13 min read

Meet the Founders at 500 Global’s First Alumni Demo Day

500 Global will showcase presentations from eight post-seed companies. 

Samuel Wendel

Published

18.07.22

500 Global will host its inaugural Alumni Demo Day on July 21, where it will showcase presentations from eight post-seed companies. 

Live-streamed on digital fundraising platform (and portfolio company) Stonks, Alumni Demo Day is an opportunity to see how much these companies have grown since 500 first invested in them. From fintech services to e-commerce tools, these rising companies are building exciting products that solve problems for consumers around the world. Here’s a preview of the entrepreneurs on deck at Alumni Demo Day:

Kaivan Sattar, Founder & CEO, Asaak

Sector: Fintech

What are you trying to solve?

We help small African businesses buy productive assets on credit so they can earn more income. The brick-and-mortar financial institutions providing asset financing are known to be notoriously slow, expensive, aggressive in collections practices, and limited in what products they offer.

What makes you different?

Asaak was the first fintech startup to enter the motorcycle lending space in Africa. We have partnered with the continent’s top ride hailing apps like Jumia, Bolt, and SafeBoda to instantly make credit decisions based on app data like number of trips, passenger ratings of 5 stars, etc. Our motorcycle loan product allows taxi (“boda”) drivers to earn more income by owning assets and not having to pay rent anymore.

Can you share a recent significant milestone that highlights where you are in your  growth journey? 

Recently we secured an exclusive partnership with Standard Bank Group, the biggest bank in Africa. This has allowed us to expand our offerings into savings, investment, and insurance products for boda drivers, bringing us closer to being a full stack digital bank. Standard Bank Group provides us with local currency debt to sustainably grow our loan portfolio in all the African markets we operate in, in addition to giving us competitively priced motorcycle insurance to secure our product.

 

Jorge Davy-Mendez, Co-Founder & CEO, Brave Credit

Sector: Fintech

What are you trying to solve? 

Building and managing credit scores in the United States is tied to taking on debt. And  unfortunately, the first card most people have access to is the antiquated debit card, where  purchases aren’t counted in credit profiles. Worse, if you’re strengthening your credit profile, current credit-building solutions offer little help that doesn’t promote long-term score improvement or behavior change. We’re creating a new type of no-interest credit card secured by users’ deposits. Their everyday spending will build credit, and as their scores  improve, they’ll unlock unsecured credit on the same card they can pay off over time. Better yet, we’ll let them pay for purchases alone or split it with friends or family to make purchases even more affordable. 

What makes you different? 

Our card offers features not available in other cards, and we’re letting anyone, regardless of credit history, start to build back their credit scores since their limit on our card is based on their deposits. We’ve structured our card so it’s easy to make on-time payments for purchases, and with no expiration terms, or interest. We’re helping them for the long-term. Giving Americans access to unsecured credit on the same card can immediately reward responsible score improvement, and negates the need to look for payday lenders for help when unexpected expenses pop up. By letting users pay over time for these expenses, we can also make it more affordable for them. In giving the option to split purchases with friends, we are also creating a new category of peer-to-peer payments centered around making life more affordable and easy to manage. 

Can you share a recent significant milestone that highlights where you are in your  growth journey? 

In our beta we let 9,000 users see their reports, scores, and ways to build their credit for 5x cheaper than other fintechs. Users also grew their credit scores an average of 40 points if they took action on the suggestions we made based on their credit profiles. Finally, we saw that 10% of people who clicked on a product we suggested opened the product, which gives us confidence we will have strong adoption of our secured card on launch.

 

Sean Bovell, Founder & CEO, Invidica

Sector: Ecommerce

What are you trying to solve? 

We are streamlining the reselling experience and making it easier for new resellers to engage in commerce.

What makes you different? 

We make reselling as easy as investing in a stock. 

Can you share a recent significant milestone that highlights where you are in your  growth journey?

Here are a few:

  • Over $1.9M in gross merchandise value (GMV) with $500,000 generated in the last month. 
  • Direct partnerships with Amex, Clearco, and fintech leaders. 
  • Raised a pre-seed round from 1517 and Red Tail Ventures. 
  • A new customer referral spent $95,000 in a single month on their first two opening purchases. 
  • We have generated over $3M in retail for our customers with $0.00 spent on ads.

 

Sam Gribben, Founder & CEO, Melodics

Sector: Software & Services

What are you trying to solve? 

Learning to play musical instruments is hard, and the current tools are outdated. Music should never be one of life’s chores. No crusty old lessons or boring repetition, Melodics is more like a game. This is music dammit, it should be fun! “Less practice, more play.” That’s just what the musician in you wants to hear.

What makes you different?

A pretty cool mix of technology and human instinct; this is a completely different way of teaching music. Melodics gives you real time feedback, ways to track your progress, and rewards for your perseverance. Our team of teachers and music producers have transformed the way learning sounds: no twinkle twinkle, you’re learning with music you actually want to listen to. 

