Live streaming is simply making an end user in another place or location have access, participate or experience an event or a meeting happening in a completely different location. Live casting or streaming has already influenced the broadcasters well enough and more and more companies and tv channels have taken up video streaming to stream events, meetings and sports ceremonies.

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Though requiring a lot of pre-production and setup, it brings a lot of benefits to every business owner or service provider in a cost-effective way.

Service a wide range of audience:

More and more broadcasters have taken to live streaming due to its best feature-ability to reach a wide range of audience even from and to remote areas. With the increase in economy and less time not everyone finds the time to attend every meeting or conference in person or afford to buy tickets to a big game or ceremony. Streaming the event over the internet allows people at various locations have access to the same and saves quite a lot of time; something that does not have an easy way to be compensated.

Money saver:

Live streaming enabling employees and board members to participate in meetings from anywhere and a product update or demonstration to the client can be done from almost anywhere from the world which  helps reduce operational costs for the company or enterprise in terms of travel and accommodation charges. Broadcasting a big event like a sports ceremony or game facilitates anyone across the globe experience the event at a very less cost.

An easy way to connect:

Businesses owners have an easy way to connect to their employers and clients. And with the need to answer every query of the users, it serves an easy and different solution to any broadcaster.

Brand recognition:

Live video streaming eliminates the need to wait in line to register and book a ticket to secure a place to view an event. When the event is streamed live to every user’s device, the ease of access to the event and ability to view it from anyplace, only invites more audience to the event. And a business owner sponsoring the event attains much more brand recognition at no extra cost.

Easy to afford and attain:

With the available technology, it has reached the point where it is the cheapest possible method to broadcast data and with more and more free applications and channels offering to broadcast an event for free or for less charge, streaming and viewing an event over the internet costs much less than it did in its early days of inception.

With its wide range of advantages, the number of businesses interested in it has increased drastically since its inception. Though there are a lot of benefits from live streaming, the operational costs of a broadcaster including the subscription to a channel or software cannot be eliminated.

Castasy:

Castasy, the live streaming software set to be released in the market by June 2015 focuses on eliminating the operational costs. Castasy comes as a software in the best server by far; NGINX-RTMP streaming server. The software is compatible in both iOS and Android platform and it also comes as a website. Purchasing the software, any broadcaster can have their own broadcasting application and website and for a cheap installation charge, the buyer gets expert installation with free life time upgrades.

After working on “data backup and archiving for over a decade”, Johan Holder “saw that organisations were generating more and more data without devising a clear plan to manage it all. Data management strategies weren’t keeping pace with the rate of data growth and businesses were just throwing money and disks at the problem instead of approaching it intelligently. The more data they stored, the less they understood what was valuable and what was useless.”So, Johan decided to start Kazoup with Radek Dymacz “to help organisations take back control of their unstructured file data, better understand it and find the value within it.” Today, Johan is the CEO of Kazoup and focusses on the commercial and marketing drive, while Radek works as the CTO with a focus on the technology development and future roadmap of Kazoup.

Johan wants to set the bar higher for development and IT in general. He says, “We challenge ourselves to make a real difference in our clients’ business by creating great products and providing great service. There’s no smoke and mirrors with Kazoup and there never will be. You don’t need them when you’re providing a clearly valuable service.”

Kazoup is a “DIY” solution to analyse unstructured file data. It can be downloaded from the website www.kazoup.com as a virtual machine appliance. It is easy to install and requires no professional services consultancy to set up and get going. It installs and configures in less than half an hour. Documentation is available online and in-app support is provided by Kazoup to answer questions as they arise.

Kazoup puts you back in control of your unstructured file data. It’s about visibility. “We help businesses search through every file in their environment – usually millions of them – and analyse the results to discover if they’re useful or not. Then, we mirror or archive the old and unused stuff with simple and easy automation to the cloud.” the founders tell us. Kazoup’s new approach has already earned recognition from Gartner in their Market Guide for “File Analysis Software Report”.

