Built In NYC’s 50 Startups to Watch in 2019
Never void of innovation or funding, NYC tech raised a total of $25 billion in 2018. E-commerce, wellness, and data brought in some of the largest rounds and set the stage for an even bigger 2019.
And with a reputation as one of the leaders in talent and creativity, NYC tech has high standards to meet. Fortunately, the new year brings with it a host of new companies making waves in their industries, and Built In NYC — as well as a number of VCs and investors — is taking note.
All launched within the last five years, these companies offer innovative services that have attracted key investors. See which companies Built In NYC carefully selected as the startups to watch in 2019.
Katie Fustich contributed in writing this report.
Top Startups to Watch in NYC Hiring Now
Gemini is a cryptocurrency trading platform that allows users to buy, sell and store their digital assets. The platform supports both individual and institutional investors who trade everything from bitcoin to Litecoin. Founded in 2015, the company made several major hires in 2018, including CTO Robert Cornish and General Counsel Sydney Schaub.
BentoBox is a platform designed specifically for the hospitality industry. Its integrated and easy-to-use platform requires zero tech savvy and gives restaurants the tools they need to manage their websites and connect with customers online. A graduate of Techstars New York, the startup has $23.6 million in total funding and customers across the globe.
Cityblock Health is a community-rooted, digitally-enabled healthcare provider that helps underserved populations receive high quality primary care, behavioral healthcare and social services. With offices in Dumbo, the company launched out of Sidewalk Labs in late 2017 and already has $20.8 million in total funding. Co-founders include Bay Gross, Iyah Romm, Mat Balez and Toyin Ajayi. In Spring 2018, the team announced its first partnership with EmblemHealth, the largest non-profit healthcare provider in New York City.
There's a reason why Cockroach Labs features a nearly indestructible insect in its name: The enterprise software company created CockroachDB, an open source, distributed SQL database that is scalable and resilient. Since launching in 2015, the company has raised a total of $53.5 million in funding.
DailyPay helps companies offer their employees the ability to control when they get paid. For every active work hour, employees build an available balance that they can transfer to their bank accounts at any time. As a result of the financial flexibility this service provides employees, participating companies are able to better recruit and retain talent. Founded in 2015 by Jason Lee and Robert Law, the company has a total of $22.8 million in funding.
NS1 has brought an innovative approach to modernizing Domain Name System (DNS) technology, a field that powers the internet itself. They help customers gain more control of their web traffic as conditions change in application environments. To date, the company has a total of $45.4 million in funding.
Real estate tech startup Perch makes it easier to buy and sell a home. The platform lets buyers choose from an inventory of certified pre-owned houses — on the opposite end, it lets sellers request an offer, schedule an inspection, and choose a closing date in three simple steps. Founded in 2017, the company already has $30 million in total funding.
Simon Data brings the power of big data to the world of marketing. The platform equips marketers with a wealth of information across channels to help them best understand their audience. With $32 million in funding after four years in business, Simon Data is poised for growth in 2019 and beyond.
Spruce is leading a new wave of real estate innovation by developing a digital, transparent and fully-vetted home-buying experience. Spruce helps potential buyers better understand all the various facets of a major life decision. The company was founded in 2016 and has raised a solid $21.1 million to date.
People are starting to take the health of their pets as seriously as their own. That’s why in 2014, a pair of pup-lovers founded The Farmer's Dog to make it as easy as possible to provide them with the best nutrition. With $49 million in the bank, The Farmer's Dog develops fresh, human-grade dog food and delivers it directly to customers nationwide.
Ribbon helps home buyers find and finance the home of their dreams. With Ribbon's backing, buyers are able to lock in discounts, secure a move-in date, and finance a new purchase before selling an old home. Founded in 2017, the company already has $225 million in funding.
Healthtech firm Zipari builds tools that improve the relationships between insurance providers and their customers. Since its 2014 founding, Zipari has raised $12 million to develop its suite of online tools, such as Zipari CRM, a health insurance-friendly take on the Salesforce customer model.
The healthtech industry is exploding, and Covera Health is ready for it. The company uses data analytics and provider collaboration to build radiology programs for large employers. With $8.5 million in Series A funding, the company is poised for a big year. Offices are located in Midtown East, and the team is rapidly expanding.
Launched in 2017 by co-founders Brandon Gell, Josh Scaglione and Nick Scaglione, Clyde is an insurance plugin for e-commerce business owners. While finding coverage typically takes about six months, Clyde's marketplace approach cuts the process down to a reported three minutes. To date, the company has a total of $3.4 million in funding.
Fashiontech company Grailed was founded by Arun Gupta and Julian Connor. It's a peer-to-peer marketplace for people to sell and buy pre-owned fashion pieces. With a focus on men's streetwear, the company helps connect people with similar taste in fashion. The company has a total of $16.5 million in funding to date.
Teampay, founded in 2016, helps businesses track and approve expenses in real time. Teampay syncs with accounting systems like Xero and QuickBooks to automate the entire experience and maximize efficiency. Companies like Goop, Headspace and Maven all rely on Teampay to make things happen — fast. With $4 million in funding and growing, Teampay is primed for the spotlight.
