Start-Up News of the Week

Perth-based Funds Management Startup Atlas Trend Raises $2.8m

AtlasTrend has completed the capital raising through new and existing investors, with notable investors including some of the early backers of peer-to-peer lender, SocietyOne, plus several ex-Macquarie Group senior executives. Greg Mackay, a former Macquarie Group Executive Director has joined AtlasTrend’s advisory board.

This capital raising was helped by the recently introduced tax incentives for startup investors as part of the Federal Government’s roll-out of the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

AtlasTrend provides retail and sophisticated investors with online access to proprietary investment insights and an easy way to invest in four exclusive global equities funds, with portfolios aligned to global investment megatrends focused on where the world is heading – Big Data, Online Shopping, Healthy Lifestyle, and Baby Boomers.

The AtlasTrend platform includes exclusive online access to full managed fund investment portfolio details, jargon free investment insights, 24/7 online access to personalised investment performance and direct online engagement with the AtlasTrend team.

“We see a real opportunity to utilise technology to change the way the industry operates and provide retail investors with a transparent, engaging and hassle-free online investing experience in actively managed funds that provide exposure to some of the most thriving global commercial trends.” Stated AtlasTrend co-founders Kent Kwan, Jade Ong and Kevin Hua.

“The pace of technological disruption in the funds management industry is increasing. In this day and age, we see no compelling reason why traditional fund managers continue to only provide monthly or quarterly update reports to investors written in jargon loaded language with little investment portfolio transparency while charging opaque fees.”

El Salvador startup chases $60,000 to fund 10-part animation series

El Salvadorian startup Frame Freak is currently chasing $60,000 in a crowd funding campaign to help secure the el-salvador-870x500capital needed to fund 10-part series Tempus Trip. Tempus Trip was set in motion when it won the 2014 Pixel Pro awards, an animation contest hosted by the El Salvadorean government to motivate local talent into competing in the global market. Frame Freak boasts previous clientele such as Coca Cola, Unilever, Shell, and many, many more. A small cartoon animation studio in El Salvador, the team – led by co-founders “Mundo” Landaverde, Monica de Landaverde and Rodrigo Flamenco – profess a serious love of animated cartoons.

A team of dedicated entrepreneurs, graphic designers and animators, Frame Freak is working hard to learn from the best animators in the industry, with the aim of becoming one of the first cartoon animation companies in Central America working for clients all over the world. Frame Freak provides a rare glimmer of good news for a country currently in contention as the world’s murder capital. At the start of 2016, El Salvador experienced homicide rates of one murder every hour. Despite the challenges of building a global business in this impoverished nation, Frame Freak has managed to secure animation work all over the world.

 

Smart Moderation introduces Artificial Intelligence to fight social media abuse

Smart Moderation has launched as the first Artificial Intelligence solution that protects online users from abusive smart-moderationscontent. As well as bringing the world together on the same platforms, social sites like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram have also seen the rise of divisive online aggression making other users feel less comfortable about sharing and posting. Individuals and brands want their accounts to be free of trolls, spam and profanities. Unlike other social media filters such as BrandBastion, who focus on protecting company’s advertising, Smart Moderation understand words like a human does and analyses meanings of sentences automatically. The software gets rid of unwanted comments in one minute, allegedly much faster than any other software of its kind.

“When you’ve worked hard to develop relevant online content, it’s incredibly insulting to read abusive comments plastered below,” said Ciler Ay Tek, Co-Founder at Smart Moderation. “The Smart Moderation AI software was made to combat and silence internet harassment for good, so your brand can get on with its true mission: building a positive reputation online.” Instead of filtering through individual specific keywords, Smart Moderation can interpret the phrase as a whole and determine whether it is a form of harassment or not. The high-tech text analytics can also understands when Ads are posted to user pages (usually without consent) which gain undeserving exposure and are just generally irritating for brands and individuals alike.

