2017 proved to be a favorable year for many startup companies. It is yet to see a lot more IPO (initial public offering) activity thanks to an improving appetite and political and economic pressures lessoning.
As the big companies go bigger, a whole new class of companies launched in the first half of 2017 hoping to change the world, become the next unicorn – or just build a successful business. Who are the ones to watch out for?
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In an ocean of new startups and increased funding activity, Essential is aiming for Apple and Samsung. A consumer gadget company, founded by Andy Rubin, designed a new smartphone to challenge Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy devices. It is simply called the Essential Phone. Rubin is best known as the guy who created Android, sold it to Google, and nurtured it into the most popular smartphone operating system on the planet.
He left Google back in 2014, founded a startup incubator, and then helped launch Essential under its umbrella. After working on Essential’s phone in stealth for years, Rubin unveiled it in May 2017. The company also has a smart home hub in the works that are intended to control everything from smart light bulbs to connected toasters. Essential’s funding estimates to $330 million reportedly.
The startup that wants to be the new ‘Procter & Gamble for millennials.’ Brandless – A consumer packaged goods company, founded by Tina Sharkey and Ido Leffler, offers everything from dish soap to olive oil to kitchen knives. The company offers all of its products for a single low price of $3 each through its website.
Brandless is making a bet that you don’t care as much about the brands you consume as you think. None of its products are from name brands; instead, they all carry its “brandless” private label. Rather than having a big logo emblazoned on them with a bunch of marketing hype, the packages Brandless’ products come in just say what the products are and list their attributes. Its funding estimates to $50 million, Google is one of its investors.
Here’s a captivating initiative from the medical sector that aims to reverse type 2 diabetes. Virta Health, estimated to $37 million, is an online medical company focused on creating individualized diabetes treatments. Founder Sami Inkinen, was inspired by his personal life. Virta Health hopes to tackle Type 2 diabetes, which Inkinen himself was diagnosed with within 2004. Aided by physicians, coaches, and algorithms, each regimen Virta designs for its clients “addresses the underlying biochemistry of diabetes and shifts the paradigm from management to reversal,” Virta says. The aim is to do all that without medications or surgery.
Virta is an online specialty medical clinic that reverses type 2 diabetes without medications or surgery.
A self-driving car startup that wants to make self-driving taxis affordable and maybe even free. Voyage, founded by Oliver Cameron, plans to build a fleet of self-driving taxis using retrofitted mass-production automobiles.
The company hopes that by using already existing cars it will be able to get autonomous vehicles on the road sooner than developing them from the ground up. Voyage is doing more than just developing self-driving car technology. It’s working on ways for passengers to interact with its vehicles – telling them when to stop or what music to play – using just their voices.
Obsidian security hopes to help protect enterprises’ data. Founded by Matt Wolff, Glenn Chisholm, and Ben Johnson, Obsidian is a security startup that is focused on making enterprise customers’ data more secure. The company estimating $9.5 million funding, excited investors by assembling an all-star team of security experts from Cylance and Carbon Black.
The team is specifically trying to help protect hybrid computing systems, which join companies’ internal data centers to cloud services on the internet. It is also planning to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to help customize its security solutions for individual customers.
This concludes the list of promising businesses of the year so far, but with billions of dollars on the line, expect many more promising companies to debut before the end of the year.