Company Profile

PillPack

A cure for the frustration of taking multiple medications

Company Information
Industry
Health
Location
Manchester, New Hampshire
Year Founded
2014
Company Size
51-200 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

As a teenager working in his parents' pharmacy, TJ Parker saw first-hand the frustration of patients taking multiple medications. Twelve years later, after a completing a doctorate in pharmacy, a term at TechStars, a stint at Ideo, and raising $63 million, Parker and co-founder Elliot Cohen found the answer: An online pharmacy that packages pills according to when they need to be taken. "I spent a lot of time trying to see if there was a widget or a physical product or a piece of software that would fix this," says Parker. "But most of the frustration is intrinsically wrapped up in the pharmacy." PillPack hopes to eliminate that frustration not just with clever packaging, but by coordinating refills on behalf of its customers, offering its service for free (the average customer takes seven medications, which Parker says gives PillPack plenty of margin), shipping overnight, and making it easy to transfer prescriptions to PillPack.
Note: All data as of 1/31/16

Product Hunt

The little side project that won Silicon Valley's heart and eyes

Company Information
Industry
Consumer Products & Services
Location
San Francisco, California
Year Founded
2013
Company Size
11-50 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

Ryan Hoover launched Product Hunt in late 2013 as an e-newsletter about the latest, coolest tech products, gadgets, and apps. A veteran of San Francisco's startup ecosystem, he wanted to help folks like himself discover new products--and, simultaneously, to help small companies like his own get publicity at their launch. By the following year, he'd enlisted help to build Product Hunt into a full website with a social-recommendation component. And before long, he was being courted by investors--four separate ones met with him to urge him to apply to the prestigious startup school Y Combinator. After Hoover graduated, Product Hunt got a lot more buzz, and more than $7 million in funding. Today, Product Hunt has 18 employees; half work out of a condo in San Francisco's SoMa neighborhood, and half are spread across the globe, from Denver to Belgium.
Note: All data as of 1/31/16

Prynt

Prynt brings augmented reality to Polaroid-style photo printing

Company Information
Industry
Consumer Products & Services
Location
San Francisco, California
Year Founded
2013
Company Size
11-50 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

The best word to explain Prynt, a combination instant-photo-printing case and app for smartphones, is magic. Imagine a Polaroid camera; now, imagine the photos from that camera contained moving images like those in the Harry Potter films. When you open the Prynt app on your phone and physically hover your phone's camera over a Prynt photo, it becomes an animated image within your phone's screen. Groups merge into formation for a portrait, friends sing happy birthday. Co-founded by CEO Clément Perrot and CTO David Zhang, the product is more than a whimsical toy. Prynt is quickly gaining traction with investors and retailers. A July 2015 Kickstarter campaign raised roughly $1.6 million in funding for the case, augmented by a seed round of $2.3 million and a convertible note of $1.5 million. The company has shipped roughly 20,000 cases since it went on the market in December, with sales limited by inventory, and not demand, according to Perrot.
Note: All data as of 1/31/16

SQZ Biotech

This young engineer landed $500 million to develop a new way to fight cancer

Company Information
Industry
Health
Location
Boston, Massachusetts
Year Founded
2013
Company Size
11-50 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

When Armon Sharei was a chemical engineering PhD student at MIT in 2008, he joined a team toiling to transfer compounds into living cells. It was a difficult task, but one that could help scientists research diseases and discover new drugs. The team's initial mechanism for doing this didn't work, but in the process of trying it, Sharei stumbled upon a new one, for which he's been granted most of his 10 patents. That technology became the basis for SQZ Biotech, the company he co-founded with the pioneering professors he worked for: Klavs Jensen, the school's head of chemical engineering, and Robert Langer, a renowned bioengineer and serial entrepreneur. SQZ (pronounced "squeeze") raised $1 million in seed funding from angel investors in 2014, followed the next year by $5 million in venture money from Polaris Partners, 20/20 Healthcare Partners, and two private offices. In December, SQZ partnered with global pharmaceutical firm F. Hoffmann-La Roche in a deal that could be worth $500 million--including a large undisclosed upfront payment, and additional sums when SQZ meets certain milestones--to speed development of its technology to inject immune cells with a protein that would activate a killer-T-cell response to fight off cancer.
Note: All data as of 1/31/16

Swift Navigation

Swift Navigation is leading the GPS revolution

Company Information
Industry
Consumer Products & Services
Location
San Francisco, California
Year Founded
2012
Company Size
11-50 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

The GPS devices available on the mass market today are accurate only to within a few yards--usually enough for people to find the nearest restaurant or coffee shop. But Swift Navigation realized that for many industries working toward a more automated future, a few yards is too much. The technology that allows for inch-level precision has been around for almost 20 years but only at a prohibitive cost for most consumer applications. So in 2012, Swift set out to create a high-precision GPS device that would go for less than $500, and by 2014 it had launched its first product, Piksi. The startup went on to raise a total of $13.6 million from venture capital firms in two rounds of funding to support it growth. The capital inflow has also helped Swift develop new products (two of which will be coming out later this year) that can facilitate a wide-range of applications. Swift's main focus is currently in the automated vehicle industry and in creating products that will help advance the goal of decreasing automotive-related deaths to zero.
Note: All data as of 1/31/16