Every founder dreams of building the kind of company that will revolutionize its industry and disrupt its marketplace. That said, this type of innovation happens only occasionally--a business discovers a gap in the market or a new way to deliver services, and suddenly they're securing millions in funding and capturing huge segments of market share.
If you envision this type of success for your own startup, it can be helpful to learn from others who are achieving the same type of success. Here are seven startups that are poised to revolutionize their industries in 2015.
Job boards have been around for a long time, but FirstJob has taken the idea to a new level by allowing job seekers to set up attractive candidate profiles, full of color and photos, if desired. Jobs posted to the board are curated specifically for their Millennial customer demographic, and information provided about the different companies listed includes details on culture, perks, and office styles.
FirstJob already boasts 1.3 million users, and there's no sign that the company's growth will be slowing down throughout 2015.
American workers have gotten used to getting paid every two weeks, but ActiveHours is trying to turn that custom on its head. The lag time between work completed and pay received causes financial concerns for thousands of Americans every day. With ActiveHours, employees can "unlock" their earnings and cash in their hours in as soon as they've completed their shifts.
ActiveHours is currently available to hourly employees with direct deposit privileges. Rather than charging interest or a fee, this revolutionary program accepts tips in whatever amount users feel is appropriate to support the service.
Mergers and acquisitions are a high-level, sensitive business, but Exitround looks to shake that up by introducing the idea of online networking to the M&A industry with a site that links sellers and potential buyers. In its current incarnation, the site uses an algorithm to present buyers with highly-targeted buying options, while sellers receiving inbound offers can leverage that interest in multiple ways.
As envisioned, Exitround will bring online connections to the normally secretive, well-networked M&A world, allowing new sellers and buyers to operate on a level field with established players. Although the network is online, each transaction is treated with the utmost privacy and anonymity to suit the needs of the professionals involved.
Tired of fighting to book a seat at a hot restaurant? There's an app for that--and it's called Reserve. Using the app, you can book your reservation down to the table where you want to sit, as well as pay your bill through the program after your meal.
If you have trouble booking the restaurant you want, you can use Reserve to offer to pay more for your meal than standard menu pricing to increase your odds of getting a seat. Restaurants benefit as well, earning a $15 to $20 "no-show fee," which reduces missed reservations. Though Reserve is still in beta, it's gaining top-level clients in many key cities across the U.S.
Fastly is a quickly growing content delivery network (CDN) that banked $40 million in new funding late last year. Fastly sets itself apart from other CDNs by focusing on specific types of traffic--including API, mobile content, and user-generated content. As soon as users of the network upload new content, the software deletes old information and clears caches immediately.
Based on the promise this technology holds, the company has secured major clients such as Twitter, Pinterest, Shopify, and Fast Company, and is looking to grow worldwide in 2015.
Struggling to get into a salon at the last-minute and having to walk to physical locations are both old news in today's tech-savvy world. Enter Glam Squad, an app that allows users to connect with stylists and arrange for services to be provided at their location of choice. Basically, you select the service you want, set your appointment time, and a specialist will arrive at your location to deliver the look you desire.
More surprisingly, Glam Squad is able to provide this personalized service at prices similar to physical salons--so it's no surprise the company is poised for explosive growth in 2015.
"Big data" is a major buzzword in marketing circles, and there are a number of companies out there developing software to help businesses harness and manage their information. Gigya is an Israel-based company that provides consumer identity management to help companies find their customers online and engage with them on social media. With major clients like Walmart, Pepsi, Adidas, and others, Gigya is a company to watch in 2015.
Businesses should never be content to rest on their successes, and the increasingly competitive business climate of 2015 makes this truer than ever before. With new technologies and innovative services being developed every day, disruption in every industry is inevitable. The seven startups profiled above are part of the revolution--are you?
What innovations have caught your eye recently? Why? Share your thoughts in the comments below!