Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

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In the big new world of business intelligence,
RJMetrics has found a market helping ecommerce
companies easily analyze operations data and make
smarter decisions as a result. Big startups have
signed on, including Fab, Bonobos, Threadless and
thousands of smaller businesses. Today, the momentum has landed the Philadelphia enterprise
startup a $6.5 million first venture round led by Trinity
Ventures. SaaS BI, as online business analysis software is
called within the industry, is full of competitors.
Tableau Software, which is planning to IPO, along
with Good Data, Domo and others, have been
successfully selling to big companies who need
complex integrations to best analyze their own data. On the low end, Datahero and Chartio provide quick
and inexpensive ways for a small business to get
some quality integrations. RJMetrics has focused on what ecommerce
companies need, Moore explains, although he notes
that its clients range from online gaming companies
to nonprofits. The secret isn’t some magical new type
of BI software, but a better focus on lucrative online
transactions businesses. If an online retailer wants to analyze how colors of different types of hats are
selling against each other, for example, a non-
technical sales analyst at the company could go into
RJMetrics and quickly create a visual explaining
what’s happening. The company promises to replicate client data to
hosted, secure servers and optimize it for analysis
within seven days, versus the months required for
more complex products, with a set of APIs developed
around systems that ecommerce companies are
already using. Then it makes a dashboard of data visuals available to the company, including key stats
for transaction businesses, like customer lifetime
value, repeat purchase probability, and cohort
analysis on database segments. This lets a company
answer questions like which types of customers are
likely to regularly buy red fedora hats. For clients with technical staffers, it provides access for them to run
their own queries on more complex data sets hosted
on its own servers. Prices for the basic version of the
online service start at $500 per month. Fab cofounder Jason Goldberg has written effusively
about his experience with RJMetrics, and how its
analysis helped him prove Fab’s worth to investors
when it raised $40 million in 2011. From a fundraising standpoint, providing access
to the RJ data basically said to the VC’s, “here
we are, here’s the data, we’ve got nothing to
hide, take a look and decide for yourself if you
want to pursue investing in Fab.” Effectively, we
turned the pitching on its head. Since the RJ data updates several times per day directly from
our database, it was many times more powerful
than providing powerpoints and excel
spreadsheets. This was the real stuff, auto-
updating! And, since RJ enables all the data to
be downloaded into excel, the analysts at the VC firms were able to do all of their own analysis
on the front end of the investment process. The core RJMetrics product grew out of Moore’s own
data analysis work (which has separately resulted in
some great guest posts for TechCrunch, like this
formative 2009 analysis of Twitter user behavior). The
new funding round, which includes participation from
existing investor SoftTech VC, will go towards sales and marketing. With the overall growth in the Saas BI
industry, Moore says it’s time to focus on the
ecommerce part of it.

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On-demand helper startup WunWun has for the past
few months offered consumers the ability to get pretty
much anything delivered for a flat rate. Now, the
company is offering its service to businesses who
want to make local, same-day delivery a perk for their
customers. WunWun, like Exec and Taskrabbit, enables
customers to ask for on-demand help in a number of
categories. Customers can ask to have certain
services done or get something delivered, for
instance. You could get basically anything delivered
for a flat rate of $15, or you could have one of WunWun’s helpers perform a task at a rate of $2 for
every five minutes. But since launch earlier this year, the company has
found that the vast majority of requests are deliveries,
according to WunWun co-founder Lee Hnetinka.
Knowing that, the startup has decided that, in addition
to offering a consumer-facing app for on-demand
services, it could use the helpers it’s signed up to offer same-day delivery in New York City. The new offering, called WunWun Power, is designed
to offer businesses a new way to please their
customers. To take advantage of the service, local
retailers need only added a line of code to their
website for checkout, and connect with the WunWun
API to initiate local deliveries. Rather than the flat rate for consumers, WunWun is creating custom
pricing options for businesses because, you know,
volume. It’s also trying out a little thing called branded delivery
services for one client in particular. For men’s skin
care and grooming product company Anthony,
WunWun will have its helpers make deliveries from
the local retailer to parts of New York City. Called
“Anthony On Demand,” products will be brought directly to a customer’s door by a WunWun helper
decked out in Anthony garb. For now, WunWun is only available in New York City,
but as usually happens, the companies has plans to
expand into other markets over time. The startup has
five full-time employees there, as well as a roster of
helpers to make things happen.

