New York City tech continued to flourish in 2017. The industry is launching an impressive number of tech startups, driving innovation and keeping the scene well-funded with support from active local investors.
With an eye for fresh funding, top talent and innovative technology, Built In NYC carefully selected 50 startups — all less than five years old — for our 50 Startups to Watch in 2018 list that we believe will make a significant impact on tech in the next 12 months.
Cannabis may not be legal in NYC just yet, but that’s not stopping LeafLink from getting a head start. In November, the platform raised $10 million to define — not disrupt — the industry and set the stage for the cannabis supply chain. The company currently has offices in New York, Denver and Los Angeles, with plans to expand into new markets this year.
Attune is focused on modernizing the antiquated insurance industry and providing value for small businesses. Founded in 2016, the platform uses advanced technology to automatically pull required information and deliver customized results within minutes.
Knotel exists to ensure people love where they work. The company is a network of customizable working spaces beautifully designed and managed. Since 2015, it has inspired office envy all over NYC. With a fresh $25 million Series A funding round, it will continue to add locations all over the world.
Teachable is a platform that allows instructors to create and share their own courses. Founded in 2013 with $8.5 million in funding, the company now has more than 20,000 active courses, 10,000 online instructors and over five million students learning on a simple, all-in-one platform.
Feeling lucky? If you want to buy a lottery ticket, you won’t have to leave your home thanks to the Jackpocket mobile app, which allows users to purchase official state lottery tickets. It has raised over $9.5 million to date and is on a mission to become the official online lottery retailer of all 50 states.
Of course you want to get better at investing and managing your money — but do you know how? Stash makes it easier for people to start investing with as little as $5. The company is rapidly expanding and honing its platform. To date, it has raised nearly $79 million.
Artificial intelligence has improved nearly every industry, inspired TV shows and helped automate recurring workflows. HyperScience was founded in 2013 to help enterprise companies and government organizations reduce time spent on tedious assignments such as data entry and extraction. It has since raised a total of $18.8 million to bring automation services to the masses.
Resy’s app makes it easier to book reservations at some of the coolest spots in the city. For restaurants, it’s a reservations and waitlist system. The app has raised a total of $15 million in funding and also acquired Servy, a “secret shopper service for restaurants,” in 2017.
Roomi is an app that lets users search for roommates and verified apartment listings. CEO Ajay Yadav founded Roomi in 2013 after experiencing some roommate problems of his own. Four years later, the 43-person team has raised $17 million in funding. Its most recent $11 million Series A will be used to accelerate the business and expand into markets, potentially overseas.
Call9 reduces the number of unnecessary trips to the emergency room by delivering emergency care directly to the bedsides of nursing home patients. In 2017, it raised $24 million to enhance the platform and hire more clinical care specialists. Since launch, Call9’s emergency service platform has raised $34 million.
Citizen is an app that alerts users of nearby crimes as they’re reported to emergency services. Since its 2015 launch, the startup has raised a total of $13 million and has more than 180,000 active users. It’s currently used in New York and San Francisco, with plans to expand to additional cities this year.
In 2017 alone, customer data platform mParticle launched a new offering, partnered with Snapchat, expanded to Europe and raised $35 million in funding. The company coordinates customer experiences across multiple devices, including mobile, TV, web and more.
Adtech platform Beeswax was founded in 2014, but it didn’t emerge from beta until partnering with Foursquare in 2016. The company, which was started by former Google employees, offers a customizable, affordable, real-time bidding stack.
Chances are that you’ve seen the subway or Instagram ads for Away, a travel brand that makes tech-enabled products, including luggage. The company was founded by former Warby Parker employees recognized in Forbes 30 Under 30. Like most tech companies disrupting direct-to-consumer industries, Away plans to use its most recent funding round to expand its brick-and-mortar retail locations and enhance its platform.
Zola provides a modern approach to managing a wedding gift registry. The platform lets couples build personalized pages and includes helpful features like group gifting and digital gifts — because let’s face it, a subscription to Blue Apron is probably more useful than a set of expensive china.
Quip is more than just a pretty toothbrush — it’s an entire oral health resource. The Brooklyn-based dental hygiene platform provides users with an oral care advice newsletter, rewards for timely dental appointments and offers an automatic delivery service. The company will use its recent $10 million investment to grow its professional services platform.
