2018 had been a great year for tech startups, as there was continuous buzz for Startups, VCs, Technologies, Entrepreneurs and more. Reinforcement form VCs and acknowledgement of technologies helped startups to raise at global market. With the beginning of 2019, we are dragging more towards digital world, and this is a great time for tech startups to make their mark. 2018 had been the year of inception for many startups and technologies, as they were backed heavily by VCs and so we can expect a lot more from 2019. There is a continuous hike for different domains such as cybersecurity, biotech, robotics, but to know which domain will outshine? who will become market leader? We are here with the list of startups that caught the attention of VCs, and are eyeing to hit a homerun at global market in 2019.
- Financial Technology
- Food & Beverages
- Hyperlocal Delivery
- Lifestyle (E-commerce)
- Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
Fintech has been rising in different areas such as SME financing, Cross-border payments, Direct banking and more.2018 can be considered as a global investment year for fin-tech, as more than $60 billion (source: Fintech Global) were invested globally expecting it to be a major out-turn in recent years.Ant Financial formerly known as Alipay, which provides support to online payments and other financial services was the list topper with cracking $14 billion investment in the series C round led by Temasek Holdings and GIC with co-investment from Sequoia Capital and others. With highest valuation of $150 billion in fin-tech market, Ant Financial is considered to be the biggest competitor to Payoneer, Wepay and other payment services.
Flywire, a startup founded by Spanish entrepreneur Iker Marcaide which gained the attention of VCs by its unique solution to cross border payments issue through its business model. Flywire allows students to perform cross border payments currency at lower currency exchange rates at 1% to 2%. With this unique business model it attracted Singapore based VC Temasek to invest $100 million funding, which turns to be upper hand in competition with Payoneer and Moneygram.
TransferWise, another startup providing cross border payments by introducing borderless accounts which neglects the broker charges for currency exchange and provides certain other functionalities. Transferwise acts like two-sided marketplace, connecting people by matching up payments with those going the opposite direction. Thus with their unique business models, these startups can be used as alternative for cross border payments.N26, is a German direct bank founded by Valentin Stalf, Maximilian Tayenthal in 2013 which within a few minutes provides user with bank account and Master card along with mobile and web banking functionalities with no physical branch in the world. With the speed and efficiency in banking transactions, N26 has led themselves to $300 million funding from one of its leading investors Insight Venture Partners and GIC, which makes their valuation up to $2.7 billion at global market.
There are plenty of systems to watch out for 2019, one such is Paytm an Indian e-commerce payment system and digital wallet that offers plenty of services from bill payments to movies booking, events bookings, groceries and more. Later on, to increase its revenue and being widely accepted by customers, Paytm expanded its services from paying school college fees, to invest in gold and creating its own digital payments bank. Being backed by bigwigs like Ant financial, Berkshire Hathaway, Softbank, paytm is likely to expand its horizons in food delivery services and more.
Food & Beverages: Food tech has been increasing rapidly as love for food among people is growing constantly. Food tech is a leading domain for VCs to invest, as new technologies to take-overs everything is happening within a fraction of second. Instacart, an American startup that provides online grocery delivery service that operates as duo (vendors + instacart) and provides customer with grocery items. Instacart has tied up with several local stores such as Whole foods, Safeway to complete the order and customer requirements. According to the statistics of crunchbase, instacart has raised $1.9B funding, which allows them to expand its business in America and Canada and makes its market valuation of $7.6B.
Grofers, an Indian startup which works on aggregator based model that provides hyperlocal delivery service of grocery and other products. It provides services similar to Instacart, but instead they have their own warehouses through which they deliver groceries. Being backed by some of leading VCs such as Tiger Global Management, Sequoia Capital and Softbank, Grofers is approaching for a constant increase in its revenue. Looking forward to take-overs, Takeaway.com a leading food delivery aggregator or mediator in Europe has recently acquired business operations of its rival Delivery Hero in Germany with a cracking deal of $1.1 billion. Takeaway.com provides intermediary service, its platform allows customers to order from partner restaurants. The company provides links to 13 separate portals that operate the Takeaway.com service in different countries. With the constant support from VCs like Prime Ventures Takeaway.com is likely to expand its business in the European food market and is considered to have a massive comeback in 2019.
Nail biting competition among food delivery aggregators is going on in India between various food aggregators such as Swiggy, Zomato and UberEats. Being backed by leading Venture Capitalists, Swiggy has managed to raise $1 billion funding from Naspers, DST Global, Tencent and more. It works on food aggregator based model and provides delivery service for partner restaurants and food café on a commission-based model. Looking to these, Zomato which provides services similar to its rival swiggy has also raised $150 million from ANT financial which is considered to be the biggest rival of Tencent. Thus, among these rivalries VCs are expecting some huge outcomes from these startups in the next few years.
Hyperlocal Delivery: Hyperlocal delivery startups are grabbing the eyeballs of Venture Capitalists as more than $3 billion were invested globally in first half of 2018 for hyperlocal delivery startups. Freightos, a marketplace for logistics providers which is based on SaaS business model, is eyeing to grab a milestone in 2019. It provides Software as a Serivce (SaaS) for freight startups to manage their rates and automate their routing and pricing. Freightos has raised a total of $92 million over 6 funding rounds (source: crunchbase). There are few startups that provide on-demand delivery services, like Doordash and Postmates. Postmates, an American Logistics company that operates on simple model to provide delivery service in a particular city. The matching algorithm for postmates is so well placed that it allows rider to deliver the product within 1 hour of order accepted. Postmates has received funding of more than $400 million since 2018 from its leading investors Tiger Global Management, Glynn Capital Management and Blackrock.
