Derek Distenfield
10 min readApr 20, 2021


Value From Anybody #GoGlobal

GSDLabs is a 10 week cross-border virtual accelerator that sprang out of GSD Venture Studios. Our Demo Day showcased our portfolio companies with roots from all corners of the globe including Buenos Aires, Uzbekistan, Australia, United Kingdom Poland, Africa, Singapore, Nigeria and Austria.

We are proud that we were able to propel their businesses to the next level, even during uncertain times of the COVID pandemic. This cohort is validation that value can be delivered from anywhere with anybody. #GoGlobal

Fiona McKinnon, Founder Moment Company states that “the world is vying for our attention. We are educated, stimulated, connected and yet exhausted.” It’s never been more important to address the growing problem of stress. Moment Company is a mental well-being company that provides tools to prevent stress such as meditation and breathwork which are simple, quick and effective. Moments are anchored in the real world, away from connected devices that are often the cause of stress.

Stress is the underlying cause of 60% of illnesses and disease. This led the founders to seek out new solutions to share with others. Introducing the moment pebble — which acts as a real world reminder to take a moment by breathing in for 5 seconds and out for 5 seconds while holding the moment pebble. Tools and skills are backed by science in the Moment Method — which is an accessible program entailing short, mindful and meditative techniques and breathing exercises. Science proves that regular mindfulness practices deliver 63% decrease in depression, 58% reduction in anxiety, and 40% in perceived stress. Global corporate wellness market is $8.3bn. Upon releasing their Kickstarter campaign they were able to create a partnership with Google. Moment Company is seeking $800K for inventory, expansion, marketing, to achieve $30M in revenue within 3 years, 1.5M followers, and 500K pebbles sold.

Lyro Robotics is solving the labor shortage in the food supply chain by creating robots that work. More than 60% of food is left to rot because they were unable to source labor. The waste of this precious produce drives costs up in the supermarket. Lyro Robots are helping growers receive the right labor at the right time. Dr. Juxi Leitner is the CEO and founder with over 15 years of experience in AI and robotics, along with co-founders Dr. Nicole Robinson and Mr. Norton Kelly-Boxall. Their mission is to create safe, reliable and secure supply chains to tackle the problem of $165B food loss and waste annually in the US alone. Labor is the biggest issue in packaging produce in a timely manner. Lyro has designed, developed and deployed the world’s first Fresh Produce Pattern-Packing Robotic System which is a plug and play robotics service that can be installed in 1 hour and reduces labor reliance and food loss by up to 75%. Lyro Robotics is seeking a $1.5M seed round to scale up robot deployments and grow their sales and engineering teams.

Liquidstar is the Robinhood and Uber for electricity — enabling ecosystems of the future. Scott Snyder, the co-founder explains that they use mining of bitcoin and minting of carbon credit NFTS to increase electricity access in remote regions enduring planned and unplanned outages to have electricity delivered to them for various use cases. Currently in 2021, there are still 1 billion people who don’t have access to electricity which further leads to economic loss, food insecurity, lack of education, healthcare and water cleanliness. Not to mention the return on investment is negative due to the high expense.

Liquidstar’s solution is to use an energy balance algorithm to maximize the return on investment with renewable off-grid energy infrastructure by smartly choosing how energy is divided between battery rentals, emoto charging and water pumping purification. Since most devices such as fire extinguishers are idle 99% of the time, they could mine green bitcoin up to 150 thousand dollars over it’s 10 year lifespan while still being able to be deployed as needed. Liquidstar is in the process of raising $1.5–2.5M to execute on their current pipeline of opportunities. The result of their efforts would be the prevention of 2 million premature deaths annually, removal of 1 trillion pounds of Co2 from the air, all while generating $5.5B dollars in revenue per year.

