These NYC Tech Companies Are Already Onto 2022 — and They Have Big Plans

For these NYC tech companies, 2022 is a year for team growth, expansion and launching new products.
Written by Michael Hines
December 7, 2021Updated: December 13, 2021

The end of the year is typically a time when people and companies look back at all they’ve accomplished. However, we’ve asked five New York tech leaders to look forward and share their plans for 2022. In addition to disclosing what is in store for their teams and companies, these five leaders also provided insights into where their industries are headed. 

For example, Raj Patel, COO and CFO of fintech company MANTL, said the rise of neobanks will push banks and credit unions large and small to upgrade their digital capabilities. Meanwhile, in proptech, Sarah Walker, the VP of engineering at Ribbon, predicts that the various tech tools designed to make buying a home easier will be consolidated in all-encompassing platforms.

Above all, we learned that growth is in the cards for all of these leaders in 2022. Continue reading to learn more about what these companies and their teams will be working on next year.

 

Sarah Walker
VP of Engineering

Ribbon is a proptech company with two goals: make life easier for real estate agents and give everyday people an edge in the home buying process. The business does this through technology that helps agents write and manage offers and by making all-cash offers for homes on behalf of consumers, who then rent the property until they secure a mortgage for it.

 

Give us a peek into your crystal ball. What will be the biggest challenges and opportunities facing your industry in the next year?

In proptech, we will see home prices continue to rise in 2022, however, they’ll do so at a much lower rate than what we experienced in 2021. Instead of 20 to 25 percent increases in home costs, buyers can expect to see three to five percent increases. The continued increase is partly due to low inventory, millennials finally being in a position to enter the buying market and more people searching for permanency in the pandemic.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen mass innovation around technology offerings, including cash offer programs and deep vertical integration. With so many point solutions — targeting discovery, selling and other areas — I predict we’ll begin to see a consolidation of these tools, which will lead to platforms that touch every aspect of the homebuying journey from start to finish. In 2022, I suspect we’ll begin to see technology managing all parts of the homebuying transaction, and our hope is that this will be in ways that support and empower the important real estate ecosystem, not disrupt it.
 

In 2022, I suspect we’ll begin to see technology managing all parts of the homebuying transaction.
 

Tell us about Ribbon’s goals for 2022. How are you getting ready to tackle them?

Our main goal is expansion. We are planning to scale our cash program and technology to 50 percent of the United States by the end of 2022. For the product, engineering and design organizations, this means solving several technical challenges to manage the different real estate transaction workflows, business rules and documents required market by market.

We need to build a tool that allows us to expand easily without engineering effort. Market expansion and other key initiatives to ensure more and more homebuyers have access to our competitive products — and thus become more competitive themselves — is a major focus for the year. As a result, we’ll likely be doubling our team once again in 2022!

 

What are you most excited about over the next 12 months?

I am extremely excited about the ability to offer our product to more homebuyers. This year’s market has exposed the deep challenges that everyday buyers face. Each of the markets we aim to enter have dynamics where we feel Ribbon can make an impact. When everyday buyers lose out on a home, they lose out on more than that. They lose out on building intergenerational wealth, of course, but also significant educational and health benefits that can be life-changing, too.

Because of that, I am excited about Ribbon’s ability to make home ownership a reality for more people across the United States. Allowing people a chance to win their homes is our ultimate metric.

 

MANTL is a fintech company whose tech is designed to help banks and credit unions step up their tech game. More specifically, MANTL works with financial institutions to make it easier for consumers to open new accounts and to improve the overall online banking experience.

 

What will be the biggest challenges and opportunities facing your industry in the next year?

Neobanks, or online-only banks, will continue to innovate, which will challenge the customer experience across the industry and reset digital banking expectations for consumers and businesses. This is both a challenge and opportunity for traditional banks that have fallen behind the digital transformation curve because the opportunity cost of not modernizing is now a matter of survival.

In the next year, the bank-fintech relationship will be critical to community banks and credit unions that have been underserved by legacy vendors. The industry will rely on it to overcome the massive technology gap between the big banks who invest trillions of dollars in digital transformation and the community financial institutions who rely on legacy, third-party vendors. 

