SpotHero Hits the Gas Pedal With $30M in New Funding

SpotHero has its foot on the gas, and it’s not slowing down.

The Chicago-based on-demand parking startup announced Tuesday that it has raised $30 million in new funding, bringing the company’s total venture capital to date to $57.5 million.

SpotHero said it will uses the Series C funding to expand into more markets in the United States and Canada, grow its B2B offerings, and invest in new technology to make its app work with autonomous vehicles. It also plans to roll out other new features like mobile payment and operations apps for parking management companies.

“We continue to see unprecedented growth, hire extremely talented individuals and have an exponentially expanding, loyal customer base who love the value we add in their daily lives,” Mark Lawrence, CEO of SpotHero, said in a statement.

Investors in the round include Insight Venture Partners, Global Founders Capital, OCA Ventures, Chicago Ventures, Levy Family Partners, Bullpen Capital, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Draper Associates, Sam Yagan, Corazon Capital, Daniel Hoffer and Math Venture Partners.

SpotHero, founded in 2011, connects drivers to parking decks and other off-street parking. The company said revenue grew 100 percent year-over-year in 2016.

In April, SpotHero acquired competitor Parking Panda in a deal that beefed up its presence on the East Coast and Canada. Parking Panda also helped expand SpotHero’s B2B operations, as it has deals with several pro sports teams and other venues to offer on-demand parking.

Parking Panda was SpotHero’s second acquisition in two years; it bought San Francisco’s ParkPlease in 2015.

One of SpotHero’s remaining competitors is Chicago-based ParkWhiz, which has raised $36 million since it launched in 2006.

“The future of urban transportation is so exciting because of such rapid changes – from self-driving cars, to instant, cashless payments, to making cities greener by decreasing carbon footprints,” Ludwig Ensthaler, partner at GFC, added in the statement. “There’s no doubt that SpotHero is at the forefront of the evolution of parking, leading the industry with its people, marketplace, products and services.”

Read more at: https://www.americaninno.com/chicago/

 

Levyx Shatters STAC-A3 Independent Benchmark for Financial Trading Applications — Achieving 32X Performance Gain

Levyx Inc., whose high-performance, ultra-low latency data processing software dramatically reduces Big Data infrastructure costs, revealed today record shattering independent testing results performed by the Securities Technology Analysis Center (STAC®) using the STAC-A3 benchmarking suite.

Levyx broke the performance record running the benchmark on four 64-vCPU Google Cloud nodes equipped with SSDs while running Apache Spark and Levyx’s Xenon software. The net result was 32X the performance employing much less equipment in comparison to the baseline STAC-A3 benchmark which used a 14-node (24 cores each) disk-based Map-Reduce Hadoop cluster.

STAC-A3 is the industry’s primary performance benchmark suite for the infrastructure that banks, hedge funds and other trading firms use to backtest potential trading algorithms. Peter Lankford, Director of STAC, said: “Trading firms in the STAC Benchmark Council specified the STAC-A3 benchmarks in order to measure the potential of software and hardware innovations to accelerate backtesting. The competitive pressure on firms to bring smarter algorithms to market in less time, together with the increasing use of machine learning to automate development of candidate algorithms, has put backtesting on the critical path to revenue. Levyx’s use of STAC-A3 shows that the company is putting serious focus on the industry’s desire to speed up this key workload.”

Reza Sadri, CEO of Levyx, said: “Since the financial sector typically pushes the envelope for low-latency technologies, our results for this class of sophisticated backtesting validate our performance benefits in a real-world application and point to an exciting market opportunity within the financial space. Similarly, these performance benefits can also accelerate the Time-To-Value in other large markets, such as analyzing trends in insurance, credit scores and consumer sentiment, to name a few. In addition, the STAC results highlight that we drastically reduce the data center footprint and related costs (in the cloud or on-premise).”

Levyx’s Xenon™ leverages the high-performance nature of Levyx’s Helium™ core engine and extends it into a low latency, scalable data analytics solution. Xenon is designed to manage the retrieval, processing, and indexing of very large datasets, i.e., collections of billions of objects, spread across a tightly coupled cluster of servers, each with multi-terabyte persistent storage capabilities. More specifically, Xenon is a distributed database system having the following functional capabilities:

  1. Core SQL functionality: filter, projection, selection, sort, join, groupby, and aggregates on structured data, i.e., schema-based tables.
  2. Support for random lookup and neighborhood search using an index rather than scan and filter.
  3. Tightly integrate with the Apache Spark system for ease of deployment and use (also fully capable to function in native mode, or serve as an off-load layer for other big-platforms and systems).
  4. Scale with the number of cores in the cluster and use SSDs (or other high-bandwidth, low latency persistent storage) as a persistent memory layer for large, live datasets.

