Last Friday, the muru-D accelerator programme held an open house event in which the 8 companies in the current batch (plus an alumni startup) pitched in front of the ecosystem and were pegged with questions by Roshni Mahtani of Tickled Media.
The companies were diverse and ranged from pet-travel solutions to consumer insights big data. As with any accelerator, the companies were all quite young and were looking to raise in the six-digit range to kickstart their startup journey.
Let’s meet the companies!
1. VR Lab
VR Lab has built a system whereby multiple people can participate in a “room”. The company is using this experience to help make buying real estate easier by allowing agents and prospective buyers to “meet” without ever leaving the comfort of their home.
Think of it like Facebook Spaces for home buying.
The neat thing about VR Lab is that it can show the view of the home. If a room is on the third floor and will just stair at an apartment building vs. a 12th floor vista-view this is highlighted by the software.
2. IDEM Hospitality
One of the lesser-known aspects of the travel industry is that group-travel is still facilitated by rudimentary processes. For events like weddings, family reunions or celebrations, the host usually does much of the transaction via a spreadsheet and it’s a tedious process.
IDEM Hospitality wants to digitalise the process, and in doing so help hospitality hosts create a more direct connection with the guests. Often a hotel will only connect with the organiser and IDEM’s system allows the process to be spread across the entire group so they can connect directly to everyone in attendance.
With the recent news of a pet dying on a United plane flight, more attention is being given to status of our furry friends when we travel. CarePod wants to become the market leader for top-tier carriers.
The pods are expensive, but they are worth the money. They come equipped with technology that maintains a comfortable temperature, creates stress-reducing aesthetics and provides real-time monitoring for the owner.
The company is also targeting airlines in a B2B play to help make these pods the standard operating procedure in the air travel industry.
Vokabee is a language-learning service that uses artificial intelligence to help make building a class more efficient. For example, it’s one-click system helps teachers prepare quizzes more quickly and it can identify trouble spots for the teacher. The service can also track students.
The company is targeting english-second-language classes at international schools at a price-point of US$150 per student.
Vybes wants to help social media influencers monetise more directly with their audience by providing a tool that allows users to simply purchase products straight from the account.
Today, most influencers make their money off advertising, but Vybes wants to help them turn their accounts into little shops. Instead of simply making a nice post about a watch or lipstick brand, they could embed a button that allows people to just buy the product directly.
ShopUp wants to be the go-to shop financing platform for mini social media enterprises (MSMEs) aka people who are running a one or two-person retail company via Facebook or Instagram. In Bangladesh, this is a popular avenue for people to make money, but a lot of the financial infrastructure is informal at best.
Because companies are already integrated into the platform to make selling on Facebook etc. more organised, ShopUp realised it could help these people gain access to business loans. Normally, banks don’t have a way to value the company, but ShopUp can help put numbers to the enterprise to hopefully improve the entrepreneur’s chance of getting a bank loan.
7. Insightz Club
Strangely, one of the industries that has been most resistant to disruption is corporate consumer insights and market research. Insightz Club wants to use big data to help these companies solidify what had previously been fairly ephemeral information to lock down.
For example, the company ran a program to help the car company Honda analyse its marketing effort for the CR-V and helped the brand save US$300,000 by providing insights of where to direct marketing resources.
A lot of the more interesting work-based tools are built for the office workers and leave behind people like construction workers, plumbers and the like. Know is building an app to help manage employment fundamentals like time-in and time-out.
For construction sites, one of the interesting test-cases is use for training. The app has hyper-specific location tracking so it can be different based on where the worker is on the site. For example, if a worker enters an area that is above their pay-grade or safety training, Know could alert them to move into a different area.
Winimy.Ai is an alumni of muru-D that uses artificial intelligence to help with customer service. The service offers smart AI response, real-time analytics, voice assistants easy integration.
For vendors, it helps create a 24/7 customer service line without hiring a full-time night shift employee. The platform is available on a diverse set of channels.
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