We can't watch demo day of every investment outfit. But one event we try to track every year is Pear's, which happens every fall and (luckily) only shows a dozen or so very up-and-coming startups.
Pear, a seed-phase venture company founded in 2013, has an impressive track record of identifying high potential companies from the start – including DoorDash, Gusto, Aurora Solar, Vanta, Branch Metrics and Guardant Health. Despite the introduction of a far smaller number of teams for investors than Y Combinator and more prestigious Accelerator programs, there always seems to be at least one or two projects in Pear's Demo Day mix that become actual, sustainable, and sometimes sizeable companies .
Recall that in seven previous “batches” with a total of 69 teams, Pear helped launch Xilis, which uses “microorganoids” to quickly create thousands of 3D replicas of a patient's tumor that then can be recovered more quickly for drug safety testing (a Series A round worth $ 70 million was completed this summer); relationship intelligence firm Affinity (which announced $ 80 million in Series C funding last month); and Viz.ai, whose software helps doctors diagnose stroke and coordinate care (and is now funding $ 150 million) Million US dollars after completing the final round in March). . It has several others that it can and does brag about.
This year the event that took place last Wednesday shed light on 13 of these young teams. Pear also connected attending investors with five of his own portfolio companies emerging from stealth mode. For those of you who might be interested in following up emerging issues or actual investment opportunities, here's a quick rundown of who came up with what (with Pear-backed companies at the bottom of this list).
Note that we did not write the following descriptions. These were exactly the pitches that the teams delivered directly to the investors present, so you will of course recognize a bit of exaggeration (because startups).
Founders: Sameer Kapur (CPO), Vishnu Chakroborty (CTO), Gautam Ajjarapu (CEO)
“Burst is the first DeFi powered bank for Generation Z – we use DeFi to help our users earn more. Our first product is Burst Savings – we give users up to 250x more than typical banks by eliminating middlemen. Behind the scenes, we use DeFi protocols to securely grow your money by up to 10% annually. Our future product pipeline will enable our users to spend, borrow and invest money – each offering is united under the common goal of putting more money in our users' pockets. Before Burst, the founding team worked together to build revenue generating businesses for an audience of over 600,000 Gen-Z users. Gautam and Vishnu have experience developing products at Stripe, Google, and Amazon, and Sameer was the first product manager at Perch Credit, a consumer neobank startup. Now our team is obsessed with harnessing the benefits of crypto and DeFi to help our generation achieve financial independence. ”
Founders: Emily Stebbins (Co-CEO), Jonathan Siktberg (Co-CEO)
“Health U combines compelling micro-learning with a clinically validated diabetes prevention program to provide self-directed care on a large scale. Our mobile micro-learning platform offers bite-sized care programs for pre-diabetes patients who only need 3 minutes a day and provide real-time disease prevention for value-minded providers. With high-frequency micro-learning and personal health coaching, Health U occupies patients with their health on a daily basis. Our solution is uniquely tailored to generate a significant 3-year ROI for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that include over 10 million prediabetic patients. Prior to Health U, Jonathan experienced this problem firsthand in medical school, and Emily worked in digital products at Bain and in health tech at JNJ before joining GSB. Our team's mission is to drive disruptive innovations in the treatment of chronic diseases. ”
Founders: Matt Alston (CEO), Melissa Zhang (CTO)
“Bonfire empowers creatives to transform their audiences into communities through easy-to-use tools and a no-code platform based on their social tokens and NFTs. We're building the infrastructure to make it easy for every creator to manage their token community – including a dashboard, CRM, and community engagement toolkit. Prior to Bonfire, Melissa was a senior software engineer at Coinbase scaling their internationalization infrastructure, and Matt was a product manager at Uber building their loyalty program. Matt and Melissa have known each other for 8 years and are passionate about helping YouTubers become owners and become independent from gatekeepers looking for rent. "
Founder: Justin Clegg (CEO)
“Allset is a mobile messaging company driving sales for the 5 million home service companies in North America. The typical company in this $ 800 billion industry has an average of 6 employees and their main concern is growing their business. While there are tools like Service Titan for field service management, companies want a low-touch solution for marketing and sales. We realized that SMS offers an intimate communication channel to reach these customers. AllSet is a full-service SMS messaging platform integrated with field management services for home services that enables businesses to create personalized customer flows such as tips, offers and promotions, maintenance reminders and subscriptions. We have started to reach customers with our tip flow, where homeowners are prompted with an automated tip request as an SMS after an appointment has been completed. We started 6 weeks ago and have since grown by 20% week after week. "