The efficiency with which Xenon can process massive workloads can also be applied in the processing of similar large-scale data sets in other applications within the financial sector, as well as in different vertical industries such as Government, Internet of Things (IoT), Oil and Gas, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Cybersecurity.

About Levyx Inc.
Levyx’s software solutions fundamentally disrupt the economics of Big-Data applications, bringing the benefits of high-speed Big-Data processing to the masses. No longer reserved for the largest enterprises, Levyx technology can process hundreds of millions of queries per second on commodity servers on a few nodes, making Big-Data processing much more accessible to organizations of all sizes. More information is available at www.levyx.com.

About STAC
STAC® is a technology-research firm that facilitates the STAC Benchmark™ Council (www.STACresearch.com/council), an organization of leading financial institutions and technology vendors that specifies standard ways to assess technologies used in the financial markets. The Council is active in an expanding range of low-latency, big-compute, and Big-Data workloads.

The STAC-A3 benchmark report may be downloaded for free by going to:
www.STACresearch.com/levyx

Levyx, the Levyx logo, Helium, and Xenon are trademarks of Levyx Inc. STAC and all STAC names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Securities Technology Analysis Center, LLC. All other trademarks or brand names referred in this press release are the property of their respective owners.

http://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/07/13/1044394/0/en/Levyx-Shatters-STAC-A3-Independent-Benchmark-for-Financial-Trading-Applications-Achieving-32X-Performance-Gain.html

Coming off a year of nearly 4,000 percent growth, Regroup Therapy just raised a $6M Series A

Regroup Therapy has had a whirlwind of a year.

The Chicago-based startup, which uses video technology to deliver mental health services to underserved areas, announced on Thursday that it has raised a $6 million Series A round of funding led by OSF Ventures.

Regroup Therapy, which raised a $1.8 million seed round last spring, has seen its annual recurring revenues grow by nearly 4,000 percent over the past year.

“We were aiming for half a million dollars annual revenues last year, but we’re on track to book more than $4 million,” said founder and CEO David Cohn. “Our seed funding allowed us to invest in more people. When we got away from trying to do three or four times more than is humanly possible, we discovered that our processes were actually really good — we just needed more people out there.”

Although he is excited about his company’s growth, Cohn said Regroup Therapy’s primary focus remains on its mission to improve access to mental health care services.

“The big issue we’re trying to solve is that there’s a real shortage of mental health providers in the right place at the right time,” said Cohn. “We want to make sure we can get the right clinicians to the right patients faster, and with a higher quality.”

Regroup Therapy does so by hiring psychiatrists, advanced psychiatric nurses, therapists and social workers who deliver mental health services through its HIPAA-compliant video platform. These behavioral health experts serve as a virtual staff for healthcare providers who don’t have those resources available locally.

Cohn said appointments are currently delivered by a mixture of part-time contractors and full-time employees, but that the percentage of full-time employees has steadily grown alongside the demand for the company’s services.

Cohn said expansion beyond traditional healthcare systems and into new underserved settings like correctional facilities and Native American healthcare services have been a major catalyst for Regroup Therapy’s growth.

“We feel like we’re still barely scratching the surface, and that a lot of people are still struggling to get access to good services,” he said. “That’s horrible for those people and their families, but it’s also really bad for the economy. And we believe this is the best way to solve that problem.”

With 15 full-time employees to date, Cohn expects to double his company’s headcount this year. The bulk of hiring will be in sales and business development, but the company will also be hiring software engineers, physicians, physician recruiters and account managers.

Lead investor OSF Ventures is part of the OSF HealthCare system. Hyde Park Angels, OCA Ventures, HLM Venture Partners, Furthur Fund and Impact Engine also participated in the round.

Impossible Objects Wins Innovation Award at Preeminent 3D Printing Conference

Impossible Objects’ Model One 3D printer has been named the winner of the RAPID + TCT Innovation Award for 2017. Exhibiting its groundbreaking Model One printer and the technology behind it for the first time, Impossible Objects beat out dozens of other 3D printing companies and experts who showcased their products and ideas at RAPID. The Model One printer will enable companies to create stronger parts, using a wider range of high-quality materials, faster and at scale.