Many of us will find excuses to skip workouts, which is why Aaptiv built an app that hosts professional-level guided workouts so you can exercise no matter where you are or how little time you have in your day. Whether you’re training for a 5K or just trying to work some yoga into your mornings, Aaptiv can help keep you active. The app launched in 2015 and has raised $39.5 million to date.
People love podcasts, and Anchor is here to make it easier for anyone to create one. Its user-friendly technology enables people to record straight from their phones and take call-ins just like a professional podcast. Founded in 2015, the startup has raised a total of $14.4 million and is using that funding to grow the team.
Founded in 2015 by an experienced venture capitalist, Bizly’s platform allows meeting and event planners to book spaces in hotels and restaurants. In just a few steps, planners can get all the necessary information they need about a space and reserve the venue.
Founded in 2014, Blink Health is a New York-based startup that provides discounts on prescription drugs. The company has raised a total of $165 million since it launched, and it works with over 57,000 pharmacies nationwide. Blink Health plans to use its most recent funding to build out its engineering team and expand marketing efforts.
The idea for consumer goods company Boxed came about when CEO Chieh Huang noticed companies like Costco and BJ’s weren’t mobile. Without requiring delivery or membership fees, the startup delivers bulk consumer goods — groceries, household cleaners and more — straight to customers’ homes.
In an age in which companies like Casper and Warby Parker dominate the startup scene, Brooklinen is making headlines in the bedding industry. Co-founded in 2014 by Rich and Vicki Fulop and backed by a $10 million Series A, the company is a manufacturer and supplier of sheets and pillows. It cuts out the middleman, eliminating wholesaling costs and licensing fees.
Calling themselves the “Warby Parker for Invisalign,” Candid Co. uses modern telehealth practices to diagnose, treat and monitor orthodontic cases. It offers users a subscription for affordable, clear aligners. Launched in September 2017, Candid has raised a total of $15 million from investors.
Millennials have earned a reputation of wanting their work to matter, and CariClub is building a business around that sentiment. The platform connects young professionals with philanthropic leadership opportunities. Launched in 2015, the company has partnered with nearly 500 leading nonprofits and foundations — and plans to expand globally.
Imagine a newsroom run not by major media outlets, but by independent journalists and citizens. Civil is a budding startup that’s looking to strip advertising and political bias from journalism. The platform allows citizens to directly sponsor newsrooms and journalists to run their own publications.
Within the last year, video syndication and monetization platform Connatix doubled its employee size and raised $15 million in funding. The company plans to use the capital to accelerate growth and drive innovation. This year, Connatix’s media products will integrate with formats such as AR, interactive videos and games.
The rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has spawned a group of startups that facilitate Bitcoin exchanges, and ConsenSys is helping lead the charge. It’s a venture capital company that helps fund and consult other startups producing blockchain technologies. In 2017, it made a number of investments and opened a London office.
There are a lot of moving parts involved in managing insurance, and nobody has time for that — especially not small businesses with lean teams. CoverWallet is a platform that helps streamline and demystify the process of procuring and distributing business insurance. Launched in early 2016, it has raised over $30 million to date.
A brain child of startup studio Expa, Current is a payment platform for teens. The startup issues a debit card that’s linked to the teen’s bank account. Parents can transfer money into the account and create a chores list that makes allowance more modern. The company completed two rounds of funding in 2017 and will use the money for customer acquisition and product development.
Digital Currency Group
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are here to stay. Launched in 2015, Digital Currency Group builds and supports bitcoin and blockchain companies. Since then, it has made 50 investments in nearly 20 countries and acquired cryptocurrency news platform CoinDesk.
Gone are the days when mothers are the primary caregivers. Fatherly, a digital media brand for dads, is here to spread the word. It produces content that examines the reality of modern family life from — you guessed it — a father’s perspective. Like most media brands, it plans to beef up its video content in the coming year.
Founded in 2017, furniture rental company Feather is making a name for itself in the e-commerce industry. It gives millennials and businesses the flexibility to move around without worrying about packing up or selling their furniture. Feather manages everything from assembly to moving and returning couches and tables that customers no longer need.
Fevo launched in 2016 as a solution to make buying group tickets for events easier. The company developed a unique technology that allows people to order tickets seated together — while enabling each person to pay for their own ticket. This helps friends secure their spots and avoid the awkwardness of asking for money.