It is also how regional and community banks and credit unions will keep pace with the increased demand for digital banking driven by neobanks. As such, we’ll continue to see massive investments in fintech partnerships as financial institutions aim to enhance legacy technology, accelerate digital transformation efforts and offer superior technology at lower costs.
 

Our primary focus for 2022 is scaling our team, technology and product to meet industry demand.
 

Tell us about MANTL’s goals for 2022. How are you getting ready to tackle them?

MANTL is rapidly growing. Our flagship product, which can be thought of as “Shopify for banks and credit unions,” has reached product-market fit and customer demand is extremely high. Our primary focus for 2022 is scaling our team, technology and product to meet industry demand. We will also be spinning up new product lines to build on our momentum and further serve our community bank and credit union customers.

 

What are you most excited about over the next 12 months?

I am excited to see our team members grow as they step up to meet the new challenges associated with scale. We have a large number of team members who are celebrating their third or fourth anniversaries at MANTL and it’s amazing to see how they have grown personally during that time. 

Watching our newcomers integrate into our culture and product to drive impact is extremely inspiring. MANTL is on a path to fundamentally redefine what is possible for community banks and credit unions to achieve from a technology perspective, and it is incredible to see a group of people this talented and organized take on that mission.

 

Marcela Sapone
CEO & Co-Founder

Alfred is the resident experience app that builds intuitive support and personalized experiences into the most important space in our lives: our homes. They currently support residents in 44 cities across the U.S. and Canada.

 

What will be the biggest challenges and opportunities facing your industry in the next year?

Residential real estate’s biggest challenge is also its greatest opportunity! The industry is finally primed to embrace technology and to better serve today’s consumer. In a post-Covid-19 world, what we expect and need from our homes has never been greater. Beyond the apartment itself, we expect an experience that supports our lifestyle. We want safety, contactless technology, comfortable places to work from home, wellness options, pet and childcare services, payment flexibility and a community in which we feel connected and respected.
 

Consistent with our reputation for bold stances, we have been piloting a net-zero building project that’s had an amazing reception.
 

Tell us about Alfred’s goals for 2022. How are you getting ready to tackle them?

I’m proud of Alfred’s agility during Covid-19 and our choice to prioritize taking care of our communities. At the same time, we are glad the market has finally caught up to the innovation we’ve been trying to help landlords adopt for some time, and our push has become a pull from consumers. Benefiting from these transformative tailwinds is the theme. As it’s important to always have a clear North Star goal, for 2022 ours is to offer the most resident-centric living experience possible to our 250,000 members.

 

What are you most excited about over the next 12 months?

I am excited for some big reveals in the coming year as we reintroduce ourselves as an all-encompassing resident company. Consistent with our reputation for bold stances, we have been piloting a net-zero building project that’s had an amazing reception. I’m excited for us to lead change on ESG and sustainability issues in the same way we’ve set precedent and tried to inspire a higher standard for service workers when we launched as one of the first W-2 platforms in the sharing economy. We’ve seen from experience how real estate plays a key and crucial role in driving world-positive outcomes.

 

Mahbub Rahman
Chief Technology Officer

Kinetik is a healthtech company specializing in non-emergency medical transport, or NEMT. Its technology is designed to simplify, streamline and automate the billing process for both NEMT providers and transportation brokers.

 

What will be the biggest challenges and opportunities facing your industry in the next year?

The non-emergency medical transportation, or NEMT, industry is growing every day. Healthcare services are essential to every segment of the population, but some of our more fragile segments of the population face transportation challenges in getting to their essential medical appointments. Some must rely on family and friends or local community organizations to transport them, and if these options become limited, NEMT can fill in the gap. More and more health plans and health systems are understanding the value of NEMT as it breaks the barrier of access to care. 

As demand grows, it’s getting harder and harder for this industry to keep up due to the lack of technology adoption. Legacy systems and manual processes are now holding back the ability of various stakeholders to provide better health care. As we get into 2022, scalable technology is one of the major requirements by both Medicaid and Medicare programs with transportation benefits. This rapid growth of this industry is both a challenge and an opportunity for healthcare technology companies such as Kinetik.
 

