Zappix, the Mobile Portal and Customer Service App company announced, today, that it has concluded its round of financing from Kormeli, LLC, a Boston-based investment firm headed by Avner Schneur. This financing will be applied to the continued development and roll-out of the Zappix mobile portal and customer service application for Android and iPhone devices nationwide. “This is a huge step forward for us now that Kormeli is on board,” said Gal Steinberg, Vice President of Zappix Marketing. “With Kormeli, it’s not just financial support we receive, but also the input of their seasoned entrepreneurs, who bring many years of invaluable business experience to the table.”
Avner Schneur, the President and CEO of Kormeli added, “We are excited about the Zappix technology and its enormous potential to improve and reinvent the Mobile Customer Service experience. Through direct access to all types of service providers from mobile devices, the Zappix mobile app eliminates typically annoying phone voice responses and reaches appropriate agents fast and efficiently. It also combines robust social media features to offer a high-value proposition for both consumers and enterprises, making it an exceptional, win-win investment opportunity. “
By Scott Kirsner, Globe Columnist
Anyone who has ever owned a pet has had one of those visits to the vet where you wish you'd gone in earlier. Something easily treatable may have gotten more complicated, or perhaps Sparky has just stoically suffered through more pain than he should've had to.
A startup called PetPace is developing a product that could supply a solution: a collar that can continuously monitor your pet's health, and send an early warning to you and your vet when something seems amiss, via phone, text message, or e-mail. The company, based in Burlington, Mass. and Tel Aviv, is planning to launch the product later this year, according to chairman Avner Schneur. The expected price: $150 for the collar and a base station that collects data from it, and a $15-to-$20 per month subscription fee for the on-going monitoring service.
Sheamus McGovern Chief Technology Officer at Capital Market Exchange( CMX) spoke again to the Boston Predictive Analytics group.
The Boston Predictive Analytics group facilitates informative lectures and networking events to help technologists, entrepreneurs and investors further their understanding and proficiency regarding Predictive Analytics.
McGovern spoke on using text mining for Sentiment Analysis and its importance to the bond market. McGovern stated "Markets are driven by sentiments and tracking sentiments across sectors is a large part of what we do at Capital Market Exchange." McGovern demonstrated an example of the process of Sentiment Analysis using Rapid Miner, a popular text mining software.
Capital Market Exchange is developing a sophisticated classification analysis tools that will facilitate investment managers to make better investment decisions. When complete, this work with enhance the value of the firmÕs core product and enable investment teams to detect the changing importance of factors driving bond prices ahead of conventional analytical models.
Capital Market Exchange is the Boston based fixed income analytics platform for institutional investors. Capital Market Exchange quantifies factors driving current bond spreads and generates a common reference point for price calculations from the market consensus. The firm's analytics provides investment teams a view on emerging credit risks, enabling better forward-looking investment analysis and decisions.
Capital Market Exchange, the financial services industry's first analytics platform to quantify current market views in the global bond market, announced it was selected as 2012 MassChallenge finalist.
MassChallenge, is an annual multi-million global start-up competition and accelerator program for high-growth start-ups, located in the Innovation District. Started in 2010 to nurture high potential start-ups, MassChallenge received an initial 1237 application in 2012 from 35 countries and 37 states. Out of this pool, 125 companies were selected to participate in a three month accelerator program. Pre-final judging towards the end of the accelerator program selected 26 start-ups to advance to the finals based on potential for impact and the path to achieving that impact.
Capital Market Exchange's proprietary model quantifies factors driving current bond spreads and generates a common reference point for price calculations from the market consensus. The firm's analytics provide investment teams a view on emerging credit risks, enabling better forward-looking investment analysis and decisions.
Sarah Biller, President stated, "To be selected from a group of high impact and high growth start-ups in truly an honor. Being a part of MassChallenge has provided us with tremendous opportunities to grow as company."
Capital Market Exchange will present this week to a final team of judges comprised of successful entrepreneurs, investors and senior executives. Fellow finalists include, BuysideFX, start-up focusing on solving foreign exchange problem for institutional investment managers, Cellanyx, an emerging cancer diagnostic company and Black Island Wind Turbines creator of HRX series wind turbines.
