2016 Hot NYC Startups – Where are They Now?

2016 Hot NYC Startups – Where are They Now?

Read Time: 12 minutes Published: July 27, 2018

Chad Pry, VP of Engineering (L); Ryan Denehy, Founder & CEO (C); Bill Tyndall, VP of Revenue (R)PHOTO BY CIRO PHOTOGRAPHY

In 2016 Business Insider complied a list of “The 15 hottest New York City Startups You Need to Watch.” Among a distinguished set of startup peers was Electric AI, an IT Support service founded by Ryan Denehy. Launched with three people and a $2.5 million seed round in 2016, Electric now employees over 50 full-time staff and landed a Series A in March at $10 million.

Featuring 24/7, real time, AI-enhanced, slack-integrated tech support for startups, Electric is a first-of-its-kind professional services company.

“Servicing IT requests in real-time is something that business owners really love, because we’re solving problems immediately,” Denehy told Forbes in August of 2017. “We charge $30 per month for each user. So, if you’re a company with 100 employees paying $3,000 per month, that’s drastically cheaper than employing an entire IT staff.”

With fast growth, firm funding and a bright future ahead at Electric, we thought it only fair to find out who among BI’s original list of 2016 NYC start-ups are still progressing in 2018 and which wunderkind innovators you still need to watch.


Amino Apps cofounders Ben Anderson, left, and Yin Wang. Amino Apps

Company: Amino Apps

Founders: Ben Anderson Yin Wang

Funding as of 2016: $6.5 Million

What They Do: Builder of community-based, topic specific, standalone chat apps, e.g., an app dedicated to HBO’s hit sci-fi western series, Westworld.

Website: http://www.aminoapps.com

Current Status:

Funding as of 2018: $72.4 Million thru Series C

Number of Employees: 51-100

Since BI’s list of “The 15 hottest New York City Startups You Need to Watch” Amino Apps has achieved massive growth. The number of its community-based apps, users and downloads has exploded into the thousands and millions and the firm has enjoyed two more rounds of funding.

A series B on December 15, 2016 from BoxGroup and 5 other investors, raised $19,200,000, and a Series C on June 12, 2018, raised $45,000,000 from Goodwater Capital and 5 other investors (via Crunchbase).

Slice founder and CEO Ilir Sela. Slice

Company: Slice

Founder: Ilir Sela

Funding as of 2016: $3.32 Million

What They Do: Pizza delivery mobile app aggregator of private pizzerias. As of 2016 Slice had more stores on its service than Dominoes had retail outlets in the United States.

Website: www.slicelife.com

Current Status:

Funding as of 2018: $15 Million thru Series B

Number of Employees: 251-500

Acting on the growing need to connect independent mom & pop pizzeria’s to digital customers, Slice has continued to find growth and successes since it made BI’s Hot New York Startups list in 2016.

Since then Slice has raised another $12 million via a Series B and grown the number of shops on its platform from 4,500 to over 9,000.

Dia&Co cofounders Lydia Gilbert, left, and Nadia Boujarwah. Dia & Co.

Company: Dia&Co

Founder: Lydia Gilbert & Nadia Boujarwah

Funding as of 2016: $20 Million

What They Do: Dia & Co. brings high fashion to plus-size women via a mail-order subscription service supported by a virtual stylist.

Website: www.dia.co

Current Status:

Funding as of 2018: $20 Million

Number of Employees: 101-250

As of 2018 Dia&Co are still inspiring, designing, and delivering fashion to plus-sized women through the company’s curated wardrobe and subscription-based model. Dia&Co launched a new activewear line and Fitness campaign in May of this year with an aim to leverage fitness culture as the bridge to build inclusivity within women’s fashion culture.

Supported by an expanding community of over 125,000 instagram followers and 700,000 Facebook followers, the demand for Dia&Co’s plus size women’s clothing continues to gain momentum.

