Hello 2022! It’s already been an interesting start to the startup year. Elizabeth Holmes’ trial is going forward, Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith has stepped down to find a News startup and evil 2021 took Betty White away from us at the last minute. The last one isn’t that relevant but God, do I miss her. The last couple years have shown us that […]
Hello 2022! It’s already been an interesting start to the startup year. Elizabeth Holmes’ trial is going forward, Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith has stepped down to find a News startup and evil 2021 took Betty White away from us at the last minute. The last one isn’t that relevant but God, do I miss her.
The last couple years have shown us that we can never really predict what’s going to come. But I’m going to do it anyway, here are (some) of our startup insights and predictions:
Events avalanche? Now, there’s no guarantee that COVID-19 will vanish in 2022. However, we can hope that the severity, as well as restrictions, may decrease. As a result, we may see a temporary boom in startups around the entertainment industry. With ABBA’s 2022 virtual concerts going ahead, it promotes speculation of growth in this industry. This would include websites which host ticket purchases or promote the culture industry. Anticipated investment has already occurred in 2021, with Flymachine bagging $21 million in investment as a virtual concert platform.
Time to catch a break We’re crossing our fingers that it will be safer to travel this year, and that means some startups might finally catch a break along with us. In fact, apparently they’ve already caught a break – many UK travel startups received steady funding in 2021. In the coming year, we’re keeping an eye out for Staze, a London based startup with a focus on sustainable last minute bookings. Maybe this trend will continue and even multiply in 2022? Maybe I’ll be sipping Sangria in Spain too, in 2022.
Shift in social media? With the major social media outage last year, the introduction of Meta’s metaverse and Trump’s ‘Truth Social’ platform apparently still launching – is this a renaissance for social media? Big social media giants are a competitive force compared to other startup niches. Yet, what about a social network that does the opposite of encouraging us to be online? Citysocializer encourages you to socialise by meeting for events with like-minded folk rather than online. They’ve also scoped an impressive $1.9 million in funding so far.
So those are some of our projections!* Happy New Year from us at the Work In Startups team, and as always, check out some of the hottest jobs that are hiring below!
Thu 18th Nov The term ‘metaverse’ has been thrown around a fair bit in the past few weeks, following Connect 2021 in late October. This deeptech itself isn’t a new phenomenon, for instance, in this article it’s argued that Fortnite gave us a taster into what the metaverse could provide us. The metaverse is a deeper virtual reality experience, where instead […]
The term ‘metaverse’ has been thrown around a fair bit in the past few weeks, following Connect 2021 in late October. This deeptech itself isn’t a new phenomenon, for instance, in this article it’s argued that Fortnite gave us a taster into what the metaverse could provide us.
The metaverse is a deeper virtual reality experience, where instead of the past focus on simply gaming we shift a focus to also integrating work and non-gaming socialising.
An example of this greater integration into our everyday lives is Barbados hoping to be the first nation with an embassy in the metaverse. We could probably write a whole thinkpiece on the metaverse (Forbes, hit me up), but what’s more relevant is that this is creating a new space for startups. Perhaps, a meta-startup industry. So who’s making some new meta moves?
MakeReal is a UK based studio that creates immersive software for education. It claims immersive education is far more efficient than conventional methods – and boosts some famous clientele such as: McDonald’s, Porsche and Lloyds.
Swedish Scapin’ social communication platform enables you to create a customised virtual space. It has also racked up 2.9 million euros in its seed round in July!
London startup Dubit is using some of it’s £41 million investment for a MGL (Metaverse Gaming League). The intention is to offer a more inclusive environment, compared to traditional professional esports which traditionally hosts exclusively for elite players.
Finally, US based Failed to Render thinks this is all oh so funny. It’s the world’s first professional stand up comedy club in… you guessed it… virtual reality. Now some of you can be unfunny in real life and virtually!
We’ve not sure to what extent the metaverse under Meta will take off. The speculated reason for the name change was to distance, now ‘Meta’, from Facebook related scandals. Is creating its metaverse really the right way to go post-scandal? Likewise, VR has been around for a while, and has never really taken off the way Meta thinks Metaverse will take off. But hey-ho, Robert Metcalfe claimed the internet would collapse in 1996 and yet here we are.
Thu Nov. 4, 2021 Finally, some of us had an excuse to justify why our social media was so dry. It was no longer that none of my friends liked me anymore – it was actually a global crisis: Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp were down. God, only if it were Teams. Oh, WhatsApp is down! […]
Finally, some of us had an excuse to justify why our social media was so dry. It was no longer that none of my friends liked me anymore – it was actually a global crisis: Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp were down. God, only if it were Teams.
