On the one hand, New York City is one of the most expensive cities to build a startup, mainly due to sky-high real estate prices and salaries. On the other hand, the startup scene in New York City is booming, and the following list of startups proves it.
Besides asking investors, entrepreneurs and colleagues, I also found special help in researching with Guy Franklin's "Mapped in NY" project, as well as with Guy Poreh who played senior roles in ad agencies and is now involved in the NYC startup community.
These 17 NYC-based startups are diverse, creative and have the New York City grit to boot.
Please note that they are listed randomly and not according to importance or priority.
Lemonade is a different type of insurance company, and they're shaking things up in the old-fashioned and bureaucratic insurance industry. Lemonade has no brokers so fees are lower than average. It's powered by AI on your smartphone, and the kicker is they actually donate your leftover claim money to nonprofits that you designate yourself. The company originally wanted to give policyholders back the unclaimed money, but current law in New York won't allow for that. Lemonade is actively trying to change the law.
Lemonade raised $60 million in three rounds in a one-year period, including their $34 million Series B funding by General Catalyst Partners earlier this month. Currently operating in New York, Lemonade announced it had filed for a license in California and wants to expand to other states subsequently.
Founded in 2014 by Yali Saar, Tom Lahat and Nadav Shatz, Tailor Brands is teaching computers to design and present an online, automated full-service branding agency. With over 600,000 users and 20 million designs to date, the online platform can design anything from logos to presentations, and even entire brands, in less than 30 seconds.
The platform also allows users to preview their designs before paying for them, and offers different price ranges and bundles, starting at $39. The company creates a new design every 2 seconds, and has recently secured $4 million in funding.
HYPR manages a database that covers 1 billion social media accounts and over 10 million influencers searchable by audience demographic, psychographic and geographic data.
HYPR's API provides leading influencer marketing platforms with the tools to automate their activations in-house.
Gil Eyal, HYPR's founder, told me he realized that influencer marketing was an untapped field. He wanted to remodel it by providing tools that help analyze the audience of every celebrity and influencer in the world, as well as automate the ability to run measurable, targeted campaigns, at scale.
The company received $5 million in seed funding last year.
Siemplify ThreatNexus is a security orchestration and incident response platform that assists analysts and security teams by contextualizing their day-to-day threat landscape. Siemplify recently announced funding led by 83 North and G20 Ventures, and has some notable investors including the founder of Arcsight, as well as executives from Rackspace and Intel, among others.
The Siemplify ThreatNexus solution is designed for analysts to orchestrate and automate the full spectrum of security operations from a single pane of glass. The highly visual and intuitive product is used globally by some of the largest security teams to help prevent breaches and has become one of the tool analysts rely on to respond to and manage threats.
Financial fraud is taking a toll on banks and consumer confidence to the tune of $16B a year in the US alone. Investors see the need for companies like BioCatch, which has raised $11.6 million so far.
The company developed behavioral analytic technology that optimizes fraud detection by analyzing human-device interactions to protect users and data. The technology identifies people with more than 500 behavioral parameters to create unique profiles for each user based on their habits and responses within online and mobile applications. BioCatch's approach is completely invisible and works continuously throughout the online session.
The Company was founded in 2011 by Avi Turgeman and Uri Rivner, experts in neuroscience research, machine learning and cyber security.
It is estimated that 50 million Americans have either asthma or COPD, and these numbers are expected to grow. CoheroHealth is trying to improve this health epidemic with their suite of products aimed at tracking respiratory health. Since the products are used a lot with kids, it rewards improvement and pushes data to doctors' desktops in real-time.
The company, founded in 2012 by Daniel Weinstein and Melissa Manice, just received $9 million in Series A funding, with a total of $11 million raised. Their products were approved by the FDA last year, allowing them to reach and help more people.
MentAd is a predictive marketing analytics platform for B2C companies, helping them find and acquire customers through targeted advertising campaigns. They utilize big data and machine learning to analyze existing customers in order to find new ones who are similar, then target them through the right channels and with personalized price points.
Based in New York and in Israel, and backed by $4.7 million in funding, the company was founded by Daniel Romano and Yuval Baror, with backgrounds in marketing and R&D, respectively.
Conversocial is a customer engagement platform for the always-on mobile, social customer. The platform enables businesses to offer real-time customer service by delivering a unified #SocialFirst approach to a new generation of customer interaction.
Founded in 2009 by Joshua March, Conversocial now has a funding of $22 million, headquartered in NYC and London, and is a Twitter and Instagram partner as well as a Facebook Preferred Developer.
Founded in 2005 by Kfir Bar-Levav, Pepperi has become known as a leading B2B commerce platform for consumer goods manufacturers and wholesalers, enabling their field sales teams to digitally sell and merchandize goods, and for their customers to order directly through online storefronts.
Pepperi recently opened a New York City office and has been digging their heels into the Big Apple. Pepperi's clients include GUESS, SodaStream, Hallmark, Zippo, Paul Mitchell, and Manischewitz. Unique to the startup scene, Pepperi is 100% funded by private investors, and has secured multiple rounds of private investor funding over the past 4 years.