The RAPID + TCT Innovation Award recognizes the new product or service exhibited that will have the most impact on the industry. RAPID + TCT Conference is the preeminent 3D printing conference. A committee made of up members of SME, a society of manufacturing professionals, and independent industry experts served as judges and determined Impossible Objects’ technology to be the most innovative.

“The judges awarded the 2017 RAPID Exhibitor Innovation Award to Impossible Objects CBAM technology as its novel layer-wise composites processing technology offered an innovative solution that could provide significant value to its customers and to the industry as a whole,” says Chris Williams, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech, who served as one of the judges. “The award was well-deserved given CBAM’s potential for high-speed production of high-strength composite parts with complex geometries.”

Impossible Objects’ composite-based additive manufacturing method (CBAM) is revolutionary. It enables companies to use a range of composite materials, including carbon fiber, Kevlar, fiberglass together with PEEK and other high performance polymers, which allows for building the strongest, lightweight parts at scale. The Model One is fast by 3D printing standards, yet represents just the beginning of the speeds that the CBAM technology can reach. By leveraging high-speed 2D printing technologies that already exist, CBAM scales to speeds that will print hundreds and then thousands of cubic inches per hour. It is the first 3D printing project that can compete with injection molding and the same part can be used for the prototype and production.

“It’s an honor to win this award and to be judged against some of the major companies in our field,” says Bob Swartz, founder and Chairman of Impossible Objects. “We’re already seeing tremendous demand from the world’s largest companies who are looking to additive manufacturing for better material properties, a wider selection of materials and the ability to print at scale.”

Impossible Objects also announced the rollout of its pilot program with the Model One printer to select Fortune 500 customers, including Jabil Circuits, at RAPID.

The Company expects the Model One to become generally available to the public by early 2018. Interested companies that wish to be considered earlier for the pilot program should email Impossible Objects.

“It is good to see Impossible Objects commercialize its machine,” said Terry Wohlers of Wohlers Associates, an independent consulting firm focused on additive manufacturing (AM). “The product contributes favorably to the availability of options for composite parts made by AM.”

Impossible Objects’ CBAM process is the first truly new 3D printing process in more than 20 years. Conventional thermal inkjet heads are used to “print” designs on sheets of composites, like carbon fiber, Kevlar or fiberglass. Each sheet is then flooded with a polymer powder, such as nylon or PEEK, causing the powder to stick where inkjet fluid has been deposited on the sheets. Excess powder is vacuumed off and the sheets are stacked, compressed and heated. The polymer powder melts and bonds the sheets together. The uncoated fibers are then mechanically or chemically removed, and what remains is an exceptionally durable, lightweight object that was previously impossible to make so quickly and inexpensively.

The company launched their flagship 3D printing machine, the Model One boasting composite-based additive manufacturing (CBAM) technology, in Pittsburgh and on the final day of the event were presented with the award, which recognises a new product or service set to have the most impact on the industry. A committee made up of members of the SME, a society of manufacturing professionals, and independent industry experts were responsible for picking the winner of a hotly contested category. Dozens of products were launched at this year’s RAPID+TCT, but the Model One was adjudged to be the most innovative, and in the judge’s estimation, the most impactful.

About Impossible Objects:

Impossible Objects LLC was founded in 2009 with the expectation that materials sciences inventions would enable 3D printing to revolutionize the world in the same ways that computers and the Internet have revolutionized the way we live, work and play. Impossible Objects is backed by OCA Ventures and is staffed by a multidisciplinary team with extensive experience in manufacturing, additive manufacturing, materials sciences, aerospace, composite materials and engineering, and developing and commercializing new technologies.

Solovis Raises $8M to Accelerate Growth

DALLASMay 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Solovis, a multi-asset class portfolio management, analytics and reporting platform for limited partners and asset allocators, today announced it has raised $8 million in a Series A round. The funding was led by Edison Partners, a leading growth equity capital firm based in Princeton, NJ. Previous investors MissionOG, OCA Ventures, Timberline Ventures, Northwestern University, and Backstop Solutions co-founder Jeremie Bacon also participated. Joining the consortium this round is Cultivation Ventures, a venture capital firm specializing in technology and life sciences, with several partners who have worked in investment management technology.