Oh, WhatsApp is down! That’s why you haven’t responded to my messages for the past three months!!!
Every 20 minutes or so, I would go to Instagram anticipating something to change even though, unsurprisingly, it did not. It felt like going to the fridge every so often expecting to find food, but the only thing staring back at you is a sad-looking, shriveled up, half chopped bell pepper. Maybe I’ve been Pavlov-ed into a salivating social media dog. After 6 hours, things were back to normal.
Yet, what is most surprising about this situation is the sense of vast disconnectedness many of us felt. At this moment in time, in all worlds possible, we are the most connected we have ever been. So in preparation for a future doomsday of social media, let us explore some exciting social network startups.
Social Startup Replacements?
If you’re wondering about a world without Whatsapp, what about Wonder? The highlight of the Wonder experience is being able to move a small picture icon of yourself around the ‘room’ backdrop. I love putting myself on top of Big Ben for attention in the Wonder virtual room.
Inspired by old-school newspaper personal ads, Lex is a text-based social app for both friendship and love within the queer community. This form of innovation is vital, creating virtual queer-friendly spaces.
Bored of scrolling through Reddit or Twitter? WhoYou brings specificity to the game. They build connections based on search words and phrases within the app – making it a pull rather than push-orientated connection application.
Most social networks focus on text or image, but audio-based networks change this. Betty Labs, which created Locker Rooms (now, technically Greenroom), has been acquired by Spotify! The aim is to create conversation within the Spotify ecosystem in-app.
Last but not least, why not check out Work In Startups? Not a social media app, or remotely a replacement for Instagram, but is the go-to stop for startup jobs.
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 The Growing Grocery Landscape On-demand grocery startups are sprouting quicker than carrots. Their main targets seem to be cities – and rightly so. Especially in central parts of a city – large supermarkets are rare. On-demand grocery services (especially with their speedy delivery times) fill this demand. In fact, what sets […]
On-demand grocery startups are sprouting quicker than carrots. Their main targets seem to be cities – and rightly so. Especially in central parts of a city – large supermarkets are rare. On-demand grocery services (especially with their speedy delivery times) fill this demand.
In fact, what sets them apart is the delivery time. Most of these startups tend to sell their products at the retail average or slightly more. Therefore, using them isn’t exactly a bargain (although many have major discounts for first time users).
In comparison, chain supermarkets usually deliver food in 3-5 days (if you’re lucky to get a slot). This poses questions: will supermarkets meet the competition or will their delivery services attract fewer users? On-demand grocery services do not directly oppose food delivery services but will definitely take up space in the overall ‘Foodtech’ world. To put it into context, they can be seen as the lovechild of food delivery services and meal prep services.
Let’s Talk Money
Of course, stating groceries could be the next gold is a slight stretch. But what isn’t a stretch is the large amounts of funding many on-demand grocery startups are receiving. Below, we have a table looking at some of the biggest names in on-demand grocery at the moment, along with their funding so far.
This year in the UK alone, these startups have raised more than £68m in equity funding, from big names including crowdfunding platform Seedrs. It’s almost impossible to go out of the house or take a scroll on Instagram without seeing an ad for one of them, (Dija, Gorillas, Jiffy, Weezy, Zapp (to name a few) along with their large promos and freebies to reel you in (how can I say no to a free tote bag?!). Sifted.eu have put together a really useful cheat sheet on all the latest on-demand grocery delivery launches and expansions, watch this space!
During the peak of the pandemic, it wasn’t just pandemic babies popping up. We saw startup growth doubled. One of these startups was Koia. Backed by Monzo and Freetrade co-founders, Koia shows a promising future. If you could explain Koia’s mission in one sentence, what would it be? Koia aims to open up access to […]
The Case Of Koia: How To Launch a Startup In a Pandemic 2021
During the peak of the pandemic, it wasn’t just pandemic babies popping up. We saw startup growth doubled. One of these startups was Koia. Backed by Monzo and Freetrade co-founders, Koia shows a promising future.
If you could explain Koia’s mission in one sentence, what would it be?
Koia aims to open up access to alternative assets. We want to provide access to new, exciting and rewarding investment opportunities that were previously only accessible to the very wealthy.
What inspired the idea behind Koia?
At Koia, we enable anyone to invest in alternative assets like fine wine, watches or Pokémon Cards. We fractionalise high-value collectibles so that our app users can, for instance, buy 1% of a €100,000 watch.