Google parent Alphabet reports $22.45 billion in revenue for Q3, announces $7 billion buyback

It’s been one whole year since Google first reported earnings as Alphabet, its new-ish parent company. Today the google-parentumbrella company announced $22.45 billion in revenue (including traffic acquisition costs) and $9.06 earnings per share (non-GAAP) for its third 2016 quarter. Analysts had expected less: $22.05 billion in revenue and $8.64 earnings per share. Last year (Q3 2015), Google reported revenue of $18.7 billion in revenue and $7.35 earnings per share. When compared to last year, Alphabet’s “Other Bets” drove a bit more revenue and lost a bit less money during Q3 2016. The group — basically everything except Google (think: Nest, Fiber, etc) — saw revenues of $197 million (last year: $141 million), and losses of 865 million (last year: $980 million). In its earnings announcement, Alphabet also announced it would repurchase up to $7.02 billion in stock. In regular trading today, Alphabet stock closed down by about half a percent. After hours, the company was trading up by about one percent.

AWS reports $3.2 billion in revenue in Q3 2016, up 55% over last year

Ecommerce company Amazon.com today said that its Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud computing aws-beer-novet-2-930x698infrastructure division generated $3.23 billion in revenue in the third quarter of the year. That means revenue was up 54.9 percent year over year. AWS produced $861 million in operating income for the quarter, according to today’s earnings statement. The business unit had $2.21 billion in operating expenses. For its most recent four quarters AWS has now fetched $11.08 billion in revenue for Amazon. AWS’ competitors including Microsoft Azure, the Google Cloud Platform (under the newly renamed Google Cloud), and IBM SoftLayer, and the Oracle public cloud, among others. AWS news in the quarter includes a price cut for storage snapshots through the Elastic Block Store (EBS), the launch of P2 GPU-backed instances, and the acquisition of Cloud9. Amazon stock was down more than 6 percent in after-hours trading following the earnings release.

BrainCheck raises $3 million for app to monitor brain health

Posted 18 hours ago by Lora Kolodny (@lorakolodny) A Houston-based startup called BrainCheck has raised $3 million in seed funding for an app that helps users understand, by simply playing some games on an iPad, if they or a loved one may have suffered a concussion. Founded in 2014 by Dr. David Eagleman, a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine, BrainCheck adapts to an interactive format the accepted assessments that neuropsychologists and neurologists administer to patients offline. If concussion sounds like a health problem limited to pro football players, it is not, said Eagleman, and BrainCheck CEO Yael Katz, who has a PhD in biological informatics. There are 1.6 million to 3.8 million sport-related concussions, also known as mild traumatic brain injuries, in the U.S. every year, according to data cited by the Journal of Head Trauma and Rehabilitation.

In 2009, Washington state became the first state to attempt to stem the public health epidemic of concussion among student brain-healthathletes with its Zackery Lystedt Law, requiring policies for the “management of head injury in youth sports.” Since then, the issue has gotten more notice thanks to a PBS Frontline documentary in 2013, League of Denial, and a Hollywood film called Concussion last year starring Will Smith. Now, the president’s 2017 budget proposal requests $5 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish and run a National Concussion Surveillance System, which would allow the organization to more precisely grasp how mildly traumatic brain injuries are effecting the U.S. population. Data gathered by BrainCheck could contribute to such studies and our collective understanding about neurocognitive health, the founders said. While BrainCheck has seen early traction in the U.S., selling to school districts, athletic trainers and families whose kids participate in sports, the company is seeking to expand internationally and beyond concussion monitoring, Katz said. Specifically, BrainCheck is developing features and functionality to assess older users at risk of dementia. BrainCheck CEO Yael Katz.

There are 46.8 million people suffering with dementia worldwide today, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International. “This is projected to double over 20 years,” the CEO noted, reaching 74.7 million by 2030. Dementia assessments will be accessible through BrainCheck as of January 2017. BrainCheck is currently part of the Texas Medical Center accelerator (TMCx) at Texas Medical Innovation Center. An advisor to the center and investor in BrainCheck’s seed round, Brett Giroirsaid, “There is an absolute need for a simple, personal take-home neurologic assessment that is complete and has complexity and sophistication to it, but can be done rapidly and by anyone, for dementia, especially.” He sees BrainCheck as democratizing sophisticated, psychological neuro-testing in a way that can help an aging world population to identify and treat dementia earlier than ever before. Giroir, who was previously the director of DARPA’s science office, lauded BrainCheck’s “scientific  pedigree,” and the potential extensibility of its app. “Beyond concussion and dementia, there are things you can study like the side effects and safety of drugs, and polypharmacy. There are things that can cause people not to remember well, or lose coordination that are not brain injury related, or dementia but would be related to the drugs that they are taking.”

Start-Up News of the Week

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