Over the past few years, New York City has firmly established its spot as a leading startup hub in the United States. Today, NYC is second only to the always impressive San Francisco Bay Area in terms of investments and exits.
As the city continues to consolidate as a tech center, it has been attracting increasingly large amounts of money. In the first quarter of 2016, New York startups received a record $1.9B in investment, nearly seven times as much VC funding as the Big Apple got back in the first quarter 2012. With large exits from the likes of Etsy’s $1.77B IPO last year and huge $100M plus funding rounds for Betterment, Oscar Health and Flatiron Health this year, NYC startups are continuing to attract a lot of attention.
From potential IPO candidates to VICE media for millennials, here’s a look at some hot native NYC startups that are well worth keeping an eye on.
theSkimm is a daily email newsletter startup focused towards women and is designed to give busy professionals simplified headlines and summaries about topical news and debates. The startup had an impressive 3.5 million active subscribers and a newly launched app that debuted at number 1 in the news category on Apple’s App store as of June this year. Having closed two funding rounds this year, theSkimm is planning to expand its offering to also include video.
Defy Media creates and distributes millennial focused digital content. The company was formed from the union of Alloy Digital and Break Media and creates entertainment aimed at 13-34 year olds. Defy Media generates 700 million views monthly and boasts 70 million YouTube subscribers. With flagship programs such as the comedy sketch show Smosh, this startup recently closed an impressive $70 million USD series B, so expect to see a lot more content from Defy.
AppNexus offers a cloud-based software platform that enables and optimizes programmatic online advertising. The service maximizes the yield and performance of campaigns for both sellers and buyers of online inventory. Founded in 2007, AppNexus is one of the world’s leading independent ad tech companies, has 23 offices globally and employs over 900 people. As part of a $31 million USD funding round in September, the company has formed an alliance with News Corp., and could well be heading towards an IPO soon…
Mic is a digital news provider run by and for millennials. The news and media company offers original reporting, opinion and video on topical affairs and reaches more than half of all college-educated millennials in the U.S. and 100 million people around the world monthly. At a mere 28 years old, the Mic’s CEO, Chris Altcheck, is already in charge of around 130 employees.
BrightLine creates, serves and measures interactive ads for Connected TVs. The company offers InCAST, a powerful Advanced TV technology suite that allows marketers to take advantage of the entire scale of Over-The-Top (OTT), connected TV and Smart TV advertising opportunities. The company offers interactive ads across a range of station platforms such as Fox, Hulu, AMC, Apple and Amazon. Having recently closed a good sized series A, the company is planning to further scale and innovate their advanced TV advertising products.
Hailed as the anti-Uber, Juno offers a similar on-demand drive service but with a focus on being more supportive to drivers and taking less of a cut of the profit than either Uber or Lyft. The company is offering half of its equity to its drivers, who can choose to be either W-2 employees or 1099 contractors. Juno is currently in beta in NYC, wherewith over 7500 drivers it’s already the second largest on-demander provider in the city by driver count.
Nuxeo offers an open source content management platform that enables developers to easily build, deploy and run content-centric business applications. The company’s Enterprise Content Management (ECM) technology offers an integrated solution for document management, case management and digital asset management. Using a modern Java-based architecture, Nuxeo’s platform is fully modular and extensible. A total of $30 million USD raised this year will go towards driving Nuxeo’s global expansion.
Namely is an HR, payroll and benefits platform. The startup allows its users to manage all of their HR data in one place, from employee info and payroll details to reviews and employee wellness and health insurance. Namely’s clients include mid-sized companies such as Upwork, The Motley Fool and First Round and processes more than $1 billion USD of payroll annually. The firm recently partnered with Sequoia Capital in a $30 million USD funding round.
Dia&Co is an online clothing and accessory retailer for plus-sized women offering the ability to try on clothes in the comfort of their own home. Customers are given an online survey about their tastes before being shipped five items to try on. They then buy what they like and ship the rest back free of charge. Each box also comes with a $20 styling fee that can be used as a credit toward a purchase of an item in the box. If a customer buys every item in a box, they also receive a 20 percent discount. Dia&Co have just closed a very healthy venture round led by Sequoia Capital.
Fluent city offers activities and classes for adults. The platform allows users to discover things to do and learn involving food, drink, art, design, language and beyond. Offering classes on everything from French to poetry, it’s a fun way for adults to continue to gain knowledge. Billed as a modern day culture school, the startup also offers private classes and recently closed a seed round to help it expand beyond NYC.
BrightFarms designs, finances, builds and operates hydroponic greenhouse farms at or near supermarkets. The startup’s aim is to eliminate the time, distance and cost currently found in the food supply chain. The company’s farms use 80 percent less water, 90 percent less land and 95 percent less shipping fuel than standard food chain businesses. A recent funding round will help BrightFarms expand its offerings and help make all U.S. food and veg locally sourced.