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Marxent, a Stage1Ventures portfolio company, has been recognized as a “Cool Vendor” in a recent Gartner report entitled “Cool Vendors in Digital Commerce”. The accolade was given in recognition of Marxent’s innovative augmented reality and virtual reality 3D visualization tools that evoke context and emotion when it comes to retail sales and marketing.

Gartner conducts annual evaluations of emerging technology companies that are addressing a wide array of industry issues and trends. For the Cool Vendors in Digital Commerce Marketing report, Gartner identified companies that are leading the evolution of digital marketing, including the expectation of support in making complex buying decisions.

“We’re honored to be included in such a well-respected series of reports by Gartner,” said Beck Besecker, co-founder and CEO of Marxent. “Implementing augmented reality and virtual reality for visual merchandising and product education enables a new level of interaction with customers. We are already showing marketers and retailers – especially those selling large scale and configurable products or services – how this technology can vastly accelerate the sales cycle and create new experiences that improve brand loyalty. Being recognized as a Gartner Cool Vendor in Digital Commerce Marketing is a recognition of our unique commitment and approach to retail and marketing innovation.”

Additional information can be found in the Business Wire press release.

Marxent, a Stage1Ventures portfolio company, announced today that it has closed $10 million in Series B funding. Led by Stage1Ventures and Detroit Venture Partners, the funding will provide Marxent with capital to accelerate the growth of VisualCommerce™, Marxent’s scalable virtual products platform that allows 3D products to be configured and visualized in AR and VR applications.

“AR and VR will effect everything from gaming to entertainment to commerce. Marxent has emerged as the clear leader in providing solutions for retailers and manufacturers in this exciting space,” said Dan Gilbert, founding partner of DVP. “We led this latest round because we believe Marxent has the momentum to achieve widespread adoption of their products. In addition, the culture and talent leading this company are both exceptional.”

“We are looking forward to the next chapter in Marxent’s development. The team’s innovative thinking and execution puts it at the center of the AR/VR space at a pivotal turning point for these technologies. We see the potential for this business to scale quickly and are optimistic about the future of the company,” David Baum, managing director of Stage 1 Ventures added.

Additional information can be found in the PE Hub press release.

TriLumina, a Stage1Ventures portfolio company, announced that DENSO International America, Inc. has made a strategic investment in TriLumina. DENSO Corporation is a global automotive components manufacturer headquartered in the city of Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Since 2009, DENSO is the world’s biggest auto-parts manufacturer by revenue.

TriLumina is helping to accelerate the automotive industry’s adoption of semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles by providing lasers for 100 percent solid-state LiDAR products and advanced driver monitoring systems (DMS). This strategic investment from DENSO enables TriLumina to gain broader access to the automotive market.

“As a supplier of advanced driver assistance systems, DENSO is eager to work closely with TriLumina to bring high-performance, cost effective light source solutions to the market,” said Tony Cannestra, director of Corporate Ventures for DENSO International America, Inc.

“It’s critical to work with leading Tier 1 suppliers like DENSO as we introduce and deploy technology that will shape the automotive industry for years to come. It’s a tremendous endorsement of our technology to have DENSO engage as one of our Tier 1 partners, work with us to become qualified, and help fuel development,” said Kirk Otis, chief executive officer of TriLumina.

Additional information can be found in the PRNewswire press release.

WiTricity, a Stage 1 Partners portfolio company and the industry pioneer in wireless power transfer over distance, today announced that DAIHEN, a global developer in power electronics and industrial robotics, has licensed WiTricity’s magnetic resonance technology. Osaka, Japan based DAIHEN will leverage WiTricity’s patented wireless charging technology for use in the Automatic Guided Vehicle (AGV) and electrical forklift truck market.

DAIHEN will offer wireless charging systems to AGV and mobile robotics developers on an OEM basis, as well as directly to industrial end users for custom factory automation projects.

“DAIHEN sees wireless power transfer as a foundational technology for the factory of the future, and we expect wireless charging to be a growth engine for DAIHEN’s business,” said Yoshinori Tsuruda, DAIHEN general manager of WPT system development.”Working with WiTricity allows us to enter the market for AGV wireless charging, while providing DAIHEN with a technology platform to bring wireless charging to a broader range of industrial applications. We envision serving the growing market for wireless charging of electric cars eventually.”

