FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT, INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT
Awiros, Inflexor Ventures and Exfinity Venture Partners | September 15, 2022
National, Sep 14 2022: Tech-focused VC funds, Inflexor Ventures and Exfinity Venture Partners, led the Series A round in Awiros, a deep-tech start-up that develops an AI-based computer-vision platform primarily for video processing. The current round of funding also saw participation from VedaVC, leading family offices and UHNIs.
Awiros is bridging a key gap in the market through its offering, a marketplace of Video AI “Apps” that allows its customers to discover and adopt suitable technology solutions quickly. Enterprises have been actively deploying Video AI solutions across automation, safety and process monitoring where the market is projected to reach USD 27Bn by 2030, based on various research studies. Awiros is accelerating the adoption of this technology, where its average customer subscribes to more than 10 apps today, up from 4 in 2019. With several Fortune 500 customers and large-scale Video AI deployments across manufacturing, warehousing, data centres, critical infrastructure and public safety, Awiros is already one of the leading companies in this space in India.
In terms of technology, Awiros is a device-agnostic Operating System (OS) for easy development and delivery of Video AI applications. The OS eliminates the need for enterprise clients to upgrade, redesign, or reinstall new systems as the enterprise’s Video AI use cases increase. The platform also abstracts out all the tedious workflow around computer vision-based AI models and lets developers concentrate on building efficient models, resulting in faster development and deployment cycles for enterprise-grade applications. In the near future, Awiros aims to be the default platform for computer vision use-cases that would allow any developer to create and deploy computer vision applications in large-scale projects in a friction-less manner and create an ecosystem that allows the best apps to thrive, much like the app-stores for smartphones.
The company aims to utilize the funding towards product enhancement, building its developer community, and business growth in India and overseas markets. This funding round will allow Awiros in augmenting the India and US teams, both in technology and sales-related functions.
Awiros was founded in 2015 by Vikram Gupta and Yatin Kavishwar. Vikram is a computer engineering research expert with a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University. His key focus area during his PhD was to architect a middleware for multi-application embedded systems, which became the base and motivation for founding Awiros. Yatin is a seasoned enterprise business leader with experience in leading government, enterprise, defence and public sector sales across multiple stints at AppDynamics, Citrix, Cisco and IBM.
Vikram Gupta CEO & Co-Founder of Awiros said “Awiros is one of the fastest growing companies in the Video AI space in India and this funding round will help us build further momentum for global growth by increasing our market share, streamlining technical operations and investing in the R&D of existing and new product categories. By onboarding the seasoned deep-tech investors from Inflexor and Exfinity, Awiros will benefit heavily from their extensive experience in technology, international business and scalable GTM.”
Jatin Desai, Managing Partner at Inflexor Ventures added, “We are very excited to partner with Vikram, Yatin and the team at Awiros as they take their patented deeptech/AI-based Computer Vision operating system and app store to global markets and continue to grow in the domestic market. As cameras become even more ubiquitous globally there will be a huge addressable market for their products. Awiros investment fits very well with Inflexor’s deeptech/tech IP theme and backing solid founders in this space”.
Chinnu Senthilkumar, Managing Partner at Exfinity Venture Partners added, “In the backdrop of data explosion happening in the video domain, we are thrilled to join Awiros’ journey in building a unified video intelligence platform that derives actionable insights for its customers. Awiros’ approach is analogous to Android O/S which enables and empowers the customer to design and deploy AI-based solutions for their business needs quickly. Awiros has excellent business synergy with our portfolio company Kinara (erstwhile Deepvision) wherein they will be able to co-develop solutions in domains such as retail automation, smart buildings, Industry 4.0 etc. for Fortune 500 clients.”
About Inflexor Ventures
Inflexor Ventures is a sector-agnostic VC firm that invests in deep and emerging technology startups from Pre-Series A to Series B stages. The team at Inflexor Ventures brings decades of experience in fund management and investments, serial entrepreneurship and global technology and operational roles. Inflexor past investments include Atomberg, Playshifu, Kale Logistics, GramCover, SecureThings, Bellatrix, Vitra.ai, and recently exited Steradian. From their earlier fund Parampara, they had also invested in Entropik, CloudSEK, SCube, and SecurAx.
About Exfinity Venture Partners
Exfinity Venture Partners is an early-stage technology-focused fund investing in the domains of deep technology, SaaS and platforms. Exfinity’s core founding principles are to focus on B2B-sector investments with a practitioner-driven approach, and they are the pioneer fund in India in these aspects. Exfinity is uniquely positioned to enable the scaling of cross-border startups building world-class enterprise solutions for customers across the globe, and also facilitate growth stage investments for their portfolio companies. Their other investments include Pixis, Log 9 Materials, MoEngage, Kinara, Locus, Skit, Ati Motors, AiPalette, Credilio, Mad Street Den and CloudSEK.
Aliaswire, Inc. | September 02, 2022
Aliaswire, a provider of bill payment and credit solutions for businesses and banks, today announced new capabilities for utility clients in its DirectBiller platform and reported impressive growth in the number of payments being processed by utilities. The new features address the growing need for utilities to meet customer expectations for more modern and convenient payment methods, while also reducing their operating costs.