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Kazoup is a single product with three distinct features – Search, File Analysis and Archive. It “brings your data to life with clear and beautiful analytics and interactive charting. With Kazoup, you can see your unstructured data growth visualised in real-time and make better decisions about how to manage it.” Kazoup then delivers “automated, encrypted and compliant archiving to cheap, secure cloud-based object storage. Simple and fast search enables users to recover data directly from AWS S3, Google Cloud Storage, Microsoft Azure Blob Storage or any other chosen cloud storage provider.” In effect, this means that live storage and the archive are presented as one integrated environment to users, who can then search through the file content and meta data at blistering speeds, both locally and archived. You find the useful knowledge inside your documents and put the right information back in front of your users.

Kazoup’s original focus was archiving. “We wanted to create a tool to help organisations leverage cloud object storage to offload old un-accessed data from expensive local storage to cheap redundant object storage in cloud like AWS Google Storage Azure with onsite encryption and easy access for end users.” says Johan. He adds, “We adopted a basic-but-beautiful approach when creating software. We’ve prioritised the user experience the whole way through, and we’ve now got beautiful analytics and search functions to show customers where their data is and who is accessing it. This helps them identify patterns so they can choose what data they want to archive.”

The biggest “value proposition” for Kazoup’s customers is actually helping them understand what data they have, where it is stored, how it’s accessed and how the data is growing. This helps them to plan better and  take better decisions. Kazoup wants to “help triage the cloud when intelligence, not just move the dark data problem to the cloud.”

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The team at Kazoup believes in “continuous development and continuously improving and updating software automatically.” You can think about it as SaaS behind your corporate network. John says, “It’s secure because all the information – both your data and the analytics about it – runs in your environment. You own everything without incurring any management overhead, because the software updates itself and we resolve any issues. We have developers constantly reacting to our client feedback and improving the software based on clients requirements.”

Kazoup is also unique in its combination of analytics, search and archiving with ‘envelope’ encryption, all of which allows customers to use their own object storage or any cloud-based storage provider of their choice. One of the most innovative benefits for customers is that end users can search through archives to find data as if it is on premises and can then restore from an archive without having to go to IT to perform the restore.

“Money and people are our biggest challenges, as they tend to be with startup i.e,  securing funds to invest in development and finding great developers to help us make this happen” says Johan.

There are many companies out there doing analytics, archive and search – not necessarily all in one complete technology. Kazoup was recently mentioned in Market Guide for File Analysis Software, Alan Dayley, et. al, 23 September 2014, which has helped it to identify its competitors that include Apatare, IBM – StoredIQ, EMC, Varonis, Symantec, CommVault, Sonian, Mimecast, Acaveo, Avepoint, BeyondRecognition, Bloomberg, Condrey, Covertix, Dataglobal, Equivio, Hisoftware, HP – Controlpoint, Imperva, Novell, Nuix, Proofpoint, Steathbits, Watchdox, Zylab, Datagravity.

Right now Kazoup is in public beta, but its official launch is “just around the corner”. “We are implementing new beautiful designs, a personal obsession of Radek, and integrating more data sources like public file store providers such as One Drive and Box.” John tells us. He adds, “One thing that’s guiding our roadmap is the changing role of file servers. Put simply, file servers as we know them today have a limited life span. Users don’t need the hardware, they just need a service to store and access files from anywhere and any device. That’s why we’re focusing on supporting more object storage archive endpoints like Azure. “

Kazoup is targeting UK, Europe and USA as the initial markets, with plans to grow into the Asia- Pacific and South American market. The technology integrates with global public cloud providers like AWS, Azure and Google, and the software deploys from any location, so the service is available today from any global location. Kazoup has had a small angel investment from Databarracks and is looking to expand its development team in 2015 and have a marketing push in UK, Europe and USA.  There are discussions going on with venture capitalists regarding funding.

You can see Kazoup’s “short technology roadmap” here – http://www.kazoup.com/docs/roadmap.html and it has also defined long term roadmap internally.

StartupDope’s readers can quote the coupon name STARTUPDOPE in Kazoup’s in app customer support application and can avail 50% discount for 1 year of software subscription.