Founders: Jason Shames (CEO), Cole Maritz (CRO), Dane Bratz (CTO)
“Skipper is a reservation platform for hotels and resorts that enables them to sell the guest's entire journey directly through a unified transactional experience, significantly expanding the $ 285 billion hotel market. For the first time, hotels can allow a guest to book a room, spa appointment, dinner reservation and third party activity through the hotel instead of expensive intermediaries such as Booking or Expedia. ”
Founders: Mackenzie Branigan (CEO), Joe Sofia (COO)
“At GatherMade we are building up the proven sharing economy for family meals. With the recent regulatory changes, there is a whole new category of offerings: home cooks (parents, grandparents and carers) who can earn a living cooking in their own home kitchen. We will win this offer by providing them with the software and infrastructure to run a profitable business. By focusing on families, our home cooks achieve better unit economics with family-sized meals, stacked orders for better planning, and constant demand. We are dedicated to strengthening modern families through economic empowerment, inclusion and community support. ”
Founders: Arman Hezarkhani (CEO), Jason Zhu (CDO), Nikhil Choudhary (CTO)
“Most Americans are not financially educated and that makes life noticeably worse. In 2020 Americans lost $ 415 billion to poor money management, and thinking about finances causes anxiety for 60% of us. This is because only 17% of us have to learn personal finance in school. Parthean teaches young professionals personal finance. In collaboration with finance-oriented content creators, we create playbooks that are tailored to critical financial events. such as a building loan or your first investment. Users watch our movie-quality videos, take our social quizzes and surveys, and keep each other motivated and learn as they progress together. At the end of each playbook you have taken an action that brings you closer to your goals. "
Founders: Anirudh Joshi (CEO), Damir Vrabac (COO), Viswesh Krishna (CTO)
“Valar Labs guides oncologists to make more accurate cancer treatment decisions. The founders worked with Professor Andrew Ng at Stanford's AI laboratory to use medical imaging data for clinically meaningful tasks. They unlock the potential of untapped imaging data that is already part of routine clinical care to help oncologists make treatment decisions. They have consulted top oncologists and are working with cancer centers such as UCSF, UCSD and cancer networks such as Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to build their platform. ”
Founders: Isha Patel (CEO), Luis Molina (CTO)
“Kale is the first credit card that enables creators to convert social value into economic value. We're creating an algorithm that identifies brands' superfans based on their purchase history and social activity. Brands directly reward these customers for posting about them, and Kale charges a fee for every match between the brand and the content creator. Before founding Kale, Isha and Luis worked together at LinkedIn as product and engineering partners for 5 years, developing and launching feed videos, short videos and the camera for 700 million users. We are experts in user-generated content and creator communities. "
Founder: Leonid Lukyanov (CTO, John Fallows (CEO)
“Aklivity is an API platform that helps enterprise developers reduce time to market for their latest API initiatives by up to 97%. It supports the creation, provision and management of modern streaming APIs that are fundamentally incompatible with existing API management solutions. Aklivity frees teams from the clutter of integration frameworks and incoherent manual efforts associated with managing streaming APIs today. Prior to Aklivity, the team pioneered WebSocket and started a company that brought the technology to dozens of global companies. An established pipeline and key strategic relationships are in place to provide streaming API management to over 21,000 companies and make rapid progress on a $ 2 billion market opportunity. ”
Founder: Maya Mikhailov (CEO) Alex Muller (President)
“SAVVI is a fully embeddable ML solution that enables a market of 600,000 product teams (USA) to efficiently add personalization and intelligence to their products. Product managers and developers can quickly use a machine learning tool that is easy to implement, deploy, and manage – without data scientists or ML experience. Teams using SAVVI have achieved an ROI of 1,500% compared to conventional ML methods. "
Founders: Hunter Globe (CEO), Wayne Lencer (Academic Co-Founder), Justin Wolfe (CSO)
