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Last week, BusinessCloud released their top 100 Fintech disrupters for 2019. The list, compiled by an independent judging panel and public vote, highlights the most exciting fintech companies of the year in one of the most comprehensive financial technology lists.

As you would expect, the list includes global giants such as Monzo, who recently hit three million users, to fast-growth startups such as StepLadder, who have quickly established themselves as financial property innovators and consumer champion.

We’ve looked at six of the most interesting disruptors on this year’s list.

Checkout.com

A provider of online payment solutions enabling companies to accept more payments is London based business, Checkout. After raising $230 million in a recent funding round, taking its valuation to almost $2 billion.

The leading international provider can currently process over 150 currencies, and accept all international cards all through one bespoke integration.

The last three years have seen a rapid growth for Checkout. They have had offices open in USA, Berlin and Paris. This year saw Checkout enter its seventh year as a business and celebrated by increasing their employee numbers to over 300 across eight offices.

Checkout has a wealth of experience working alongside some huge global brands such as Deliveroo, Samsung and TransferWise.

StepLadder

A collaborative peer-to-peer deposit saving platform on a mission to help first-time buyers get onto the property ladder faster, by collaborating with like-minded savers.

The process is simple, yet so effective; using a ROSCA model, members are matched with one another based on deposit targets, and every month everyone in the ‘circle’ pays the same amount of money, with one individual awarded the total. This process continues every month until every person in the circle has been awarded their deposit.

With 87% of their members getting their property deposit faster than they would saving on their own, and group discounts with providers worth up to £1,500, it’s clear to see why StepLadder has made it to seventh in this year’s fintech 100 list.

You can listen to their podcast on Ten minutes with… here

Kalgera

Whilst financial technology is on the rise, unfortunately so are cyber-attacks. Currently, half of UK adults show signs of potential financial vulnerability with the UK population losing in the region of £1.2 billion to fraud and scams every year.

Kalgera was created with the idea that it could protect your loved ones’ finances at all times, no matter your circumstances. The secure FCA-regulated platform helps you spot unusual activity on any bank account and will send you notifications when it thinks there is something suspicious going on.

Pennies

Effectively a digital upgrade of the traditional charity box, Pennies is the award-winning fintech charity making donations not only affordable but accessible too.

Pennies are helping to give your small change a big purpose which goes towards a meaningful difference. So far, over 75 million small change donations – which equates to £19 million – has been raised for UK charities by consumers giving pennies when using their card whilst shopping.

Invstr

For most young people, investing in stocks and shares is seen as something you do later in life when you’ve got a little extra capital to spare.

Invstr is here to change that mindset; they want to help people overcome the knowledge and financial barriers to becoming confident investors. The award-winning app has been championed for its ‘play and learn’ approach and its fantasy finance game. The game sees you start with a virtual $1m, which you then invest and take (risk-free) risks.

Of course, you can invest real money if you wish too – from just $1 you can invest with the big hitters, without the big bank balance, allowing you to grab a slice of the companies you love, no matter the share price.

Quantexa

The decision intelligence company specialising in AI and network analytics. Working with Tier 1 customers globally, including HSBC. Quantexa empowers organisations to make better decisions through a greater understanding of context. Using dynamic entity resolution and advanced network analytics, Quantexa allows businesses to see the bigger picture and solve real-world challenges in financial crime, customer insight and data analytics.

The company has raised over $25 million in venture capital funding to date, and over the past 12-months, annual recurring revenue has grown over 400%. It has accomplished rapid global expansion, with over 200 staff across offices in London, New York, Boston, Toronto, Belgium, Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney.

If you’re a technology company interested in how we can help raise your profile, please get in touch today.

Our ones to watch from BusinessCloud’s 100 Fintech disrupters for 2019

With the launch of Amazon’s new HD streaming service to rival the likes of Spotify and Apple Music, industry eyeballs are on who will be helping artists and musicians monetize their music away from the traditional labels in the future. The music world has always been about who is able to identify “the next big thing”, nurture that relationship and establish a successful route to market with the potential financial windfall always on the horizon. Of course, making sure artists are paid sufficiently and managed appropriately has always been a difficult balancing act, but streaming and new technology are paving the way for a host of companies pushing into new markets and capitalising on this growing industry.

New platforms and startups are being set up with the next challengers looking to change investment into the industry and capitalise on the new wave of streaming content services. Below are a select few to keep your eye on:

Corite

Corite allows fans to invest in music and get rewarded in the form of royalties from the likes of Spotify and Apple Music.

The Stockholm-based platform started by industry veterans and Universal Music Group alumni Mathias Tengblad, and Emil Angervall, say Corite will enable new artists to enter the music market without the need of the backing of traditional record labels.

It also enables artists to estimate the value of a song they have created based on their streaming history and future projections, before announcing the amount they want to raise and setting a percentage of streaming royalties which investors will receive in return.

Jammber

The music business is littered with stories about songwriters or studio contributors and session musicians who never get the credit — or money — they’re often due for their work on hit songs.

Jammber was started by serial entrepreneur Marcus Cobb to make sure that those cheques get cashed by the right parties in a timely fashion and they get the appropriate credit. It is a suite of tools to manage everything from songwriting credits and rights management to ticketing and touring all from a group of apps on your mobile phone.

With offices in Nashville and Chicago, Cobb has his sights on the West Coast and a base in London in the coming years to push the company forward and make it truly international in its reach.

