In 2015, the startup Index rose for the first time since 2010, with the largest year-over-year increase from the last 20 years.
That means there’s a lot of players in the market.
Some are big hits, like Uber and Airbnb, but others are still working their way up.
These seven are making waves.
An Israeli startup founded in 2013, StoreDot has earned $76 million in four rounds of investing, from four investors. Their technology is aimed at changing the battery market, with the goal of designing an electric car battery that will reach a charge in five minutes.
And, because electric car owners represent such a small market share, they’re also working on smartphone batteries that will fully charge in just 60 seconds.
A startup founded in 2012, Inkodye, formerly known as Lumi, appeared on Shark Tank asked for $250,000 in exchange for 5 percent of her company. The sharks declined investing in the photo printing kits that allow customers to print any graphics on a number of objects with sunlight.
When the founder appeared on the show she had $1 million in annual sales, and thanks to a Y Combinator investment, Inkodye has grown to $2.5 million in sales, with a global network of customers. While still small in comparison to other Silicon Valley startups, Inkodye is taking the slow and steady approach to niche domination.
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3. Davey Boys Toys
An Australian startup established in 2013, David Rice is the man behind Davey Boys Toys. What started out of passion for collecting pop vinyls, figurines, and other toys has now grown to 200-500 orders a month.
Any TV, movie, or entertainment memorabilia collector would love the assortment of available products. As the global toy market grew from $78.31 billion in 2007 to $84.1 billion in 2012, it’s clear there will be plenty to collect for years to come.
A new dating app is matching users through unique offline activities, and ergo bringing back the date. SuperDate provides its users with extraordinary date ideas that stray from the mediocre and promise to be exciting and memorable. Users will be matched with others who share their vision of the perfect date.
The company's recent soft-launch using a trial market of one small Canadian city was very well-received and earned them 5,000 new users. This proves that they’re definitely onto something. SuperDate puts the focus back on the experience of dating and encourages people to get offline and create memories instead of endless messages. They plan on rolling out to several new cities throughout 2016, so keep your eye out.
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WayUp, formerly known as Campus Job, was founded in 2014. It’s a platform to connect students with internships and jobs during and after their time as a student. Students can find everything from on-campus work to freelancing options, and even bartender gigs.
The company has received a total of $8.97 million in three investment rounds. Since a recent study shows 70 percent to 80 percent of college students, or eight percent of the total workforce – are working while going to school, WayUp has a vast target audience with plenty of room to grow.
Founded in 2013, and having received $12.5 million in three investment rounds, Alfred is like an Uber, but for your to-do list. You’re matched with someone the company vets before sending to your home, and that person visits you weekly to take care of a number of tasks.
Your Alfred can take care of cleaning your home, your laundry, grocery shopping, and more. Currently available in New York City and Boston, the service will soon be launching in San Francisco, D.C., Chicago, Miami, Seattle, Portland and Austin.
Related Article: To Outsource or In-house: When Outsourcing Works Best for Startups
Have you ever wanted a TV guide to help you keep track of which livestreamed events you wanted to watch? Well, that’s exactly what LiveList offers. They received a $1.7 million seed round in April 2015 before launching in December 2015. The startup is focused mainly on professional livestreams, like Cochella.
But, as the number of user-generated live streaming platforms continues to grow, we may see them expand into that market as well. They’re set to change music distribution as we know it, giving artists the ability to stream content, with or without a record deal.
In today’s startup economy, we’ve seen a number of pre-revenue companies with tremendously high valuations. There are signs of the tech bubble bursting, such as nine of 88 U.S. companies valued at least $1 billion changing CEOs within the past year, and a few companies even laying people off.
But, when done right, startups can grow past the initial boom or bust phase to become household names, much like Snapchat, Pinterest, and Dropbox.
Do you find yourself watching Shark Tank and scouring Kickstarter for the next big thing? Which one of these startups are you most interested in as a consumer?