplace to connect retailers and brands.
The New Way to License Photographs: A Q&A with ImageBrief Co-Founder Simon Moss
Imagine if you had a project that required a certain, even specific, image and rather than pool through thousands of images in a stock library, you could personally describe the photo you have in mind in great detail to a pool of professional photographers. And, imagine if these photographers would then present, for your consideration, their professional images that match your description. You don't have to imagine anymore. This is how photo licensing is done in this new age of the arts. This is how licensing is done through ImageBrief.
How Fashion Week Accelerates Innovation
Comedy Central partners with Pocket Gems to create interactive mobile stories based on TV show
In a unique deal that brings some cool brands together, Pocket Gems is partnering with Comedy Central to turn the Ugly Americans animated television comedy series into interactive stories. Those stories will appear as tales on Pocket Gems’ Episode mobile storytelling platform, which has become a format that is well-suited for the way that people are consuming mobile entertainment.
HealthTap’s Video Chatting Doctors Want to End Your WebMD Meltdowns
“On the internet,” says Ron Gutman, “every headache becomes a brain tumor in four clicks or less.” For Gutman and his colleagues in the world of health tech, this has become a running joke, a cheeky nod to just how far the human imagination can wander after a quick search of benign symptoms. But there’s more than a little truth to it. The fact is: the sheer abundance of health information online makes consulting Dr. Google an altogether flawed—and at times terrifying—first step toward getting better.
New Dating App Turns Mutual Friends Into Matchmakers
Drync for Android now lets US oenophiles pay for wine using Google Wallet
Drync is about as all-encompassing a wine app as you can get, letting you track your top tipples, discover new bottles, create notes, peruse reviews, and even order in-app. Indeed, all you need to do is take a photo of a wine’s label, and the Drync app finds its availability, price, ratings and more. Having been available for iPhone since the early days, Drync finally arrived for Android back in 2010, and today this version that’s getting a cool new feature: Google Wallet integration.
Uber Opens Its API With 11 Launch Partners, Including OpenTable, TripAdvisor, and United Airlines
We told you it was coming, and here it is: Last week, my colleague Josh Constine reported that Uber was preparing to release an API that would enable its on-demand ride-hailing service to be integrated into a number of third party apps. Today, the company is announcing its API will become available to app developers, with 11 launch partners already signed up. For Uber, the introduction of its API is designed to increase reach and get it in front of lots of new potential users. The company is in 150 cities and nearly 50 countries around the world, but there are untold number of users who might not have tried its service. Showing up in other apps that those users already have installed is a simple way to introduce them to getting an Uber on-demand.