Our software engineering team is rapidly growing to support the influx of interest from major healthcare stakeholders.
 

Tell us about Kinetik’s goals for 2022. How are you getting ready to tackle them?

Kinetik is tackling the highly manual and error-prone process of health insurance billing. In utilizing modern technology to build open APIs and intuitive user interfaces, we are revamping the way healthcare billing is traditionally done. Our agnostic approach has allowed us to leverage integrations with leading dispatch software to fetch accurate transportation data and automatically generate healthcare claims, with the goal being complete automation.

Our software engineering team is rapidly growing to support the influx of interest from major healthcare stakeholders, including hospitals, providers and health plans. Our partnerships team is working to introduce and standardize transportation billing practices throughout the country.

 

What are you most excited about over the next 12 months?

We are looking forward to the release of our new trip scheduling application, which will allow us to source ride details from the beginning of the lifecycle leading to the generation of more accurate claims. Collecting trip data from the start of the trip will help us tackle fraud, waste and abuse, which has become worrisome for major stakeholders. Rolling out our trip scheduler with our existing billing engine will allow us to have complete visibility of all healthcare trips and provide clean claims.

 

Samphel Norden
VP, Engineering

The EquityZen marketplace is designed to help investors access new opportunities in private companies and enable employees to realize value from their pre-IPO shares. 

 

What will be the biggest challenges and opportunities facing your industry in the next year?

We’re moving fast with double and in some cases triple-digit percentage growth across metrics over the past year, including headcount, transaction volume, revenue and users. We operate in a highly regulated environment and are consistently asked to balance compliance and strict regulatory requirements with delivering rapid innovations to our workflow so that we can serve a growing user base with highly automated, tech-enabled processes. We are also constantly challenged with balancing the supply of private shares with growing investor demand. Our teams are tasked with identifying new and creative ways, empowered by technology, to harness a high-quality pipeline of private company shares to meet investor demand.

Lastly, we offer a retail platform, which has to scale to meet burgeoning demand and requires us to improve our underlying technology platforms and code base to ensure we can support the business as we grow. Understanding and scaling to customer traffic patterns and ensuring the best user experience across a wide variety of customer devices is paramount to our overall growth.
 

In 2022, we will focus on continuing our growth and harnessing the full potential of our existing resources.


Tell us about EquityZen’s goals for 2022. How are you getting ready to tackle them?

2021 is shaping up to be a record-breaking year for the business. In 2022, we will focus on continuing our growth and harnessing the full potential of our existing resources. We have used technology to simplify and streamline the complex, highly manual processes associated with a private market transaction. There is unlimited opportunity to iterate and build upon our existing framework to continue to simplify and automate the process of conducting secondary private market transactions. Some areas of focus include improving the user experience, introducing or refining tools to run our deals quicker and automating portions of our process that are currently manual. 

Another big area of focus will be scaling our technology and infrastructure to keep pace with our growth trajectory. This includes augmenting the way we launch deals alongside our capabilities to support periods of high activity on the platform. Other key initiatives include refactoring our code base and implementing unified design patterns, all with the aim of delivering new products with higher velocity and reducing our tech debt.

 

What are you most excited about over the next 12 months?

The engineering team will be driving key initiatives to exponentially scale operating leverage, foster innovation and maximize incremental revenue growth. We expect to use mature machine learning techniques in natural language processing and recommendation engines to verify ownership of equity as well as match supply and demand in a highly efficient, accurate manner to increase the scale of our platform and maximize revenue. We are also investing in decoupling certain monolithic aspects of our application and enabling distributed, event-driven orchestration of our complex workflows and simultaneously managing both synchronous and asynchronous channels with auto-scaling infrastructure. 

A final note is the reorganization of our product and engineering teams into what we call “domains.” The idea is formed from domain-driven design where we align domains on fundamental business pillars with a very clear contract on discoverable, addressable, secure, high quality, interoperable and trustworthy datasets for consumption by various teams leading to better performance reporting and audits and high-quality feature innovation.

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