Block Party, an anti-harassment startup that aims to help folks feel safer on social media founded by Tracy Chou, launched today. Currently only available for Twitter, Block Party helps people filter out the content they don’t want to see and into what Block Party calls the Lockout Folder. That’s where all of the filtered-out content lives in the event you want to review it later.
“We think it’s important to still acknowledge that these people exist,” Chou told me.
If you pretend like it doesn’t exist, you might miss out on useful information or genuine connections.
“There’s a lot of good stuff that would get lost there,” she said. “There is a reason we use public platforms like Twitter.”
On the more negative side, she said, you still may need to check periodically to see if there’s someone threatening your physical safety.
Helpers play a big part of the Block Party experience. You can grant a trusted helper access to your Lockout Folder to let you know if there’s anything useful in there, or to simply block the trolls.
“It’s a lot easier for someone else to help you process it and flag something that is a concern,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to share that burden. The current design of most of these platforms is to put the burden of dealing with it solely on the person who’s being abused.”
The Lockout Folder also serves as a record-keeping tool in the event you need to present evidence of your harassment to a company, a lawyer or someone else.
“It’s really about trying to make people’s lives easier,” Chou said. “It’s just so painful to have to see the abuse again when you’re filing the report.”
Block Party emerged from Chou’s own experiences working at platform companies like Facebook and Quora, as well as her experience as an outspoken advocate for diversity and inclusion in tech. At Quora, the block button was one of the first things she built after being harassed on the platform, Chou told me.
“There’s that perspective of having been on the inside and seeing how product and engineering teams work,” Chou said. “But also being a DEI activist and seeing how lack of representation on teams has impacted product decisions for the worst.”
Although Block Party is only available for Twitter users, the goal is to add other platforms and help folks address harassers that target them across multiple platforms. Block Party is currently free but plans to introduce subscription tiers. Still, Chou said she envisions the free version always existing.
To date, Block Party has raised a little less than $ 1.5 million in funding. Its lead pre-seed round was led by Charles Hudson of Precursor Ventures. Other investors include Alexia Bonatsos, Ellen Pao, Alex Stamos and others.
Tresl’s flagship product, e-commerce intelligence platform Segment Analytics, is designed to give small brands on Shopify access to the same kind of analytics larger online retailers have. Founded by former LinkedIn data scientists, Tresl is currently exhibiting at CES’ Taiwan Tech Arena.
Segments Analytics analyzes a Shopify store’s data and then automatically sorts visitors into more 30 pre-built customer segments based on their browsing habits, spending and how likely they are to make repeat purchases.
This means that brands can identify specific groups of shoppers and use Segments Analytics’ suggestions for targeted campaigns without spending too much on data analytics, marketing or user acquisition. For example, one of the segments the platform identifies are people who have made one purchase already, but are unlikely to buy again unless they see an ad or promotion soon. Segments Analytics can be used for advertising across multiple channels, including email, Facebook and Google.
Tresl claims that brands using Segments Analytics have increased their clickthrough rates on abandoned cart flows (or reminders sent to customers who have unpurchased items) by 30% and grown sales by 40% month-over-month within one month of implementing the platform.
Segments Analytics is currently available through the Shopify App Store, with subscriptions starting from $ 79 a month.
In a recent move, Auto1 Group, a German online car trading platform, has announced its plan to go public in the first quarter of 2021.
The Berlin based platform helps consumers and dealers in buying and selling used cars online. The company intends to list its share on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, aiming to raise $ 1.2B (approx €1B) from the stock sales.
Notably, the company intends to invest approximately €750M of the net proceeds to further accelerate the growth of its business, especially of its retail business Autohero, and is expected to use the remainder to repay an existing convertible loan.
Generated €3.5B in revenue
The sales in the European market for used cars, including sales among businesses, amounted to approximately €600B in 2019. The used car market in the European Union is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5% between 2019 and 2025
The German company is making use of the vast market opportunity in a highly fragmented market with accelerating offline to online shift.
Founded by Christian Bertermann and Hakan Koc in 2012, AUTO1 Group connects buyers and sellers of cars throughout Europe. To ensure efficient pricing, it has developed proprietary algorithms that automatically evaluate used cars and overall market demand in real-time.
As per the company’s claims, it has sold over 615K cars and generated revenue somewhere around €3.5B in 2019. The company operates in almost 30 countries and continues to expand rapidly.
Christian Bertermann, CEO and co-Founder of AUTO1 Group, says “The planned IPO is the next logical step to reinforce AUTO1 Group as the go-to online destination for buying and selling used cars in Europe.”
Softbank invested €460M
Back in 2018, Japanese conglomerate Softbank invested €460M in the Berlin-based company, valuing the company at €2.9B. Notably, SoftBank took a 20% stake in the company at the time.
AUTO1 Group owns business units like AUTO1.com, Autohero.com, and wirkaufendeinauto.de. Between 2014 and 2019, its revenues grew to €3,476M at a CAGR of approximately 93%.
