New York’s Featured Companies of the Month: May 2023 Edition
In the song “Empire State of Mind,” Jay-Z raps in his ode to New York City, “Since I made it here, I can make it anywhere.”
These 13 companies are proving that sentiment true — as they “make it” in the Big Apple, across the country and, for some, on a global scale.
Their success is in part due to their standout products and services, which tackle a range of diverse issues in finance, healthcare and software development. Their businesses are also supported by positive workplace cultures and exceptionally talented teams of engineers, developers, financial professionals, sales representatives and more.
With these reasons in mind, it’s perhaps no surprise that Built In New York is featuring these 13 workplaces as our companies of the month.
What Northwestern Mutual does: Northwestern Mutual provides financial planning, life insurance and tech solutions for strategic wealth management. The company promises startup vibes with the stability of a Fortune 100 company.
Maintaining mutual respect: “The work is exciting, but a lot of jobs have cool things to do; what’s really unique about Northwestern Mutual is its relationship-focused culture,” Pujish Amin, senior director of digital product, told Built In New York in December 2022. “I’ve been able to build relationships with people on my team and beyond, and I truly enjoy everyone I work with.”
Who Northwestern Mutual is hiring: Roles in data, development and engineering, finance, operations, product and project management
What Keyway does: Using AI-driven solutions, Keyway streamlines commercial real estate transactions for buyers and sellers. Founded in 2020, the company enables small- and medium-sized businesses, primarily in the medical sector, to sell their properties at full value while remaining in the same locations with long-term leases. At the same time, the platform connects investors with real estate market opportunities.
The mission is key: “Making a meaningful impact keeps me motivated,” Ada Phang, managing director and head of business development, told Built In New York in March. “Keyway connects owners of small-scale commercial real estate with buyers, providing a source of liquidity to owners who might otherwise not have had access to capital outside of their local area. Opening up liquidity adds financial security for these folks, and that’s meaningful to me.”
In the news: In March, Keyway announced that it had hired T.J. Chun as managing director and head of net lease acquisitions, a role in the company’s leadership team dedicated to advancing net lease strategies and acquiring properties.
Earlier that month, the fintech company also announced that it had acquired the Shelby Apartments, a 41-unit complex in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Keyway said it plans to modernize the building’s interior and amenities while maintaining affordability for renters.
"This acquisition is an example of the unique opportunities available in the multifamily market in the Sunbelt region," CEO and Co-Founder Matias Recchia said in a statement. "With a drop in deal activity and uncertainty in interest rates, now is the time for investors with capital to take advantage of these rare chances.”
What Chainalysis does: With its blockchain data platform, Chainalysis tracks and investigates cryptocurrency practices for banks, businesses and government agencies. According to The New York Times, Chainalysis was hired by lawyers at FTX, the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange co-founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, after a hacker stole $400 million in crypto from the company.
Connected teams: “What makes it special is the people,” Shilpa Deshpande, a staff data scientist, told Built In New York in June 2022. “They inspire me to dream bigger, work harder and achieve more. The people here are smart, kind and considerate, but they also know how to have fun.”
In the news: In May 2022, Chainalysis announced it had raised $170 million in Series F funding, more than doubling the company’s total valuation to $8.6 billion.
What Bluecore does: Marketing technology company Bluecore runs a platform for more than 400 retailers including CVS, Gap and Under Armour. With its personalization platform, Bluecore enables brands to tailor their communications and transform data into revenue-generating campaigns.
Collaboration at its core: “Collaboration is something I hold near and dear to my heart and is what I love most about our culture,” Casey Fortney, sales development director, told Built In New York in April 2022. “On an individual, team, cross-functional and leadership level, everyone is constantly leaning in to help support each other’s success as well as achieve overarching company goals.”
Who Bluecore is hiring: Roles in engineering, marketing and sales
What Wingspan does: Wingspan allows employers to streamline payroll and benefits for their independent contractors and freelancers. The fully remote company’s platform also automates tax compliance requirements and helps improve the onboarding experience.
In the news: In March, Wingspan announced that it had raised $14 million in Series A funding, bringing its total capital to $23.5 million. The fintech company said it planned to invest the funds in expanding its team and enhancing its platform.
“The shift toward a freelance economy was intended to minimize overhead and maximize flexibility, but it has also ended up creating an administrative crisis,” Co-Founder and CEO Anthony Mironov said in a statement at the time. “We built Wingspan to catch up with the zeitgeist.”
Who Wingspan is hiring: Roles in content, design, engineering, marketing and sales
What DigitalOcean does: DigitalOcean simplifies cloud computing to allow developers to build SaaS apps, websites, e-commerce stores and more. Empowering teams to focus on innovating rather than navigating complex infrastructure, DigitalOcean’s cloud was designed to serve startups and small- and medium-sized businesses.
Flowing sales opportunities: “The DigitalOcean experience has blown me away so far,” Ryan Gridley, an account executive, told Built In New York in December 2022. “I wake up every single day with excitement about the product I get to sell. I have incredible teammates that collaborate with me and help me with any questions I may have.”