Netlify is on a mission to bring static web technology into the mainstream. Until now, static sites haven’t been used widely as they couldn’t deliver the features same as those of dynamic sites. But with the emergence of HTML5, and the browser and hosting services maturing, things have changed. More than 95% of sites can drastically reduce costs, and improve safety and speed tremendously by going static. The dynamic needs that a site might have that can’t be rendered by the browser can easily be fulfilled by externally hosted widgets such as as Disqus (comments), Olark (webchat), Snipcart (e-commerce) and so forth. Only those websites that need updating every minute or so need to stay dynamic today. Netlify wants to serve as a default entry-point to the world of static websites and apps. Reaping all the potential benefits of a static website has until now been a very cumbersome process. But with its tools, Netlify has reduced dozens of steps and hours of setup, even for hardcore web developers, to a single-click operation.

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How it works

Hosting

While you can easily host a static site on a place like Amazon S3, you will miss out on one of the things that make static sites great, which is – really fast load speed. A simple page speedtest comparison shows that netlify is around 9 times faster. (Visit  http://t.co/9KGKZgPzFZ and http://t.co/eMrrQe9zrV). The huge difference in speed is due to the fact that with netlify, the whole site is hosted on global CDN (Content Delivery Network)- a global network of super fast caches that only serve ‘flat’ ‘static’ files. Also, when a site is uploaded, netlify hosts it on multiple layered CDNs. Netlify is created solely to host static sites and apps, and you get “global lightning fast CDN with instant cache invalidation and a ton of other features like atomic deploys and contact form support – and all without the user having to do anything at all.”

Automation software

A lot of developers do not make static sites because of many manual steps that are involved. That’s why netlify is now launching the first automation software for static sites. To make a site all you have to do is logon to Netlify, and upload your site folder for instant hosting, or simply choose a static site generator and with a single click, let netlify build and host your site, while simultaneously setting up continuous deployment so that every time you push to GitHub or Bitbucket, your site is automatically deployed. Contact forms, instant cache invalidation, atomic deploys, complete version history are all included right out of the box.

Content Management System (CMS)

The one last thing standing in the way of static sites dominating a large part of tomorrow’s internet is the lack of an open-source CMS where the non-technical guy in marketing can update the site without knowing how to code whatsoever. The founders of netlify found that it has to be open-source and should incorporate the existing open-source static site generators (the tool you use to build your static site). This is what is being developed now and the first version is in “closed beta with incredible feedback.”When it’s live, it means anyone can “build an ultra optimized website, with hyper fast global hosting, all maintainable by clients, in seconds.”

Meet the founders!

Mathias Biilmann Christensen (Mat) – A full stack developer, Mat left Denmark for Spain 10 years ago. He became CTO of a technology company called Domestika, where he built his first commercial CMS serving more than 10.000 paying customers. He later came to San Francisco to start Webpop, a fully hosted CMS for web professionals. Eyeing the chance to disrupt the way websites are built and hosted, he then co-founded netlify with Christian.

Christian Bach (Chris) – With 14 years of agency experience as a digital producer, Chris is the Chief Digital Officer and CEO. He founded CAPSIZE, the first hybrid production company in Denmark, and won 18 awards (including  New York Festivals, EuroBest GranPrix, & Cannes Lions). End-client list included more than 80% of the 20 largest companies in DK (and international ones as IKEA & Coca-Cola). CAPSIZE then got acquired by a full service agency, where Chris then served as a partner / Chief Digital Officer. He left for the Valley to co-found netlify. He fell in love with the concept, seeing how netlify’s products would solve many of the daily issues they had while making websites.

Mat and Chris have also got Wade Warren on as an advisor. He ran operations at Netflix and Verisign, headed the team that created Apache web-server and is the VP of technical operations at Wikia.

The Journey

Mat and Chris were making the fully hosted dynamic CMS ‘Webpop’ and were dealing with the “same ever-present issues as everyone else working with traditional dynamic sites like Malware, expensive scaling, slow loads, etc.” In the back of their minds, they always knew that static sites “worked around these issues”. They also knew that “there was a reason that the ‘dynamic’ WordPress won over the ‘static’ movable type at that time – traditional dynamic sites offered a lot more features that required server-side renders., something static sites don’t do”.On a late Wednesday afternoon, they realized that with HTML5, the modern browser and mature hosting services, that gap could be closed. And then the potential of static web-tech really “dawned upon them.” In the meantime, they also learnt that static sites really “can take over as that hip-holstered primary weapon of choice and dominate the vast majority of tomorrows sites but a lot of tools and tweaking were needed for it to go from a tool for a select few, to mainstream web-tech.”