Songbook

With an exciting new proposition for the industry, Songbook is looking at taking crowdfunding into the music world to help artists fund their work and promote their songs with an ongoing commercial route to market.

Setup by Chris Read in London, Songbook is an investment platform solving the two main problems artists and labels have: a lack of cash and sustained promotion. It lets fans crowdfund an artist’s next album, EP or single; in turn, it gives them a cut of the master or publishing rights, anywhere from which they earn royalties from three to 25 years.

Fanvestory

Fanvestory is a platform for music copyrights. It allows fans to buy a part in a piece of music and be entitled to its future royalties while supporting their favourite artists. Artists are provided money upfront for their copyrighted work and are given a direct line to their most loyal fans.
Positioned as a disruptor to the market, Fanvestory is looking to shake up the current status quo that allows artists royalties and funds in the future and helps them gain access to capital at the start of their careers when they need the money the most.

Global Rockstar

Imagine you would have bought 1% of the master rights of Ed Sheeran’s “Shape Of You” when it was released. Up until today, you would have earned more than £100,000 from streaming alone.

Open investment into the music business is what Vienna-based start-up Global Rockstar is aiming for and in August 2019 it opened its platform to hundreds of thousands of unsigned emerging talents and their fans, who can now become a part of their success.

The idea from founder and CEO Christof Straub is that by investing in music rights, music lovers become “shareholders” of tracks and receive royalties from the commercial exploitation of the master rights for up to the term of copyright which is in average 70 years in Europe.

If you would like to learn more about what PR could do for your business, speak to a member of our award-winning team today.

Five companies making waves in the music industry

In the last ten years, the number of 26-29-year olds ditching the 9 – 5 in favour of a freelance career has risen by a staggering 66%, and millennials have been responsible for driving the growth in several new creative and professional sectors.

While as a generation millennials still account for less of the UK’s freelance workforce than baby boomers and generation x, they have the unique advantage of being the first ‘digitally native’ generation and a long list of apps and platforms at their disposal to help them launch and grow their freelance careers.

With so many tools on the market, helping with everything from time management to banking, we take a look at the essential ones for any freelancer looking to streamline their workload and find new opportunities.

Toggl: the one for time management

 The ultimate time management tool for freelancers, Toggl helps users to boost their productivity and meet important project deadlines. The free version allows you to track time spent on projects with a simple one-click timer that works even while you’re offline. You can also set reminders for specific times or when you open your favourite apps – so no more forgetting to log time spent on a project. For fans of the Pomodoro technique, there’s even a timer that can remind you to take that much-needed break.

 

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Millennials are more likely to view work-life balance as a major career concern and will be working longer than any prior generation. It makes sense that more and more companies would offer sabbaticals and more employees would take them. Read about the rise of Sabbaticals and why taking some time off can actually be good for companies! (Link in bio) TY to @ohrosewong for her illustration skills ✨🎨 . . . . #timetracking #timemanagement #productivitytools #trackingtime #timetracker #gapyear #worklifebalance #sabbatical #sabbaticallife #sabbaticalyear #sabbatical2019 #sabbatical2018 #sabbaticaltravels #sabbatical2017 #stressmanagement #stressrelieving #stresss #burnouts #burnoutrecovery #burnoutsyndromes #burnoutfordays #burnoutprevention

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Coconut: the one for banking

Coconut is a current account specifically designed to help freelancers and small business owners that takes care of your accounting and tax. As you use your Coconut account the app estimates how much tax to save so you’ll never get to the end of the year and have an unexpected bill. The app also categorises your business expenses helping you to stay organised and send instant push notifications when you spend to remind you to snap the receipt, keeping everything tidily in one place. Still not convinced. Well, Coconut will also give you helpful tips along the way about what you can and can’t claim, helping to maximise savings on your tax bill.

 

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The only card that’s been built for business. – ◾️ Sole Traders ◽️ Ltd companies ◾️ Open your account in minutes – 🧬 Link in bio – #coconut #inanutshell #getcoconut #fintech #mobilebanking #accountingsoftware #instaaccounting #instafinance #instatax #instabusiness #finance #freelancelife #freelance #selfemployed #taxreturn #instafintech #tech #disruption #business #techstartup #tech #techcityuk #dowhatyoulove #smallbusinessowners #solopreneur #innovation #techcityuk #currentaccount #money

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Otter.ai: the one for notetaking

The clever people over at Otter.ai, have created an AI-powered assistant to help create rich notes for meetings, interviews, and other important conversations. Not only can you record conversations on your phone or web browser, but Otter will also create real-time streaming transcripts and searchable notes with text, audio, images. What’s more, because Otter is powered by Ambient Voice Intelligence, it’s always constantly learning – you can train Otter to recognise voices and learn special terminology. All of which will help you work and collaborate smarter!

Bumble Bizz: the one for networking

Bumble Bizz launched in the UK way back in October 2017. The ‘Bizz’ extension of Whitney Wolfe Herd’s immensely popular dating app was designed to help women to make the first move in their professional lives. Bumble firmly believes that ‘Networking shouldn’t feel so hard or, worse, uncomfortable.’ Which is why they created Bizz, to make it easy to make life-changing connections at your own pace, on your own terms.

 

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Only 2 more “not Fridays” to go!

