Startup accelerator 500 Startups announced the list of companies that made the cut for its seventh batch today, which includes quite a few firsts for 500, such as its first biotech investment as well as an investment in an electric skateboard company.
500 Startups is an early-stage seed fund and incubator program that’s become a brand name over the last few years, mostly through the sheer volume of companies it’s invested in. The Mountain View, Calif.-based group invests between $25,000 to $250,000 in startups, primarily those aimed at consumers and small to medium-size businesses as well as related web infrastructure services. It recently just closed a new $44.1 million second fund and filed documents with the SEC for a brand new $100 million third fund.
But back to the latest batch of companies: There were 30 total that hail from all over the world, including Sweden, U.K., Italy, Mexico, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, India, and Brazil. The list also pulls companies in from around the country rather than grabbing only companies from the San Francisco area. There are also five teams with women founders and 12 teams featuring founders from outside the country.
And in addition to the new companies, which we’ve listed descriptions of below along with the group’s signature music video, 500 Startups also announced that it’s opening up the application process for its next batch of companies via AngelList.
The companies from 500′s seventh batch:
3Sourcing (London, U.K.): A search engine that helps people find, connect with, and hire technical talent.
AdEspresso (Milan, Italy): SaaS startup to manage and optimize Facebook Ads for SMBs and media agencies.
Anyadir Education (New York / Bangalore): A social-based tool for universities to recruit new students.
Buzzstarter (San Francisco, Calif.): A distribution as a service (DAAS) platform that takes any content from an advertiser and rewards people for sharing it.
BTCJam (São Paulo, Brazil): A global peer-to-peer bitcoin-lending platform that offers a global credit score to its users.
Bounty Hunter (Taipei, Taiwan): A contest platform for brands to run creative contests.
Builk (Bangkok, Thailand): A SaaS for small and medium-size contractors in the construction industry.
Carreira Beauty (São Paulo, Brazil): A site for professionals in the beauty industry that offers career development and ways to leverage their small businesses.
Cityblis (Australia / Sweden): An e-commerce platform for discovering fashion brands.
EquityZen (NYC): A stock market for private companies. Shareholders get cash for their stock, and small investors access investments in large private firms like Warby Parker, ZocDoc, and DropBox.
Goods (NYC): A platform designed for the modern wholesaler. Goods provides an intuitive, easy-to-use, and secure service that enables any wholesaler to accept B2B transactions, manage inventory, and create digital catalogs.
Grata (Beijing, China): A live travel concierge service on your smartphone.
LaunchTrack (Tampa, Fla.): Intelligent ticketing service that provides businesses with more information about who’s purchasing those tickets.
MailLift (Austin, Texas): A service that helps enterprise-level businesses automate real handwritten letters.
OLSET (San Francisco, Calif.): A virtual travel agent service that saves travelers time and automatically finds them the best hotels based on their preferences.
Partender (Gainesville, Fla.): A mobile bar inventory service that aims to save you time.
PlateJoy (Boston, MA):
A service that creates personalized weekly menus based on health goals, lifestyle, and dietary preferences. (Partners with Whole Foods for next-day deliveries.)
Popbasic (Brisbane, Australia): A fashion retail site that offers customers a whole outfit under $100 with free shipping.
Populr (Nashville, TN): A micro-publishing platform that helps business people easily deliver information through single web pages. (Also previously covered on VentureBeat here).
RealtyShares (San Francisco, CA): An online investment platform that uses crowdfunding to pool investors into private real estate investments. Accredited Investor members can browse a variety of investment opportunities, review details on the investment and invest as little as $5000.
Sales Beach (San Francisco, CA): Platform that automates a company’s outbound sales.
Shopeando (Mexico City, Mexico): Online retail site for unbranded products in Latin America.
Shopseen (San Francisco, CA): Service that helps businesses simplify the retail world and reach more customers.
Sidelines (San Francisco, CA): A service that optimizes the quality and engagement of comments on sports websites through crowdsourcing.
Silverpush (New Delhi, India): A platform for mobile advertising that advertisers retarget the existing users over mobile and social ad ecosystems, and get new users based on profiles of existing users.
uBiome (San Francisco, CA): A direct-to-consumer microbiome sequencing company, aka “Learn about your bacteria!”
ViralGains (Boston, MA): Service that measures how consumers watch, share, and talk about video content.
WePlann (Dallas, TX): Service for people to discover and book unique vacation experiences.
WishPlz (San Francisco, CA): A web and mobile shopping app that lets you bookmark any product, from any retailer website, and get alerted when the price drops.
ZBoard (Hermosa Beach, CA): A company that designs, builds, and sells the “ZBoard Weight-Sensing Electric Skateboard.” — Basically a self-moving skateboard, ya’ll.