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The 2020 Ventures to Watch

VentureFuel builds innovation programs for large corporations. As part of our service we evaluate thousands of emerging technologies and pioneering startups. Each week we highlight one that we believe can drive significant value for corporations through pilots and partnerships.

Inuru

Description
Printed Light? While it feels like something out of Star Wars, and in fact was used to promote the latest Star Wars film with Coca-Cola, Inuru has created the packaging of the future with their patented organic conductive inks. This enables brands to literally print light and create stunning, interactive packaging, print advertising and displays. Not only does it have the wow factor through self-powered illumination, but it is paper-thin, reasonably priced and sustainable.
Reason to Believe
Corporate experience with brands from Coca-Cola to Bombay Saphire, have won numerous awards: German Packaging Award, Promotional Gift Award, German Innovation Award, etc. and have 6 patents pending.
Links
Vision for 2025 (look for video at bottom of this link): https://www.inuru.com/technology + Coca-Cola Case: https://www.inuru.com/cocacolastarwarsinuru

Ryff

Description
In our increasingly ad-free media landscape with its abundance of content, advertisers are turning to brand integration and product placement to reach consumers. Ryff's proprietary platform integrates 3D models into popular entertainment, saving content creators, TV studios and brands valuable time and money by inserting their products directly into pre-produced content.
Reason to Believe
Raised $8.6M in 3 rounds of funding. CEO Roy Taylor is the former acting head of AMD Studios in Hollywood. Generated press from the likes of Adweek, VentureBeat and TechCrunch.
Links
Video examples included here: https://www.ryff.co/ and industry impact analysis from: TechCrunch

Twenty

Description
Our world has never been more digitally connected and as a result we’ve never been less engaged in real life. This has led to major changes in how we communicate and socialize. 58% of GenZ/Millenials are seeking relief from Social Media, 30% of Millennials say they're lonely and 22% say they don't have a single friend. Twenty is a new social platform that is the best way to get together with friends in real life by allowing people to see who’s around, see who’s down and hang out! With over 2M users and strategic partnerships with Live Nation, Endeavor, Roc Nation and TAO Group as well as influential board members such as Arianna Huffington, Twenty's technology is well-positioned to change the way GenZ/Millennials socialize.
Reason to Believe
Strong momentum due to user growth, solid strategic investors, and experienced management team. Early corporate pilots successful.
Links
Description, videos and press here: https://www.twenty.co/

Perksy

Description
The future of feedback has arrived. Perksy's interactive and engaging DIY consumer insights platform powers real time research with everyday people through its immersive mobile app. Brands can leverage this innovative marketing solution to gather real consumer feedback and take advantage of insights that give rise to brand growth, product development and customer satisfaction.
Reason to Believe
Perksy works with the world’s leading brands and agency networks, such as Target, Pepsi, Colgate-Palmolive, Smucker’s, IPG, WPP and is backed by venture firms like Bain Capital, Torch Capital, and Founder Collective. Founder and CEO, Nadia Masri, was also named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 .
Links
Perksy in the press here: https://www.getperksy.com/press

Messy.fm

Description
Podcasts are undoubtedly growing -- over half of US consumers are podcast listeners and podcast ad revenue is expected to surpass $1b by 2021. Messy.fm is fueling this growth with its all-in-one podcasting solution. Its platform enables leaders and organizations to record, edit and publish their podcasts with ease. The platform powers thousands of publicly available shows, while also working with enterprises on private, secure podcasts for internal use. Messy.fm has created the Wordpress for podcasts.
Reason to Believe
Strong corporate clients. Have worked with events and learning/research institutions. Female-founded and owned.
Links
Messy.fm VentureFuel podcast episode with founders Fred Schonenberg and Molly Beck

Kara

Description
Save your marketing and design team time and money with Kara's automated marketing production platform. Built as an enterprise SaaS platform, Kara's patented technology automates the production of marketing material, while maintaining brand integrity. With recent beta customers like TikTok, Beats by Dre and more, Kara is well positioned to deliver brand-perfect campaign materials at scale not only for large corporations, but also for growing challenger brands and startups looking to scale their marketing efforts.
Reason to Believe
Strong founder team with global marketing background and product/tech experience. Notable corporate customers. Patented technology based on brand validation API, machine learning and a proprietary file format.
Links
Product feature video: https://www.getkara.co/how-it-works