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Truebill: Saving Money Made Easier

In today’s world of e-commerce, subscription services and goods are becoming increasingly popular.  Although subscriptions provide individuals with an easy and convenient way to buy the items that they need, people frequently sign up for subscriptions without having a good way to keep track of all of them.  Unfortunately, many of these individuals sign up for subscriptions and forget about them.  This frequently results in them paying for services or goods that they do not need or use.  This is where Internet-entrepreneurs Yahya and Idris Mokhtarzada saw an opportunity and took advantage of it by creating a mobile application that helps one to manage all of his or her subscriptions.

Truebill is a mobile application that makes managing subscriptions and recurring payments easy.  When one provides his online banking and/or credit card credentials, Truebill accesses and scans his credit card bills and/or bank statements for subscription and recurring charges. This helps one to keep track of his subscriptions and possibly even discover an unexpected bill.  For example, if an individual signs up for a free trial and forgets to cancel it before the free trial is over, Truebill will alert the user when an unexpected charge shows up on his credit card bill or bank statement.  A user can then choose to cancel the subscription from directly in the app.  After one cancels unnecessary or unwanted subscriptions using Truebill, the app continues to help consumers by monitoring their accounts and notifying users whenever there is a change in subscription charges or recurring bills.

This startup has evidently been a successful Internet-based business.  According to an article written by Erin Griffith from Fortune, Truebill saw 12,000 people use their service within three months of launching.  According to Truebill, they save people an average of $512 per year.  Truebill has even found ways to help users cancel subscriptions or services that are not based online such as gym memberships.  According to Fortune, the services that people tend to cancel most frequently are those that consumers only need once.  For example, people typically only want to check their credit score once, but many companies want to charge users a subscription rate for this service.

After exploring Truebill’s website and reading some relevant articles, I am convinced that their success is due to them identifying a widespread problem and designing a solution that solves the pain using technology that most individuals already have.  By solving a problem  that many consumers face, Truebill has grown quickly and saved many people time and money.

More information regarding Truebill can be found on their website here.



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Shyp: On-Demand Shipping

In today’s world of e-commerce, shipping goods is a critical function in many businesses.  Unfortunately, this is something that many people find to be a hassle, but must do in order to stay in business.  This struggle is particularly present among eBay sellers, but is also evident in small and large businesses alike.  Kevin Gibbon, founder of Shyp, experienced this problem frequently as a power seller on eBay.  He would sell products, but found shipping the products to be expensive and inconvenient.  In fact, he would spend more time shipping than selling.  This Internet-entrepreneur began Shyp as a way to solve this common frustration.

Shyp makes shipping products as easy as taking a picture of the shippable good.  Using the Shyp app, an individual, seller, or business in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago can take a picture of the good they wish to ship and enter in the recipient’s information.  Within twenty minutes, a courier from Shyp will come to pick up the good, professional wrap it, and then box and ship the good.  The idea is to make shipping an on-demand service.  This takes interactions with the post office out of the equation.  They hope to transform the shipping industry just like Uber revolutionized the transportation industry.

This startup has been very successful and recently partnered with eBay.  According to an article written by Alex Heath from the Business Insider, this is one of the top ten most innovative apps in the world.  The team at Shyp continues to improve their service by offering features such as built in package tracking and the ability to ship packages by user name instead of address.  Presently, Shyp charges a flat rate of $5 per package plus the shipping rate.  Although they currently only service San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, they hope to continue expanding and serve many more cities across the United States.

Shyp has evidently been a successful Internet-based business.  Although $5 may seem like a steep rate to pay for a courier shipping service, many sellers and individuals appear to view the convenience as worth the extra money.  After exploring their website and reading a couple reviews, I am convinced that their success is due to them identifying a note-worthy problem and designing a solution that works in places where this problem is wide-spread.  By solving a pain that numerous people can identify with, they have grown quickly and made shipping an on-demand service.

More information regarding Shyp can be found on their website here.



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Acorns: Helping People Grow Wealth

Opening and growing a savings account is something that many young people struggle with.  Unfortunately many college students graduate with debt, which makes saving difficult.  Even if one wants to begin saving, taking the initial step of setting aside money can be a challenge.  Cofounders Walter and Jeff Cruttenden recognized this wide-spread problem and decided to take advantage of the opportunity.  A few years ago they built Acorns, which is a micro-investing platform where everyone can begin investing.

The Acorns platform works by automatically investing small sums of money for its users based on their spending habits.  When initially setting up an account, Acorns requires the user to add his or her credit card or bank account information, so that they can help the individual save.  For every purchase that a user makes, Acorns rounds up the transaction amount to the next whole dollar.  The difference after rounding up is added to the user’s Acorns account where it will grow.  The company collects information on users’ investment preferences and risk tolerance, so that they can wisely invest the user’s money in a collection of six exchange trade investment funds.  If a user wants to save more money, they can make additional deposits directly into their Acorns account.