Sheamus McGovern, Chief Technology Officer, at Capital Market Exchange (CMX) was invited to speak at the Microsoft New England and Development Centre. The meet up was organized by Boston Predictive Analytics group that furthers understanding and proficiency regarding Predictive Analytics. The meet-up was attended by technology and financial professionals interested in hearing McGovern's views. Capital Market Exchange, is the Boston based fixed income analytics platform for institutional investors.
Presenting views formed from working with well-regarded institutional asset managers on the applicability of Machine Learning, McGovern emphasized the importance of unstructured data to bond investors. He stated that, "Most of the data available in the market today is structured, but fixed income asset managers tend to rely on the roughly 90% of data that is unstructured to make their investment decisions." McGovern and his team at Capital Market Exchange are currently working on analytics to classifying unstructured data to provide fixed income investors with actionable tools to make sense of momentum and direction of the bond market.
Sarah Biller briefly described Capital Market Exchange's analytics platform and the role it fulfils improving the decisions of asset management teams who invest in debt issued by global companies. Capital Market Exchange's Analytic framework provides its network of leading institutional asset managers a structured approach to identify investment opportunities by quantifying factors driving spreads. In the question and answer session, French entrepreneurs raised pertinent questions regarding the scope and impact of the product, especially for European bond investors.
Other questions pertained to raising capital and general challenges facing innovative, early stage companies. Noting that though Sentiment Adjusted Spreads are proprietary to participating firms, Biller expressed hope that Capital Market Exchange's work will overcome challenges facing bond investors who make decisions in a relatively fragmented, but data rich asset class and improve liquidity. She noted that efficient and accessible credit markets are at the heart of all well functioning economies and a key buttress of innovation.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed by the Congress with the aim of increasing coverage and reducing costs for small businesses. The Act provides small businesses, mandated tax breaks for extending coverage, while predicting reduction in premium costs for employers.
The institute resides within the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, a provider of individual protection and employee benefits solutions to America's small business owners. The institute's intricate knowledge base of insights and perspectives on the industry is regularly quoted in national news and business journals. Ms. Biller's, observations on this subject can be viewed in Guardian Life's commentary section Small Bizdom Commentary.
Sarah Biller, President of Capital Market Exchange, stated, "This quarter represents a tremendous increase in interest in our work, enabling us to expand the number of sub-sectors we analyze. We believe this demand was triggered by a disconnect between historically relevant factors and an investing environment increasingly characterized as perilous."
Fixed Income Investment teams using Capital Market Exchange analytics now benefit from an additional fifty per cent increase in covered issues. The company's analytics cover nearly ninety five per cent of the investment grade corporate bond universe. Additional sectors analyzed this period include Consumer Goods, Insurance, Real Estate/REITS, Pharmaceuticals & Bio Technology and Health Care Products & Services.
Capital Market Exchange joined the 2012 MassChallenge class earlier this month. MassChallenge is a Boston-based accelerator program for early stage companies. More than 1,200 companies from around the world applied and 125 finalists were chosen to join the program. American Airlines, a global leader in air travel, is a committed sponsor of MassChallenge's work to organize innovation and build successful companies.
"American Airlines is committed to fostering the success of small businesses as their importance is critical to the U.S. economy," said Daniel Roose- American's Director of Small and Midsize Enterprise Loyalty. "We are honored to sponsor such an amazing contest and congratulate Capital Market Exchange on their innovative and pioneering business concept."
"We are honored to be recognized by MassChallenge and American Airlines for our efforts to explain how we provide credit investors a previously unavailable, market-based perspective of a bond's value," says Capital Market Exchange President Sarah Biller. "Since its founding in the 1930's, American Airlines has supported trailblazers. This includes hiring the first woman pilot for a major airline to its current work with early stage firms at MassChallenge. We are inspired by American Airlines commitment to us and all companies - big and small - to achieve their goals."
For more information on American's small business suite of products, visit a.com/business
Sarah Biller, President of Capital Market Exchange, noted, "Global volatility and a deluge of contradictory data have the potential to cloud investment decisions. Our analytics not only provide investment teams a structured approach to identify investment opportunities in the $90 trillion Fixed Income market, but a means to gain clarity in what factors are widely thought to drive credit risks."
