2. Couchelo the New app for hip furniture
Are you tired of the same assemble-it-yourself furniture for your home? If you’re like me, you’ve probably bought a lot of furniture from Ikea and can easily spot it at your friend’s place. Couchelo is a mobile app that intends to change this. Couchelo is a curated marketplace that features unique, retro, pre-loved and handmade furniture and houseware. Users of the app can browse, sell, and buy items. Noticing that a lot of the the 4,400 furniture stores in Australia do not have a proper web presence, Couchelo founders Si-Si Dai, William Fan, and Fei Yao intend to bring furniture makers into the online marketplace. The app encourages shoppers to be environmentally responsible when buying items for their home. Going through the app and the photos on Couchelo’s Facebook page reminds me of my childhood.
3. Women-focused angels invest in logo-search app
Female-focused angels Scale Investors has syndicated its second deal with See-Out, a visual search technology company. Their product, CeeQTM, is an enterprise-oriented search engine for visual searches of trademarks and logos. User can upload a picture of a trademark and CeeQTM uses image recognition to find similar registered trademarks. Traditionally, logo searches have been conducted manually, requiring searchers to look through catalogues of written descriptions about the logos and visual designs. The search engine will be useful for trademark attorneys, brand managers, and graphic designers.
The startup is a spin-off from national research agency NICTA. It is the brainchild of Sandra Mau, a robotics engineer and former NICTA computer vision researcher. The seed amount Scale Investors is allotting See-Out is undisclosed.
4. Blackbird Ventures raises AU$25 million to fund more startups
Blackbird Ventures is only a year old, but this young startup fund has raised its target of AU$25 million. The pooled funds are intended to finance startups up to AU$500,000. Blackbird is like the Australian version of Founders Fund. It prefers projects that are globally scalable, with a focus on product development. Their investments to date include Canva, Shoes Of Prey, Elto (previously Tweaky), and Coinjar.
5. Canva woos former Apple chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki
Speaking of Canva, it made more international headlines that any other Australian startup so far this year when it hired Guy Kawasaki to be its new evangelist. Kawasaki left Motorola for the new role.
6. More reliable word-of-mouth recommendations with Trust My Tribe Mobile app
Trust My Tribe is a shared directory that lets users easily make and store reviews about a venue or service. Users can add people they know to form a “tribe” and and see the reviews these people have given for any place.