CardFlight Ranked Number 48 Fastest Growing Company in North America on Deloitte’s 2018 Technology Fast 500™

This article was originally published on CardFlight here.

CardFlight’s three-year growth rate of over 2,900% placed the company on the 2018 list of fastest growing technology companies in North America.

New York, New York – CardFlight, the leading mobile POS and SaaS payment technology company, announced today that it ranked 48 on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America. CardFlight’s 2,916% three-year growth rate placed the company on this year’s list. Overall, 2018 Technology Fast 500™ companies achieved median growth of 412%.

Founded in 2013 and with operations in New York City and Lincoln, Nebraska, CardFlight prides itself on being the leader in payment technology and mobile point-of-sale solutions. The company partners with merchant service providers, banks, and independent sales organizations to serve more than 45,000 small businesses in all 50 U.S. states. 

Derek Webster, CardFlight’s Founder and CEO, credits the company’s commitment to delivering superior products for enabling the company’s revenue growth. He said, “I’m proud and honored to see CardFlight recognized on Deloitte’s Fast 500 list. Our team works hard to deliver the best-in-class payment acceptance technology to our partners, and to enable them to serve tens of thousands of small businesses across the United States. The team’s talent and dedication enable CardFlight’s growth and success and I want to thank them. I would also like to thank Deloitte for honoring us on the Fast 500 list this year.”

“Congratulations to the Deloitte 2018 Technology Fast 500 winners on this impressive achievement,” said Sandra Shirai, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and U.S. technology, media and telecommunications leader. “These companies are innovators who have converted their disruptive ideas into products, services and experiences that can captivate new customers and drive remarkable growth.”

About Deloitte’s 2018 Technology Fast 500™

Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 provides a ranking of the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies — both public and private — in North America. Technology Fast 500 award winners are selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2014 to 2017.

In order to be eligible for Technology Fast 500 recognition, companies must own proprietary intellectual property or technology that is sold to customers in products that contribute to a majority of the company’s operating revenues. Companies must have base-year operating revenues of at least $50,000 USD, and current-year operating revenues of at least $5 million USD. Additionally, companies must be in business for a minimum of four years and be headquartered within North America.

Jiobit raises $6.5 million to ramp up production of its child tracker

The company, founded three years ago by former Motorola Mobility executives John Renaldi and Roger Ady, raised capital from Netgear, a Silicon Valley maker of wireless-networking equipment, as well as Math Venture Partners, Techstars Ventures, Wakestream Ventures, Sandalphon Capital, former Motorola and Google executive Lior Ron, Cartavi founder Glenn Shimkus and angel investor Sam Guren. Jiobit has now raised $11 million.

Swing King Delivers Everyday Hole-In-One Golf Contests With Redbox Expertise

This article was originally published on Forbes here, and written by Erik Matuszewski.

What golfer wouldn’t want a hole-in-one to be immortalized on film – and to win money for it?

A tech startup named Swing King is trying to make that more of a reality at golf courses around the country, providing technology for everyday hole-in-one contests that have paid off almost $500,000 in prize money the past few years.

The business is the brainchild of former Redbox senior vice president of technology Eric Hoersten, who teamed up former Redbox CEO and founder, Gregg Kaplan, to start Swing King. A $2 billion business, Redbox made a splash with those conveniently-located kiosks that dispense millions of movie and video game discs. Kaplan and Hoersten envisioned similar fully-automated systems on the golf course and enlisted the expertise of sports technology expert Mike Jakob, who was hired as CEO after serving as President for Sportvision -- a company best known for inventing the yellow first down line viewers see on football telecasts.

Swing King is now in about 30 states and has been installed at almost 300 courses, approximately 90% of which are public and resort properties.

So, how does it work? Swing King installs HD cameras that are constantly filming, capturing footage of each and every golfer on a par-3 hole at a participating course. A golfer paying an additional $5 in the pro shop at the start of the round could win $10,000 for a hole-in-one, for example, while a $10 entry could earn $20,000 for an ace. Some facilities also offer the opportunity to enter on the course.

“It’s the combination of having the right technology and the right team with experience in sports and tech and golf,” said Jakob, who has spent 20 years in the sports technology field capturing data and figuring out how to monetize it across platforms. “Then its putting together the right model where we generate income right out of the gate and have such a high touch-rate.”

Facilities will usually pick one par-3 hole per course and Swing King will install three cameras in inconspicuous locations, whether that’s a building, tree or pole that’s set up specifically for the system. The cameras, designed to last up to five years, tie in to the course’s electricity, typically into the irrigation system.

“We’ll try to install in a spot that blends into the background,” Jakob said of the cameras, which can provide a lifelong memory along with the official documentation of a hole-in-one without a witness being present.

Some courses don’t even pay for the system, which involves a revenue-sharing program. Courses will often sign a multiyear contract – some of which have no upfront fee for installation – and can generate an average annual revenue of $20,000 per course. A portion of that revenue, anywhere between 15% and 50% depending on the contract, goes to the golf course.

Only golfers who opt into a contest are eligible to win prizes, which range from $1,000 to $100,000, with the possibility of even a $1 million payout for special events. Courses with the Swing King technology report participation rates anywhere between 7% and 50% for the program. Some properties are looking to differentiate themselves by bundling the added cost into the standard playing fee and automatically qualifying every golfer for the chance at a $1,000 or $2,500 hole-in-one. Other golfers might be entered as part of a company or charity outing.

Wade Keats of Winnetka, Illinois, was one of those. The par-3 13th hole at Chevy Chase Country Club outside Chicago was a lucky one for Keats, who made an ace and later learned he won $10,000 because event organizers had purchased an entry for every participant.

