Startups are changing the face of business as we know it. That’s no longer news, it’s just the way of the world. But what inspires startup founders to turn their visions into commercial realities? And how do investors identify and choose which startups and teams to invest in? To answer these questions, let’s have a look at five especially successful and interesting startup stories.
Leading cyber-security company Nyotron is due to enjoy even greater success, now that the Israeli investment guru and owner of Mivtach Shamir Holdings, Meir Shamir, has invested $7 million in the firm. This game-changing investment paired with the investment of a further $3 million by Nyotron’s existing investors has enabled Nyotron to advance the development of their new “Paranoid” software. Paranoid has the ability to distinguish between legitimate activity and cyber-attacks through behavioral analysis. With their unrivaled combination of business acumen and cyber-security expertise, Nir Gaist – Nyotron’s founder – and his team are sure to bring better security solutions to many more companies and organizations around the world.
Envisaged as a business rival to the well-established Uber, NYC-based Juno marketed itself as a more driver-friendly and socially responsible form of the ride-sharing app. Juno’s founder is Talmon Marco, a young businessman who made $900 million when Viber, the messaging app he created, was bought by the Japanese electronic and Internet company Rakuten. Part of Juno’s pitch was that it charged far smaller commissions to its drivers. The founder’s impressive portfolio and his company’s unique value proposition quickly caught the attention of key industry players and in April 2017 another NYC ride-sharing app, Gett, announced that it was purchasing Juno for $200 million. According to the terms of the deal, the two apps would retain their separate identities until it became feasible to integrate them under the Gett brand.
A good startup provides an outstanding solution for a burning need. Aptly enough Nanit is a startup designed for new moms and dads. It uses computer technology to help new parents monitor their sleeping babies. Nanit has essentially developed a smart baby camera that watches the sleeping infant, providing parents not only with visual reassurance but also with detailed data. Their sleep analysis reports provide information on how long it takes the baby to fall asleep and which sleeping positions the baby typically adopts, they also indicate quality of sleep and room temperature. This young startup has already drawn in a number of VC’s who have invested $6.6 million in the much needed gadget.
This highly successful startup was launched in 2010 by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison, who were then only 22 and 19 years old, respectively. Based in Silicon Valley, Stripe is a new form of software that makes it much easier for businesses to receive debit and credit card payments. The Collison brothers’ solution was an instant hit with other startups in Silicon Valley, many of which – including the likes of Facebook and Lyft – adopted Stripe as a core part of their transaction processes. In a recent funding round Stripe raised $150 million from CapitalG, Google’s Alphabet investment division, and General Catalyst Partners. As a result the company is now valued at $9.2 billion, and the Collison brothers are among the world’s youngest billionaires.
The name of this UK startup may be enough to tell you that it’s an advertising agency. It’s not just any advertising agency, though, since it has been described as one of world’s most successful startups. Founded in 2008 the company, which provides real-time bidding opportunities for online advertising, has since then grown by an astonishing 9,774%. Here’s another astounding statistic: Infectious Media handles more than 40 billion advertising auctions each month. Whatever they have, it seems to be catchy!
After boasting impressive investments, as we just have, we wish to end on a sobering note. Quoting Martin Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Infectious Media, “too much money in the early stages of a startup’s life can be an impediment to valuable innovation”. Early stage startups, he explains, can benefit from an intense bootstrapping period. It inspires founders to focus, and develop strength and product viability.