Fixed Income Investment Teams using Capital Market Exchange analytics now benefit from a more stable, dynamic platform in which to test their own forward-looking views. Complementing this work, the firm also released an expanded set of diagnostic tools. Investment teams can now track more frequently the convergence of projected measures of credit risk to current calculations. A secondary benefit of this increased transparency is the ability for credit teams to assess the changing importance of factors thought to drive bond values.
"We are excited by the opportunity presented by MassChallenge and the experienced mentorship it brings to our work," says Capital Market Exchange President Sarah Biller. "Our work with institutional asset managers can only benefit from our exposure to individuals who have built like companies. We also look forward to collaborating with other entrepreneurs considering the challenge and opportunity presented by big data analytics."
Capital Market Exchange provides its network of leading institutional asset managers a structured approach to identify investment opportunities in the $90 trillion dollar global Fixed Income marketplace. CMX quantifies factors driving bond spreads and generates a market consensus for debt instruments. The analytics provide outputs on the relative value of bonds by sector and issue among other outputs. The results are proprietary to subscribers, yet the process is scalable to other asset classes. The results from its analysis and sophisticated decision support tools enable it to provide its clients actionable insights in the largest segment of the capital markets, yet one that remains relatively fragmented and opaque.
Prix Fixe via FoodieBytes elevates dining and provides a whole new level of satisfying entertainment. Experiences range from special 3 to 5 course meals revolving around a particular food ingredient or wine to fantastic culinary preparations by Michelin-winning chefs. Best of all, each unique offer is yours for one fixed price.
The entry of FoodieBytes into set price dining prompted comments from Avner Schneur, the Founder and Managing Partner of Kormeli, LLC, a major FoodieBytes investor. "This is yet another example of the expansion underway at FoodieBytes," said Mr. Schneur. "We are delighted by the site's continued growth and how it is gaining increased traction with those who love both great food and great dining value."
As with the restaurant discount deals, Prix Fixe offers are reserved for a significant value on Prix Fixe online at the FoodieBytes site. Prix Fixe experiences, however, are usually for a limited time only. And there is no additional discount from the set price. Remember, too that FoodieBytes lets you change or cancel any reservation up to 2 hours in advance without penalty. For more information and to make a reservation, visit www.foodiebytes.com
Capital Market Exchange's analytics now include interactive performance charting to track the accuracy of market sentiment models over time. Sheamus McGovern, head of Technology and Strategy, noted, "Assessing the factors widely thought to drive current spreads provides users an anchor point to assess the emergence of new credit risks and provides them an advantage in anticipating downside risk that conventional models don't offer."
Similarly, Chief Investment Officers, Portfolio Managers, and Credit Research teams using Capital Market Exchange's enhanced solution can more completely assess the impact of macro events on current bond spreads. Most recently, Capital Market Exchange modeled the impact of GIIPS sovereign debt exposure in tandem with other factors thought to be influencing financial institution's spreads. Credit teams can also combine key inputs to their decisions - such as real-time duration, spread data and issue information - with forward-looking market views to form a new opinion on an issuer's credit value. "We have been aggressively expanding our capabilities and to help credit teams reduce uncertainty triggered by market volatility," said Sarah Biller. "This relentless focus on addressing the needs of asset management teams investing in the credit markets has enabled us to collect and react to the feedback of the some of the industry's most influential thinkers."
More information about Capital Market Exchange's market-based solution is available on their website.
The funding announcement was made jointly by Avner Schneur, Kormeli's Founder and Managing General Partner and Avi Menkes, President and CEO of PetPace. "Kormeli is extremely pleased," said Mr. Schneur, "to bring PetPace into our expanding portfolio of emerging companies. It's especially exciting because we believe the PetPace monitoring device will revolutionize pet healthcare as we know it." Added Mr. Menkes, "This is an extraordinary opportunity for us at PetPace. We welcome Kormeli's critical backing as both an investor and advisor and look forward to working closely with them as our company moves forward."