“During the last year, Solovis has experienced 300 percent growth with top-tier endowments, foundations, and family offices adopting its platform, helping to establish the company as the emerging industry standard for multi-asset class managers,” says Tom Vander Schaaff, General Partner, who led the investment for Edison. “We are impressed by Solovis’ rapid growth, deep roster of marquee customers, and its market leadership position. The financing will allow Solovis to continue to expand its solutions and magnify its significant impact on the industry,” he added.

Solovis provides a holistic, open architecture approach to multi-asset class portfolio management. Built by industry practitioners with extensive experience in private equity, hedge funds, and traditional asset classes, the company offers a flexible, robust platform for performance, exposures, liquidity and cash flow forecasting with front-to-back office integration, eliminating multiple system solutions and error-prone spreadsheets. “When you speak with Solovis, you can immediately tell they have been in your seat and speak your language. The system was built from the bottom-up to specifically address the challenges of multi-asset class investing. That made all the difference in the world to us and has been invaluable in synthesizing disparate data efficiently,” says Brandon Pevnick of the JFMC Pooled Endowment Portfolio.

With this Series A financing, Solovis will significantly expand its team in Dallas, TX and Charlottesville, VA, as well as establish a presence in New York, NY and San Francisco, CA. “This round will deepen and expand our Dynamic Forecasting suite and strengthen our ability to address the growing demand for our Analyst Services, a big differentiator for us in the marketplace cementing Solovis’ position as a strategic partner for limited partner and asset allocators,” says Solovis co-founder and CEO Josh Smith.

Tenor moves to monetize GIFs with launch of real-time analytics tool and ad product

Tenor is hoping to take advantage of people’s infatuation with animated GIFs by launching two tools that help brands bring their message to the more than 200 million monthly users who search for the right GIF across mobile messaging apps. The company is taking the first steps in monetizing its service with the launch of a real-time analytics tool called Tenor Insights, which will educate marketers on GIF usage and the availability of sponsored GIFs.

After more than three years, Tenor wants to bring in some money, and it believes its approach is unique. What Google offers around intent and Facebook does with social data, Tenor believes it can do around emotion. Its reach is certainly vast, with integrations into FacebookFacebook MessengerTwitteriMessage, and others. But in order to get brands to buy in, it needs to convince them that emotions are worth betting on.

Tenor Insights is similar to the keyword research tool that’s available from Google AdWords. It’ll report the top emotions people are expressing within messages, which can be sorted by time of day, week, or specific event, along with pertinent search terms that brands may be interested in, and insights into how different feelings are tied into GIFs.

It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and Tenor is banking on the idea that GIFs could result in more sales conversions than sentiment analysis or even a keyword can. When you see a happy dance GIF, it immediately tells you the sender’s state of mind — and perhaps what they’re interested in — whereas if you try to analyze their tweet, post, or message you may be limited to an overall positive or negative sentiment. And a keyword doesn’t necessarily reflect a person’s emotional state.

“The challenge for sentiment is that people aren’t saying things publicly at all,” stated Tenor chief executive David McIntosh in an interview with VentureBeat. Current advertising offerings are looking at the public space, such as social networks and search engines. But with GIFs, Tenor is able to cross into harder to reach areas, such as instant or text messages, and it’s here that valuable intelligence could be gathered. “Our signal is super strong. People are going to Tenor because I’m super upset and want to express that,” he said.

“We’ve never offered analytics before,” McIntosh explained. “We’ve put out data on an ad hoc basis, but now we let any marketer understand insights in what [people are] thinking, and in sheer volume. If you’re a brand, you don’t know where there’s a lot of volume around people saying ‘good morning’ and turning [users] into brand ambassadors.”

Ultimately, where the company could be going is a programmatic sponsored GIF program that lets brands bid for images that suit their campaign. You’ll start to see some of these creative GIFs in the wild, but the feature’s not available through a self-service model. Instead, brands have to work directly with Tenor’s team to implement them. Earlier this year, the company launched a pilot program around the Warner Bros. movie LEGO Batman. The program showed associated GIFs when people searched for terms like “high five,” “whoa,” “let’s go,” “smirk,” “shrug,” “flirty,” and “no.”

Helping lead the charge to develop an emotional graph and increase adoption by brands is Jason Krebs, Tenor’s chief business officer, who joined last month after a tour at Maker Studios as its head of sales. He admits that it’s “too soon to tell whether people will jump head over heels for this new paradigm,” but he said that “brands have a lot of stories to tell” and that GIFs could play an important role in the future.