It’s a new concept, so we indeed often get asked how we came up with the idea. As founders, even before we got to know each other, we’d all been interested in getting more people to invest and getting more people engaged with investing. We came to the conclusion that in order to do that, we couldn’t build just another investment app that was slightly better than the ones out there. Instead, we wanted to build something that was truly unique, more engaging and that’d tap into people’s passions and interests. By allowing anyone to invest in what they know and love we believe we can attract seasoned and new investors alike and build something that excites our users.
How did you meet your co-founders?
We met here, on Work in Startups.
It wasn’t our first attempt at finding co-founders, as all of us had previously tried working with people from our personal networks or joining incubators. But, finding the right co-founders is not easy. There are so many criteria that you don’t want to compromise on: you need to be passionate about the same business problems and areas, have complimentary skills, have a similar vision for how you want to build a business and, last but not least, get along. Given that only a few out of many people you cross paths with might be a good match, I believe it only makes sense to cast the net as wide as possible and explore every avenue that’s available!
Do you have any tips for finding co-founders online?
The way I approached it is that I posted a rough outline of the business idea I’d been exploring, but I made it clear that this was flexible, because you want to be equal as co-founders and everyone wants to have their input.
Aside from that, I was quite clear on what type of skill set I was looking for and after initial conversations simply started working with people to see how it felt, before formalising things and putting contracts in place. During that initial period, it was very important for me to chat through all the important things, from practical matters like personal runway, to motivations for starting a business and the envisioned “end goal”.
As a growing startup, what was the biggest challenge you have faced thus far?
Every day there are new challenges! As mentioned earlier, the first big challenge was finding the right co-founders. After, given that we’re in the fintech industry and are offering a completely new service, it of course also took some time to find the right set-up and make sure everything was fully legally compliant. We’re now in a stage where we’re starting to look for product-market fit which I am sure will be another interesting challenge with some twists and turns!
How have you found recruiting?
Recruiting has so far been going well. We’ve done both job ads as well as a lot of direct sourcing on LinkedIn. Of course, it takes time, but that is expected. The fact that Koia is one of the first platforms of its kind and is bringing something truly innovative to the market is very exciting for many early-stage startup people, who like creating and building new things.
What are three things you would look for in your future co-workers?
Whereas many things depend on the role and the stage of the company there are a few things that I’d try to look for no matter what:
Biased towards action: in a startup it’s all about getting things done, typically with limited guidance, processes and resources. I look for people who’ve proven that they are able to execute and are great at solving problems.
Growth mindset: it’s important that people are willing to learn, are open-minded and always looking for ways to improve the company. As a startup, we have to be ahead of the curve, and not be afraid to experiment.
Data-driven: not everyone needs to be a data wizz, but what I mean by this is that we look at the facts and make decisions based on evidence, not opinions. Where no data is available, of course we may sometimes have to trust our gut or experience, but generally, being data-driven enables us to build a culture that is meritocratic and fair and where we can make the best decisions possible.
Where do you see Koia in five years?
We envision that in five years, investing in alternative assets has become completely mainstream. Buying a share in a Rolex watch will be as easy and common as buying a fractional share of Apple. Not only do we envision that the concept of fractionalisation will be applied to collectibles, but to anything of value: be that music royalties, land or NFTs with Koia playing a key role in enabling people to own a piece of and trade anything.
Sleep on it? The clocks turned back on Sunday, so maybe you caught some extra Zzz… (I know I did). However, many people continue to struggle with getting a healthy amount of sleep on a daily basis. Such news is concerning, considering the effects of poor sleep on your day to day living, even significantly […]
The clocks turned back on Sunday, so maybe you caught some extra Zzz… (I know I did). However, many people continue to struggle with getting a healthy amount of sleep on a daily basis. Such news is concerning, considering the effects of poor sleep on your day to day living, even significantly impacting your walking! Startups are known for helping us solve our day to day issues innovatively, and they’ve come to the rescue.
What Is SleepTech?
There is actually a term for this industry, you guessed it – sleeptech! The current ‘sleeptech’ market was projected to be $12.5 billion in 2020. Sleeptech contains wearables, SaaS/ digital tools or monitoring devices to mention a few. Although it may seem odd at first to have a dedicated industry to better sleep, considering we spend half our lives’ doing it, it may seem weirder why we aren’t investing and creating more in this space!
Who’s Making Moves In SleepTech?
SleepCogni has recently made headlines by raising a whooping £1.4 million, and is looking to break into the US market. Their website states that instead of medication or sleep monitoring, SleepCogni uses a device and SaaS to help users.
Your snore won’t be a bore with Smart Nora’s anti-snore pillow – which they state has been scientifically validated. This Toronto based startup has even been mentioned in a Forbes article!