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AndCo: the one for finding a workspace

Tired of fighting for a table in crowded coffee shops to contend with awful WiFi and pressure from baristas to buy another coffee? Well, AndCo provides bookable hot-desks in the best hotels, bars and restaurants across London with dedicated WiFi, all for the fraction of the cost of a traditional co-working membership. With over 90+ hand-picked venues across London and a guaranteed desk every time you book, AndCo is a perfect option for freelancers wanting to escape the kitchen table.

 

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What does ‘entrepreneur’ mean to you?❓ • • • • • #freelance #freelancer #entrepreneur #startup #business #freelancing #freelancelife #freelanceproblems #selfemployed #selfemployment #digitalnomad #flexibleworking #quotes #smallbusiness #hustle #entrepreneurlife #freelancemarketer #solopreneurs #escapeyourdesk #freelancework #startuplife #startuplifestyle #founder #funny #freelancerproblems #startupslondon #londonfreelancer #freelancelondon #londonfreelance

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If you would like to learn more about what PR could do for your business, speak to a member of our award-winning team today.

Five essential apps for freelancers

When we book our holidays, we often look for places that offer us an escape and a sense of luxury. Hospitality brands are constantly evolving to make sure they are offering the best service possible and at a competitive price. The biggest way the industry is achieving this evolution is through technology, with hotels and spas adopting the latest innovations to rewrite the DNA of their industry.

These cutting-edge companies will be on display at this year’s Hotel and Spa Tech Live taking place in September over at the ExCel London centre, where the hospitality industry’s most influential figures will be taking to the stage to discuss the hottest topics in hospitality tech.

We’ve picked our top seven companies who we are expecting big things from in the coming months:

Synel

Synel is an industry leader in workforce management and promises to save you time and money by efficiently optimising your shifts. Their web-based workforce management solution can be used by everyone in the hospitality industry, from independent restaurants all the way through to major hotel brands.  Allowing you to track your staff’s working patterns and staffing levels.

RoomOrders 

RoomOrders is a great solution that allows you to order your meal for the evening while on the go. Describing itself as ‘uberizing the in-room dining for hotels around the world’. Rather than having to go through a menu in your room and call your order in, guests can now use their own smartphone, tablet or laptop to place their order, having the entire menu at their fingertips. Free to use, RoomOrders helps improve the guest experience and cuts down on time.

 

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Hey Hotels! Have you received one of these? If not, email us and we will gladly bring one by. Our service will enhance your #roomorders food and beverage options that much better. With @roomorders everyone is happy as convenience with efficiency assures simplicity! A happy guest is a returning guest. #roomorders #roomservice #hotelstay #hotel #convenient #efficient #accurate #simple #roomservicesimplified // check out http://roomorders.com (link in our bio)

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hoppaGo

Designed to connect you to a local network of transport providers, hoppaGo makes transport connections quick and affordable. Whether you are travelling for leisure or business, there is a vehicle to suit your needs. The technology is easy for hotels, staff and guests to use and compares thousands of providers every day for their customers.

 

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#Bermuda’s capital #Hamilton defines the island, with historical buildings and picturesque streets lined with colourful houses overlooking the harbour. Travelling soon? Remember to book a hoppa, and #ArriveHappy! #Wanderlust #Travel #Bucketlist #Instadaily #Travelgram #Inspiration #Travelling #TravelPhotography #Instatravel

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Acomos

Acomas is the leading hotel management system created to help hotels stay booked up. Their system takes the admin out of making sure your room bookings and services are all taken care off, allowing management to take the time and interact with guests. Outside of room bookings, the platform also allows you to track and manage spas and function rooms, analysing the hotels overall performance with acomasQI™.

 

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acomos blog – How to choose a Property Management System. Click the link in our bio to read. #software #hotels #hospitality #tech #checklist #hotelpms #hotelroom

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Zeez Sleep  

Zeez Sleep is behind the award-winning sleep device, the Zeez Sleep Pebble, and will be launching their latest device – the Zeez Sleep Pillow Pad – at Hotel 360 to help guests get the best night sleep at your hotel. The Pillow contains sensors over a wide surface which lets off tiny pulses that reproduces the brainwave pattern of a good sleeper, prompting the user’s brain to relax and sleep.

 

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We got shortlisted for best consumer product by design week!! That’s the second award this year. #designweekmag #sleeplessnights #sleep #tech

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Ambie

Delivering great background music with zero hassle is music tech business, Ambie. Simply answer a few questions either online or on the telephone about your business, customer demographics and trading patterns and Ambie will take care of the rest. Ambie will also design a collection of playlists tailored to your needs.

The Ambie player itself is a small, palm-sized player that connects seamlessly to your existing sound system and only takes a couple of minutes to set up and start playing your bespoke background music. For businesses who have multiple locations, the Ambie app is a perfect and simple way for decision-makers to check what’s playing in all locations and even allows for feedback to be sent back to Ambie.

 

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Who said coffee shop music had to be bland? We partnered with @200degs to create a soundtrack as distinctive as their ☕️ ☕️ . LINK IN BIO.

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Kantox

Kantox is a currency exchange platform providing software, such as currency management and payment solutions. The platform helps businesses manage their foreign exchange processes. Kantox serves over 3,500 clients in 25 industries, and these businesses have exchanged more than £8 billion via the platform. The business has appeared on the Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 list every year since 2016.

https://twitter.com/kantox/status/1172490362214129665

Are you interested in learning more about what PR could do for your business? Do you have a product ready to launch in the UK? Speak to one of our award-winning teams today to find out more.