The company saw a 337% increase in the number of payments processed by utility companies on its DirectBiller platform over the last 12 months, with one natural gas provider processing over one million payments per month and continuing to grow volume at 12% month-over-month.
“When you have recurring billing relationships like utilities, the billing and payment experience becomes a critical touchpoint. In many cases, it may be the only one a utility has with a customer each month, Not only does that experience have a huge impact on customer satisfaction, but it can also create big operational inefficiencies without proficient systems and processes in place, as finance teams are then forced to manually handle payment receipt and reconciliation.”
-Jed, Rice, CEO of Aliaswire
DirectBiller optimizes the billing and payment experience for residential, commercial and non-consumption utility customers. The platform manages the entire end-to-end process from billing through payment reconciliation and encourages on-time payments by providing easy and secure ways for customers to receive and pay their utility bills. DirectBiller enables utilities to consolidate all payment channels on a single platform and integrates seamlessly with utilities’ ERP systems and their banks’ treasury management systems to streamline payment reconciliation.
Key features in DirectBiller for Utilities
Members of the same household can log in separately to make payments against their shared account
Multiple payment options (web, mobile, text, CSR, IVR, kiosk)
One-time payment and auto pay
Automated payment reminders
Multilingual IVR service that follows the same payment flows as web and mobile experiences
CSRs can provide one-time payment links via text or email to unenrolled customers
Customers can pay directly on DirectBiller’s hosted payer portal, or the payment experience can be embedded within a utility’s existing payment site via single sign-on or API
Real-time posting lets the utility and customer know immediately when payments have posted to better manage service levels and terminations
Support for Multiple Divisions
For utilities with multiple lines of business, DirectBiller can support separate payment flows and websites. Reporting can be provided at the division level as well as a single consolidated view at the corporate level.
Flexible Card Processing and Fee Management
Support for different fee models for residential, commercial and non-consumption lines of business
Patented technology streamlines daily net settlement of surcharges, convenience fees.
Competitive “cost plus” interchange pricing, including Level 2/3 processing
Support for Non-Consumption Business
Full PDF presentment of complex and multi-page invoices
Multiple invoices can be grouped into a single payment transaction or processed individually
Payers can apply credit memos to invoices and pay net balance due
About Aliaswire, Inc.
Aliaswire is a fintech company based in Boston with a history of innovation in payments. The company supports leading financial institutions and merchant services providers with bill pay through DirectBiller® and small business credit solutions through Payvus®.
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT, INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT
Miracle Mile Advisors, Karp Capital Management and Corsair | September 17, 2022
Miracle Mile Advisors and Karp Capital Management announced today that they intend to combine, creating an award-winning, national wealth advisory firm with over $4 billion in assets under management serving clients from five main offices. In conjunction with the transaction, the combined company will receive a significant investment from Corsair Capital, a leading private equity firm in the financial and business services industries. The combination and subsequent Corsair investment is expected to be completed in November 2022, subject to customary closing conditions.
Karp Capital is a wealth management firm based in the San Francisco Bay area, with over $1.2 billion in client assets. Peter Karp founded Karp Capital in 2004 as an independent alternative to larger brokerage firms, providing sophisticated financial planning, investment advice, and retirement services to high-net-worth individuals and business owners with a specific expertise in the automotive sector.
“Miracle Mile and Karp Capital coming together is a unique partnership. We share a strong cultural alignment and dedication to providing clients with highly customized, fiduciary advice. Our focus on providing wealth management services to the automotive, RV, and powersports spaces complement Miracle Mile’s broad foundation in advanced financial planning and wealth advisory services,”
- Peter Karp
Miracle Mile is a national, award-winning wealth advisor headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in New York, Chicago and Portland. Founded in 2007, Miracle Mile provides clients with highly-customized financial advice across all aspects of their balance sheet. Miracle Mile is consistently ranked as one of the Top 50 Fastest Growing RIAs nationally, one of the Best Places to Work for financial advisors, and has multiple Forbes and Barron’s top-ranked advisors.
We are fortunate to have developed an amazing culture and growth track record that has attracted some of the best and brightest advisory teams in the industry, and the addition of Karp Capital is a perfect example. As we scale the combined firm and enhance the service offering to our clients, we have found an incredible partner in Corsair. Their deep industry expertise and network will be instrumental in our future success, With our combined capabilities, we believe we can offer a differentiated partnership, culture, and set of resources to other wealth management firms looking to grow and thrive,said Duncan Rolph, Managing Partner.
Corsair expects to leverage its deep fintech and wealth management expertise to support Miracle Mile, as it accelerates the growth trajectory, enhances the client experience, and builds on its history of successful acquisitions and partnerships. Corsair’s investment in Miracle Mile expands on its successful track record of investing in the asset and wealth management sector.