This is what dreams are made of (well, technically on): Moona provides pillows with cooling technology. So no more mid-sleep, pillow-flipping nuisance-causing again! This French startup is close to getting a total of $1 million in funding too.
Lastly, we’ve got Lumos for all the jet setters or troubled sleepers. This startup creates an eye mask which uses biosensors, and transmits undetectable pulses of light which makes waking up easier. No more profanities directed at your alarm clock now.
Innovation in this sector is paramount. We invest so much in our food, clothing and lifestyles – maybe it’s time to invest in what we do the most. Or, at least, what we wished we did the most.
The job market is a bit odd at the moment. There’s a bit of a scramble: job vacancies are at an all time high, yet employers don’t seem to be employing (as much). To top it all off, we’re undergoing a ‘Great Resignation’. Yet, what we can extract from this is that many people will […]
Yet, what we can extract from this is that many people will be on the hunt for a job. From those who want a more fulfilling job at part of the Great Resignation to those who need sustainable employment after the ending of the furlough scheme. But searching for a job, especially in this confusing climate, is stressful.
Stressful to the extent that there’s a term for it – job search fatigue. ‘Job search fatigue’ refers to both the physical and mental exhaustion one may face when looking for a job. It’s often a process that does not get discussed much, and can further exacerbate feelings of isolation.
There are some methods to curbing potential job search fatigue, and the mental strain it can cause. In this article, we’ll share some of these said strategies.
However, it should be noted: long term unemployment is often to do with large socio-economic factors – structural unemployment. There is also cyclical unemployment which is the product of the economic downturn. Sometimes it’s better to seek professional help if your mental health is declining significantly.
People Need People
What often contributes to negative emotions is the sense of isolation the job search can bring. This is amplified by the fact that many choose to only share successful outcomes rather than their own failures when securing their own jobs.
In order to prevent the physical exhaustion caused by job search fatigue – it’s good to start with the mental aspect. One way in which you can achieve this is by remembering that others are in a similar situation. Starting this dialogue to someone you trust around you is also a good start. Exchanging and expressing experiences can allow you to feel that you are not alone, and the rejections/failures will eventually pass. This can contribute to a lesser sense of isolation and selflessness, learning to accept that initial rejections from the job search are not a reflection of you but a normal part of the process.
However, not everyone has the privileged to talk to people around them. Fortunately, there are alternatives. For instance, engaging with online communities/threads/posts. It allows anonymity, and doesn’t have the pressure of opening up on your side as with a one on one conversation.
You can find such communities on Reddit, which provide a bit more anonymity. There are also Facebook groups, and Twitter/Instagram pages that engage with this content. Some good links to check out are:
At work or school, you would most likely have a routine. This routine keeps you in check, and allows you to enjoy other activities whilst balancing commitments. The job search is the same. Letting it take over your life, or vice versa, remaining inconsistent in your search, disrupts other aspects of individuality. This does not necessarily have to mean you have to set up a 9-5 regiment. Overworking may become redundant if it leads to burn out and fatigue. Likewise, pacing out your job search actually opens up more opportunities for you. Every day, a new vacancy opens, and that could be the one for you! Of course, if you are already struggling, it might be hard to have an organised routine. However, boundaries can be vague. You might decide that you *only* fill out job applications in the morning. Therefore, you would not dedicate time during your afternoon and evening.
Make It… Fun?
A fun job search sounds like an oxymoron. But what if searching for a job was fun? Here’s where gamification can come into play. Gamification is the process of adding gaming strategy to non-game scenarios. It has been known to have many benefits in the realm of engagement. Searching for a job is stressful and boring, end of. Implementing some reward and structure systems, however, can hopefully make it more manageable. Why not get started on the fun by checking out 50 Ways to Get a Job? It’s free to use, and an excellent tool for helping you out on any stage of the job search.
Getting a Recruiter
If the job search is truly draining, it may be a good time to reach out to a recruiter or recruiting agency. These services should be free to you as a job seeker, as recruiters take fees from the employer not you. Working with a recruiting agency will decrease the effort in terms of searching for vacancies yourself, networking and so forth. Many offer additional career advise that can boost your prospects too. Nonetheless, it is important to research beforehand depending on the industry you wish to go in. Recruiting agencies might be more saturated in one industry compared to others.
Take a breather, remember it’s okay to take breaks and use all possible resources for you. Reaching out helps combat creeping low self-esteem, setting boundaries prevents potential burn out, gamification makes the process *slightly* more enjoyable and external agencies have lessen your work load. Finding a job is no easy feat, but you’re bound to find the perfect opportunity soon, making job search fatigue a low forgotten issue.
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