Spotlight on The Hotel and Spa Tech Live

Getting ready for university can feel like a never-ending checklist and sorting out what you want to take with you to start your new chapter can feel overwhelming. So, we’ve tried to take away some of the stress by pulling together a list of must-have tech to help you get through your first year.

Chip

This handy bot saves your money without you having to do a thing, which will help that student loan last a bit longer. Once you give Chip access to your bank account, it will automatically start monitoring your spending. Keeping an eye on your incomings and outgoings, it calculates where you can afford to save money, and even puts that money into your savings account for you. Plus, if you refer a friend to the app you can gain an extra 1% interest (up to 5%).

 

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Here’s some #FridayMotivation for you! This amazing couple took the trip of a lifetime to Tromsø to see the Northern Lights, and Chip helped them get there! 🇳🇴 ✈️

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Perlego

Perlego is an online library that gives you access to over 200,000 textbooks across 500+ topics for less than the price of a single book. With the cost of textbooks increasing by 1041% since 1977, this is a great option for students looking to complete their core reading for their course. The app and web platform also allow you to highlight and annotate key sections of the book and can be read whenever you want through their offline functions. Only costing £96 a year for students (which works out £8 a month), this platform will quickly become your favourite site when you’re up against essay deadlines!

 

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Fancy helping us shape the future of an exciting Perlego project? 👀 We’re currently working on our brand new Perlego app, so that our readers can read offline wherever you are.🎉 Interested? We want you to download the app, test it out and leave us a review with some feedback on what you love, and what we can make better. We’ll be giving 5 people who accept this mission 1 month free Perlego subscription 👀🙋‍♀️🙋‍♂️🤳 DM us for a link 🤙 . . . . . #students #university #student #android #studentlife #mobile #ios #free #iphone #app #college #apple #teachers #appdesign #iphone6 #classmates #textbooks #attackontitan #mobileapp #appstore #ux #deathnote #classmate #ui #iphone6s #uni #books #booklover

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SHERPR

If you’re into your sport and dreading the thought of trying to take all your equipment with you on the train, then you might want to check out SHERPR. It allows you to ship your sports equipment across Europe and the UK for as little as £32, saving you space for other things you love. If your society is thinking of going abroad for a trip, they also provide a bespoke discount for teams or large groups, so well worth having a look.

 

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Proud to have been part of Le Cure de France Charity Bike Ride 2019 @lecuredefrance. Now homeward bound. 🚴‍♀️🚴‍♂️ cycling#charitybikeride#bikes#lovecycling#cyclinglife#lecuredefrance#charity#royalmarsdencancercharity#france#french#frenchcycling#summercycling#cyclingchallenge#teameffort#cyclingmotivation#cyclingaddict#lovemybike#

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Soundnote

This app will help you get through freshers’ week, tracking what your type and draw all while recording audio – meaning you can get away with sleeping off that hangover at the back of the lecture hall. All you have to do is tap the word you last wrote when you were awake, and the app will playback the audio to help you fill in the gaps. It’s also easy to transfer the files to a Mac or PC as well as email, meaning you only need to take a tablet with you.

Chaperhome

It can be scary leaving home for the first time and moving to a place where you don’t know many people. Late nights wandering around the new area can be daunting, but Chaperhome has been designed to make you feel safe and share your location easily with family and friends. The personal security app allows you to post live updates to your local area and send alerts to friendship groups and family. The companion live feature is really easy to use – all you need to do is keep tapping to indicate you’re safe. If you miss a tap, your friends and family are automatically notified with an alert and your location.

 

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Walking home tonight? Use companion live when your walking home after work / school or after the game. Download the app free and Setup Chaperhome before you head home👍 Be safe with Chaperhome! #childsafetyweek #childsafety #besafe #chaperhome #afterwork #walking #streetlife #london #traveller #friend #thoughtsandprayers #thoughtoftheday

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Are you interested in learning more about what PR could do for your business? Do you have a product ready to launch in the UK? Speak to one of our award-winning teams today to find out more.

Freshers Survival Kit: The tech to help you get through your first year at University

Back again, the mighty IFA will descend upon Berlin next week as Europe’s largest consumer tech conference showcasing the latest and greatest from the electronics world.

With the focus often on the big players, we decided to take a closer look at the start-up and scale-up scene at this year’s event, many of whom can often be found at the IFA NEXT showcase in Hall 26.

So, without further ado, here’s our recommended ones to watch:

Pigzbe

Pigzbe is a pocket money app that helps kids age 6+ become the money maestros of tomorrow. Kids learn as they earn by turning chores into pocket money. Ideal for teaching them the value of money in a fun and rewarding way!

 

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Chores don’t need to be a chore. Pigzbe makes it easy for parents. Set your kids tasks and chores, set-up recurring allowances or send gifts straight from the Pigzbe app on your phone. Pigzbe launches early this autumn in the UK! Join our launch list today and earn £20 when you subscribe to the app! (UK only… For now!). Find the link in bio to learn more! #goodhabitsforlife #goodhabitsstartyoung #savingschallenge #financialfreedom #financialeducationmatters #moneyhabits

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Kokoon

Discover a healthier, happier you by taking control of your sleep and relaxation with the world’s first sleep aiding headphones. Kokoon’s sensor enabled headphones and intelligent audio library help provide that perfect sanctuary, wherever you are.

