Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him a Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].
Silicon Beach Fest (SBF) kicked off Wednesday with a demo day showcasing over a dozen startups from the Los Angeles area. Here are a few companies that caught our eye.
The Wikipad 7 is a $249 hybrid Android tablet and gaming controller. It launched last week, selling out at Best Buy and Walmart. The device was originally pitched as a 10.1-inch tablet at twice the price, but the company delayed the product and went back to the drawing board.
Based on a quick hands-on, the combo has a nice ergonomic feel to it. Switching between the touchscreen and the controller can be a bit jarring, but the improved gaming controls make up for it.
Wikipad’s founder said it took about $2 million to get the tablet off the ground, and the project reportedly has the support of both Google and Nvidia.
Preact helps companies collect and understand user data to improve their support and customer management systems. The company offers a side bar that pops up alongside applications like Zendesk, Salesforce and Hootsuite. The tool offers data on user behaviors related to: churn likelihood, account health, unusual behavior and onboarding funnel.
Founder Christopher Gooley highlighted one company using Preact that got its support ticket resolution time down to 44 seconds.
We covered Bitium back in April when they announced completion of a $2.4 million seed round. The startup bills itself as a “cloud operating system”. Its product acts as a centralized system for SaaS applications, helping enterprises consolidate logins and manage permissions and allowing employees to easier collaborate and communicate across applications.
The power of SaaS applications is growing quickly, but juggling apps is becoming a tangled affair. Bitium’s making a huge play for the enterprise, and we’re optimistic about their prospects.
Prevoty offers a security filter meant to help websites avoid malicious attacks by managing cross-site scripting. SmartFilter is designed to allow website users to continue submitting healthy content such as links and videos to a site, without opening it up to attacks.
The startup says SmartFilter works faster than traditional firewalls, while providing analytics and notifications. It can remove all HTML/CSS tags, allow a subset, and automatically convert links to a URL shortening service.
Prevoty believes in its product enough that it set up a SmartFilter sandbox on its own website and lets hackers submit code through it.
The Kive Company
The Kive Company won Startup World LA earlier this year with its Artkive app, which helps parents archive kids’ artwork. Now it’s moving forward with Tastemaker Mom, a platform for signs moms to interact with and help influence brands and their products.
It’s nice to see that the startup isn’t just going to rely on a one-app wonder. The mom demographic is obviously a huge potential business, and the data The Kive Company collects from its user base is going to be immensely valuable for brands.
You probably already know Instagram gallery site Instacanvas, but you probably didn’t know that it boasts the largest commercial image catalogue with over 38 million images for sale. Over the past year, the company has ramped up to $2 million in annual revenue.
Instacanvas raised a $1.7 million seed round in just 48 hours, with Founders Fund, First Round Capital, Bullpen Capital participating.
Flower e-commerce site The Bouqs just crossed the half million revenue mark this month with over 200,000 blooms shipped.
Buying from other online flower vendors is a pain. The Bouqs wants to change that by offering a flat $40 fee for all of its bouquets, discount subscription services, and three-click check out. With the subscription, you can add in holidays, birthdays and special occasions and have flowers automatically delivered on the day of. You can also sign up for recurring bouquets or surprise shipments.
Flowers are apparently sourced from an active volcano in South America and cut to order.
I’ve been burned by flower delivery services in the past, so I was skeptical about this one, but I was practically reaching for my credit card by the time this pitch was done.
Wallaby aims to tackle the credit card market by optimizing users’ rewards programs in the background. You can sign up for a Wallaby card and add existing cards to your account and the service will automatically direct the charges to the card with the best reward for that purchase.
Wallaby launched version 2.0 of its iPhone app earlier on Wednesday and also offers an Android application. Other services include Wallet Boost, which recommends new cards, and an upcoming point of sale system and API.
Productivity and music need a special something to go together well, and [email protected] takes a scientific approach to finding it. The company builds “phase-sequenced music” playlists that are designed to help you focus for 100-minute segments.
The service launched five weeks ago and has reached 135,000 members. Growth is definitely on the up and up, as founder Will Henshall revealed during his pitch that the company had doubled membership in the last 48 hours.
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.