With PetPace, patent pending technology, an array of sophisticated sensors, attached to a pet's collar, seamlessly and continuously monitor vital signs and activity patterns. Big Data proprietary software is used to analyze newly collected information in a historical and breed-specific context. Data optimization is combined with a very sophisticated rule-based engine to quickly access a vast amount of decision-impacting information. When anomalies are detected, the system sends out text message or email alerts that enable pet owners, veterinarians and others to take swift, positive action.
The implications of PetPace are ground-breaking. For the first time, the early detection of health issues, which has proven so beneficial to humans in terms of improving outcomes, extending quality of life and reducing treatment costs is now available to pets (dogs and cats) through PetPace.
More about PetPace
PetPace and its innovative pet monitoring application is launching soon. The PetPace technology is patent pending with multiple claims. For more information, visit the PetPace website at: http://www.petpace.com
About Kormeli, LLC
Kormeli LLC is an investment company founded by Avner Schneur that is dedicated to assisting and guiding early-stage technology entrepreneurs and enterprises. Comprised of experienced, all-CEO investors from other successful companies, Kormeli draws on this wealth of experience to establish a thoughtful path to solid business success. Kormeli focuses on building long-term relationships and providing deep, differentiated value at each stage of a company's life cycle. With a background of developing and running successful businesses, Kormeli brings deep strategic and operational expertise to its investment companies. For more information go to: http://kormeli.com/
"FoodieBytes is on track to revolutionize the entire concept of dining out," said Avner Schneur, the Founder and Managing Partner of Kormeli, LLC, a FoodieBytes investor. "The service will deliver to grandparents a unique, high-value proposition that will allow grandparents, even in these tough economic times, to dine out affordably and discreetly, without the burden of presenting coupons or coded cards."
The no-gimmicks, no- restaurant coupons-or-codes aspect of FoodieBytes is key to the service's appeal. After dining, when the final reduced-price check is presented, no one knows what was actually spent or saved, except the person paying. This feature makes FoodieBytes a great, cost-effective way to treat and impress a date, business associate or, in the case of grandparents, their children and grandchildren.
"We are excited to be part of the FoodieBytes Network," commented Jeffrey Mahl, President of grandparents.com. "Our site visitors can now access a vast selection of fine dining opportunities, priced affordably. And it's especially great for our Club Members, who receive their first restaurantbooking free as another high-value benefit of membership. Saving on dining out has never been so easy and enjoyable. The seamless integration between FoodieBytes and grandparents.com makes selecting and reserving restaurants a snap."
In addition to dining and saving at a wide range of great restaurants," continued Mr. Schneur, "FoodieBytes has a fun, social networking aspect that attracts people of all ages." Users can inquire about or review specific dishes and receive onsite recommendations from other Foodies in pictures and text. Often, reviews are posted to the site from a mobile phone during the actual dining experience. For more about this unique dining service, visit www.FoodieBytes.com
Grandparents.com is the premier community for the 21st century generation of active, involved grandparents, and offers one of every four Americans who is a grandparent enriching activities, expert advice, and a Benefits Club with benefits and discounts on hundreds of goods and services, including travel, entertainment and insurance.
FoodieBytes is a revolutionary, online, restaurant dining site that brings food, fun, dining out and savings all together. The service has over 220,000 restaurant menus in its database and lets you search and choose—based on menus, locations, pictures, customer reviews and special money-saving offers—what to order and where, with up to 40% off the entire bill, including drinks. FoodieBytes continues to grow and now offers savings specials for thousands of restaurants in major cities across the U.S. including Boston, New York City, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Mr. Eckler is the Chief Operating Officer of Affluent and Institutional Marketing at Bank of America. He brings over fifteen years of domestic and international work experience in the financial services area to the company. Immediately prior to his role at Bank of America, Mr. Eckler worked at Fidelity Investments. Earlier in his career, Mr. Eckler was at a Partner at the Monitor Group.
"Todd's diverse experiences in different settings, from large institutions to start-ups, and his skills in assessing and communicating to our sophisticated client base are critical to our current efforts. We are honored Todd agreed to join our Advisory Board", said Sarah Biller, President of Capital Market Exchange.