 

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Delighted to announce Version 2.6 of the Kokoon Relax app is now available to download. Head over to our blog to find out more about our newly released features https://bufferzone.kokoon.io/sleep/kokoon-relax-version-2-6-intelligent-sleep/ #sleepready #SleepKokoon

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Audiogum

Offering ‘Smarter Experiences for Smart Devices’ Audiogum creates premium software solutions for audio manufacturers and streaming services. They aim to give consumers the best possible experience by enabling them to listen to the audio content they love, quickly and elegantly.

 

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The design cogs are whirring at Audiogum #puns #FriendMix #sketch #cog

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XYZprinting

XYZprinting has a long legacy in the printing industry, but is stepping it up even further at this year’s IFA with the launch of the world’s first combined 2D inkjet and full colour 3D printer, which also has a laser engraver. Visitors to the show will be able to see demos of the printer – called the da Vinci Color 5D – at Hall 12, Stand 108.

The da Vinci Color 5D can be used by a wide range of people, but will be particularly useful to small businesses and designers, thanks to its high-quality printing and ease of use. The 2D printing and laser engraver features make it the most complete and user-friendly desktop 3D printing unit developed, so entrepreneurs and creators will truly have the ability to bring their creations to life.

 

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Don’t spill your drink, unless you’re looking for a creative piece for your desk 😉 #xyzprinting #quick #3dprint #davinci #3dprinter #pla #3dprinted #makersgonnamake #maker #deskdecor #filament #illusion #creative #spillthetea #woops #art #diy #redwine🍷 #3dmodel #redwine #ketchup #giftideas #splash #create #future #innovation #XYZ

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HiMirror

HiMirror are a familiar face at IFA as they continue to show off world-leading innovations in the beauty technology space. This year, they’re excited to announce a brand new product to continue improving the skincare experience for consumers. The HiMirror Slide is a revolutionary, on-the-go smart beauty mirror which enhances the skincare, beauty and make-up experience for users. Its features include the skin analysis engine, virtual beauty box, AR makeup studio as well as including Spotify, Amazon Alexa and Instagram. Visitors will be able to see the new product at Hall 12, Stand 108 along with other exciting HiMirror creations including the Smart Body Scale and HiSkin.

 

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What’s your new year resolution?🎉After the celebrations, it’s time to enjoy some “Me” time. 💋Just start with HiMirror and use our latest makeup function. BEAUTY is so easy.😘 . . . #himirrorplus #beauty #beautyful #makeup #lipstick #mua #makeupgoals #happyholidays #newyear #inspiration

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LO-K-8

It might seem bold to feature a tech product that hasn’t officially launched yet, but we think that LO-K-8 has the potential to be a real game changer.

Whether it’s the first time a child gets the bus on their own to school, or goes out unsupervised to town with friends, all parents worry about their child’s safety. LO-K-8 is the world’s first lockable child’s GPS watch.

Of course, there have been GPS watches launched in the past, LO-K-8 differs due to its unique locking mechanism and 24-hour security monitoring service.

The app service allows parents to define the area in which a child is safe to roam whilst you can also receive notifications when your child arrives at and leaves school.

LO-K-8 is due to officially launch at the IFA conference later this week, we’ll be keeping a close eye on how the product launch goes.

Nextbase

A leading name in the dash cam industry, Nextbase continues to receive outstanding reviews on 3rd party site, Trustpilot where they have received over 2,000 reviews maintaining a 9.1 out of 10 rating.

The latest model, Series 2 offers some great features such as intelligent parking mode, which records any bump or physical movement on the vehicle when left unattended.

Away from dash cam technology, Nextbase also offer a range of other solutions such as the iPad active car mount, when used in the back of the car, slide the iPad into the mount and charge whilst moving.

 

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Four models in the new Nextbase Series 2 range have been awarded ‘Best Buys’ by consumer champions @whichuk 🏆

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Arroe

It can sometimes feel that we are governed by our smart devices and the amount of charge they have left. Arroe have made it their mission to put a stop to this.

LAER is Arroe’s first creation towards a better charging solution. LAER is a Bluetooth enabled laptop sleeve, which charges your phone, laptop and tablet simultaneously wherever you are. No longer will you need to think about what chargers or adapters you need to pack for work or a trip abroad. LAER is a charging solution which has been created to keep momentum going throughout the day.

 

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Charge your iPad up to 2.5x with LAER ______________ . . . #arroe #portablecharger #charger #stayconnected #powerbank #ipad #workfromanywhere #battery #exploretocreate #welltravelled #awesomelifestyle #mustdotravels #supercharge #power #minimalist #tech #technologyandstyle #applesetup #adventureon #minimalsetups #workhardanywhere

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Frontier Smart Technologies

Frontier is the world leader in solutions for digital radio, providing chips and modules to all major brands in the consumer sector. A pioneer in digital radio, smart audio and smart home technologies, its customers include Sony, Panasonic, Harman, Pioneer, Bose, Marshall and Pure.

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New Dawn Innovations (Trading as VQ)

VQ is the home to unique, design orientated audio, mobile accessories and small domestic appliances. In addition to its own extensive choice of colours & materials, the company works in collaboration with the likes of Cath Kidston, Emma Bridgewater, Joules, Laura Ashley & the RSPB.