“For Dominos, when someone searches for ‘best day ever’, [the pizza maker] can sponsor GIFs. It’s about giving marketers an opportunity to help customers express emotion using products they love,” McIntosh said. “With this tool, step one is to help brands understand the volume that’s out there. Most people out there don’t know how many people search ‘good morning’ every month. We want to own the visual language.”

SpotHero snaps up rival Parking Panda to boost its B2B credentials and expand into Canada

 

Veterans respond well to home-based cardiac rehab, Moving Analytics, app, VA study shows

April 06, 2017
While it’s not uncommon for patients at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center to have had a heart attack or cardiac procedure, few participate in rehabilitation programs after. But give them a smartphone-based rehab program, and they seem to take to it, suggests a small study of Veterans.

Using the home-based virtual rehab program from Moving Analytics over a period of 12 weeks, 23 Veterans felt encouraged and engaged with their recovery, which led to better fitness outcomes. With high retention rates and improved functional and clinical health, apps could be an easy, inexpensive way to get more Vets to enroll in cardiac rehab programs.

“When we reviewed our internal data, we realized that only 10 percent of our eligible Veterans were successfully enrolling in a cardiac rehab program. This made us realize that we could do a lot more to help the remaining 90 percent receive the same benefits that cardiac rehab provides,” Dr. Arash Harzand, research fellow at the Atlanta VA and co-investigator said when the pilot first launched.

To start the program, Veterans and a healthcare professional provided the data required for the app to make a clinical evaluation, from which a tailored home rehab program was created. Veterans would check in on the app daily to log exercises and metrics like blood pressure and weight, and would also connect with a cardiac nurse for phone-based coaching. Nurses reviewed progress remotely via the Moving Analytics integrated cloud-based dashboard.

The Veterans were into it, and the VA Center for Innovation-funded study had an 80 percent retention rate 90 days later. They also saw a 20 percent improvement in functional capacity and a reduced systolic blood pressure of 10 mmHg from baseline. Considering the older age range and historically low turnout for other cardiac rehab programs, the investigators were impressed at how well the Veterans responded to the app.

“What surprised us was how well Veterans embraced the technology,” Harzand said in a statement. “Our work showed us that it’s feasible to utilize smartphones and digital tools to engage and coach this population effectively.”

Likewise, care managers also reported high satisfaction with the app, and the Atlanta VA team plans to expand the Moving Analytics platform to more patients across multiple sites.

“Delivering virtual cardiac rehabilitation via smartphones is a great example of a powerful tool that can help improve the experience of Veterans receiving care from the VA to help improve both their health and quality of life” Andrea Ippolito, Innovators Network Lead at the VA Center for Innovation said in a statement.

In addition to the VA, San Francisco-based Moving Analytics works with several large health systems including the Mayo Clinic, NYU Langone Medical Center and the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.

New Money: LogicGate Raises $1.9M to Help Businesses Automate Risk and Compliance

Deal: $1.9 million seed round

Investors: Chicago Ventures, OCA Ventures, Hyde Park Venture Partners, MATH Venture Partners, Techstars Ventures, Firestarter Fund, Sandalphon Capital, and Connetic Ventures.

What they do: LogicGate provides a platform for growing and established businesses to create highly-controlled, auditable applications, as well as “mission-critical” compliance processes. The LogicGate platform allows businesses to create a drag-and-drop flow chart of their business processes to create an app (without writing any code), or use one of their pre-created templates that cover processes such as regulatory change management, incident management and audit management. LogicGate focuses on six industries, including education, financial services, healthcare, retail, energy, pharma and life sciences.

“We’ve found that many companies have been managing critical compliance and regulatory processes with what we call ‘duct tape and bubble gum’ – using spreadsheets, emails, and even paper and pencil. That works up until a point, but when it fails it can cause massive disruption for an organization,” said Matt Kunkel, CEO and cofounder of LogicGate, in a statement. “Our mission is to provide an agile, self-service platform that automates many of the governance, risk, and compliance activities within an organization. This round of fundraising will help us begin to scale our sales and marketing operations and accelerate our engineering efforts.”

Other details: The startup was founded in 2015 by former risk, compliance and legal technology consultants Matt Kunkel, Jon Siegler, and Dan Campbell. LogicGate was a part of the Techstars Chicago 2016 class.

They plan on using the funding to grow sales and marketing, as well as expand the LogicGate platform. In the future, they hope to create an “intelligent learning engine” that can learn business processes, and take corrective measures without any employee intervention.