Acorns charges a low monthly fee of $1 per month for the services it provides, but allows college students to use the platform for free.  This app provides young people with a great way to begin investing and those who are afraid of investing with a great way to get started with only a small amount of money.

According to CNBC, this Internet-based business is “the new millennial strategy for investing.”  ABC News puts it in perspective by explaining that “if you set aside $5 every couple days you would have set aside over $1000 in a year.”  Acorns explains that they want to look after the financial best interests of “the up-and-coming,” and they accomplish this through the power of micro investing.

Acorns has evidently been a successful Internet-based business.  After exploring their website and reading some reviews, I am convinced that their success is due to them identifying a wide-spread problem and developing a simple solution that requires next to no work on the user’s end.  By solving a pain that numerous people can identify with, they have grown quickly and made investing easy for many.

More information regarding Acorns can be found on their website here.





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Too Good To Go: Saving the Planet While Eating Well

In the United Kingdom alone, over 600,000 tons of food are thrown out every year in the restaurant industry.  The majority of this waste is good food that must be thrown out because it is left over at the end of the day.  This is where entrepreneurs Chris and Jamie stepped in and took advantage of the opportunity to solve the problem.  Too Good To Go is working to help reduce the amount of food that is wasted in the restaurant industry by connecting restaurants with people who are interested in paying a small price for leftovers through a mobile application.   They have collaborated with a variety of different restaurants, bakeries, and cafes who are willing to pay a small price for the opportunity to sell their leftovers instead of throwing them away.  Hungry consumers are able to register as users on this app and then select a restaurant where they want leftovers for a small price.  Too Good To Go says that this service allows restaurants to generate a little extra revenue, help the environment, and earn some additional PR for free.  These entrepreneurs hope that by enabling consumers to buy leftovers from restaurants, they will also encourage the buyers to be more careful about throwing out their own food at home.  They emphasize how large the problem really is by explaining that “if food waste were a country it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, whilst recovering just half of the food that is lost or wasted could feed the world alone.”  Although this service is currently exclusive to the United Kingdom, the enterprise does anticipate on expanding internationally.  Food waste is a large problem in the United States and a service such as Too Good To Go could be very beneficial.

Too Good To Go has clearly been a successful Internet-based business.  After exploring their website and reading about their work, I am convinced that they have succeeded in part because of the support they have received from restaurants, bakeries, and cafes.  Through these partnerships, Too Good To Go has increased their brand awareness and ultimately made the world a better place.

More information regarding Too Good To Go can be found on their website here.


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Grasshopper: The Entrepreneur’s Phone System

Grasshopper is an Internet-based business that is taking a unique approach to phone systems.  This company is revolutionizing phone systems for entrepreneurs who have a growing business and are frequently on the go.  In the past, these systems typically required expensive hardware and wired phone sets.  This model works fine for established businesses with a physical building, but it is not ideal for startups run by entrepreneurs who are always on the go.  Grasshopper changed this by designing a system that allows entrepreneurs to run their businesses directly from their cell phones.

This service works by allowing an entrepreneur to keep his existing phone number or choose a toll-free number.   The business owner is able to record to a custom main greeting and then create extensions for each department or employee in the business.  Each extension allows the entrepreneur to forward the call to the appropriate employee’s cell phone along with the caller ID.  Not only does the system allow calls to be forwarded, but it also allows entrepreneurs to accept faxes and voicemail, which can be translated into a written document and send via email to one of the employees.  This system allows an entrepreneur to do essentially everything that a business could do with a traditional phone system with the added benefit of doing this all from existing cell phones.

Co-founders Slamak Taghaddos and David Hauser originally founded Grasshopper in 2003 with the vision of making it easier to start and grow a small business.  These two men are Internet entrepreneurs who saw a need that other entrepreneurs face.  Since opening in 2003, they have served over 250,000 entrepreneurs.

Grasshopper has clearly been very successful as an Internet-based business, and they continue to thrive today.  After exploring their website and several of their social media pages, it is clear that a strong online presence has played a large role in their success.  This company has numerous social media accounts that they actively use to promote their services and publish content that is of interest to entrepreneurs.  Additionally, several well-known publishers such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and CNN have featured them.  By actively maintaining their online presence and striving for continual improvement, they have experienced tremendous success even after being in business for over a decade.  Grasshopper is a revolutionary startup that got off the ground through the power of the Internet and continues to thrive today by providing a very appealing service for entrepreneurs.

More information regarding Grasshopper can be found on their website here.


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