In 2016 Bidease went on a mission to build an AI-driven GSP platform and demand side platform that would do exactly that. We realized that now is the best time because companies lost $30B in effective ads per year. Bidease built a DSP platform that is data-backed delivering measurable results, revenue and complete transparency. Trusted by global brands such as Uber, Lexus and Grubhub, Bidease’s AI outperforms humans with strong fraud prevention tools and is GDPR compliant. Founded by Alex Kukuliev, Boris Abgev and Illia Varvaluk and $13 million in revenue. Due to COVID the industry is growing astronomically. Bidease only makes money when the client receives the result. Raising $5 million for a $15 million dilution to expand their engineering team, build out publishing and development. This will provide them with 250+ customers and over $48m in revenue by 2022 and profitable.

Money transfer global industry represents $163B dollars mainly conducted in a traditional cash to cash non-digital model with highly abusive rates. Alex Torriglia is the CEO and founder of XCOOP. He created the first neobank and payment ecosystem for unbanked latin american families that depend on money transfers sent by relatives abroad. Vision is to go beyond money transfer. Millions of people in Latin America lack access to painless money transfers. XCOOP has built a peer-to-peer money transfer solution that is modern, low cost, and convenient banking system for the unbanked that streamlines international transfers and provides a path to financial inclusion. XCOOP is the first Latin American company created for Latin American migrants, beyond money transfers they are creating a global financial ecosystem to provide financial services and conversion strategies giving users credit tools and improving quality of life. Results for the first 12 months have shown operations exceeded their projections with the goal of a global footprint with corporate and regulatory structure with a 5–7X lower customer acquisition cost than global competitors and 66 global partnerships. Seeking a seed round of $2M to continue growing corridors and opening new ones. They expect to achieve 1.75M users and $6.6M net revenue.

Prim-U Founder Thuli Hlongwane says “Rihanna hasn’t released an album in 5 years because she recognized the opportunity in beauty products and services for black women with her beauty brand Fenty which generated 570 million USD revenue after 15 months in business.” Globally beauty is a 600 billion dollar industry. Even though Rihanna has created $500 million USD brand, none have gone after the massive untapped market of the black women in Africa hungry for beauty products and services. Consumers are frustrated and service providers are struggling along with brand suppliers who have confusing data points with the lack of access.

Prim-U has a three sided marketplace which connects global brands to Africa with beauty pros and salons, with new and returning customers for on-demand salon experiences allowing them to browse, schedule, pay and leave reviews. Highly personalized services, and collection of data. They currently have Live MVP, 300+ registered, and the market size is worth 38B billion in Africa. Business model is b2b, eventually scaling to b2c with transaction fees. Thuli Hlongwane is the founder of Prim-U with 2 decades of IT experience leading large, diverse teams. Beauty service providers or “Prim-lancers” will be trained and a focus on continuous improvement of service offerings, product distribution and business development to drive growth. Prim-U is fundraising for 18 months seeking 250K to reach 57K transactions and $2M in revenue. Funds will be used for scaling and building the brand, partnerships with key stakeholders.

Most of the world has been reaping the benefits of e-commerce except for Africa. SpottR’s mission is to make it convenient for the average consumer such as busy moms and dads to purchase goods and services in a quick and timely manner. Gerald Konwea is the CEO and founder of SpottR, which is a portal that allows users to quickly discover real and genuine interest based products and services with hyper-personalization capabilities using AI and Google powered maps. Additionally users can easily access cheap and inexpensive financing options backed by crypto and move their purchases between points using trusted 3rd party delivery agents. Go-to Market strategy will focus on community, affiliates, brand partnerships, flexible payment options, as well as APIs, bots and messenger conversations that capture and convert inquiries on demand. SpottR is seeking 200K USD to hire talent, 200K+ users, and achieving 1.5M in revenue by 2022.

We spend millions of dollars on houses that are dumb, and thousands on phones that are smart. Dmitry Konoplya, co-founder of Bary, explains that Bary is an application allowing you to make your home smarter using any ioT device. US households now have on average 12 connected devices which is set to double by 2025. Currently, there are dozens of apps being used to control the many different devices which becomes time and energy consuming. Bary supports integration with all of your ioT devices into a single ecosystem to control your entire home. Their main go-to market strategy is partnering with real estate agencies. This naturally increases the value of the homes they are selling. Bary is seeking $5M for a 24-month runway to set up 15,000+ locations, $100K+ MRR, and partnerships with major real estate firms.

