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Grab a drink and see you online 👋

Grab a drink and see you online 👋
August 11 2020

Building new relationships and maintaining existing ones are among the biggest challenges right now in the virtual economy. Networking effectively takes re-engineering. One of the biggest complaints people have with virtual conferences is the lack of serendipity: It's all panels, no chit-chat. 

Minglr is an app designed to enable spontaneous networking alongside video conferences. You log on, see a list of other logged-in people, and click their names to request to speak to them. They'll see that you want to talk and can hit a button to put you both in a video call.

Part of the system's potential is that some things are easier to do virtually than in-person: pairing people up at random, for instance, or matching people based on their interests. Both of those features have been requested by users and could be particularly helpful for shy people — a key focus for the team.

The team decided not to charge for Minglr, acknowledging It would be very hard to compete with companies that already had a very serious video conferencing system. So instead they've made it open-source, and hope that Zoom and Teams will implement it.

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Virtual Networking Apps:

Run The World is a stranger-to-stranger online interaction platform that would allow for monetization, but wasn’t a dating app. Like a hybrid of Zoom video, Eventbrite ticketing, Twitch interactivity, and LinkedIn networking, Run The World brings like-minded people together with live online events. It’s a digital space where participants can learn from experts and connect in a way that feels natural, safe, and fun, while maintaining the professional and personal connection. 

Shapr is a business networking tool that sets out to connect people who work in the same industry and therefore might share interests and objectives. The application bears an uncanny likeness to those dating apps where you swipe people, and in many respects, it works the same way. Once you’ve found a suitable person, Shapr can send them a personal message and establish contact with them. The system doesn’t allow any unsolicited requests, so you won’t be getting any that you don’t expect or want.

There are two components to Bizzabo, one for those that attend conferences and another for the businesses that organize them. Where the mobile app for attendees is free, the management tools to connect all those people costs money. How much depends on the integration needed with other software, and how much information you want to extract about the attendees. For anyone attending a conference run using Bizzabo, the mobile app is a no-brainer, as it allows you to connect with exactly the people you’d like to meet in what might be a confused and crowded environment.

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Since last week, PrivCo has added:
1,069 Updated Companies | 87 M&A Deals172 Funding Activities

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Airside Mobile, a provider of digital identity solutions for travel and other sectors, has raised an undisclosed round of funding. Bain Capital Ventures led the round, the Arlington, Virginia-based startup confirmed to Skift. In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the startup said it might raise around $13 million in this investment round.

Botrista Technology, a startup based in Silicon Valley that provides an automated cloud-connected drink dispenser called DrinkBot, raised $4 million in seed funding from industry angels, venture capitalists, and strategic investors last month.

HyperQube Technologies, an Arlington, Virginia-based company that brings the power of “copy and paste” to complex cloud networks, raised $2.5m in seed funding.

Obsidio, Inc., a Columbia, S.C.-based pre-clinical stage medical materials developer, closed a $3m funding round. The round was led by IAG Capital Partners with participation from returning investors Good Growth Capital and other angel investors. In addition, The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Obsidio with a $225k Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant.

Fractyl Laboratories, developers of a minimally invasive procedure to resurface the inner linings of the intestine, has raised $55 million to help complete its pivotal clinical trial in type 2 diabetes.

Concord Health Partners, a healthcare-focused investment firm, announced today its investment in the Series C funding of Cedar, a leading patient engagement and financial technology platform.

Zencity, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based provider of AI-based insights for local governments, closed a $13.5m funding round. The round was led by TLV Partners and joined by strategic investor Salesforce Ventures, in addition to the company’s existing investors – Canaan Partners Israel (CPI), Vertex Ventures, M12 – Microsoft’s Venture Fund, and i3 Equity Partners.

The Richmond, Virginia-based TemperPack raised $31.3 million in Series C financing led by Wheatsheaf Group and included follow-on investments by existing shareholders Revolution Growth, Harbert Growth Partners, SJF Ventures, Arborview Capital, Tao Capital, Third Prime Capital, and Greenhouse Capital.

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