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Thought Leaders in Financial Technology: Matt Oppenheimer, CEO of Remitly (Part 1)

Posted on Friday, Apr 22nd 2016

International money transfer is on its way to becoming a contactless workflow. It’s still early in terms of adoption, but the handwriting is on the wall.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s have you introduce yourself as well as Remitly to our audience.

Matt Oppenheimer: I’m the Founder and CEO of Remitly.

Sramana Mitra: Tell us about Remitly.

Matt Oppenheimer: Remitly is a mobile phone alternative to the offline cash-based system of sending money internationally. We started about five years ago. We send over a billion in annual transactions which makes us the largest independent digital money transmitter in the US. We’re growing very rapidly. We grew about 400% year on year last year.

Sramana Mitra: The old player in the space is Western Union except they’re not mobile. Is that how you categorize the space? Can you give us a overview of the space? >>>

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April 28 – 304th 1M/1M Mentoring Roundtable For Entrepreneurs

Posted on Friday, Apr 22nd 2016

Entrepreneurs are invited to the 304th FREE online 1M/1M roundtable mentoring session on Thursday, April 28, 2016, at 8 a.m. PDT/11 a.m. EDT/8:30 p.m. India IST.

If you are a serious entrepreneur, register to “pitch” and sell your business idea to Sramana Mitra. You’ll gain straightforward feedback, advice on next steps, and she’ll answer any of your questions. Others can register to “attend” to watch, learn, and interact through the online chat.

You can learn more here and register to pitch or attend here. Please share with any entrepreneurs in your circle who may be interested. All are welcome!

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Thought Leaders in Big Data: Mark Schwarz, VP of Data Sciences at Square Root (Part 2)

Posted on Friday, Apr 22nd 2016

Mark Schwarz: It was very clear to the corporate owners and to a select set of stores that they needed to change their transaction prices and make them lower, and that they need to raise operational efficiency to compete with the third-party oil change providers. They work with us to build new ways of looking at their business.

It helps them collect data they never had before. They can cluster those in ways that are novel and more actionable. Then they can roll them into a set of next steps that are reasonable for both the stores and the corporate staff. As I said, in the middle, we have field managers. I see them as analysts. They are experts at dealing with data on a store-by-store level.

We’re highly concerned about what they think about how the business is evolving and how it can be better. Our job is to augment their efforts. We can give them the data they need to make a change. >>>

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303rd Roundtable Recording On April 21, 2016: With Ho Nam, Altos Ventures

Posted on Friday, Apr 22nd 2016

In case you missed it, you can listen to the recording here:

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Should Verizon Buy Yahoo?

Posted on Friday, Apr 22nd 2016

After multiple failed efforts to resurrect Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO), it appears that the company has finally hit absolute bottom. Markets reports continue to be dismal. An eMarketer report estimates that Yahoo will account for 1.5% of the global market for online ads compared with 2.4% share in 2015. As the company continues to flounder through each quarter, the only news that appears to be uplifting the stock is news of its potential acquisition.

>>>

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Multiple Pivots, Taking on Giants, to Over $100 Million in Revenue: Matthew Calkins, CEO of Appian (Part 5)

Posted on Friday, Apr 22nd 2016

Sramana Mitra: How many enterprise customers were you able to get in 2004? How were revenues scaling?

Matthew Calkins: I think we were growing at about 20% to 30% in those years. Our customer gain was never what we wanted but still steady and lucrative. In fact, we didn’t have a growth problem until 2008 when we were investing hoping for better results. Then we hit a few problems. We had a version that had a lot of technical problems. We were in crisis mode with some of our customers.

At the same time, the market was proving to be uninterested in buying. We had just a confluence of some difficult factors for a few years leading up to that. We had felt that we were spending all of our money being tactical and none of it to break out strategically. I think this was really the core problem. Our competitors were successful at forcing us to play against their strengths. They would have some features. They would all agree on it and build the same thing. They would convince the analyst that this was the feature you needed. This was the thing that they’d be talking about at conferences. >>>

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Roundtable Recap: April 21 – Choose Your Philosophy of Company Building

Posted on Thursday, Apr 21st 2016

During this week’s roundtable, we had as our guest Ho Nam, Managing Director at Altos Ventures. Ho made a clear distinction between capital efficient company building and the “grow at costs in all sorts of unsustainable ways” philosophy. They are two distinctly different ways of building businesses.

Job On Buddy
As for the pitches, first up, Puneet Patel from Birmingham, England, pitched Job On Buddy, a marketplace for connecting temporary blue-collar workers in the UK with employers.

Bameslog
Next, Ajay Thakur from Bangalore, India pitched Bameslog which evidently has a large number of users and offers some sort of a content consumption app. The pitch was very hard to understand, and needs huge improvement.
>>>

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Thought Leaders in Big Data: Mark Schwarz, VP of Data Sciences at Square Root (Part 1)

Posted on Thursday, Apr 21st 2016

Store management is going through transformation because of the data science. Read how the automobile sector is evolving.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning and introduce our audience to booth Square Root and yourself.

Mark Schwarz: We’re a software company based out of Austin that delivers software in the store relationship management space. The store relationship management space has to do with making field staff in retail environments the champions of their respective businesses, and dealing with specific accounts that they have such as managing a set of relationships both at the store and corporate level at the same time. As I said, we have a SaaS offering. We augment that data science team in two ways—by supporting the platform and by helping with specific consulting services when necessary. There are nine of us. >>>

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