“The industrial robotics market is primed to take advantage of wireless charging technology, and WiTricity is pleased to be working with a leader in the space like DAIHEN,” said David Schatz, WiTricity vice president of business development. “Companies across the industry will have access to WiTricity technology in turn-key products and systems delivered by DAIHEN, a respected name in industrial power electronics and factory automation.”

Additional information can be found on the WiTricity website.

inStream, a stage1ventures portfolio company and leading provider of intelligent marketing solutions, today announced the appointment of Dekkers L. Davidson to its board of directors. Davidson brings more than 30 years of executive leadership experience in the retail, mobile and wireless industries to inStream and he will support inStream President and Chief Executive Officer, Ann Raider, in expanding solutions and line extensions to keep inStream technology and marketing offerings on the cutting edge.

“Dekkers comes to the inStream board with a wealth of industry knowledge and entrepreneurial experience, including helping to launch mobile wallet and loyalty solutions, both of which have become priorities for inStream in 2016, as we continuously focus on value-added tools to augment our technology and marketing platform for our retailer and brand clients,” said Ann Raider, CEO of inStream.

“I am excited to be a part of inStream’s rapid growth,” said Davidson. “Our expansion into the areas of loyalty and mobile wallet solutions will help ensure inStream continues to be a leader in personalized targeted marketing for retailers, brands and agencies as a highly effective and efficient alternative to traditional direct media. Our mission is to help all inStream clients increase ROI and consumer insights while enhancing the shopping experience.”

Additional information can be found on the inStream press release.

Ben Young, Sworkit’s founder & CEO, was interviewed on CNBC Squawk Box, demoing the Sworkit application.

The video can be seen here.

TriLumina, a Stage1Ventures portfolio company, was featured in a TU-Automotive article entitled “The Disrupters: Cutting LiDAR costs to advance autonomous vehicles”. In this article, staff writer Olena Kagui writes about how TriLumina is on target to replace a $6,000 laser with a $60 semiconductor laser in a new high resolution flash LiDAR system, how the advancement opens up additional practical applications, and the demand such advances will have in the future.

The complete TU-Automotive article can be read here.

Sworkit, a Stage 1 Ventures portfolio company, struck a 1.5 million dollar deal with Shark Tank Investor Mark Cuban.

Sworkits CEO Ben Young and COO Gregory Coleman approached the Sharks with an aggressive pitch of 1.5 million for 8 percent equity – one of the largest asks in the 7 seasons that Shark tank has been running.

Ultimately, Young and Coleman negotiated a deal with Mark Cubam for 1.5 million for 10 percent of the company.

Additional information can be found in a recent Washington Business journal article.

ArtLifting, a Stage 1 Venture portfolio company, was featured in The New York Times Entrepreneurship Section.

The article entitled “Helping Homeless Artists Turn Around Their Fortunes“, describes how Founder Liz Powers and her passion to help people by providing a way to showcase (and sell) their art.

The complete story, and one artists triumphant story from homeless shelter to subsidized housing – in which he credits Ms. Powers as playing a significant role in turning around his fortunes, can be read here.

Promoboxx, a Brand-To-Retailer Marketing Platform, expands its momentum in outdoor market by adding Arc’teryx and Osprey packs to its client list.

The way outdoor consumers shop has changed dramatically. Today, Millennials make up the largest population of all outdoor consumers, representing 40 percent of the market. Of that group, 71 percent are actively engaged on social media channels, while 46 percent search for product information on their mobile devices and 30 percent make purchases on their mobile devices.>/p>

“Engaging with outdoor consumers on the digital, mobile channels where they are spending the bulk of their time is an imperative for brands and their specialty retailers,” said Ben Carcio, CEO, Promoboxx. “As the connection between brands and retailers that co-op marketing promised to be, but never was, Promoboxx is uniquely positioned for this new digital era of outdoor retail marketing, and we are thrilled to have such respected brands like Arc’teryx and Osprey Packs on-board with us.”

Additional information can be found in the EIN Newsdesk article.

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