Flexport, a California based Freight forwarding and logistics based company which is based on supply chain management is leading logistics startup to look for in 2019. Flexport’s digital first model provides real time visibility and analytics tools to manage entire freight forwarding process. Flexport with these advanced functionalities has sustained in competition with leading freight providers and has managed to raise $100 million funding over 5th round in 2018. Delhivery, an Indian hyperlocal delivery startup has shown significant raise in logistics market since Jan 2017. Delhivery is a third party logistics service provider over 1200 cities in India, that operates on distributed model where every branch acts as centre hub and can route any package for delivery. Being backed by leading Venture Capital Tiger Global Management, delhivery have plans for huge outcomes in 2019.
Lifestyle: Fashion tech is the promiment member from the category of lifestyle as new fashion is updating every minutes. The trend for fashion startup is growing enormously with the development in e-commerce and technologies associated with it. European and UK markets being shopping hub for fashion indutries are now trying to develop their business with the help of technology which could help them exapnding their business worldwide.
Zalando, leading Eurpean fashion tech startup which sells clothes, shoes, accessories of more than 1500 brands over 17+ countries. Zalando has a mass market business model, in which they have their website as a medium to entertain their customers. With the tag of fashion market leader in european countries, zalando has raised funding of 457 million euros over 8 funding rounds which makes its valuation of more than 4 billion euros.
Farfetch, london based fashion tech startup that sells product from more than 700 boutiques across 22+ countries. Farfetch has connected to its audiences by providing them the expierence to shop from different boutiques around the world. In 7 funding rounds, farfetch has raised more than $700 million from leading VCs like IDG capital, FJ labs and more, which makes its valuation of $6.8 billion. Gilt Groupe, Newyork leading fashion house which provides various range of clothing for men, women and kids has done considerable growth in its revenue. Gilt Groupe works on a different business model where they establish a relationship with their buyer and Vendor, in which they generate ATS and declares sale, only when customers are allowed to purchase products. Gilt Groupe has been backed by General Atlantic, a leading VC with funding of $300 million, which makes it valuation of $653 million at fashion market.
Rent The Runaway, is an American startup which works as online service to provide dress and accessory rentals. Rent the Runaway works on subscription based model where you can rent clothes and accessories. It works on pay as you go model, where if you don’t want to subscribe then also you can rent dress by paying more money. Led by Jennifer Hyman and being backed by leading VCs Hemasek Holdings and Blue Pool Capital, rent the runaway provide services in different areas of US and has managed to raise $416 million over 10 funding rounds (source: CrunchBase).
Lenskart, an Indian startup led by CEO Peyush Bansal provides online service protal for eyewear. Lenskart provides functionalities to purchase eyewear online as well as offline from featured stores and provides additional services such as Visual try-on, eyesight checkup and more. Lenskart has tie-ups with leading eyewear brands and delivers products across 450 cities in India. Being backed by Epiq capital, Unilazer Ventures it has managed to raise $129 million over 7 funding rounds (source: crunchbase).
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE & MACHINE LEARNING: AI & Machine learning are the leading trends in the field of technology, and startups associated with them are catching the attention of the investors as well as users. Toutiao, a Beijing based news and informatoin content platform which provides content feed as per user’s requirement through machine learning algorithm. Toutaio has raised total of $3.1 million funding in 5 rounds from leading investors such as General Atlantic and more to enhance its services.
UIpath, a startup founded by Romanian Entreprenuers is a global company that develops a platform for Robotic Process Automation. UIpath provides its studio that models automation visually and provides of variety of services such as intricate processes, cloud and on-premise deployment, robust governance and more. Being backed by leading VCs Sequoia Capital, CapitalG it has mangaed to raise $448 million over 4 funding rounds (source: crunchbase). DataRobot, a US based startup that provides platfrom for predictive analysis using machine learning algorithm. DataRobot provides digital platform based on parellel processing and machine learning algorithm which helps data scientist for predictive analysis. Being Backed by 15 different investors, it has managed to raise $224 million over 7 funding rounds ( source: curnchbase).
Dataminr, a US based startup which provides real time informations of events, news and provides impactful analytics of the situation. It has been know for detecting, analysing and classifying realtime public information. Based on Artficial Intelligence and several algorithm for providing real time information, it has attracted VCs to invest $391 million in 2018 (source: crunchbase) to increase its revenue and services.
Security has been the all-time concern for enterprisers, and investors are flowing endless cash towards development of such systems. Taniu, is a US based startups which provide endpoint security and real time information through machine learning algorithm. Tanium which works on business model to defend those endpoints or loopholes in security system by deep visibility into the networks. Tanium has raised funding of more than $350 million in 2018 from several investors through private equity round, which can be used as upper hand in development of advanced security system.
Thus with the development and upgradation of technologies and startups, it will be a better place for entrepreneurs to build their businesses. Venture Capitalists plays vital role in making the startup successful, and from this we can say that interests of VCs are towards startups that are promising in every aspects and possess unique business development model. Focusing on Advancement of Business Model and involvements of VCs activities, here is a list of startups that has potential to become market leader and can be hot domain in 2019.