Women's grooming brand Billie may have just launched in 2017, but it's already garnered a big following thanks in part to its campaign focused on showing women with body hair — a stark contrast to their competitors who often show women post-shave. The direct-to-consumer company provides women with shaving essentials and eliminates the pink tax often associated with female-focused products.
With co-founders from major brands like Casper and Rent the Runway, Block is poised for big things in 2019. The online platform brings efficiency and transparency to home renovations, with a goal of making a bathroom renovation as easy as purchasing, say, a mattress or designer dress. The company was launched in late 2018 and is planning for expansion beyond its current availability in New York and northern New Jersey in the coming year.
Howl is a machine learning platform that matches products to the content created about them at massive scale. The startup has a library of millions of products matched to expert reviews from top commerce publishers like The Strategist, Wirecutter, and Best Products, enabling retailers such as Macy's, Ulta and Dermstore to bid on $25 billion of annual consumer spend. Founded in 2015 by Shirley Chen, Howl is profitable on just a seed round of $3.5 million in funding.
nTopology was founded in 2015 to help engineers make better 3D printed parts. The company’s software allows users to quickly design complex lattice structures that are strong, light and easy to manufacture. Bradley Rothenberg and Greg Schroy co-founded the company and have raised a total of $7.6 million.
Petal is a no-fee, low-interest credit card that helps individuals break free of the limitations of a less-than-perfect credit score. It uses machine learning, rather than the traditional factors of a credit score, to determine creditworthiness. Launched in 2016 by Andrew Endicott, David Ehrich, Jack Arenas and Jason Gross, the company has a total of $50.6 million in funding.
Ro is a new kind of health care company, tackling challenges like erectile dysfunction and quitting tobacco through a combination of telemedicine and direct-to-consumer services. Users consult with a licensed physician who diagnoses and treats them without ever having to meet face-to-face. Since its founding in 2017, the company has already raised a staggering $91.1 million to invest in its product.
Launching in 2019, SAY wants to create a world where all stockholders leverage the power of their company shares for the better. Through a combination of education and strategy, SAY wants every shareholder to know their worth. Founded in 2017, the company has $8 million in funding to date.
Spring Health takes the guesswork out of establishing a relationship between a therapist and a potential patient. The company, founded in 2016, helps provide effective and digitally-native mental health care solutions to businesses, empowering employees to take control of their mental well-being. To date, Spring Health has raised $8 million in funding, a testament to the power of the ongoing cultural conversations about mental health.
Founded in 2017, Thirty Madison is already making a splash in the healthtech industry. Their proprietary brands Keeps and Cove are bringing a direct-to-consumer and telemedicine model to the treatment of issues like hair loss, migraines and other chronic conditions.
Splice isn't just another music-making tool — it aims to be a new kind of "creative ecosystem" for DJs, producers and other computer-based music projects. The company's social network and robust music sample library have already earned it $47.2 million in funding. Co-founders Steve Martocci and Matt Aimonetti brought their passions for startups and sound design, respectively, to this fast-growing company.
Native helps collect and verify data when and where you need it. The company, founded in 2016, helps a range of industries gather data so they don't have to do the dirty work. Whether it's a hospital looking to track a disease outbreak on the other side of the world or a media company looking to collect info on the latest trends, Native, founded by Matt McNabb and Steve Kashishian, is here to help.
Brooklyn-based Fabric Technologies helps new parents establish a will, as well as a life insurance plan that works for their families, all online. It's a simple, fully-digital approach to what was once a lengthy process. The company was founded in 2015 by Adam Erlebacher and Steven Surgnier and has $12.5 million in total funding.
Unacast is transforming location data into intelligent, usable data for companies around the globe. The company's signature "Real World Graph" system paints a picture of consumer mobility and conversions — with more than $24 million in funding, it's clear that investors believe in the power of these tools.
Founded in 2016, real estate company Domio recently burst out of stealth mode to bring higher-quality, safer offerings to the short-term vacation market. The startup uses data analysis and machine learning to find and update rental properties and take over management duties. With $66 million in total funding, the company is gearing up for a strong 2019.
“FAFSA” may be a trigger acronym for those who had to navigate the world of student loan applications, but that was before edtech company Frank came on the scene. Founded in 2016, the company helps students apply for loans in just a few steps. The platform also features membership opportunities and college search capabilities.
Founded in 2017, Qrypt is preparing security solutions for the post-quantum era of cyberthreats. In normal human speak, this means that Qrypt is reading and implementing security solutions to protect your information indefinitely — meaning when today's systems become obsolete, you remain secure.
SendFriend makes it easy and efficient to send money from the U.S. to the Philippines. Designed to help individuals send money back to their families overseas, SendFriend puts speed and security first and has raised $1.7 million to fund this mission.