Markus Boser, CFO at AUTO1 Group, says: “The planned IPO will support AUTO1 Group’s growth plans, including expanding our retail business Autohero, which we believe presents a huge opportunity that we can seize based on our existing platform.”
Are you running a small business or offering freelance services? One thing you’ve probably heard by now is to establish a strong social media presence and start marketing yourself online.
It’s true, many entrepreneurs have been able to make a name for themselves and grow their customers and client list by effectively utilizing social media. Social media is free, but it can also cost you quite a bit in terms of your time. Social media was designed to help people connect online, but its algorithms today are often geared toward keeping people scrolling mindlessly all day long. So how much time should small business owners spend on social media truly?
Are you spending too much or not enough time on social platforms or do you even need social media at all? Here’s how to consider the right amount of social media for you.
Setting Social Media Goals
If you’re going to get on social media for your small business, it’s important to set clear goals that you’d like to achieve as a result. For example, most people just go online to see what they can find or gain some new followers. However, you’ll need to get more specific than that if you want to make the most of your time.
Do you want to post 5 promotions per month for your products or services? Do you want to gain 500 followers organically during the first 90 days? Is your goal to build yourself up as an authority figure and lead people back to your website to do business with you?
Narrow down what your true goals for social media are and how they contribute to the success of your business. Having a clear focus can help you eliminate time wasted browsing on social media or getting stumped on what to share.
Decide Which Platform You’ll Start On
I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t try to be on every social media platform if it doesn’t serve a purpose for your business. If you’re selling clothes, you may not find a ton of value on Twitter but find that Instagram helps you communicate with your target audience.
Look at the type of business you have and the services you offer. See how certain social media platforms might fit in with your offering and goals is key. If you’re wondering how much time small business owners already spend on social media, a Vertical Response survey indicated that 43% spend 6 hours per week on social media marketing.
If this fits in with your schedule then great, if not or you find you’re spending a ton of hours on social media, try to limit the numbers of platforms you’re on to only the ones that serve you best.
Allow Extra Time to Implement a Launch Plan
Realize that actually getting established on social media may take up more time than maintaining your profile and scheduling posts. Allow extra room in your schedule to complete and optimize your social media profile(s) and create some cohesive branding.
For Facebook, you may want to create an offer or make sure your phone number and address are added to your page details. For Instagram, you may want to create a bio link that leads to some of your top content, advice, or service pages on your website. With Pinterest, you’ll have to set aside time to create images for your content and write all your board descriptions.
That said, small business owners may spend much more time on social media in the beginning stages until an effective strategy is determined.
Spend Less Time With a Social Media Strategy
So now you know the good is that you don’t have to spend more than 1 hour per day on social media if you don’t want to. Yet, you can still get some great results from having a social presence. Small business owners don’t even have to get on social media each day if it’s not the main driver of profit for the business.
Instead, develop a proven strategy based on your goals and what works. Find out who your ideal follower or customer is and what they’d like to see on your social profile. Track analytics to see how much traffic or business you’re already getting from social media, then make tweaks and test out new strategies.
One thing I enjoy doing to save time is scheduling out my posts on social media in advance. This helps me stay active on the platform and continue to provide value to others without spending too much unnecessary time on social media.
Allocate Time Fairly Among Other Marketing Efforts
Small business owners and social media can be a great mix but realize that social media is often just one aspect of a marketing plan. Sure, adding social media to your marketing tasks may help you save money, but you should always diversify your marketing and test out other strategies.
If you’re marketing in several places, you won’t be limiting yourself to certain clients or customers who will find your business another way. Take email marketing for example. Some people are actually more responsive to emails than they are on social media. In fact, email marketing converts better for some business genres and unlike social media, you actually own your list and can’t get kicked off the platform.
Summary: Small Business and Social Media
In summary, I wouldn’t spend too much time on social media unless it’s returning sizeable profits for your business. Even 5 hours per week is 260 hours per year. If you calculate the value social media has added to your business, you’ll have to determine if that time is worth it to you. I would ramp up social media efforts as business leads and profits grow as a result, but get clear on your goals and narrow down a specific strategy first.
Find ways to work smart while establishing your social presence and don’t neglect other forms of marketing as well.
Small Business Owners and Social Media: How Much Time to Spend Online was originally published on Calendar by Choncé Maddox.
The post Small Business Owners and Social Media: How Much Time to Spend Online appeared first on KillerStartups.
Seasonal depression is real and it can feel especially intense with the combination of cold winter weather and post-holiday blues during this uncertain time in our world.
Read more here.
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The Austrian ed-tech startup GoStudent is further expanding its online tutoring service across Europe. On January 21, GoStudent will not only celebrate its fifth anniversary, but will also expand its online tutoring service, which started in the DACH region, to five additional European markets. After launching Belgium, France and Spain last year, GoStudent will expand…
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Italian startup Fitprime, a digital platform dedicated to the fitness world that allows people to keep fit both in the gym and at home, has raised approximately €2.5 million. The round was led by Vertis SGR, through the Vertis Venture 2 Scaleup and Vertis Venture 4 Scaleup Lazio funds, with existing investors (LVG, IAG and…
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