The awesomely named (and likely Pratchett-inspired) start-up Sourcery Technologies Inc. is looking to change the way restaurants handle their relationship with vendors, and vice versa, by creating a portal interface solution for both sides.
They have just secured $5 million in venture funding from their original backers Marker LLC, together with Steadfast Venture Capital, Palantir and more. So what’s the big deal?
Software As A Service
Software as a service is becoming more ubiquitous all the time, and that’s because it helps businesses do what produces results while cutting time from administration. Sourcery will do just that for restaurants.
The opportunity was identified when it became clear that restaurants are way behind the times on Accounts Payable. Most still order by phone, pay by check, and most vendors send paper invoices. This mess of un-trackable communication and losable paper becomes very complicated very quickly.
Sourcery takes everything paperless, using a digital interface designed for both restaurants and their vendors. This allows people to use scanners to digitize existing invoices and receipts, with software that extracts and organises the relevant information into the appropriate places. They can then generate future paperwork digitally, saving a lot headaches, and the environment.
This information will then be used to give restaurant owners an accurate, up to the minute take on not only their AP, but how that is affecting the rest of their business. In a restaurant, food costs have to be around a third of total costs – Sourcery will track this and alert restaurant owners to the real proportions in real time. There are a host of obvious applications to accounting and taxation, too.
Most of the innovation in the restaurant industry has been focused on customer experience, but this is one of the few to look at optimizing processes behind the scenes to make the business owner’s life easier.
The company wants to use this five million to create the same service for vendors as they have for restaurants. This will enable vendors to issue invoices, track them and bill customers all through the app. The idea is to be fully scalable, so quant little farm shops find it as easy to use as large scale manufacturers.
The company isn’t going to stop there. In the short term, they’re going to introduce data insights and enterprise features for restaurants. Medium term, they’re looking at widening out the application of the software to include appliances and even utility spend, to create a whole-restaurant performance tracking solution.
There’s also word of expansion beyond restaurants into other retail applications, which means the software has the potential to blow up big time in the next few years.
The day is nearly upon you – a tweet orders your favorite pizza, your Apple Watch places your Buy Stock transaction, you automatically add the song playing in your favorite restaurant to your Spotify playlist. That’s right – as your favorite brands adopt the latest mobile app technology to further engage you – App Downloads in the next four years will likely top 280 billion according to the latest prediction by App Annie.
At the end of 2015, worldwide app downloads topped the 112 billion mark, 50 percent of which are attributed to Asian markets, according to App Annie’s latest statistics. App Annie’s forecasts for 2016 include a rise to near 150 billion, with more than half from Asian markets. The final prediction for the year 2020, indicates downloads near 288 billion – Asia’s share estimated at 60 percent of that total.
Of course, App Annie offers this sound advice; downloads are just the beginning of monetization, usage follows with customer engagement and retention.
App Annie, founded in Beijing, knows the reality of exploding app market and features a global team spanning a multitude of countries and cultures delivering solutions to today’s greatest data challenges.
As the app market expands, App Annie notes that in only two years, the app marketplace has grown over 100 percent. People, all over the world, from the U.S. to Indonesia, and everywhere in between, spend 51 minutes of every hour on their mobile devices in apps and that number is quickly rising.
Games apps are no longer the biggest player in the app world as communication apps growth is at 100 percent, social apps at 120 percent growth, and video/media apps are growing at a whopping 200 percent.
The exponential growth does not stop there, global businesses are utilizing apps for marketing and sales of new products and services, and expanding into ticket sales, support services, and media streaming. Banking is poised for exceptional growth as sessions in the top banking apps as banks realize, not only is the service popular among the under 25 crowd, but older users are attracted to the convenience as well. For banks this means huge cost savings with fewer outlets and employees, allowing them to compete more effectively with mobile only financial tech start-ups.
Alongside banking, retail establishments and restaurants, are also poised for incredible growth in the years ahead.
While today, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Facebook rank among the highest used apps worldwide, Snapchat, Uber, Google Maps, and a vast array of retail and commercial apps are leading the way for the app revolution to come – 280 billion downloads strong.
Enormous growth is forecasted by the industry including a prediction that Snapchat advertising revenues will reach $1 Billion by 2017 increasing from this year’s estimate of $366 million. Snapchat has proved successful in it capability to reach millennials with a broad advertising portfolio and subsequently targeted ads.
The 2016 estimates are above Snapchat’s own goals which were near $350 million, a goal that was up seven percent from the previous year. The incredible $1 billion prediction from industry leaders is in line with Snapchat’s own predicted revenues of as much as $1 billion.
As Snapchat continues the growth of its advertising business with the addition of Snapchat partners, which allows advertising to be sold by third parties, permits a wider base of video advertising and sponsored spots. Generating 43 percent of Snapchat’s ad revenues in the United States is Snapchat’s Discover feature, though its Stories feature is following with a close second at nearly 38 percent. Currently the U.S. market accounts for 95 percent of its advertising revenues, though estimates indicate 25 percent of advertising revenues will be global by 2018.
Snapchat is poised for even greater growth, because it is expert at reaching a younger demographic including young millennials and Gen Z, which attracts many businesses. The challenge faced by Snapchat is convincing these businesses that their return on investment is greater than its competitors.
Yi-Technology, China’s GoPro Solution, featuring the Yi 4K with 4K HD recording capabilities, has raised $90 million (U.S.) funding. Among the investors is Xiaomi, who also participated in the Yi-Technology’s first round of funding.
Yi Technology, praised for its Yi 4K, a new action camera comparable to a GoPro, which has gained critical acclaim though the company remains a relative unknown. With the arrival of the Yi 4K on Amazon in the United States, Yi Technology is poised to make a name for itself globally.
Also a producer of drones, Yi Technology has set itself against DJI, based in Shenzhen, the most well-known name in the drone market. To date, Yi has sold 1.5 million cameras and three million home security cameras since its founding in 2013.
In a globalized world, markets are increasingly interconnected but often there is a barrier to these expanding markets, and that is language. Thus, language translators are needed all around the world.
Taking advantage of this need, is a business called Conyac which mediates social translation services between bilinguals and companies. In other words, it is a platform to crowdsource and recruit translators for translation projects provided by businesses.
Founded by Naoki Yamada in February 2009, Conyac is named after the special konjac jelly in the popular Japanese animation called “Doraemon”. It is a special tool that gives characters the ability to speak and understand any languages after consumption.
Building on that, the site aims to gather native translators from all over the world. Since its launch in 2009, Conyac’s base of translators has grown to 10,000 individuals around the world who work in 60 different languages. Prices range from $3 per translation to a $100 per month packages, and clients usually get their completed projects back within an hour.
Additionally, what sets Conyac apart from its competitors is its high quality translation work. This is achieved through its system of project evaluation whereby Conyac has an evaluation system between translators to maintain quality.
On August 2016, Yamada sold his crowd translation service, Conyac to Rozetta, a language learning service provider for US$14 million. The deal with Japan-based Rozetta worked out to a 50 percent in cash and 50 percent in stock swap.
In response to this, Naoki Yamada, founder of Conyac explained that “This is just a way and tool to grow the business. IPO is also a tool, as well as acquisition. You should take the option that works for your company.”
Naoki hopes to see more buy-outs in Japan and looks forward to the day when acquisitions the size of his company wouldn’t even make headlines. Naoki said in an interview with Tech In Asia.
Founded in 2009 and based in Japan, Conyac is a global platform for crowdsourced translation services. It acts as a platform for social translation network, matching skillful translators with businesses and users who require translation services.
For more information, please visit https://conyac.cc/en
Organization: Unicorn Media