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Chris and Mat then turned to the actual build process.  They say, “Until now, building and deploying static sites have been a rather manual process, using a number of different tools. Our clients were crying out for a way to speed things up and simplify the process. So we developed Netlify. It has the same hosting as BitBalloon but on top of that it automates the entire build process. At a single click you can now choose your static site generator, build your site, host it, and every time thereafter when you make a push to git, your site is automatically updated.” They add, “The feedback for Netlify in beta has been off the chart, so we are really excited to bring it live next week.”

The challenges

The founders say, “We thought that making your product, and define your brand would be the hardest, but those you can mostly control yourself.” They add, “However, everything from getting work visas, to most importantly, making people care about your product, is something you can hope, plan and work for but never control.”

The competitors

The competitors within the category of static websites are mainly “other startups”, though as of now only netlify offers features like integration of the build process and instant cache invalidation (so you can see changes to your site as soon as you push them live). “But things are definitely moving along rapidly and we are really seeing a lot of action from many new players.” the founders tell us.

The Future

Mat and Chris aim to overtake WordPress. They say, “Netlify was born from a desire to bring static web-tech mainstream and in order to do that 3 steps need to be fulfilled – Hosting, Build Automation and CMS.  We have the most full featured hosting available and we have taken the manual steps of the build process and version control and integrated it all into one simple solution where we pull from git, build, deploy and keep site history, all in one click.” All of this are prerequisites for netlify’s next step – To build the first open-source CMS for static sites. With a full-fledged CMS on top of netlify’s existing tools, “static sites suddenly become a relevant alternative to most websites out there today.”

Target Audience

Netlify’s primary audience is the front-end community, that understands the virtues of static web technology and are looking for ways to tap into that potential. Its target audience are the developers and agencies that make websites for other people. “70 % of all websites are made by developers for other people, and website services overall are a 30 billion dollar market in the US alone.” the founders tell us.

Monetization

Netlify is a SaaS company and is making revenue from automation software and specialized CDN hosting. The open-source CMS will “hopefully provide defensibility.”

Sign up for a pro account now and get the first 1 month for free / no money at all / completely for nothing. Just write “netlify_medianame” in the discount box at checkout!

Please visit https://www.netlify.com/ to know more.

When you send your presentations, proposals, and other high-value documents to someone, what happens to them?  Do you want to know if they’re read? Do you want to know who else are they shared with and who all were interested in them? Attach tells you what happens to your documents when you hit “send”. It tells you when they’re opened, who opens them, what they read, and who else they share it with. It also lets you stay in control with the ability to restrict access to your documents, even after you’ve sent them.

As a “sales guy”, you might have sent your email presentations, proposals, or other high-value documents to your leads.  Salespeople are already beginning to harness data to improve their sales process, and Attach gives them the data that they never had access to earlier. Attach helps you know who to follow-up with, who is involved in the sales process, and what they are interested in. Once you understand your leads’ ‘digital body language’, you’re better equipped to understand them, have more relevant conversations and close deals faster. It does this by telling them:
– who their most engaged leads are, so they can focus on those and stop wasting time on wrong ones.
– to be more relevant in their communication by knowing exactly what their leads are interested in.
– to follow up with them when they open the documents.

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Attach was founded by Ryan Gum, James Burns-Howell, Niklas de Besche and Aref Abedi. Two of them are Swedish, one is an Australian and one is a Brit. “We’re based in Stockholm, and we’re part of the great startup community here” Ryan tells us.  (Visit http://swedishstartupspace.com/2014/05/30/infographic-sthlmtech-numbers/). He adds, “We’ve got a combined 40 years experience working in Sales and SaaS, so we understand the process and the psychology behind it to build a solution that solves the problems of salespeople. Two of our co-founders are also co-founders of another successful Sales SaaS startup they launched last year called Sparta (Visit http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/23/sparta-funding/), so we’re able to work closely with them in the sales market.”

The founders “wanted to build something that fixed their own problem and after asking around, they discovered other sales teams had this problem too.” Interestingly, Attach was started without a developer. “Luckily we were able to hack together a very minimal MVP, use it to get meetings with potential clients to validate our idea, and prove enough potential to attract a very talented CTO in James to complete our team.” Ryan tells us.