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Are you a start-up or scale-up looking to raise your profile using PR? If so, check out our e-book ‘How What Why, PR tips for Start-ups and businesses’ or get in touch.

Ones to watch – start-ups and scale-ups at IFA 2019

Whilst the healthtech market may still be a relatively new industry, that hasn’t stopped it from thriving. ABHI, the UK’s leading industry association for health technology recently reported that the industry has a combined turnover of £24bn.

Whilst a Deloitte study suggested that by 2018, the global market for digital health would be worth £43bn, almost double from 2014.

At the moment there is a great deal of interest in the healthtech market, with lots of startups taking their offering to market.

We’ve looked at some of the hottest and most innovative healthtech startups currently in the UK.

hometouch

You’d use compare sites to find a discounted holiday, cheaper tariffs for your electricity or water and now you can do the same for finding live-in carers. hometouch have handpicked the finest carers from across the country, who are on hand to help your loved one continue to live in their own home with dignity and most importantly safely.

hometouch was created when founder Dr Jamie Wilson, witnessed first-hand the floors in the carer system whilst his patients struggled to find reliable dementia care at home. A combination of families being let down and hardworking carers being underpaid and undervalued didn’t make for a great situation.

Currently, there are over 500 vetted live-in carers on the hometouch database offering round the clock expert care, allowing you to pick a carer who has expertise in working with specific conditions or can speak different languages.

Thriva

Whether it’s advances towards a cure for cancer or the tell-tell signs of dementia to look out, stories about our health can sometimes feel non-stop. Aside from hiring a full-time doctor to be by your side 24/7 which would provide to be rather pricey, Thriva is the next best thing.

From a simple blood test, Thriva allows users to understand what’s really going on in their  body.

Want to find out why you aren’t sleeping properly? Or why you always feel tired? Simply take the test, post it to a UKAS accredited lab and get the results back online within 48 hours. Thriva allows you to track your progress and see how your reports change over time.

Walk With Path

A symptom from illnesses such as Parkinson’s or someone who has suffered a stroke can a side effect of suffering from the freezing of the gait. This can cause an individual to feel as if they are frozen to the ground.

Path Finder offers a solution to this, through visual cues and lasers which shine on the floor in front of the patient, provides a great aid which gives the individual something to work toward.

Open Bionics

Open Bionics is the startup taking disability and turning it into a superpower, creating an affordable, assistive device that enhances the human body. With an estimated five million upper limb amputees around the world, Open Bionics offers a solution for children as young as 9.

The Bristol-based startup have created fun themed bionic arm covers ranging from Iron Man, Star Wars to Frozen.  Co-founders Joel and Samantha were recently named as 2018’s Hottest Startup Founders in Europe, at The Europa Awards.

Oxford Heartbeat

The London based business creates software to make minimally invasive surgeries more efficient and effective. It’s through this software that allows planning for surgery simpler, faster and more accurate.

Through harnessing the power of big data, predictive computations and Al, Oxford Heartbeat has created software that converts 2D medical scans into 3D images.

This can allow surgeons to be able to test various medical devices for each patient, before having to physically pick the best tools or method for the surgery.

 

If you’d like to find out more about our technology or healthcare PR services, please speak to a member of our team today.

Healthtech startups to check out

According to Our World In Data, the world population has risen from 6 billion in 1999 to just under 8 billion in 2019. The continuous population growth puts a considerable strain on how we travel daily, larger economies mean more vehicles on the road, more trains, planes, boats and vehicles. More importantly, we all get so frustrated at more traffic jams.

We’ve taken a look at seven businesses within the transport tech industry that are making commuting and travel that little bit easier for consumers.

Virtuo

Virtuo, is a mobile-only car rental service with 2,000 vehicles across Europe and the UK. British drivers can rent a Virtuo car from 12 locations in London, one in Manchester and one in Edinburgh, with further expansions planned in 2019. The service is also available in cities across Spain, France and Belgium.

The Virtuo app allows users to seamlessly register, book and unlock one of Virtuo’s brand new premium Mercedes A-Class or GLA vehicles. The service uses technology to take all the pain-points out of traditional car rental, allowing renters to use their phone to unlock the car, file a damage report, and track real-time fuel and mileage information, among a whole host of other features.

The app also scans the user’s driver’s license to carry out a DVLA check to ensure they can drive the vehicles.

Virtuo launched in London in the summer of 2018, and its recent launches in Manchester and Edinburgh followed a successful €20 Million Series B fundraise led by Balderton Capital earlier this year. Since launching, Virtuo’s 100,000 UK users have driven over one million miles in the UK.

Carwow

Meet the UK-based startup that gives car buyers and car dealers the opportunity to connect in a smart and efficient way. Carwow is dedicated to bringing you the best offers from local and nation-wide dealers, with variables such as prices, location and dealer rating.

On average carwow is saving consumers almost £4,000 per vehicle compared to the recommended retail price of a car.  With £2 billion worth of cars bought through the platform and a 9.4/10 Trustpilot rating, you’d be foolish to not check out the site next time you’re looking for an upgrade!

Pod Point

There’s no hiding from it, cars are playing an increasingly important role in global warming. Petrol and diesel-fueled cars produce dangerous greenhouse gases, to help save the environment, alternative methods are going to have to be pursued.

Pod Point has been the UK’s leading provider of electric vehicle charging for the past decade, with electric producing zero emissions and portraying a green image, it should be considered a major option for the future of travel.

