Over the last decade, many small and medium size businesses around the world collapsed due to cash flow problems. But then Eyal Shinar, Yuval Ariav, and Tomer Michaeli arrived on the scene with their start-up Fundbox, which operates a website that provides direct financing to small businesses.
So how did three Israelis accomplish what many American governments couldn’t? It’s simple. Or not. They created a technological system that can predict whether businesses will succeed or not. They managed to raise enough capital so that they could solve cash flow problems for many companies.
Fundbox developed a platform that enables small and medium businesses to receive immediate payment for any outstanding invoices that haven’t yet been paid. This helps them survive the vicious business practice of paying only 30, 60 and even 90 days after an invoice has been received. Solving this cash flow problem helps companies stay afloat and even grow their businesses.
Contrary to the way traditional credit providers and factoring companies operate, with Fundbox, business owners remain in control and enjoy the flexibility of this simple-touse platform that has a clean design, offers complete transparency, and of course charges lower fees.
The technology is very user-friendly, it collects and processes information, and then separately, automatically and immediately assesses the risk of each business.
Fundbox’s technology reduces human errors and removes personal biases from the risk assessment process. The analysis focuses not just on the financial level, but also on probability, psychological and behavioral factors. At the end of the process, the funds are transferred directly to the client’s bank account.
In contrast with standard procedures at banks and credit/ factoring companies, no amount is too little for Fundbox. Clients only pay for the amount that he uses and nothing more.
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Fundbox is currently working with thousands of small businesses in the US and processes thousands of invoices every day. The company plans to expand to other countries – including Israel – in the near future.
“We’ve identified an unprecedented opportunity to use data-driven innovation in a broken market that has not received the attention of traditional financial players,” says Shinar, CEO and co-founder of Fundbox. “We are currently focusing on enabling small businesses to receive immediate payment for outstanding invoices.”
Shinar adds: “Fundbox’s goal is to completely overhaul the market, cause a disruption in the way we analyze unique data.
We’ve started with small companies, but our plan is to grow and work with larger companies, too.”
Fundbox was founded in 2012. Its headquarters are in San Francisco and its R&D center is in Tel Aviv.IBM’s SlamTracker
Sports and entertainment industries are competing to offer viewers appealing content that will attract spectators to sports fields, as well as to their television screen. This year at Roland Garros, the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open, fans will have access to IBM’s SlamTracker, a revolutionary system for understanding tennis matches.
SlamTracker is an automated web and mobile app that tracks games, players, and points. It automatically points out the differences between the competing players and identifies each one’s strong points. It gives real-time results, as well as statistics and insights about games being played.
At the beginning of each game, tennis fans can run the SlamTracker app and check the prediction for each player, and see which tactics they should engage that would help them win. During the match, spectators can monitor a player’s actual performance compared with predictions.
By checking out IBM’s service, US Open fans can access eight years of data from Grand Slam events, as well as real-time match statistics.
SlamTracker also boasts a ‘Keys to the Match’ feature, which uses the system’s purported bank of 41 million data points to predict which aspects of a player’s game will determine his or her performance in a given match. But overall, the tennis world has been slow to adopt advanced analytics.
“If you think of the USTA as a client of ours – it’s really a partnership – our mission here is to help the USTA grow the game of tennis by using technology. In so doing, we create, basically, a case study in front of the world on what IBM technology can do, where we provide the infrastructure, the security and the analytics,” said Elizabeth O’Brien, IBM’s strategy and marketing leader for sports and entertainment sponsorships.
“It’s all built on the same software and hardware services that we would bring to a client in any industry around the world.”If you run a young startup, have developed an interesting app or have a question, please feel free to contact email@example.com.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.
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