ClearSlide (clearslide.com) is Attach’s biggest competitor. “Since launching in 2009 they’ve raised $90m and have done a great job at solving this problem.” Ryan says. He adds, “We aim to solve the same problems as Clearslide, but give sales representatives even more insight and a better user experience. To achieve this we built an amazing ‘real-time’ feature that shows you the story of how someone engages with your documents as it happens, not just they looked at it and how much time they took. “

Attach is currently focusing on going deeper into engagement analytics to give its users even more insight into their leads’ digital body language. Then it plans to broaden the scope into natural areas like live pitching and email “to solve the bigger problem of sales communication.” Attach has been built for sales teams of all sizes. If a sales person is currently sending out high-value documents such as presentations, proposals, brochures, white papers, case studies, pricing sheets or product specs to his leads, all he has to do is plug Attach into his workflow and he’ll gain a huge amount of insight into what they’re already doing.  Attach also helps salespeople see what the latest sales trends and innovations are “to stay on top of their game”.

Attach is a freemium product. “There will always be a great free plan for solo users, and then business features start at $25 per user per month.” Ryan tells us.

Please visit https://attach.io/ for more information.

JobKaster is essentially the “Google Map of Jobs”. “We’re making it easy to find a job in specific locations – at walking distance from your neighbourhood, on your college campus, or somewhere near public transportation routes.” says Paul Chittenden, co-founder of JobKaster. Ravi Budhu, the other co-founder was earlier a competitor of Paul. Ravi was introduced to Paul “by a friend from Houston Startup community”. Paul recalls, “After our first phone call, I flew from Houston to Tucson, Arizona to meet him the very next weekend where we decided to team up and tackle this together.” He adds, “We’re all about helping locals find local jobs.” Ravi is “a genius software developer” according to Paul, and Paul has been a business development and marketing specialist.

Ravi and Paul were looking for new job opportunities. Ravi wanted to move to San Diego and was looking for a job near the beach. Paul wanted to find a job closer to his home in the Houston Galleria. However, for both of them, traditional job search portals failed. “Zip code searches on available job search websites returned results completely out of range, and we were fed up!” says Paul. The founders also figured out that many others were facing the issue. Paul adds, “We figured a map based interface would be much more intuitive when location matters.”

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JobKaster is a classic two sided market. “We needed jobs to get users, and users to get jobs. A barren job map isn’t very useful.” Paul tells us. The founders found that the food service and retail jobs were even more location dependent. They thus decided to focus on them. They have spent the last four months on “beefing up” the job postings with an additional 200,000+ more jobs for their users.

JobKaster’s target users are students, families and people without means of transportation. Its primary target users are retail and food service workers in the USA.  Paul and Ravi believe that JobKaster benefits them and they are ” thrilled that we can affect our users life in such a beneficial way.” Paul says, “They can spend more time with their families, more time studying, or just more time doing the things they love.”

“Craigslist is really our biggest competitor.” says Paul. He adds,  “They’re a job posting system that has been around for quite some time and has been really successful for our target demographics. Yet, their system is still a bit archaic at the moment, so we think we have a fighting chance!” The founders are confident that JobKaster would be “the next big name in job boards”. They are rapidly expanding into all major markets and adding more jobs. “Hell, maybe we’ll go international!” says Paul.

JobKaster is using the classic job board model where companies pay per job posting. However, the job seekers can use JobKaster totally free of charge. It offers 3 free job postings for new advertisers.

Please visit https://www.jobkaster.com/ for more information.

Ever since the internet, there were always different ways to view movies or tv shows online. But watching pre-recorded shows or sports events can never compensate watching the same LIVE. And as always, the internet has come with the great solution to it; live streaming. Since live streaming’s inception; there have been quite a number of applications providing live streaming features to their viewers. Almost all tv channels telecasting sports events have an app of their own. Mentioned below are few most commonly used applications for viewing live telecasts of movies and TV shows.

Castasy:

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Castasy the new live streaming software in the market comes as mobile compatible versions for both android and iOS operating platforms. In addition to mobile applications, the software also comes as a website for traditional desktop users.  As a different look at the live streaming industry; gone will be the days where any broadcaster had to look up to other broadcast channel and with Castasy, any buyer or entrepreneur can buy the script or software and start his/her own live streaming channel for streaming various movies, tv shows, live sports events or even a live news channel over the internet. The app comes with the NGINX-RTMP live streaming server, the best in the live streaming business. For a full package deal at $598, the software comes with all three versions, source code free support for about three months and free installation. And as an additional package for $699, the buyer gets the software and the full package with a WOWZA streaming server.

