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Startups

Some details are starting emerge surrounding the launch of the art discovery start-up Art.sy. WIRED got a sneak peek at the gated beta version and according to the article,  the company is using computer vision software and a panel of experts to provide recommendations based on a similar color palette across mediums. The site uses 550 “art genes” ranked from 1-100 to code the recommendations.

Sound promising?  A few big wigs seem to think so. The Art Newspaper, reported back in June early investors included Google chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, venture capitalist Jim Breyer and Wendi Deng Mur­doch as well as well-known gallerist Larry Gagosian.

About Art.sy Art.syis powered by The Art Genome Project, an ongoing study of the characteristics that distinguish and connect works of art. Art.sy evaluates artworks along 500+ characteristics—such as art-historical movements, subject matter, and formal qualities—to create a powerful search experience that reflects the multifaceted aspects of works of art.

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Simple, a new online banking concept is founded on the insight that online banking is horrible and sometimes dangerous experience.  In turn, Simple’s entire banking experience is presented in well,. Plain and simple language.” At its core the bank revolves around what they call a consumers’ “safe to spend” amount which takes all your your accounts and discounts commitments in order to tell you how much you can spend today without harming yourself tomorrow.

There’s also an emphasis on speed of information and the reduction of anxiety surrounding your money in order to improve financial behavior.  Essentially, the company is taking traditional banking concepts and adapting them to how consumers think about their money.

The company itself has raised an impressive amount of capital for a pre-launch venture.  Following a $3.1 million round in September 2010 it raised another $10 million in August 2011.  It just recently began letting users interact with their product in a beta version this November.

Read the article that inspired this post by John Pavlus on FastCoDesign and a video demo on Vimeo

In recent months I’ve been paying much closer attention to the world of start-ups.  My goal is to provide my readers with some intelligence on new and emerging companies I believe are doing a good job of filling online, mobile and behavioral need gaps.  The danger in that of course is that a large portion of these companies will likely go nowhere but I’m not a VC guy so my out-of-pocket cost is simply the time spent on these posts.  That said, this will be a regular thread on Out ‘N Front moving forward…that is until my inbox gets flooded by E-mails or I become subject to personal identity theft!

OneReceipt, currently in private beta, is a site that essentially aims  to help consumer make sense of the barrage of E-mail receipts filling their inboxes.  It provides order, analytics, insight and rewards  behind purchases.  Think about all the micro-payments we make these days where the records get lost.  Work in media, this may be a good way of organizing some tax deductions come tax season,  Outside of the organizational/micromanaging benefit, the company will also be integrating rewards based on frequent purchases.  Like to go to restaurant you just might receive a discount coupon It will also send notifications when return policies are about to expire.

I for one am scared at the idea of actually seeing how much money I’m spending on apps and music but here goes.  The site is a member of eTrust for those fearful of giving out privacy information.

Update:  11/5/11

Now that I’m accepted into the service, the potential of this product is immense.  It allows you to cut all your spending by year, category and expense type (business/personal).  In addition, watch out corporate expense program, the ability to go back and search for original receipts is going to make submitting e-receipts a breeze.