Category Archives: SaaS

The commoditization of AI algorithms

Butterfleye, where we’re investors, is the producer of the Nero 1, a wireless security camera which comes equipped with facial recognition technology.

Once you start using the Nero 1, it captures and prompts you to tag the faces it identifies. This lets the Nero 1 remain passive in the event that it sees a known face while alerting you to new faces who could represent potential intruders.

What’s interesting about the facial recognition feature is that Butterfleye developed it using the Amazon Rekognition API. In other words, Amazon built the general image recognition algorithm, and Butterfleye is now using it for the specific case of facial recognition by applying the algorithm to the facial data that it collects.

This is a great example of the commoditization of AI algorithms. As more people have access to these algorithms, the source of value increasingly shifts from the algorithm itself to the data to which the algorithm is applied.

HotelRunner partners with Wix

HotelRunner, where we’re investors, is a cloud-based website development and channel management software-as-a-service (SaaS) tool for hotels. Among other services, the company gives hotels the ability to build their website, accept online reservations, push their inventory to online travel agencies, and purchase third party services from the HotelRunner Store.

While giving hotels the ability to build a website specific to the vertical’s needs is valuable, what differentiates HotelRunner is its channel manager service. This is why HotelRunner recently entered into a partnership with Wix, a leading cloud-based website development SaaS. Wix Hotel users will now be able to push their inventory to and accept reservations from the over 80 online travel agencies to which HotelRunner’s channel manager is connected.

This partnership will drive additional guests and revenue to Wix Hotel users. And the fact that a company like Wix chose HotelRunner as its channel management partner shows the quality and breadth of HotelRunner’s service.

Insider careers

Insider, a predictive segmentation and real-time marketing tool for companies where we’re investors, recently shared the video below entitled “Expect the Unexpected”.

The video provides data on the company’s performance and gives a glimpse of what it’s like to work there.

If you also like working with data and want to be part of a growing global product company, Insider is hiring across its 13 international office locations.

Eren Bali presenting Carbon

Eren Bali is co-founder and CEO of Carbon Health, a digital healthcare system and network where we’re investors.

In this talk from a recent Wired Health conference, Eren shares the source of his inspiration for Carbon, what the service looks like now, and where it’s likely to go in the future.

You can watch the 15 minute talk below.

Hasan on TechInside

My partner Hasan recently gave an interview to TechInside.

In the interview, Hasan shares his thoughts on the current state of the Turkish startup ecosystem as well as predictions for its future, his recommendations for entrepreneurs, and the business models which he finds attractive.

You can watch the 4 minute piece in Turkish below.

InOne by Insider

Insider, a predictive segmentation and real-time marketing tool for companies where we’re investors, yesterday launched its new marketing technology platform InOne.

In the words of Insider’s CEO Hande Cilingir, “InOne brings together all the technologies marketers need to deliver personalized experiences under a single, highly usable platform.”

And in the words of Insider’s CTO Sinan Toktay, “InOne powers personalized experiences with new and enhanced predictive modeling and segmentation technologies. Segments are only as good as the data behind them. Allowing marketers to act on ready-to-use segments based on the future behaviors of their visitors, we have transformed the way they deliver personalized experiences.”

In addition to bringing Insider’s predictive modeling and segmentation technologies under a single platform, InOne also introduces the Ad Audiences module to bridge the gap between marketing tech and ad tech. Specifically, Ad Audiences lets marketers optimize their advertising spend by pushing their highest value predictive segments into third party ad platforms like Facebook and Google AdWords.

You can watch InOne’s launch video below.

Insider and 500 Startups

Insider, a customer segmentation and predictive marketing tool for companies where we’re investors, raised its most recent funding round in September of last year.

Immediately following the round, 500 Startups expressed an interest in investing in the company. Given Insider’s existing presence across 8 countries and ambitions to further grow its international operations, partnering with a global fund like 500 makes a lot of sense. We therefore decided to reopen the round to bring onboard 500.

This marks our 4th co-investment with 500 Startups, and we welcome them to the company.

Mavrx’s Series A

Mavrx, where we’re investors, is an agricultural imaging company. Its core product analyzes aerial images sourced from its network of aircraft partners to give farmers recommendations that improve their agricultural outcomes. These outcomes include maximizing crop yields, reducing spending on irrigation, fertilizer, and labor, and preventing catastrophic crop loss.

It’s more accurate and less costly to reach these outcomes by applying data science to images sourced from planes rather than by applying intuition to a farmer’s row-by-row drive-throughs among his crops. The former doesn’t eliminate the need for the latter but rather guides the latter to focus on those specific farm segments where there is the greatest value at stake.

We participated in Mavrx’s $2.5M seed round in mid-2014 and the company announced its $10M Series A in late 2016. Here’s a post from the company’s blog which covers the new round.

As mentioned in the post, the round’s proceeds will go towards growing Mavrx’s data science and sales teams, further improving its product, and winning new customers both within and outside of (for example Canada and South Africa) the US.

We’re excited to be along for the ride.

Insider’s 2016 year in review

Insider, a personalization and predictive marketing tool where we’re investors, recently shared its 2016 year in review. At less than 2 minutes, it’s a short and to the point clip.

The highlight of the clip for me is the list of the new offices that Insider set up in 2016 on its journey to become a global company. This journey will continue in 2017.

You can watch the full clip below.

Insider at the Webrazzi Summit

Hande Cilingir, co-founder and CEO of Insider, a multi-channel online marketing technology provider where we’re investors, recently gave a talk at the Webrazzi Summit.

In her talk, Hande talks about Insider’s predictive modeling tool, shares how Insider uses this tool to segment and target its clients’ most valuable customers, and hosts LC Waikiki’s e-commerce director Salih Yilmaz to provide an overview of LC Waikiki’s experiences working with Insider.

You can watch the full talk in Turkish below.