Crackle:

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This is by far the best live streaming application available for android users. With no subscription fees or even a signup; the users have access to a million episodes of tv shows and movies for free. Crackle updates its movies and tv show list every month and the users can create their own watchlist for their favorite movies and tv shows.

LiveStream:

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LiveStream is another easy to use live streaming application using which users can not only view events but also broadcast them. The add-free application offers a high definition broadcast system and unlike Crackle, the app is available on both iOS and Android platforms. Local news channels and weather reporters use LiveStream to broadcast their programs online. LiveStream introduced Twitcam using which users can use their twitter accounts too to broadcast events as well as chat with fellow followers.

Yidio:

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This live streaming app works more as a video aggregator that collects videos from a lot of video broadcasters and then allows users unlimited access to all these videos. Yidio app; though available on both Android and iOS platforms; is compatible with only a few devices. And since the app collects videos from other video broadcasters, some of these videos do not come for free. The most annoying feature is that the application has advertisements in every video. Though this seems a good revenue earning strategy for the app; it is not the same for the user.

Viewster:

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Viewster is another ad-supported application for viewing live tv shows and movies. With a license to broadcast about thousands of movies and shows from various languages, the application is available as a website and also available to download for Xbox users.

A server basically is just a computer program that provides services to different computers. The computer which the server program runs in is also termed as server. Based on the applications the servers are used on, there are different servers available in the market.

Fax servers that provide fax services, Application server used to run specific application as per the user’s requirements, File server that allows remote access to files, Proxy servers that serve as an intermediate server to provide information from other connected servers are few most commonly used servers at every household as well as at corporate offices.

A video streaming server is one such server used to stream videos over the internet either live or on demand. Basically a video streaming server is the media server that a computer user’s web server turns to when the user requests a video file on his/her computer. The server then uses the video playing software in the user’s computer and plays the requested video.

With a lot of channels turning to telecast their programs live over the internet, live streaming has reached a level from where it can only go higher.

Advantage of NGINX-RTMP streaming server over other streaming servers:

NGINX-RTMP streaming server is the best server that has favored live streaming and more and more streamers are looking at using it for their live streaming business. The NGINX-RTMP streaming server supports all three major protocols RTMO, HLS and MPEG-DASH.

RTMP provides multicast support and the server weighs much less than the other normal streaming servers and is much faster than the rest. The next big reason why users or streamers favor the NGINX server is that he server uses much less memory when compared to the others.

In addition to the above mentioned features, the server provides the advantage of handling more than 10,000 connections simultaneously. The server has a great fault tolerance and supports SPDY protocols also.

Live Streaming Software

Castasy:

And with the advantages the server provides its no wonder that all major video streamers look up to it. ‘Castasy’ – the next big thing in video streaming; allows users to stream videos across all platforms with the NGINX-RTMP streaming server. The streaming software which is set to be released by June 2015 will be available on all operating systems. The software comes as a website and applications compatible in both iOS and Android operated devices.

With the predefined settings a user can allow all of his/her followers to view the stream or create a group from the list of followers. The software comes with the NGINX-RTMP streaming server and at the full package rate of $399 the buyer gets separate apps for use in Android and iOS. The software is also available as a website and at the full package rate the buyer gets a very own admin panel and free upgrades for life. And for a minimum fee of $199, the experts at Castasy would love to help you with installation.

And for further questions on the software, feel free to contact us at: contact@castasy.com

Vero is a “triggered email platform”. It helps businesses track their customers and trigger emails based on their behaviour. Chris Hexton and James Lamont “entered a startup incubator with an idea that ultimately failed.” They pivoted, and thus Vero was born. This video explains it better than I ever could – https://getvero.wistia.com/medias/6y2pp73wto” says Jimmy Daly, the Marketing Director on the team and on how it all started.