“Biological drugs were one of the greatest revolutions in medicine in the last 30 years. Blockbuster biologics like Humira changed the way we treat chronic diseases, from Crohn's disease to cancer, creating a $ 375 billion market. But there is a problem. Biologics are large, complex molecules that are not naturally absorbed by the body. The way we get around this today is to inject or infuse biological drugs so they can get into the bloodstream more directly. Many patients do not stick with injectable treatment for long. Others don't take any. Pharmaceutical companies have been trying to enable the oral ingestion of large-molecule drugs for years. These approaches don't work well and result in very little absorption – usually less than 1% of the total drug administered. We've come up with a better way – a platform that allows better absorption of biologics after oral administration. After 30 years of research into cholera and how the bacteria infect the human body, Dr. Wayne Lencer, Harvard professor and co-founder of Transcera, a type of lipid that can transport larger molecules across the body's cell barriers. His laboratory at Boston Children's Hospital synthesized and simplified these carriers to improve the absorption of biological drugs. This is a platform technology that we want to apply to many chronic diseases. But we start with oral peptide drugs for diabetes and obesity. ”
Founders: Andrew Fang (CTO), Jon Braatz (CEO)
"Omniscient Labs is building a low-code geospatial platform that enables developers to easily ingest and obtain geospatial data from user-provided and third-party datasets, develop, host, and operationalize analytics for applications such as object classification and feature extraction resulting data in operational dashboards and other existing software systems without the need for specialist knowledge in dealing with geospatial data. "
Founder: Abhishek Chandra (CEO)
“One in three of us will die of heart disease – it is time to change that. Recora is the company platform for heart care. We help members recover from home after having a heart attack. At the moment, patients are driving to a hospital to complete a recovery program. These facilities are 40 miles away and have a 6 week waiting period. So 96% of people are not finished and are quickly hospitalized again.
Using video visits and connected devices, we have developed a virtual cardiac recovery program. We ran a 200 patient pilot last year and showed 3x better results. Today we cover 23,000 patients in 12 hospitals and accept them at 220% monthly. These three contracts alone offer a $ 46 million opportunity. We're well on the way to signing 20 contracts in 26 states and breaking into a $ 10 billion market over the next twelve months. Prior to Recora, we founded and scaled Spring Health, a $ 2 billion mental health platform. Now we are redefining the future of heart health so that everyone can lead a long, fulfilling and optimal life. ”
Founder: Nathan Schütt (CEO)
“Kensa AI develops image processing software to automate and improve visual inspections for civil infrastructure (e.g. bridges, dams, buildings, cell towers, etc.). The company's initial focus is on concrete and steel structures, combining high-resolution 3D reconstructions captured by drones with deep learning to detect cracks, chipping, delamination and other common defects. Kensa AI customers include some of the largest infrastructure owners and developers in the world, including Class 1 railways, electric utilities and multinational engineering companies. With a team of 5 and projected sales of $ 800,000 in 2021, Kensa AI is growing rapidly and establishing a data moat on some of the world's most important infrastructure assets. The founder and CEO graduated from Stanford University and is now building a seed round to expand the company's leadership position in digital 3D twins and AI-based inspection for industrial plants. "
Founders: Jayce Hafner (CEO), Albert Albedi (Product Manager), Sami Tellatin (COO)
“Over half of American farms do not have the tools or bandwidth they need to find ways to improve their farms and become profitable. Our API is linked to the farmer's bank account, where our algorithm evaluates the financial data to provide a “farm read” that assesses the farmer's financial health. We regularly monitor operational data to continuously provide clean financial data and recommendations for improving your operations. We use this farm-specific data to connect farmers with capital to improve their scores. ”
Founders: Zach Rivkin (CEO), Chris Zelazo (Co-Founder), Michael Zuccarino (Co-Founder)
“Great companies are built on personal relationships, and personal relationships are built on Gatsby – the personal CRM for the future of professional network management. Gatsby is the recording system for your network that provides low touch points for you to expand network information and enable the creation of intelligent workflows to manage it, z and events so that the key people show up. We are starting to sell our first wedge to investment professionals and plan to expand to include all professionals for whom managing their network is critical. ”
Founder: Denzil Eden (CEO)
“Smarty is an intelligence layer that connects you to all your data and applications via a central hub. You talk to Smarty wherever you are online and Smarty automates routine workflows so that you can only focus on the essentials. Use pre-made recipes, create your own custom triggers or use natural language commands and choose how your data is automatically moved between the applications you use. Founder and CEO Denzil, a graduate of MIT and HBS, is the person behind the bot.She developed Smarty to empower passionate professionals to do routine tasks, use known best practices and learn from their personal data from the past how they can become their smartest selves. "