Here’s some inspiration for the weekend.
There are so many startups in the world and everyone one of them is worth watching and keeping up with. But these 5 startups are making waves, and we’ve got our eyes glued to them to see what they will do next.
CancerAid, a personalised cancer patient care app, has been on the radar of major investors and tech insiders for several years. It delivers personal diagnostics, health information, and symptom and treatment tracking to patients.
In 2016, Australian founders Nikhil Pooviah and Raghav Murali-Ganesh secured $1.25 million in funding. Their App Store debut was, unsurprisingly, picked as a “standout launch” by Apple. 2017 saw the company win Talent Unleashed, an intensely competitive startup judged by the likes of Apple’s Steve Wozniak and Virgin’s Richard Branson. They scored another first by becoming the first Australian startup to be incubated by the prestigious Cedars-Sinai accelerator.
They’re already the number one cancer app in the US, UK, and Australia. Partnering with health foundations, research organisations, and doctors, they are already providing telemedicine for patients. With virtual care the next-big-thing in MedTech, CancerAid has put themselves at the crest of this coming wave. Their platform data also makes it easy for health researchers and care providers to assess their results.
“Our goal is to make CancerAid the number one resource for patients when faced with a cancer diagnosis or undergoing therapy to improve their outcomes and satisfaction,” says Murali-Ganesh. With the app already serving 12,000 patients, their work is making a substantive difference to care and well-being. 2018 promises to be a breakout year for CancerAid, with plans to broaden it’s service to other kinds of chronic disease in the pipeline.
Duo Security is a password management cloud service for corporates. While the concept is nothing new, the point of difference for Duo is its enterprise focus. In an age of BYOD, Duo brings in two-factor authentication and secure SSO on board for every user. It also checks that devices are virus-free before they connect to any corporate network. Completely scalable, the company’s security solutions are designed to replace traditional VPN and access management systems.
After launching in Michigan in 2010, they attracted a record $70 million in venture capital. By 2015, it’s revenue was $10 million. The company is still growing fast in all the sectors that matter: health, tech, finance, education, and government. Billed as a “unicorn”, they have already boarded the likes of Facebook, Etsy, Yelp, and even LastPass. In 2017, they released a commercial implementation of Google’s bleeding-edge BeyondCorp Framework. What they do with this system in the coming year will no doubt shape the landscape of future cybersecurity.
Even with a current valuation of over $1 billion, the company has plenty more room for growth. Cybersecurity is the fastest growing niche in tech, with the industry expected to exceed $1 trillion in revenue in the next five years.
Attracting $12 million in funding from Sequoia in 2017, Remix is poised to take on the world in 2018. After meeting at Code for America in 2014, Sam Hashemi, Tiffany Chu, Daniel Getelman, and Danny Whalen came up with an extraordinary vision for public transit. Their platform lets cities visualise routes and timetables for transport. Remix means the cost and demographic impact of any change can be calculated and modelled in clear graphics, minimising disruption and failure.
Currently, Remix is working with 200 cities around the world in the US and nine other countries. “Remix is building a planning platform for cities to visualise and plan their transit systems. It’s a great example of a tech company having a real civic impact — and building a thriving and sustainable business while doing so,” says Vas Natarajan of venture capital firm Accel.
The civic-mindedness of Remix is exactly what makes the business sustainable in the long run. In the past five years, we’ve seen the rise and fall of privatised ride sharing. These services still often run afoul of city regulators and service predominately the wealthier minority of residents. Keeping public transit viable in this environment is vital to creating inclusive, accessible cities. Mass demand for these services is unlikely to wane soon. With the rise of autonomous vehicles in the coming decades, the need to optimise traffic flow is more urgent than ever.
Founded in 2015 in NYC, Anchor promises to do for radio what Twitter did for blogging. Mike Mignano and Nir Zicherman’s app lets users record up to two minutes of audio and publish it to the world. Raising $2.8 million this year in seed funding from various well-known Silicon VCs, it’s the real social media for sound, thriving on user-generated content.
2017 saw Anchor unveil a revamped 2.0 release, which let users create long-form broadcasts that disappeared after 24 hours. The change has raised the bar for audio content, cementing in a much more dedicated user base. The app was picked up in Apple’s Keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference the same year.
In 2018, the prospects for growth look good. Online listening has continued to trend upwards, surpassing the 50% mark in 2016. The popularity of audio streaming and proven market for interactive media means that Anchor is ready for growth. “Some of our favourite [clips] are the exchanges between people from all walks of life who never would have spoken to one another before Anchor. Fueling this type of interaction continues to be incredibly gratifying work,” says the team. With big names such as WNYC and Radiolab already on board, Anchor’s future looks assured.
We’ve all read the headlines: the bacteria that live in our bodies have an enormous impact on our health. Little wonder then that uBiome, a company working on the world’s largest microbiome database, has raised $27 million in funding since its inception. Founded by Stanford-, Oxford-, and UCSF-educated scientists in 2012, uBiome has won a slew of industry accolades after emerging from Y-Combinator.
It offers data-driven insurance-reimbursed medical tests. These diagnostics include SmartGut for the gut and SmartJane for female reproductive health. What makes these tests stand out is the fact they use DNA sequencing, a world first in a clinical setting. Results are sent to physicians to help them provide a better standard of care to their patients.
Making these tools available to doctors positions uBiome at the forefront of biome-driven and data-driven medicine. This field “continues to be a reappearing trend that cross-cuts pharmaceutical, medical, wellness and nutrition”, notes industry watchers. The prospects are big, and the rewards potentially even bigger.
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