We have been looking at the wealth advisory space for several years, trying to find the right platform company we found it in Miracle Mile. Their unwavering commitment to clients, incredible management team, market-leading growth, and award-winning culture makes the newly combined firm a perfect fit, said Gunnar Overstrom, a partner at Corsair. Tony Ling, a managing director at Corsair, added Miracle Mile is uniquely positioned as an ideal partner for high-growth advisors and their clientele.
The Asset & Wealth Management Investment Banking team of Raymond James served as financial advisor to Miracle Mile and Karp Capital on the combination and recapitalization, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP served as legal counsel to Miracle Mile and Venable LLP served as legal counsel to Karp Capital. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal counsel and Ardea Partners LP and Waller Helms Advisors served as financial advisor to Corsair Capital.
About Miracle Mile Advisors
Miracle Mile Advisors is a registered investment advisor committed to providing dynamic financial planning and custom investment management to high-net-worth individuals, families, business owners and institutions. Miracle Mile’s advisors integrate clients’ ambitions with best-in-class guidance, advice, and technology, and have been recognized across leading industry awards such as Barron’s, Financial Times, Forbes, Inc., and InvestmentNews.
About Karp Capital Management
Karp Capital Management is a registered investment advisor serving as a trusted partner for highly successful individuals, businesses, and families. Karp Capital simplifies the complexity in the financial lives of their clients and integrates clients’ entire wealth picture with their long-term aspirations so that they are confident about achieving what is important to them.
Corsair is a global specialist investment firm offering opportunities for investors and solutions for companies across financial & business services and infrastructure. The firm has almost three decades of experience partnering with businesses at the crossroads of technology transformation and financial services complexity and established its complementary infrastructure investment practice in 2015. Corsair has invested $12 billion in capital across its global buyouts and infrastructure platforms since inception.
Wagepoint | October 27, 2022
Canadian fintech company Wagepoint may be in the business of payroll, but it's the business of people that truly sets it apart. This week, Wagepoint was named one of Canada's 2022 Best Workplaces for Inclusion and Mental Wellness by Great Place to Work®, a global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures.
Unlike other tech industry awards, which are decided by panels and third-party judges, Wagepoint CEO Shrad Rao says this one feels especially meaningful – the results are entirely based on feedback from the company's 175 remote employees (lovingly referred to as a band of misfits!).
To earn a spot on the lists, at least 90 percent of employees must agree that they are treated fairly at work, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age or sexual orientation (inclusion) in an anonymous survey, and at least 75 percent of employees must agree that their workplace is psychologically and emotionally healthy (mental wellness).
"Of all the awards we have won, this one feels the most special, I set out to create a place where people feel included and accepted, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, etc. And, it's one thing when you believe you've created that space, but a whole other thing when the people who are meant to be experiencing the feeling of 'acceptance' actually validate it, and anonymously at that! All that said, I do believe that each person in the company creates psychological safety, acceptance and inclusion for everyone else. So, this is a collective award – an ode to each one of us here at Wagepoint."
-Wagepoint CEO Shrad Rao
Wagepoint has always focused on carving out a uniquely "people first" approach in the fintech industry, based on the simple philosophy that, well, everyone is human!
For us, it's not a cliche when discussing company culture, It means remembering that we are people before we are employees, and making every decision in the business, and with each other, from that place, every single day,says Fallon Collett, Wagepoint's People and Culture Manager.
Before they are hired, Wagepoint employees chat with Rao during an informal culture call. They are encouraged to show up to work feeling safe to truly be themselves, and to create that safety for others. But this message isn't a one-hit-wonder; it is reinforced daily, and was the topic of Rao's culture talk during this summer's Wagestock, an annual in-person company retreat (kind of like summer camp, but for – ahem – "grown-ups"). During his talk, Rao touched on the company's operating principles, all rooted in creating a space of safety and trust. The principles include having realistic expectations of each other, seeking to understand where others are coming from, finding balance in decision-making and "knowing your why".
Mental wellness is also a priority at Wagepoint, with all employees entitled to 20 vacation days, in addition to personal and wellness leave, to recharge and do non-work ("people") things. The company offers mental health benefits, partners with People Connect to provide employees access to affordable counseling, creates special Slack channels focused on mental health tips and hosts a series of workshops on well-being topics such as sleep, grief and handling hard times.
By focusing on building an inclusive and mentally healthy team, both Rao and Collett say that Wagepoint is better-equipped to grow and serve another important group of people – its customers! "We treat our customers in the same way that we treat our employees," says Rao. "Happy customers start with happy teams."
Wagepoint has a 4.6 out of 5 rating on Glassdoor.com and was recently recognized with a Silver Stevie® Award in the Employee Engagement category in the 2021 Stevie Awards for Great Employers.
Wagepoint is a small-but-mighty fintech company on a mission to simplify payroll – and maybe even dare to make it delightful! Our online software was created just for small businesses, automating the most "ugh" parts of payroll – like calculating wages and reporting on taxes – so that our customers can get back to doing, well, literally anything else. Backed by the world's friendliest team, Wagepoint is always supportive, never stuffy and refreshingly human. Founded in 2012, we make payroll magic happen for more than 22,000 small businesses, accountants and bookkeepers across North America.