In the news: In February, the cloud software company launched DigitalOcean Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets, virtual machines for computing-intensive workloads such as streaming media, online gaming, machine learning and data analytics.
What Opto Investments does: Opto Investments connects financial advisors with tools and resources for alternative investments. Through creating personalized private market portfolios, the fully remote fintech company partners with advisors to help clients meet their long-term financial goals.
In the news: In September 2022, Opto Investments announced it had emerged from stealth with $145 million in Series A funding. The fintech company said it planned to use the capital for securing customer investment opportunities, scaling its business and expanding its team.
Who Opto Investments is hiring: Roles in content, design, engineering, marketing, operations and product
What FireHydrant does: FireHydrant operates a reliability platform for complex systems management. With its customizable platform and solutions, the fully remote company helps developers resolve, learn and mitigate incidents faster.
Blazing their own trails: “The philosophy that ‘nothing is sacred’ is very much lived here, which allows employees to develop their own visions for how they want to handle their parts of the business, and they are invited to bring those to the table for consideration,” Ylan Muller, senior IT manager, told Built In New York in April. “You will find many employees at FireHydrant voluntarily take on projects outside of their job description for their personal development and betterment of the company.”
Who FireHydrant is hiring: Roles in design, marketing, product and sales
What Pinwheel does: Pinwheel is a payroll connectivity API company. On a mission to create a fairer financial system, the company analyzes income and employment data, allowing financial service providers to mitigate risk and engage users.
Open to feedback: “I never present myself, my work or any work the company does as immutable,” Robert Reynolds, head of product, told Built In New York in June 2022. “I solicit challenges and feedback from every decision I make and ensure I always take time to think critically about any feedback given.”
In the news: In May, Pinwheel announced it had achieved payment card industry data security standard level 2 compliance. The security standard verifies that the company securely stores and transmits credit card information.
What Ideon does: Ideon connects insurance carriers and technology platforms through a suite of APIs, improving the way health insurance and employee benefits are sold, enrolled and managed. In January, the insurance software company announced that its enrollment and member management API had earned a certified status for information security from HITRUST.
Fostering ideal mentors: “Ideon has provided some fantastic formal and unstructured learning opportunities,” Jashan Ahuja, group product manager, told Built In New York in December 2022. “One of the highlights was an in-depth leadership development training spanning several months that focused on mentorship, from which we drew lessons of close collaboration and open feedback to proactively instill in our product team’s culture.”
In the news: In May, health benefits platform Angle Heath announced a partnership with Ideon. With Ideon’s API, Angle Health said it would now be able to power a more efficient automated enrollment experience across its benefits administration platforms.
What DRW does: Fintech company DRW provides liquidity across a range of asset classes for traditional trades, such as fixed income, exchange traded funds and equities, and non-traditional strategies, including real estate, venture capital and crypto. With offices across the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, the trading firm also operates several subsidiaries: DRW Venture Capital, Convexity Properties, and Cumberland.
Prioritizing professional development: “I’ve worked at a couple of startups and a large global organization, yet DRW is the only place where I’ve seen sustainable, continuous learning actively encouraged and provided for as a course of business,” Jason N., a senior software engineer, told Built In Chicago in February. “Quarterly check-ins related to career progression allow employees to re-engage with their long-term goals and share them with leaders.”
In the news: In April, DRW announced it had won ETF European Awards in four categories: best overall ETF liquidity provider/market maker and best market maker/authorized participant for fixed income ETFs, cryptocurrencies and equity ETFs.
What Flume Health does: Flume Health’s platform enables people to create digital health plans that save them money and drive better health outcomes. After experiencing a major medical event in his family, Founder and CEO Cedric Kovacs-Johnson started the fully remote healthtech company in 2018.
Culture that channels success: “Flume has the right mix of fuel to break through to new heights,” Casey Hancock, senior vice president of engineering, told Built In New York in September 2022. “We have an open, collaborative, fun and energetic culture and a team of driven and smart people. Our product is in demand with innovators in healthcare looking to build their new and different visions in a space that’s tough to break into.”
In the news: In March, the healthtech company launched Flume Relay to automate vendor integrations, such as provider networks, chronic disease platforms, maternal care and pharmacy benefit management, into payers’ core operating systems.
What Pulse Analytics does: Pulse Analytics offers business intelligence tools that help oncology and other specialty therapeutic decision-makers reduce access barriers in healthcare. Founded in 2015, the healthtech company helps pharmaceutical teams understand complex connections and policies at healthcare organizations.
Keeping a pulse on work-life balance: “You would expect a startup of our size to expect 80 hours of work with no thanks or recognition; quite the opposite was true though,” Sean Lawrence, a data engineer, told Built In New York in September 2022. “We even have a culture of lower-key workdays on Friday, provided your work is done.”
Always learning: “The people of Pulse are easy to work with because we all value transparency and knowledge-sharing,” Anh Vuong, a frontend engineer, wrote in a Pulse Analytics blog post in June 2022. “From lunch-and-learns with product to learn about cell therapy to engineering book clubs to dive into clean code, we are always creating opportunities to learn from one another.”