LUS Brands tackles the $50B+ global curly hair market. LUS bootstrapped its way to over $1M in sales and 19K+ customers in its first year. Launched in 2017 as a direct-to-consumer e-commerce brand, LUS offers products for different curl types which can be purchased on a one-time or subscription basis. Read more about LUS Brands in TechCrunch.
Voicery synthesizes the most realistic human voices using deep neural networks. Prior to starting Voicery, Andrew, one of the founders, led the speech synthesis research team at Baidu Research. By synthesizing speech nearly indistinguishable from human, Voicery aims to enable new media applications, such as auto-generated audiobooks, podcasts, television dubs, and voice overs. Their website lets users compare human and synthesized sentences and guess which is which. Read more about Voicery in TechCrunch.
Reverie Labs optimizes potential medicines using machine learning. Preclinical drug development takes multiple years and hundreds of millions of dollars for each FDA-approved drug. By applying deep learning techniques (newly published within the past 2 years), Reverie Labs can help bring new medicines to clinical trial much faster than previously possible. Read more about Reverie Labs in TechCrunch.
Shogun is a storefront builder for eCommerce sites. It’s one of the most popular apps on Shopify, and just launched on BigCommerce. An interesting fact about this startup is that it came back from the dead. The founders originally quit the company in October 2015, and it ended up growing on its own to $15k MRR before they decided to start working on it again full time. One of the founders of the company, Finbarr Taylor, is a former YC Software Engineer. Read more about Shogun in TechCrunch.
Volley makes voice-controlled entertainment for Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Its top game, “Song Quiz”, a name-that-tune style music trivia game, is the #1 game on the Alexa store. Volley has created seven of the top 20 games on Alexa and has over 500,000 monthly active users. Read more about Volley in TechCrunch.
Aerones builds industrial heavy lifting drones for cleaning, firefighting, human rescue and delivery. The drones can lift up to 440 pounds for firefighting and human rescue, which overcomes the limits of traditional firefighting. Read more about Aerones in TechCrunch.
The One Health Company is the first to bring precision medicine to dogs with cancer. Sadly, cancer is the number one disease killer of dogs and over 6 million dogs every year are diagnosed with cancer and their owners have few options. One Health brings hope by leveraging advanced genomics and treatments, personalized for your dog. The research One Health gathers accelerates cancer cures for dogs, and humans too.
Station is the browser for work. It is a native desktop app that unifies all of the web apps used across your company. People now spend the majority of their working hours in SaaS applications on their web browser, but browsers weren’t designed for work and for teams to collaborate with. Station currently supports 400+ applications including the entire G suite, Slack, Trello, Asana, Atlassian, Intercom and Airtable. They’ve reached 14k weekly active users and over 400 teams are using them. Read more about Station in TechCrunch.
Promise is working on a solution to reduce the jail population. County governments pay Promise to work with arrestees who would otherwise be incarcerated because they couldn’t afford bail. Promise provides arrestees with tailored plans that include court-mandated conditions and connection to services such as drug treatment, housing, mental health treatment, job training and others. The connections and support provided by Promise help participants achieve goals and reduce recidivism. Read more about Promise on TechCrunch.
Playbook is the offline social media platform, where the point is to hang out with people in person rather than spend a lot of time on it. You can check it to see what nearby college students and friends are doing and join in, for example tagging along to a hike, a meal, or a bubble tea run. Students have used Playbook in over 120 countries to hang out and make friends. Read more about Playbook in TechCrunch.
Tingles is a video platform for ASMR. ASMR is a new video genre that helps people relieve anxiety and fall asleep. It’s one of the fastest growing video verticals with millions of daily users worldwide. Read more about Tingles in TechCrunch.
Gainful is personalized protein powder, delivered directly to your doorstep. Customers complete a quiz, and Gainful’s algorithm tailors a protein powder blend to their unique body type and fitness goals. Each customer is also matched with their very own Registered Dietitian.
Tributi is automating the preparation of tax filings for individuals in Latin America (think TurboTax for Latam). Current solutions are all ‘pencil and paper’ and therefore costly, error prone, and a general hassle for all involved. Tributi’s software automation solves all of these issues for the end user, and also increases tax compliance and quality levels for the state tax entities. Read more about Tributi in VentureBeat.
Wing It sends you a selection of weekend getaways via Facebook Messenger. All getaways are within a 4 hour drive of the Bay Area and based on your preferences (destination, who to go with and price). Wing It’s founders are Luis De Pombo, a Code2040 fellow with a background in CS from Berkeley, and Gabriel Ascanio who studied architecture at CCA. Read more about Wing It on TechCrunch.