GSD Labs, a virtual, cross-border accelerator brought to you by GSD Venture Studios in Silicon Valley, has wrapped up a 5th successful cohort of promising startups from around the globe.
GSD Labs was founded with the philosophy that intellectual capacity is spread evenly throughout the world, but opportunity is not.
The vision of GSD Labs is a world without borders, enabling startups from underrepresented countries the chance to bring their innovative ideas to the marketplace, get funded, and scale across the globe. GSD Labs is designed to equip these founders with the tools for success, from mentorship and marketing to partnerships and press coverage, all leading up to a demo-day with invite-only investors.
"We are humbled to provide the launchpad for these talented founders from emerging markets to receive funding and continue to grow the global ecosystem of innovation." Gary Fowler, CEO of GSD Venture Studios.
The 5th cohort hails from nine different countries such as Switzerland, Uganda, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Singapore, India, Nigeria, Estonia, Finland, and the U.S., with 33% led by minorities. The GSD team couldn't be more proud of all the companies who have crossed the finish line with GSD Labs during such an uncertain time in history.
After many weeks of hard work, the founders of cohort 5 prepared their pitches for demo day in hopes of securing funding with GSD's network of investors. The funding these startups potentially receive will build out their teams, improve and enhance their products, infrastructure, research, and development with the ultimate goal of expanding into the global market.
One such startup exploding onto the scene that COO of GSD, Derek Distenfield met with on his South Africa trip in 2021 is Q-Hop, the scan-as-you-shop app fueled by AI, IoT, and fintech designed to save brick and mortar retailers 24% on revenue each year.
Founder Ajay Lalu is proud to announce that Q-Hop has quickly risen the ranks securing alliances and partnerships with the likes of Microsoft and Vodacom. Q-Hop's distinct advantages over its competitors are contactless checkout, retail insights, social marketing, and point of sale.
"Q-Hop has entered the scene at the right time with the right product," says Derek Distenfield, COO of GSD Venture Studios.
Their product is based on a real challenge for retail made worse by the pandemic and threatened by virtual shopping solutions such as Amazon Go. With a 50% ROI for retailers, this impressive startup seeks a seed round of $1.2M, with 200K already raised.
Other star participants of this cohort include Behamics, a platform that utilizes AI and behavioral science to prevent shopping cart abandonments while the user is still live on the website. Employing strategic 'nudges' that influence behavior results in a 20% increase in sales, 15% fewer cart abandonments, and a 10% reduction in product returns, according to cofounder Dr. Thilo Pfrang.
Behamics has exploded in growth from 0-100K MRR in just eight months with no marketing or sales team, says founder Valon Xhafa. With multiple partnerships with global brands already secured, Behamics is seeking 10M in funding to accelerate their product development, expand their GTM capability and build their team.
Choicely is the #1 no-code app builder with in-built publishing, voting, and fan engagement tools. They are executing a plan to become the top player in validated segments and enter the high volume and reseller DIY markets. Choicely has created a hybrid and highly scalable B2B2C business model that combines SaaS and revenue share characteristics with its app builder platform. They are raising $3M to speed up their growth and reach $5M in ARR.
PostNet is a game-changing delivery platform bringing automated parcel terminals to underdeveloped areas of Africa where postal addresses aren't always available, yet e-commerce is exploding. With a simple and highly scalable business model, their mission is to fix the broken logistics system and boost African economies.
Egree's goal is to help the 80% of low-income people in the U.S who can't afford legal assistance with a mobile app that allows real people to protect their interests, save and manage their agreements and seek justice if broken. With legaltech booming and most startups focusing on helping courts and law firms, Egree has found a hole in the market to meet the needs of everyday people.
Investors also got to hear from GSD Labs participants in the areas of deep learning, cybersecurity, e-bikes, and Medtech, such as Cognius.ai, Truusec, Delfast, and Kayaa 17.
"We are proud of the success the cohort 5 participants have already accomplished, and we are eager to see where they go next." - Derek Distenfield, COO of GSD Venture Studios.
It will be a busy few weeks as investors have to make tough choices on whom they want to partner with, bringing them opportunities and funding for expansion, growth, and future success.
You can watch Cohort 5 Demo Day in its entirety here. Please contact Derek Distenfield of GSD Labs (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in investing in any of these promising companies.