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Editor’s note: Marco Rubio is a United States Senator from Florida. Follow him on Twitter
@marcorubio. Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce,
Science & Transportation will examine the role of
immigrants in America’s innovation economy. More
specifically, the committee will look at how our broken
immigration system is holding back American
innovation and job creation, and how the immigration reform proposal before the Senate can promote a
thriving U.S. technology sector that benefits
American workers. While there are a number of broken aspects of our
immigration system today – including porous borders,
weak workplace enforcement and an inadequate
system to track foreign visitors who overstay their
visas –
one that also stands out is the way we handle academic talent and highly skilled workers. Every year, our colleges and universities graduate
thousands of foreign students who have been
educated in our world-class university system. But
instead of putting that talent to work in the
American economy, we send them home to places
like China and India to compete against us. In other words, in many cases, other nations end
up benefitting more from our education system than
the United States does. The Senate immigration reform bill would end this
debacle. After educating the world’s brightest and
most innovative minds, we will no longer send them
home; we will instead staple green cards to
their diplomas. We will also expand the highly skilled H1-B visa
program from the current 65,000 to a program with a
new floor of 110,000, a ceiling of 180,000, and an
additional 25,000 exemptions for persons who
graduate from a U.S. university with an advanced
degree in science, technology, engineering or math. In order to accomplish these necessary moves to a
more merit-based immigration system, we eliminate
certain categories of family preferences that have
allowed for chain migration and completely eliminate
the diversity visa lottery, among other reforms. These measures, which we hope to improve on as the
bill moves through the legislative process, are at the
heart of our efforts to modernize our legal immigration
system to help meet the needs of our 21st century
economy, make it more merit and skill-based than
ever, and allow our economy to remain a dynamic global leader. They are also the kinds of reforms that
will make immigration reform a net benefit for our
economy and our federal budget – the way
immigration has always been a net benefit for
America. For example, studies show that 40 percent of
American Fortune 500 firms were started by
immigrants, as are roughly half of the
most successful startups in Silicon Valley. This
doesn’t just lead to corner-office, executive-level jobs;
these generate jobs across the income spectrum that help Americans rise to the middle class and beyond. With the reforms being offered, the benefits to our
economy and our people will come from the infusion
of entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, skilled
workers and others driven by the desire to build
a better life for themselves and their children. And
when our economy needs foreign workers to fill labor shortages, our modernized system will ensure that
the future flow of workers is manageable, traceable,
fair to American workers, and in line with our
economy’s needs. Let there be no doubt that immigration will always be
a powerful source of American strength. While some
worry that the immigrants that will most benefit from
the Senate’s legislation are mostly poor, with limited
education and destined to be government
dependents, history has proven something else. It has demonstrated the power of the American free
enterprise system to lift people from
the circumstances of their birth and into more
prosperous and stable lives for themselves and their
children. Over two centuries of life in America have
demonstrated this to be true. Of course, there are legitimate questions some have
raised about why this is now the Senate’s priority.
During the time I’ve been working on immigration
reform legislation, I’ve been asked why we are dealing
with this issue at this time, with some questioning the
need of dealing with it at all with so many other pressing concerns like our growing debt, millions of
unemployed or underemployed Americans, and the
persistent threat of terrorism that recently manifested
itself on our soil. It’s absolutely true that these are the defining issues
of our time that, frankly, should have been addressed
a long time ago. But the reality of immigration in America today is that,
even if we didn’t have some 11 million illegal
immigrants in the U.S. today, we would still have to
fix our broken legal immigration system. The immigration system we have today is a disaster.
It’s de facto amnesty that threatens our security and
our sovereignty. But even worse, it’s a job killer. The immigration proposal being considered by the
Senate is not perfect. And I believe we can improve it
with the ideas of people like Orrin Hatch who care
deeply about fixing the immigration system to work
better for American workers. As the immigration debate continues, it is important
that we use today’s hearing and every other avenue
we have to fix the broken immigration system we
have. In doing so, we can move towards a strong,
effective system that will secure the border,
encourage job creation for Americans, and ensure America remains a dynamic global economic leader.