This time around, Microsoft Ventures has chosen a diverse mix of B2C and B2B companies from various technology fields. Microsoft Ventures director Ravi Narayan said in a press release that “we’ve been seeing a trend of diverse companies and ideas coming into our program, ideas that challenge us to work harder to be able to help our start-ups grow inorganically.”
Microsoft Ventures will also focus more on its alumni program by providing Accelerator alumni participation opportunities in important events, customer acquisition programs etc. and help build stronger contacts within the industry.
It is also worth noting that Microsoft will be going global this time with the inclusion of a few international start-ups namely, CryptoPhoto, AppKnox and DabKick from Australia, Singapore and the US respectively.
Ever since its commencement in August 2012, Microsoft Ventures India has graduated 51 startups in four batches. This year’s batch had received over 1300 applications of which 12 were shortlisted. Some of the start-ups in the current batch were referred to by TIE, NASSCOM, iSPIRIT and Startup Village.
Startups in the fifth batch are:
CryptoPhoto is a smartphone App or a physical card (or both) that helps prevent phishing and keylogger attacks. Basically CryptoPhoto adds a 2-factor authentication to online services that use its API. In addition to the username and password, the customer will have to verify their identity via the physical token or the smartphone app. An interested developer can register an account here.
DabKick is an app that lets any user send images, videos and text messages to another person. Unlike other messaging apps, the receiving user does not need to have the app installed. The messages can be curated in real time allowing for users to present a “live” stream to another person. The doesn’t have an Android app yet but the iPhone app can be downloaded for free here and you can share pictures via the browser here.
Fairket is a “pay for use” pricing and billing service for mobile apps. The idea behind Fairket is pretty simple. Apps are metered depending on usage. So a customer only pays for the time they actually use the app. A developer is free to set the pricing and even offer multiple metered pricing plans to their customers. The apps is currently in private beta but a developer or customer can sign up here or here.
FlatPebble is a place for hiring wedding photographers, videographers, live streaming and other visual media experts. Anyone can register as a photographer which then asks you to generate a unique profile url along with a complete profile. An interested photographer can sign up here. To post a photography job, click here. Registering as a photographer and posting a job are both free.
NiftyWindow is a content marketing platform which delivers content via virtual display windows and interactive products and services catalogs. The virtual display windows display offers, promotions and announcements and can be updated via SMS messages. The service is delivered via its publisher network including ask me, asklaila, facebook, foursquare, mobile website, burrp! among others. The service also offers live data analytics and call tracking/recording for businesses to understand customers better. NiftyWindow’s recent clients include Huawei, Pizza Corner, Nerolac and Lufthansa.
Playblazer is a platform agnostic, web based game development platform. The service currently offers 15 commonly used game components, reducing development time by providing pre-made frameworks. It also provides scalable cloud based hosting for game servers. A full set of Playblazer features can be found here. The platform currently has 3 live games including Hunger Games: Catching Fire. A developer can sign up for free and use Playblazer as a sandbox, a paid plan has to be picked only when the game is going live. Developers can signup here.
RHLVision is behind the wearable, gesture based gadget Fin. Fin lets a user control up to three devices such as a TV, radio and a smartphone using only swipes and taps. The ring shaped device is worn on the thumb and uses bluetooth as its primary form of communication. The device currently has five pre programmed gestures and is expected to allow custom gestures via the app. The device is expected to be released in September 2014 at a retail price of around $120 reports Mashable.
AppKnox is a security ‘Audit Tool’ for Android apps and their source code. The service helps developers uncover and fix security loopholes in apps with automated security testing. A user can test the vulnerability of their app here. A list of apps using Appknox include PayPal, Fiverr, Amazon, Cloud Drive etc. The full list can be found here.
DeltaX is a cross-channel digital advertising platform. The company helps ad agencies and performance marketers buy, attribute, track and report media across Social, Search, Display, Mobile and Video ads with a data driven and automation approach. The platform is a cloud base solution that uses big data, machine learning algorithms and user behaviour to offer automated solutions.
ProHance is a productivity monitoring tool for businesses with remote employees. It offers 3 main solutions. ProHance for Desk Force provides insight into time spent on the workstation, attendance reports, automated user timesheets, web-based management console among other things to monitor employees. ProHance for Field Force is a mobile application to track time schedules of field agents and the jobs assigned to them. Prohance Project Tracking is a project tracking and management tool. To try the tools signup here.
Tallenge is an online talent platform where participants from around the world compete in “head-to-head”competitions and earn audience votes. The type of talent and the language and location of the ‘performance’ are irrelevant on the platform.
TruTech offers a gesture recognition solution called The Fluid Motion. The Fluid Motion Close Range allows a user to control fluid motion apps from a distance of 3 feet with hand and finger tracking abilities. The Fluid Motion Far Range comes with a USB camera that allows a user to control fluid motion apps from a distance of 2-10 feet. The software-hardware bundle sells for Rs 69,500 while only the software is available for Rs 54,500 for both the close range and far range devices. These can be purchased here.
Corrigendum: The article had previously incorrectly stated that a DabKick user can receive media only via an iPhone. Our apologies for the error.