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Vero is a very effective way to build relationships with customers. The founders knew that “behavioural tracking was gaining traction and wanted to be part of that movement.” James wanted to build a tool for developers and Chris wanted to build a tool for marketers. “Vero is both, since the installation and event tracking is handled by developers but it’s ultimately a marketing tool.” says Jimmy. He adds, “Everyone’s inbox is too busy. Promotional emails don’t work. Vero helps businesses sends emails that people actually want by adding context.”

Being totally unknown in the market with no money to spend on marketing was the biggest hurdle for Vero. Jimmy says, “We invested all our time in the product and slowly built a blog to educate potential users. We need to educate people on why sending massive email blasts is ineffective before they understand why Vero is so powerful.”

Vero has “direct competitors” like Customer.io and Intercom but it is also competing with the big guys like MailChimp. Vero is currently hiring several developers and a designer. “We plan to focus all our energy on making the product as good as it can possibly be.” Jimmy tells us.

Vero’s target audience is SaaS and e-commerce businesses interested in lifecycle marketing, onboarding and CRM.

Please visit https://www.getvero.com/ for more information.

Hitesh Chawla and Mudit Seth came up with an idea “to bridge the gap between traditional TV advertising and digital media while they were working together in OOH related startup.” To make it a reality, they co-founded SilverPush in 2012. Hitesh is the CEO of SilverPush, while Mudith Seth is the CMO and Alex Modon, the COO. SilverPush got selected by 500 Startups and GSF accelerator and is now helping many brands to reach their target audience. The team consists of a bunch of data scientists, coders, product specialists, campaign managers and sales people from the US as well as India.

SilverPush is a San Francisco based cross-device mapping platform. “Our technology helps marketers to unify data points from billions of devices around the globe and associate it with people.” says Adarsh Sasi, the Product Marketing Manager and the spokesperson. He adds, “SilverPush is helping many brands to understand consumer behaviour across multiple devices by combining data points generated by TVs, Desktops, Tablets and Smartphones. Using this platform, brands learn viewer’s engagement with their ads, which is broadcasted on TV. They can also analyze their web audience and re-target them on the audiences’ smartphone based on their interest and behaviour. Now SilverPush remains the only cross device advertising company that connects TV- Desktop – Tablet and Mobile in a single platform.”

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Hitesh and Mudit were co-founders of another start-up called WiseTouch, where they built a centralized platform for serving advertisements to outdoor media screens and tablets. It is during this time the duo decided to tap into the mobile advertising sector. SilverPush platform was built as a basic mobile advertising platform for brands at first. Later on, the company developed a technology, which they would like to call as ‘Audio Beacon technology’ and patented it. With the addition of this technology to the platform, SilverPush was able to connect the offline advertising TV spend, to its platform. Audio beacons implemented in the TV commercials will be received by the smartphone of the user with the help of SilverPush SDK in various apps and the user will be profiled in the company’s advertising platform.

Every year marketers spend more than $50 Billion dollars into TV advertising. But the marketers have no clue on who is viewing those TV commercials. Right now, the big spenders use GRP ratings and get an estimate of the total number of people who might have seen their commercials. In Adarsh’s own words, “SilverPush is aiming at to bring in transparency into this process. With our technology, brands can now see the full demographics of TV viewers, their geography, interest and all the details that would help a brand in planning their TV schedules. In addition to this, they can show mobile advertisements for the people, who have seen the ads on TV.”

SilverPush couldn’t escape from challenges though. “Indian market was still in the process of adapting to programmatic buying and cross-device re-targeting when we launched our platform.” Adarsh says, “For the initial couple of months, we had to put in a lot of effort for educating our clients about the benefits of cross-device re-targeting and how TV analytics will help the brands in making TV advertising accountable. But now, almost all major brands use SilverPush platform to find out the reach of their TV commercials and target people viewing those ads.”

SilverPush’s products span across the mobile and digital industry and while for some of their products like the “mobile demand side platform”, they have a couple of competitors globally, for their “TV analytics and TV-to-mobile retargeting suites”, there are no direct competitors.

On future plans, Adarsh reveals, “We are planning to expand to more countries in APAC region and we have already initiated talks with various stakeholders in those regions. By the end of this year, we will have footprints in more than 4 countries.”

SilverPush’s target audiences are the brands and the agencies who manage those brands. It currently has many top brands as clients and charges a fee from these companies for availing various services from its platform.