Algomizer is a marketing technology startup that develops and markets a pool of unique software solutions, that automate and optimize campaigns on the internet and the world's leading platforms (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Algomizer enables small businesses to advertise and promote themselves "with just one click of the mouse."
Based in both NYC and Israel, Algomizer was awarded the Google Award in 2015 for bringing the biggest number of new customers to advertise on Google's platform that year. Just this past May they released the Ad-Assistant, a solution that makes online marketing more simple for small business owners.
With Aviv Berkovitch serving as co-founder, Deputy CEO and CMO, and Noam Band serving as the company's CEO, the company has just raised a round of $14 million and is publicly traded.
Lightricks are the creators of two of the most successful paid apps ever, Facetune and Enlight. They recently launched Facetune 2, a free and subscription-based follow-up. The launch is the second version of their initial product, Facetune - a fun and powerful portrait photo editor that that has more than 7 million paid downloads, was the #6 Best Selling Paid App for iOS in 2014, #5 in 2015, #4 in 2016, and is currently used as Facebook's case study for user acquisition.
The company's second app Enlight, a comprehensive mobile photo editor, was a runner-up in Apple's best apps of 2015, was a best-seller in 120 countries, and was recently named one of Apple's top 10 paid apps of 2016. After bootstrapping its early growth, the company raised $10 million in August 2015 to expand, with several products planned. Lightricks has offices in New York City and Jerusalem.
INTURN is a B2B platform that addresses the operational complexities of the off-price retail space and the steep drop-off of merchandise value, with initial focus on the apparel and footwear sector. INTURN replaces the existing sales processes by providing brands and retailers with a high level of visibility into their businesses, a content-rich inventory management system and a negotiation platform to better drive liquidity.
Their customers include some of the world's most recognizable brands and retailers located in 35 countries.
INTURN has raised $13.5 million and is backed by Forerunner Ventures, Novel TMT, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Beanstalk Ventures and Benvolio Group, among other strategic investors.
Eko (Previously Interlude)
Founded by Israeli rock singer Yoni Bloch, Eko is a media and technology company pioneering a new medium in which stories told in live action video are shaped by viewers as they unfold. The company provides the leading technology platform for the creation and delivery of interactive entertainment and partners with media companies, independent creators and top brands to create experiences for highly-engaged, digitally native audiences.
Eko Studio, which includes the company's authoring tools, is also home to a large and growing community of creators who are crafting their own interactive experiences with Eko's medium.
Eko investors include Innovation Endeavors, Intel Capital, Marker, MGM, NEA, Samsung, Sequoia Capital, Sony, Warner Music Group, and WPP. The company is based in New York with offices in Tel Aviv and Los Angeles.
Backed with $32m from Sequoia Capital and Eric Schmidt, Taykey solves the problem of people living in their own echo-chamber and only seeing what their friends or like minded individuals care for. With Taykey you can see how other people feel about a product, a news event, or a presidential candidate without being surprised in the aftermath.
Taykey is a real-time audience data company. By tracking vasts amount of public online data, such as social posts, searches, blog posts and comments online, Taykey is able to get a the full picture of what matters to any audience a company could care for.
Up until now, Taykey offered its technology for media buyers, but in 2017, Taykey will launch its insights platform enabling any company to have a full view of online trends.
Takey is headquartered in NYC but with offices worldwide, and among their clients you can find Coca-Cola, VW, Samsung, GAP, P&G, Toyota, Apple & more.
Founded in 2012 by Paul Berry, RebelMouse is a content management system that is optimized to distribute that content throughout social media channels. Companies can see how their content is performing and being shared in real-time, as well as connect companies to social media accounts based on relevancy from those individuals' own social media activity.
Their more advanced functionality includes A/B testing capabilities, SEO capabilities, social email outreach toolsets, options for customization and third-party integrations.
RebelMouse has received $18.75 million in funding so far; the last was a Round A funding of $6 million in 2015.
Plated is a creative solution to everyone's (and especially families') struggle to properly manage their time and prepare healthy food at home. Members can choose recipes each week and then receive all the ingredients directly to their home so that they can make gourmet meals themselves.
Founded in 2012 by Nick Taranto and Josh Hix, the company received Series B funding last year -- $35 million -- with a total of $56.4 million in funding over 8 rounds since 2013. Their appearance on the reality show Shark Tank in 2015 boosted their funding significantly as well as their overall reach with the public.
Olo was funded by Noah Glass in 2005 and has raised some impressive funds so far. Earlier this year Olo raised $40 million from The Raine Group, and later raised an additional $23 million in funding from various investors including PayPal and RRE Ventures.
Olo is a digital ordering system for the restaurant industry, notably for enterprise-level businesses like Jamba Juice, Chipotle, Cold Stone and Five Guys. Consumers can order food from their mobile device and "Skip the Line" or get food delivered by paying directly on the app.
I will be keeping tabs on these companies to see what they cook up next. So, for now, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and see you in 2017!