3 Startups to Watch: Mt. Merchant, Blockchain Angels, ILI

Beautiful woman writing on boardLast week, we took a cursory survey of startups working to fill the under-leveraged niches of the fintech world. Today’s roster ranges from an artificial intelligence data analytics service for brick-and-mortar stores to expand into e-commerce, to providing the crash course most of us unfortunately still need to understand what the heck distributed ledger is, to exceptional asset advice for investors.

1. Mt. Merchant uses artificial intelligence to optimize business. This is done with its data analytics engine, which gives executives integrated company information and reports. Mt. Merchant began in 2007, and its first client was Sears. The job was not to help another old-school store compete with online-only vendors, but how to make an extremely well-established brick-and-mortar store compete with the biggest online retailer. You probably know the one.

Additionally, this feat had to be accomplished while maintaining Sears’ prized customer experience. After nearly eight years, Mt. Merchant succeeded in bringing Sears into the e-commerce and digital space. The pinnacle of its success came with an advanced customer preference data analytics software known as The Emerging Catalog, which bundles products “You Might Like” into e-mailable  recommendations.

Mt. Merchant’s success with Sears and The Emerging Catalog generated nearly 200 million unique users, but its automated solutions work for customer databases of practically any size; for behind-the- scenes e-commerce, e-mail marketing and mobile apps.

2. With offices in London and Berlin, Blockchain Angels offers a blockchain startup workshop, wherein everything distributed ledger is explained with detailed research-based reports and data, so investors know “where and from who[m] investment has been in blockchain to date from both a global and regional perspective.”

After this crash course is finished, Blockchain Angels then shares insight with investors, telling them where the greatest, untapped opportunities for disruption and disintermediation by blockchain startups will be in the near future. Finally, Blockchain Angels introduces three to four carefully selected blockchain-based startups in need of investment to now-well-informed investors.

3. Intelligent Leading Advisers (ILA) aims to be the leading provider of unbiased information for investors in marketplace and P2P loans. ILA makes use of a proprietary model to value, assess and anticipate risk. This means it can give investors the edge desired before selecting and allocating, optimizing loan opportunities.

Founded in Boston in 2015 to create a better way of investing in marketplace and P2P loans, ILA claims to offer investors greater understanding of asset class as a whole. This is invaluable, because as any asset class evolves, how it will perform in different economic cycles is uncertain; this is the gap ILA hope to fill in the minds of investors who need to know what will impact investment opportunities, and how.

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