Can you share a recent significant milestone that highlights where you are in your  growth journey?

Until now, all of our growth has been on the back of music we’ve made ourselves in-house. We’ve signed licensing deals with major label record labels, and we’re bringing popular songs to Melodics in September.

 

Kevin Krauth, Founder & CEO, Orderly Health

Sector: Health tech

What are you trying to solve? 

Orderly Health is on a mission to create a more connected healthcare ecosystem using data and technology. We have created a cloud-hosted SAAS platform to solve the multi-billion dollar problem of inaccurate and unusable data. To that end, we are automating previously manual processes, to more easily clean, normalize, and analyze provider data. And with our suite of functionality tailored for health systems, payers, and digital health organizations, we are helping align incentives to create and maintain a single source of truth for provider data. 

What makes you different?

Unlike other incumbents or recent entrants into the provider data management space, Orderly spent years building out solutions specifically for a couple of large enterprise players in the healthcare space before commercializing and selling to other organizations. By integrating directly into real customers’ use cases and workflows, we were able to develop a system custom-suited to the challenges faced by organizations across the healthcare industry, which is why we’ve recently seen a spike in demand for our platform. 

Can you share a recent significant milestone that highlights where you are in your  growth journey?

After nearly a year of development, we released our Roster Automation Suite (RAS) in late summer of 2021. We just recently closed our third enterprise customer on that product, bringing us over $1M in annual recurring revenue (ARR) for RAS within a year of its release. In addition, within the next 60 days we expect to hit $2M in ARR–up from $0 at the end of 2019. 

 

Julian Garcia, Founder & CEO, Predictable Media

Sector: Ecommerce

What are you trying to solve? 

While we have seen an explosive growth of e-commerce stores, 90% of e-commerces have a revenue of under a million dollars. These small business owners with extremely limited economic and human resources are trying to grow in a context full of adversity: inflation, recession, slowing of e-commerce growth, data law restrictions, and higher cost per acquisition, just to name a few. Most will not survive. We want to help these e-commerce owners survive, grow their businesses, and make their life easier by automating every critical process of their store. We started automating customer engagement. 

What makes you different?

We’re a completely new breed of software focused on the needs of e-commerce owners, and the only software focused on the Latin American SMB market. By bringing together the key features of different technologies, we’re able to make Amazon-level personalization and automation accessible to even the smallest ecommerce store, all based on their first-party data.

Can you share a recent significant milestone that highlights where you are in your  growth journey?

Our product is only eight months old, and we have already reached over 120 paying clients in 10 different countries. We’re happy to say that we’ve already helped many of them increase their revenue by 40%.

 

Daniel Rojas, Founder & CEO, Rocket

Sector: Fintech

What are you trying to solve? 

Mexico has one of the lowest banking penetrations worldwide, and limited mobility among financial products–meaning that 90% of the population does not have a bank credit card and 63% of the adult population is unbanked or underbanked. As a result, there is a significant asymmetry of information between the supply and demand for credit and therefore 90% of the credit applications are rejected in Mexico. The main reasons for this asymmetry are: 

  • There is already a robust supply and demand for credit, but it is very inefficient and there is no way to correct the asymmetry between the two sides without a specialized matchmaker to mediate.
  • Neither individuals nor banks use the credit score as a variable to measure the odds of credit approval.
  • There is poor financial education among Mexico’s population.

What makes you different?

What we offer as a distinct solution compared to the market consists in correcting the information asymmetry by providing individuals with personalized financial advice:

  • We give access to their financial history and access to complete financial history and answer questions such as: how much debt do I have? Who do I owe? Etc.
  • We provide financial guidance: we advise customers on how to improve their financial behavior.
  • We suggest to our users financial products: we know how financial approval models work, and we can therefore recommend credits with high odds of approval.

Can you share a recent significant milestone that highlights where you are in your  growth journey?

  • Growth 2.7x YoY in new users; we have a record of 1.5 million users with full credit history who have used Rocket’s financial advisory.
  • Growth 3.2x YoY in transactions (cash positive). We have a validated business model with nearly $3 million in revenue and cash positive over the past two years.

 

Kevin Jones, Founder & CEO, Blue Wire

Sector: Media

In the past, if an athlete wanted to tell their life story, they would write a book or sit for an interview. Now, many start a podcast. That’s where Blue Wire, a sports podcasting platform, comes into play. The company is empowering the next generation of sports media by distributing content in partnership with fans, journalists, athletes and influencers. To date, it has amassed a roster of over 260 shows and in 2021 it opened a podcast studio at the Wynn Las Vegas, where Blue Wire regularly hosts athletes and influencers as they create their own content. So far in 2022, Blue Wire has struck deals with The Miami Herald and The Kansas City Star to help sell ads for their podcasts, while also adding more shows to its lineup. That includes athlete-driven NBA podcasts, such as one starring former NBA players Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye, alongside several shows hosted by NFL players. 

 

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Samuel Wendel

Samuel Wendel is a freelance writer.

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