“I was already in total shock, but that floored me,” Keats told the Chicago Tribune.

Chicago-based Swing King has installations at more than 40% of public courses in the Chicago Metro area, including all four courses at Cog Hill.

Swing King is also expanding the platform beyond holes-in-one. Certain venues offer payouts such as five times the entry fee for a tee shot “within the flagstick” or money back for hitting the green off the tee. The increase in sports betting in certain states could lead to other opportunities, such as a rolling pot for a hole-in-one.

Ultimately, what Swing King is hoping to do is give golfers a chance to celebrate a memorable moment a little bit more – with video and some extra money. It’s a win-win for golfers and facilities, increasing revenue while potentially boosting interest in golf and incremental rounds.

“It’s a combination of sensing opportunity in the marketplace and then ultimately bringing fun and entertainment to the sport of golf -- giving golfers more of a Topgolf experience on the course and bringing gamification to the game,” Jakob said. “It fits within what the market wants. For the golf clubs themselves, it’s two-fold: adding programming and a layer of fun and entertainment for the golfer.”

CardFlight Ranks 139th on 2018 Inc. 5000 List, Top 5 for Financial Services

CardFlight Ranks 139th on 2018 Inc. 5000 List, Top 5 for Financial Services

Inc. Magazine today ranked CardFlight No. 139 on its 37th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment— its independent small and mid-sized businesses. CardFlight joins the ranks of America’s most prestigious and successful companies featured on the Inc. 5000 list in years past.

Retail app maker Tulip raises $40 million from Kleiner Perkins, others

Retail app maker Tulip raises $40 million from Kleiner Perkins, others

Canada’s Tulip Retail, which makes an app for retailers, said on Tuesday it raised $40 million in a funding round led by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

The Series B funding, which included existing investors such as Jump Capital, gives Kleiner Perkins’ general partner, Mood Rowghani, a seat on the startup’s five-member board. Tulip’s app helps retailers tailor in-store experiences by giving store employees faster access to realtime inventory and price comparison data among other things.

MAX Helps Musician and Brand Partnerships Go to 11

This article was originally published on Brand Channel here, and written by Sheila Shayon.

As digital continues to fragment audiences, artists and brands are looking to innovative platforms to deliver better targeted content that delivers on consumer satisfaction and business ROI.

With that in mind, the music marketing tech startup Music Audience Exchange has announced a $6 million funding round led by MATH Venture Partners and KDWC Ventures, along with G-Bar Ventures and Gregg Latterman, Founder and CEO of Aware Records.

Its goal is simple: to match brands with artists and music fans, and help musicians get paid.

As MAX puts it, “it’s a technology company that helps consumer brands and music artists form mutually beneficial partnerships to drive measurable results.” The consumer marketing platform is powered by music artists and driven by data leveraging proprietary data science.

Its technology cross-indexes 2.4 million artists across 765 genres with 200+ consumer attributes to offer brands a perfect fit with audiences they’re targeting. As it’s fond of saying, “Everyone wins when the music in an advertisement leads the viewer to explore the brand’s offering AND the artist’s songs.”

With offices in Dallas and Los Angeles, the team also works with artists and brands to produce custom branded content prominently featuring the musicians. MAX’s platform distributes audio, video, and written content to hyper-targeted audiences across radio, streaming and social media.

“We’re redefining the role that brands play in the music industry,” stated MAX Founder and CEO Nathan Hanks. “The new funds will help us accelerate adoption of our platform, which is bringing much-needed data and structure to the intersection of music and brand marketing. We’re aligning brands, their agency partners and artists—and empowering them to connect deeply with audiences through music.”

As its 2016 recap noted,

In 2016, the MAX Platform powered 40 distinct brand-artist partnerships that were integrated across radio, streaming, social media, video, and live experiences. And we didn’t do this just by just taking an educated guess at which artists “made sense” for a brand. Instead, we empowered brands, agencies, and artists to leverage real, tangible data around consumer tastes in music and consumption habits, which in turn led to real, tangible results for everyone involved.

Dr Pepper and Jack Daniel’s were among the first brands using the MAX Platform for partnerships, along with Twix and McDonald’s, while participating artists include NEEDTOBREATHE, Leela James, Aaron Watson and 2017 Grammy Nominee La Maquinaria Norteña.

The 2015 launch video for Dr Pepper’s “One of a Kind Sound” series was designed by MAX and replicated pre-release album teasers geared towards specific demographic targets for brands while giving lesser-known bands valuable exposure.

“Artists are calling us months in advance, and they’re thinking about these partnerships as the marketing strategy for the single or for the album,” Hanks told NPR.

Since 2015, MAX has created programs across automotive, food, beverage and consumer services, including more than 40 campaigns for Ford’s regional dealer groups across the US using English and Spanish music genres.

The US-wide “Summer Out Loud” campaign for Twix with pop-punk headliner, Mayday Parade, increased sales significantly and tens of thousands of fan entries to win a chance to meet the band.

“MAX has moved from a new marketing category innovator to dominant marketing company contender status quickly,” said Troy Henikoff, Managing Director at MATH Venture Partners. “The constant stream of brand, artist, and consumer wins led to our investment interest. “What MAX is doing is entirely new and extremely valuable.”

Hanks learned the music business by growing up in a family of working musicians. Prior to MAX, co-founded ReachLocal, which grew to 24,000 clients across 15 countries and over $500 million in annual revenue.

Company co-founder George Howard was formerly the president of indie label Rykodisc and Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music and Brown University.

Want to hear more on their new business model for musicians and brands? MAX will be at SXSW on March 15, where Hanks and Howard will speak on a panel titled, “The New Deal: Why Brands Will Buy Artists Airtime.”