Currently, charging points are at locations such as Sainsbury’s and David Lloyd’s nationwide. Pod Point’s core values are that they believe travel shouldn’t damage the earth, so they’re actively helping people adopt clean transport in their everyday lives.

Parkopedia

Founded in 2007, with the aim of answering any parking query at any time in the world. Parkopedia allows drivers to find the closest parking to their destination, whilst also telling them how much it will cost, and whether the space is currently available. Which means no more driving around aimlessly looking for a parking space.

The app which not only updates with real-time parking availability, it also allows consumers to reserve parking spots online. With over 70 million parking spaces across 89 countries, you can see that this transport tech business really does deserve its encyclopedia namesake!

Zeelo

There’s nothing worse than getting stuck in a traffic jam, the stress can become unbearable. This is what led to two friends, Sam and Barney to do something about it. They decided to build an algorithm that could understand when large groups of people wanted to travel. They created Zeelo a data-driven transportation service which offers convenient coach pickups for consumers and offer direct routes to your destination.  Watch this space, as we predict 2020 will be a big year for Zeelo!

DriverNet

Founded in 2016 by Anthony Chisnall, who had previously spent two decades working in logistics for small fleet operators and large international hauliers. DriverNet is fundamentally a smart sat-nav created specifically for delivery drivers. Some of the features include real-time tracking and alerts for clients via email or text, and an operational dashboard which includes integrated customer relationship management channels.

Faxi

Combining friends and taxi, The UK’s number one carpooling scheme, ‘Faxi’ is certainly something to check out.  Users can find and connect with colleagues who share the same journey to work and who commute at similar times. The built-in app capability means that in a matter of minutes you can create your own carpooling community. The data suggests that nearly 50% of people would car share and yet millions of people travel every day with an empty seat next to them.

Faxi’s aims are to reduce congestion, pollution and save people money and time while providing a safe and efficient journey.

Are you interested in learning more about what PR could do for your business? Do you have a product ready to launch in the UK? Speak to one of our award-winning teams today to find out more.

Seven transport tech businesses to check out

With August upon us, you may (already) be thinking about and budgeting for your 2020 PR plans. While the UK and Europe’s future political relations remain up in the air for now, your public relations don’t have to be the same, and if you’re a company operating in both the UK and EU, it’s important to think about how you’ll reach your various audiences through PR. As you plan for the year ahead, here’s my advice on how you should procure a European PR agency.

Have a clear brief

If you’re planning to bring on PR agencies for your European PR, it’s absolutely vital that you have a clear brief that summarises your goals, which territories you need covered and priorities, what activities you expect the agency to do day-to-day, your budget per month and your timelines for the pitch process and starting a contract. Creating a request for proposal (or RFP) is a great place to start with this, and reaching out to agencies with this RFP will prevent you having to answer the same questions over and over, ensuring the agencies can give you a relevant proposal that fits your needs. It’s also important to be clear on what your company can offer to press in each region. For example, if you want to do PR in Spain, do you have a senior spokesperson based in country? Or one who can speak Spanish fluently and is comfortable doing interviews with the press? These details will help agencies show you what will be realistically achievable.

Consider your budgets and scope

Before beginning a European PR campaign, it’s important to consider what budget you have, how you will split this across each territory and whether each country’s PR team will be required to do the same brief of work. For example, if you know that the UK, France and Germany are your most important markets, they should have the biggest chunks of the budget (and in turn different KPIs or a broader scope of work).

If your budgets are low, you may also be better off starting with two to three of your most important countries to begin with, rather than spreading the budget thin across six or seven regions. This will ensure you can achieve better results in the most important areas, rather than a few ‘okay’ pieces of coverage in many countries.

Coordinate or delegate

European PR can differ company to company, with some in-house PR managers choosing to oversee and manage their agencies across Europe themselves, while others will want one of the PR agencies to act as the hub agency that manages everyone and reports back to the client on behalf of the group. Think about which approach will work best for you and your company.

Hiring a coordination agency has many advantages, as it ensures you have an advocate on your team who can guarantee that every team is meeting their KPIs, keeping track of deadlines, and maintaining consistency across Europe. If you’re going down this route, be sure to ask your prospective agencies about how they would manage the coordination process should you work together to understand their usual approach and whether it’s right for you.

Global agency or partners

Finally, it’s important to decide if you want to work with an agency that has its own offices in multiple countries, or whether you’ll work with an independent agency that has strong agency partners in key territories. Some companies choose to appoint agencies with owned offices in different countries across Europe, as it means they only have to hire one, and these agencies are often large, household names.

That will work well for some, but it’s important to remember that each country’s office may have different strengths, so you should investigate this during any procurement process. Many companies choose to instead appoint independent agencies with great partner relationships, as these provide a boutique offering and generally will keep the pan-European PR costs down compared to larger agencies’ fees.

Ultimately the most important part of the tender process for your European PR is being transparent and clear about your expectations and goals for each country.

If you’re looking to appoint an agency for your European PR campaigns, do get in touch with The PHA Group to see how we can support your objectives and goals and to tell you more about our international partnership network.

How to choose a European PR agency

Legal technology has finally broken into law.

Working in the media industry, you simply cannot fail to notice the way the invention of the internet, the mobile phone and the unfortunate discovery of social media has had in the last decade upended the entire sector. It’s like how conversations about the weather, the tried and trusted British medium for small talk, have sort of lost their innocence due to the apocalyptic nature of global warming.

