Smart fabrics, digital payment systems and smart clothing assistants are changing our shopping experiences. Smart clothes can now produce data on health and sports performance. Smart shopping assistants can learn from your style and pick the right clothes. But for every application that changes our life, we pay a substantial price. As smartphones consume more and more of our time, each application is trying tries to increase its share.
Pay by texting
Paym.es is a service that makes online payments easier. It gives consumers the opportunity to make and receive payments through messaging and social media like Facebook and Instagram.
The program has already received significant investments from Turkey and abroad. Currently, it has more than 43,000 users and a sales volume of over TL 400,000 ($84,776). After successfully completing the StartersHub XO program, Paym.es managed to receive almost $1.8 million in investments, including $50,000 from StartersHub and $130,000 from Saudi Arabia-based venture capital fund, Daal.
Shopping with messages
Paym.es builds a trust-based system between buyers and sellers, allowing the sales of products as easily as messaging with a friend through Instagram, Facebook, Etsy or Letgo.
With free registration and product listing, Paym.es collaborates with Stripe and PayU for its payment infrastructure. On the platform, the questions and complaints of the customers are answered and resolved by the sellers personally. Paym.es offers a competitive alternative to traditional marketplace platforms and e-commerce services, charging only 6 percent commission on each sale.
Providing services to its users through Facebook Messenger, the company is currently working on a beta version for Telegram for the Russian, the Middle East and the North African market. It is also working on a version for Whatsapp for Turkey.
The project is supported by Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TİM) and Turkish Economy Bank's (TEB) Venture Banking. It was among the 50 most successful ventures at Slush 2017, one of the world's largest startup events in Helsinki.
With this investment, Paym.es looks to open up to markets like Russia, Spain, Turkey, the Middle East, North Africa and Latin America, where social media e-commerce is already reaching maturity.
Smart sensors have now shrunk to the level that they can become a part of the fabric. Thread in Motion is a venture that makes microsensors that can be part of the fabric, used in everything from suits and gloves to hats and coats.
These sensors can collect and share close to 30 different kinds of information, including body temperature and blood pressure. The information can then be used for health care and sports. The company has received its first investments and continues to make presentations for investors at international venture events. It was featured at the latest CES venture event.
Would not it be nice if a smart stylist could make suggestions depending on your style and gave you an opportunity to try new clothes without even going to the store? Today's smart stylists can serve through your smartphone or computer. Apart from your measurements, they know the brands, the colors, and the designs you prefer.
Clotie, a İş Bank Workup venture, gives a similar opportunity to try out clothes customized by a smart stylist based on a user's personal style.
The program became a part of İş Bank's Workup program at the end of last year, bringing knowledge-based shopping to the apparel sector.
Clotie, which reached agreements with three apparel brands like Jimmy Key, Blue, and Koton gets discounted or consigned products and can deliver them to the address. The service, which has opened up the service previously provided only for women to men on demand, now has over 350 customers.
API: Key to business growth for institutions, entrepreneurs
The API or Application Programming Interface may not make sense for newspaper readers but it will be understood by software and application developers. In simplest terms, it is a key through which institutions could offer their services to more customers.
With the API Portal, İş Bank provides an environment for developers, ventures and financial institutions where they can design innovative products.
APIs that allow different applications to interact and exchange data are used to enhance the features of applications and increase functionality.
Developers and organizations can get information about APIs developed by İş Bank through its API Portal, test APIs by communicating with the bank via the portal and put them into their production environment.
With the opportunities, they offer to developers, institutions such as Türk Telekom also provide diversity in the services they offer to customers. For example, new telecom services get direct access to devices connected to the internet.
By using the APIs they are interested in, developers save time and money that would otherwise spend on rewriting related functions. The cooperation between banks and enterprises becomes easier with the API Portal.
İş Bank aims to further increase the number of 14 APIs offered through the API Portal by listening to the needs of developers and innovative enterprises. Detailed information on the platform is available on developer.isbank.com.tr.
Technology entrepreneurs to boost Lonca
Nine startups, selected from over 400 applications, will join Kuveyt Türk's venture program Lonca. They will benefit from many opportunities like server cloud support, office use, expert mentoring support for APIs, and priority in the application for mutual funds and investment network.
With these startups, the second term of Kuveyt Türk Lonca Center for Entrepreneurship has started. It was established to support young entrepreneurs who want to realize their ideas and projects.
The Lonca Center for Entrepreneurship was established by Kuveyt Türk in collaboration with Workinton in September 2017. It supports entrepreneurs with technology-focused and scalable business ideas to help them transform projects into commercial activities under a sustainable model.
It accepts applications in two categories, namely general and financial technology (fintech). It will support nine new teams selected by a jury from over 400 applications.
They receive training
In the second period of the program, unlike the first period, the ventures with ready products and/or those prepared to go to customers, were prioritized. The startups, who are to work in 14 centers of Workinton, receive mentorship support from Kuveyt Turk's senior management and employees as well as sector experts.
Startups take advantage of many facilities and benefits from many important countries in Turkey and in the world, such as server cloud support, professional training, multi-site incubation services, R&D support, special mentoring support for APIs, priority in the application for mutual funds, cooperation with other investment networks and inclusion in the corporate purchasing process. Nine new entrepreneurs benefit from an important mentorship network.
Volvo invests in sensor tech for driverless cars
World-renowned automobile giants are starting to follow the entrepreneurial network closely to see the future. Volvo Cars made its first strategic investment as a shareholder in Luminar, a leading startup that developed advanced sensor technologies for use in autonomous vehicles through its newly established mutual fund. The company, which wants to use sensor technologies in driverless cars, is making the right investments in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Investing in Luminar in Palo Alto, California and Orlando, Florida deepens the existing business relationship with the company based on the development of Volvo Cars sensor technology and testing in Volvo cars. Using laser signals to detect objects, LIDAR technology stands out as the most important element in developing secure autonomous vehicles.
LIDAR is important technology for driverless cars to move at high speeds in complex traffic environments that have people, bicycles, motorbikes and various vehicles. The technologies developed by new ventures are of great importance in designing the care of the future.
The Volvo Cars Tech Fund, launched earlier this year, aims to invest in potential high-tech companies all over the world. Through its investment, the company focuses on strategic technology trends that pioneer the transformation of industry, such as artificial intelligence, the preparation of automobiles for the future with electricity, autonomous driving and digital mobility services.
The companies that will collaborate with Volvo Cars Tech Found will provide benefits in different ways. Thanks to the close collaboration established with one of the world's leading premium automobile manufacturers, entrepreneurs have gained the opportunity to validate their technologies, as well as a significant advantage in accelerating their adaptation to the product market.
Entrepreneurs think that they will be able to gain access to Volvo Cars' power in the Chinese automobile market and benefit from its alliance with global automotive and technology partners.