Signing a year-long lease can feel suffocating, and that’s what Flip hopes to resolve. Founded in 2015, the online marketplace gives renters the ability to sublet their place to qualified individuals. It also handles things such as landlord approval and rent and security deposit payments to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Hello Alfred co-founders Marcela Sapone and Jessica Beck met while studying at Harvard Business School. Working in finance, both felt the pain of working long hours with little time for errands — so they started a company that would solve that. The subscription-based service helps with everything from laundry services to grocery shopping. With a few clicks of a button, everyday household chores can be taken care of.
In just one year since launch, Hubble Contacts has raised a total of $33.7 million. The company manufactures contacts and sells directly to consumers using a subscription-based e-commerce model. Its most recent round of funding will be used to beef up marketing and hiring efforts and develop lenses that help with astigmatism.
Intersection is the company that’s transforming old phone booths into digital kiosks — providing people with free Wi-Fi and charging stations in the process. In 2017, the company raised a massive $150 million in funding to bring the services to major cities around the world.
Knock is a platform that helps simplify the fragmented, confusing process of selling and buying a home. Its founders also launched real estate platform Trulia.com and have brought with them years of industry experience. Founded in 2015, the company has raised $34.5 million to date.
Founded in 2013 with $13.9 million in funding to date, Knotch supports some industry heavyweights, including JP Morgan Chase, GE and Colgate. Its branded content measurement tool analyzes the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and helps CMOs understand how their efforts are impacting their audiences emotionally in real time.
Laughable was launched in 2015 as a way for comedians and fans to connect. Using mobile software and data science, the platform lets users subscribe to comedy podcasts and follow their favorite comedians.
It can be hard to find the time to take care of yourself, and Maven is here to help. The women’s health care platform offers users access to a network of 1,000-plus practitioners, including doctors, nurse practitioners, therapists, nutritionists and more. Patients can book video appointments, receive prescriptions 24/7, and connect to practitioners via video appointments or private messages to ensure patients get answers to inform health care decisions.
Technology meets fine art with Meural, a digital canvas that displays a range of classical and contemporary artwork. With the touch of a button — or the swipe of a hand — you can change the image and discover new artists from across the globe. The company announced an expansion to retail stores across the U.S., Canada and multiple locations across Europe.
AI, R&D, IoT — are you following? Reality Analytics provides research and development teams with the artificial intelligence tools they need to create IoT applications. The company initially launched for military use in 2015 but has since pivoted to commercial use. Reality Analytics has raised $1.7 million to date.
SelfMade is an online branding tool that allows creatives to plan content, match with experienced photo editors and schedule social media directly from the app. The company was founded in 2015 and announced an $11 million Series A in 2017. Currently in beta, the platform uses AI and proprietary technology to make services formerly reserved for celebrities more accessible.
Slice Labs is an insurance tech platform that uses AI and machine learning to give users customized insurance at affordable rates. In a matter of minutes, users can get the coverage they need, when they need it. The company has raised a total of $15.5 million and will use its latest investment to support global growth.
The Helm is a newly-launched community and venture fund founded by three women on a mission to make over the male-dominated investor world. By purchasing a membership, investors have access to opportunities like behind-the-scenes tours with founders and educational content that helps guide their investment decisions.
The Karma Network
The Karma Network is a recently launched over-the-top (OTT) media platform that produces original content for millennials. Coming from the family that launched media company Timeless, founder Karam Hinduja set out to create original programming focused on young entrepreneurs and social impact.
Trilogy Education Services
Trilogy Education Services CEO Dan Sommer has said coding skills are becoming a form of literacy — and that’s what led him to start his company. It partners with 30 of the world's leading colleges and universities to create and manage skills-based training programs in areas like web development, data analytics and UX/UI. It was founded in 2015 and has since raised $30 million.
United Masters’ platform empowers musicians to share their songs with listeners without a record label. The company uses technology to analyze data and display retargeting ads designed to build a fanbase. United Masters recently emerged out of stealth mode, raising $70 million in funding led by Alphabet, Google’s corporate umbrella.
The threat of a security breach is constantly looming over corporations. Uplevel uses advanced technologies like graph theory and machine learning to lower the risk of an attack. Founded in 2014, the company has raised $2.5 million to date.
About Built In NYC's 50 Startups to Watch in 2018
Once each year, Built In NYC hand-selects startups that have the vision, team, focus and funding to drive innovation within the tech community. For our 50 Startups to Watch in 2018 list, we chose local companies founded within the past five years that we believe have positioned themselves for rapid growth and scaling in the year to come.