Microsoft and Facebook vet leads nonprofit making software to improve COVID-19 rapid tests

Most of the Audere team, gathered together in pre-COVID times. (Audere Photo)

A Seattle-based nonprofit launched to provide digital health solutions for poorer countries is applying its expertise to help with COVID-19 testing.

Audere is building software for administering rapid result COVID tests that can be integrated into products being developed by U.S. manufacturers that use saliva or nasal swab samples.

“There is a critical need for rapid testing,” said Philip Su, CEO and founder of Audere. People are increasingly realizing that the widespread distribution of a vaccine is still many months away. The availability of accurate, inexpensive tests that provide results in minutes can help control the spread of the virus in the meantime, Su said.

Philip Su, Audere CEO and founder. (Audere Photo)

The tests — known generally as rapid diagnostic tests or RDTs — can have high rates of failure, though the basic concept is simple. Imagine a home pregnancy test, as an example. A liquid sample is applied to a testing device, the fluid travels across the testing material and triggers a chemical reaction if a target disease or hormone is present. That reaction is visible as a colored bar or other shape.

In the past 20 years, the tests have grown in popularity, particularly as tools used in low- and middle-income countries for detecting HIV and malaria. They can be administered in clinics by providers with limited medical expertise or by people at home.

The tests “are simple, easy to use, affordable and they’re stable,” said Roger Peck, a senior program officer in diagnostics at PATH, a longstanding global health nonprofit not affiliated with the project. “They’re becoming more and more commonplace, and really accepted by healthcare workers.”

But they’re not fail-proof. Studies show that the tests can give inaccurate results when people take the

How adtech vet Paul Palmieri is pitching his new e-commerce startup

[email protected] (Lauren Johnson)

How adtech vet Paul Palmieri is pitching his new e-commerce startup

Hi! Welcome to the Insider Advertising daily for October 9. I’m Lauren Johnson, a senior advertising reporter at Business Insider. Subscribe here to get this newsletter in your inbox every weekday. Send me feedback or tips at [email protected]

Today’s news: Paul Palmieri’s new e-commerce startup, Expedia’s PR scramble, and Amazon’s plan to rewrite the retail calendar.

Paul Palmieri et al. posing for the camera: Tradeswell

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Read the investor deck this adtech vet used to raise $3.3 million

Adtech vet Paul Palmieri investor deck for new e-commerce platform

  • Paul Palmieri, the former founder of mobile adtech company Millennial Media and VC firm Grit Capital, just raised $3.3 million in seed round funding for his latest venture, Tradeswell.
  • Tradeswell is an e-commerce trading platform that says it integrates all of a brand’s e-commerce channels, and consolidates marketing, retail, inventory, logistics, forecasting, lifetime value, and financials across these channels in one platform.
  • The company says it can help traditional and DTC brands save millions of dollars in outsourced contracts and tap into the booming e-commerce market.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

After adtech and venture capital, media vet Paul Palmieri is taking on e-commerce.

The former founder of mobile ad tech company Millennial Media and VC firm Grit Capital just raised $3.3 million in seed round funding for his latest venture, Tradeswell, from Signalfire and Construct Capital— a real-time e-commerce trading platform that he calls “the Bloomberg terminal for e-commerce.” 

Palmieri said he decided to join Tradeswell as CEO based on his experience as a VC investor, when he says he passed on investing in dozens of DTC companies because they had thin margins and their businesses weren’t scalable.

Tradeswell says it gives brands a comprehensive look at their e-commerce business across channels including Amazon, Google, Shopify, and Target by consolidating marketing, retail, inventory, logistics, forecasting, lifetime value and financials across these channels in one platform and automating their insights, actions and decisions using machine learning. This way, they know what to sell to whom, where, and at what price, with visibility into customer data from consultants, third-party platforms, and walled gardens.

Tradeswell is a SaaS company that makes money by licensing its platform.

Tradeswell has e-commerce experts from companies including Verizon and Flywheel Digital and has worked with more than 100 brands over the past 15 months,