Just as one can no longer nod to the lovely sunny day we are having in February without causing a worry about rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions, it has also become rather hard to have a chat about the British press without wondering whether everything is going to be ok in 10 or 20 years.

Considering therefore, the significant impact that technology has had on the media, it makes it all the more incredible that during the exact same period, another of the UK’s globally respected industries, the legal industry, has been steaming along as if the technological boom had never happened.

While consumers have become almost relentless in their pursuit of free content since technology’s genesis moment, we have by contrast happily begun paying more for two things: plastic bags and lawyers.

Since the recession, legal fees have more than doubled for a service that has remained spectacularly similar. The industry now generates over £25bn annually for the UK economy under a system that rewards slower working methods. All this is very attractive and very confusing for technology companies who can offer solutions to the latter but might harm the former.

While many have fought the law, only a few have won.

Here are our picks of the companies who have broken the law…

Premonition

Walk into any bookmakers in the country and you will find a detailed layout of the form for any horse or greyhound that runs in the UK. Now imagine if that concept was applied to lawyers. Premonition calls itself the world’s largest litigation database, but what really makes it break the mould is how it ranks lawyers by win rate. It knows which lawyers win in front of which judges with which types of cases. It’s possible because of how law is so often decided by precedent, much unlike racing. Premonition claims this can increase win rates by an average 30.75%. When law is worth big money, that’s substantial.

The FT have compared the methods to sabermetrics, the empirical analysis technique used in Baseball made famous by the Oakland Athletics. Faced with the franchise’s extremely limited budget for players, GM Billy Beane turned to studying data to try and give his side a competitive edge. Despite their lowly status, by recruiting players focusing purely on outcomes instead of perceived baseball wisdom, the franchise clinched the American League West title, matching the New York Yankees for wins in the regular season. The tactic has since been adopted widely across the MLB, reducing its effectiveness, but it will be interesting to see how long it takes before the whole UK legal industry is playing its own version of Moneyball.

iManage RAVN

Almost 8% of the start-ups founded in Europe are AI companies, with the majority of those being founded in the UK. Based in the “Silicon roundabout,” East London’s RAVN could be the pick of the bunch. Their cutting-edge AI technology speeds through thousands of pages of documents to help organise and summarise their contents and immediately collect the requirable data. When legal cases can reach over 100m pages, it’s easy to see why this job needs to be outsourced to the robots. Since acquired by iManage, even the Serious Fraud Office has enlisted RAVN’s help to tackle the large piles of documents central to their work.

Farewill

When there is a will there is a way, and in this case, there is a way to write your will without any lawyers. Why? Well taking out the legal professional can save you quite a fair bit of time and money. Farewill offers an online journey through a 30-minute questionnaire that produces a will at the end. Its team of experts then check over it to make sure everything is clear, then you print and follow legal protocol by having it signed by two witnesses. All for under £100.

What’s most interesting about Farewill though is the concept of not using a lawyer at all. Time will tell how many other areas of the legal world will be streamlined like so to save people money and hassle. If they keep that up, many may welcome our new robot overlords.

Luminance

Another contender for best use of AI could be Luminance. Barely four years old, the company can already count 10% of the global top 100 amongst its clients. The software combines machine learning from Cambridge University with a slick interface that gets to work on reading and understanding your documents. It then picks out the important information potentially saving weeks of work. One client said it saved them 85% of the time they would have otherwise spent on a recent GDPR task. Only problem now is working out where to find those billable hours.

Kleros

Life isn’t always fair, but Kleros is? Kleros is a Paris-based Greek-named app who are offering one of the most unique solutions in modern law. As our lives are moving more and more towards global online platforms, Kleros argues that disputes will arise in areas that cannot be solved by traditional court systems. Their solution? That’s right: A Blockchain Dispute Resolution Layer.

In layman’s terms, Kleros is a peer to peer platform that uses crowdsourcing and blockchain to put your dispute into the hands of a community. The assembled group of online jurors pass their judgement on your case, which Kleros claims can be based on virtually anything.

The use of blockchain here provides two benefits. The first is security, making any attempt for one of the “claimants” to influence the result almost impossible. The second is incentive. Jurors are financially incentivised to assist with the case, but also to assist in the correct manner. Jurors are only paid during the token redistribution if they vote for the agreed resolution. For those familiar with game theory, this works like a focal point or a Schelling point. The theory says that people, or players in a game, have an apparent ability to co-ordinate without communicating, because some answers feel natural or relevant. In this way, jurors can find a solution (or equilibrium) without communicating, as they are all more likely to vote in favour of the fair or expected decision. Simple.

Genie AI

Give any lawyer three wishes, and the first thing they will ask for is state-of-the-art deep learning and reinforcement learning model that can predict the legal language suitable for lawyers and draft up contracts. Luckily, Genie AI’s SuperDrafter has the machine learning capabilities for the job. Using academic research from UCL and advice from Lord Neuberger – Genie AI has set out to solve one of the most brain draining activities in the legal world, writing up contracts. Yet another pesky way these technology firms are eating into the billable hour!

And the best news. Its anonymiser component means it’s GDPR compliant! The AI can automatically redact sensitive information from contracts and preserve client confidentiality. Whoopee

If you’re interested in finding out more about our experience or how we can help profile you or your business please get in touch today.

Legal Technology: Who is breaking the law?