Algoritmi Vision is a deep learning company using the newest NLP, NLU and NLG technologies to sort, summarize and deliver only the most readable, relevant, and coherent search data.

Khasan Musabaev is the co-founder of Algoritmi Vision. Written by a machine and can be updated anytime without the need of human resources. News and social media outlets have been infected by baseless junk data, impossible to sift through and growing exponentially with no efficient way to search and consume. Algoritmi Vision has developed a proprietary Natural Language technique for abstract Multi-Domain, Multi-Actor search summarization that validates reliability by using Natural Language Understanding. They have three deep learning products that are going to push artificial intelligence to the next level. These products will scour the internet for all structured and unstructured data as well as tables, charts and graphs and the result is a clear and comprehensive summary that’s as easy to read as a Wikipedia article. These products are centralized and approved government data sources. They currently have 130,000 organic users per month launching in July 2020. With machine learning they can scale exponentially. Algoritmi Vision is a SaaS business model with a free version to discover the value of the product along with advertising, affiliates and add-ons to grow. Another major area poised for growth will be integrating with voice search. They are seeking $1.2 million to achieve 5M+ users, 20M+ queries, 10+ software integrations and a team build out.

Cypher.Dog presents data transmission without third party access. We live in a world where customer data keeps getting stolen. More than ever the public demands privacy, yet corporations continue to deliver false promises and breaches costing the world’s economy trillions of dollars.

Sebastian Krakowski is the CEO and founder and Cypher.Dog’s market consists of law offices, medical, management and companies who care about clients’ sensitive info compliant with GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPH. The application has 100% world-class end-to-end encryption, private keys are locally hosted, users identities are verified without a third party, and contact books are fully encrypted and anonymous. Current traction within 4 months is 7K revenue, and have 350 users, 50K in pipeline sales booked, 500K sales projected in 2021 and 2 patents pending. SaaS business model with selling direct through partners. They have future plans for voice message and blockchain. Seeking $1million seed round for global expansion, product development, localization and pilots which will achieve $500K ARR and deployment in 40+ countries. This is a strong investment because they have a unique patent pending technology, rapid adoption + traction, dream team, partners, and distributors.

GSDLabs is proud to represent these unicorns in the making, and we hope that you see the immense potential in them that we do. If you are interested in investment opportunities we welcome you to get involved, and you just might be the next one to educate, equip, and connect with unicorns all over the world.

Learn more about GSDLabs Accelerator-Next Cohort Starts May 10th here.

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About GSD Venture Studios:

We travel the world investing in resilient teams bold enough to #GoGlobal.

For too long self-motivated entrepreneurs have navigated the minefield of challenges to launching a global company with very little support. The last thing you should bet on in this situation is an unproven team that you don’t trust. GSD Venture Studios travels to every corner of the globe inviting resilient teams to establish partnerships that ensure organizations grow the right way, without games or gimmicks. You can learn more about GSD Ventures Studios here.

About Derek Distenfield:

Known for both bringing revolutionary new ideas to organizations that deliver explosive growth and for displaying a high tolerance for ambiguity and complexity. For over 15 years, Derek has blazed high impact careers in startups, corporations, governments, and nonprofit organizations that range from $0 to $2 billion.

He is the operational mastermind, COO and Co-founder behind the success of GSD Venture Studios. Derek brings a variety of resources together to deliver explosive growth for GSD’s portfolio companies. Additionally, he lectures on startup growth at leading universities and writes for Analytic Insight Magazine honored Derek as a 40 under 40 Innovator for his work in redefining the future of tech through cutting edge innovation. called Derek as one of 2020s most influential people.

Derek is a frequent keynote speaker, advisor, and mentor. Silicon Valley is home, and he travels the world frequently to work with GSD’s portfolio companies.

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Derek Distenfield

Derek Distenfield is an investor, operational mastermind, frequent keynote speaker, advisor, and mentor based in Charlotte, GA.