Please visit http://www.silverpush.com/ for more information.

A couple of years ago, Nicolas Mertens was with his friends in Cambodia, each one of them bribing his tuk-tuk driver to race the fastest. In this “makeshift competitive environment”, they talked about challenging each other to solve real problems. One problem that caught their attention was that performing bank transactions from abroad was painful since using the “much-hated card reader” was very cumbersome. With an understanding on the merchant side of running a Payment Service Provider, Nicolas took the challenge to do something about it, which triggered the thought of finding Sign2Pay.

In Europe, when you bank or shop online using a debit card, you have to use bank card readers to verify and validate transactions. “It’s an annoying process, filled with lots of number-punching on cheap, non-ergonomic plastic contraptions, and you never have a card reader when you need one.” Sign2Pay allows people to buy online by just using their signature, a debit card, and a mobile touch-screen device. “With 12,000 data points in a signature, the Sign2Pay app converts the signature into biometric verification—much faster than the long, tedious process of inputting numbers on a card reader. And since our phones are always in easy reach—we can complete an online transaction with debit cards in seconds. Plus as not all Europeans have credit cards, debit card holders are an important market.” says Nicolas.

Sign2Pay makes online shopping with a debit card both secure and effortless. “In Europe that’s gold!” Nicholas says. He adds, ” There are tens of countries, systems and players, but we streamline it into a single, simple–card-reader-free–payment system. Retailers love what Sign2Pay means for shopping cart conversion. If you’re in bed about to book a flight, you don’t have to get out from under the covers and hunt for a card reader. Just pick up your phone or turn your tablet to sign. Sign2Pay has hidden security features, too, like if contact information does not match payment details, the Sign2Pay payment option remains hidden.”

sign2pay_ordersteps

About the founders…

Nicolas Mertens, the CEO, aged 29, is from Antwerp, Belgium. He had spent time working in the online payment space, mostly in the Netherlands. His friend Tom Schouteden, aged 36, is also from Antwerp and the founder of a Linux services company. Tom built the first Sign2Pay prototype and currently serves as COO. To find the right Full Stack Engineer, Nicolas hosted a barbeque where he met Nick Lloyd, aged 39, from Canada. Nick joined the team as CTO.

In February 2015, Sign2Pay scored the “Innovation prize” at the Merchant Payments Ecosystem Conference in Berlin with 600 key decision makers and merchant payment experts (mobile, online and in-store payments)  including American Express, PayPal, ABN AMRO, MasterCard, Shell, Discover, Carrefour, and Total, among others voting. Sign2Pay won with nearly half the votes over the other 4 nominees. Today, Sign2Pay now works with 3700 European banks. Nicolas says that he would sit at his kitchen table every Saturday and try and tackle the next burning challenge – running out of money, needing a new developer, withering marketing funds, retailers that would lose their nerve to try.

Competitors

Nicholas considers Google Wallet, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal as competitors, “mainly because of the name recognition, marketing budgets and perceived infallibility.”. However he adds, “But our software is faster, and the user experience is better because the purchaser stays within the native merchant shopping environment. Plus, Sign2Pay works across mobile platforms. Offering Apple Pay is great, unless you’re one of the +65% without an iPhone.”

On expansion plans…

Sign2Pay plans to set its foot in Netherlands and Germany, so that it shall have its a presence in three countries. “We’re aggressively working on sales to merchants across Europe–the bigger the retailer or service, the better.” Nicholas tells us. He adds, “At the same time we want to improve public awareness so that Sign2Pay is a trusted interaction, not an abstraction. The more people who use Sign2Pay, the more they like it—debit cards without those clunky, junky card readers is a definite improvement in the online shopping experience. Aligning ourselves with forward-thinking investors is also a top priority.” Nicholas believes that the early adopters and millennials will use their product first since they trust mobile more.

Monetization

Sign2Pay has already had an early investment of €600,000. Now it is actively seeking investors who “have to be the right fit, though forward thinking, with payment experience & who understand the importance of increasing conversion”. “We are playing with the Big Boys in the payments world; the meek don’t have the stamina. We want investors and partners who can transcend the conservative banking mindset in Europe.” Nicholas tells us.

Please visit https://sign2pay.com/ for more information.

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