Healthtech company Kindbody is part of a new wave of technology-based companies that are helping women gain critical insights into their fertility. The startup provides solutions for IVF treatments, as well as an egg-freezing option. It was founded in early 2018 by Cynthia Hudson, Gina Bartasi and Joanne Schneider, all of whom have extensive backgrounds in the industry. To date, the company has $6.3 million in funding.
Simplifeye gives health care providers the tools they need to operate like a real business, including automation tools, patient communication platforms, and integrated referral procedures. Co-founders Ryan and Zach Hungate bring a combination of business and medical experience to the brand. Since its founding, Simplifeye has raised $3 million and expanded its product line to include integration of its platforms onto wearable devices like the Apple Watch.
Direct-to-consumer brands have been popular for years now, and Buffy is joining the game with its eco-friendly comforters. The company uses recycled materials and natural textiles that are humane and easy on the environment. With years of previous experience in the bedding industry, Co-founder Leo Wang launched Buffy with Michael Rothkopf in 2017.
Digital banking startup Cogni is equal parts fintech and lifestyle company. Currently still in the testing stage, the company lets people manage their money in the same spot that they make payments. While traditional banks make money from loans, Cogni's structure relies on brands eager to get in front of their users. The company was founded in 2017 and has a total of $1.8 million in funding.
Imagine being able to type on a screen just by thinking about what you want to say — no keyboard necessary. That’s just one of the advancements CTRL-labs is working on. The startup, which launched in 2017, is making strides in brain-machine interface, and investors want to be a part of it — they currently have $39 million in total funding.
Freckle IoT helps companies measure the effectiveness of their advertising. Using proprietary technology, the company provides insight on campaigns across all forms of media and compares the data to in-store visits. The company was launched by Founder and CEO Neil Sweeney in 2014 and has offices in NYC and Toronto.
Brooklyn-based King Children is not your ordinary eyewear company. They use facial scanners and 3D custom-printing to create perfectly measured and shaped eyewear for a customer's face. The company then sends glasses directly to the customer's door for a completely digital, personalized experience. Founded in 2018 by David Lee and Sahir Zaveri, the company has a total of $2 million in funding.
Founded in 2017, Life House is a real estate tech company that infuses Life House hotel properties with upgraded, traveler-friendly technology, immersive design and amenities. The startup offers key features like a social network to meet and connect with other hotel guests, adult-approved bunk beds designed for group travelers, local activity guides and well-equipped work spaces. The company was founded in early 2017 by Rami Zeidan and Yury Yakubchyk. To date, it has $70 million in funding.
Merlin uses machine learning to deliver creative services on demand. Marketers look to the platform for web design, social media and content creation specifically designed for growing startups. It was founded in 2015 by Tom Hickey, who founded creative co-op Engagement Studios.
Most travelers want a mix of pre-planned and spontaneous activities while they're abroad, and Noken was created to provide that. The service gives travelers curated itineraries, easy airfare and hotel booking all within an app that keeps important details within reach. The company was founded in 2017 by Emily Brockway and Marc Escapa, who first met at Harvard Business School.
OnSiteIQ is a platform built for the construction industry. It helps bring workers more control and transparency with their AI-powered construction visual documentation and risk assessment platform. The company was founded in 2017 by Ardalan Khosrowpour and John Mollis and has $2 million in total funding.
At the intersection of health care and technology, OWKIN works with hospitals and biotech companies to accelerate the development of new treatments. It was founded in 2016 by Thomas Clozel, MD, and Gilles Wainrib, Ph.D. To date, the company has raised three rounds of funding, the latest of which will be used to scale and develop new partnerships with research institutions and pharmaceutical companies.
Founded in 2017 by expert hair stylists, Prose offers truly customizable haircare. Users answer a few questions, and the company’s algorithm determines the appropriate mix of ingredients. Combining stylist expertise, high-quality ingredients and your own personal hair care needs, Prose is kicking off a wave of personalized beauty products.
Spatial, founded in 2016, is pushing the tech trend of augmented reality in a whole new direction. Spatial's tools help teams collaborate in virtual reality-rendered workspaces — and with $8.3 million already in the bank, the company's coming year is sure to be filled with growth.
In the world of beauty, Tula is taking a truly unique approach to skincare. By combining age-old probiotic remedies with cutting-edge tech, Tula's line of beauty products is designed to keep skin aglow with youth. The company’s “Skin Quiz” uses machine learning and expert consultation to deliver powerful results.
Unbound is redefining sexual wellness for the 21st-century woman. The company offers a subscription box of sexual wellness products, as well as an online store featuring a range of products — including personal care items, jewelry, toys and more — designed in-house. This coming year, the company plans to use its $2.7 million in funding to expand its offerings.
Yumble is taking on the meal-kit model with a fresh, kid-friendly spin. With more than $8.5 million in funding, the mom-founded company offers a range of healthy yet fun dining options, delivered directly to your door. Founders David Parker, Dan Treiman and Joanna Parker have, to date, raised $8.5 million to keep bellies full.
About Built In NYC's 50 Startups to Watch in 2019
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 2019 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.