Remy Founder Kayla Sanders. Remy

Company: Remy

Founder: Kayla Sanders & Reuben Doetsch

Funding as of 2016: Undisclosed

What They Do: Cloud-based insurance compliance for health care companies supported by best-in-class software capability with modern, intuitive UX & UI.

Website: www.remy.co

Current Status:

Featured in a 25 Inspiring Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017 in INC.com, Remy, co-founder Kayla Sanders founded the company with a goal of the growth and adoption of Remy’s cloud-based platform designed to streamline “the management of regulatory and compliance related activities for health insurance providers.”

Electric AI founder Ryan Denehy. Electric AI

Company: Electric Ai

Founder: Ryan Denehy

Funding as of 2016: $2.5 Million

What They Do: Electric is the world’s first all-in-one IT support solution for small and midsize offices delivered in real-time.

Website: http://electric.ai

Current Status:

Funding as of 2018: $12.5 Million thru Series A

Number of Employees: 51-100

From their West Village offices, since 2016 Electric has staffed up and zeroed in on its target clientele of SMEs is startup rich SF and NY. Raising $10 million in Series A funding in March 2018, Electric has combined development and sales resources fill an expanding funnel of customers with little to no marketing while delivering a unique and best-in-class approach to remote IT support.

Clarifai founder and CEO Matt Zeiler. Clarifai

Company: Clarifai

Founder: Matt Zeiler

Funding as of 2016: $41.25 Million

What They Do: Clairfai has created a powerful AI optimized image and video recognition tool available in a SAAS model via a licensed API for commercial purposes.

Website: www.clarifai.com

Current Status:

Funding as of 2018: $41.25 Million

Number of Employees: 51-100

Clarifai has been on fire since 2016 signing a number of partnerships with major retailers who are using the platform’s image and video recognition technology to match customer product preferences to ecommerce offerings. An example is a 2017 deal with West Elm, which leveraged Clarifai’s AI to match users Pinterest boards with West Elm products.

More recently Zeiler and Clarifai made news as it was reported that Clarifia’s servers may have been compromised by Russian makers while the company was involved with a top secret pentagon project.

It’s probably not a bridge to far to claim that if the US Government wishes to leverage your technology, the future is looking bright.

SevenRooms CEO Joel Montaniel. SevenRooms

Company: SevenRooms

Founders: Joel Montaniel, Allison Page, Kinesh Patel

Funding as of 2016: $6.3 Million

What They Do: SevenRooms is designed to “replace the antiquated systems that restaurants and clubs use to book reservations, track spending, and manage the front of the house,” be they mom & pop shops or large hotels.

Website: www.sevenrooms.com

Current Status:

Funding as of 2018: $16.4 Million thru Series A

Number of Employees: 11-50

Seven Rooms has almost tripled its funding since 2016 and has continued to expand its customer base having announced a number of notable partnerships with large restaurant groups. SevenRooms also won the 2017 Hospitality Technology Award at the NYC Hospitality Alliance Awards.

In March 2018 SevenRooms teamed up with TripAdvisor. The arrangement “gives SevenRooms operator partners the ability to seamlessly offer reservations and procure direct bookings from TripAdvisor’s extensive network of over 455 million diners.”

Mark43 Founder Scott Crouch. Mark 43

Company: Mark43

Founder: Scott Crouch, Florian Mayr, and Matthew Polega

Funding as of 2016: $40.09 Million

What They Do: Mark43 builds cutting edge software tools to improve policing processes, from arrest reports to writing tickets.

Website: www.mark43.com

Current Status:

Funding as of 2018: $77.8 Million

Number of Employees: 101-250

Mark43 continues to grow like gangbusters since its policing systems platform launched. In March of 2018, the startup raised another $38 million in a Series C round.

This round was lead by led by General Catalyst and Jim Breyer of Breyer Capital and also included General David Patreous, Bezos Expeditions and Ashton Kuthcer’s Sound Ventures among others.

The company saw a 550% client growth in 2017 and opened offices in Los Angeles, CA and Charlotte, NC with a goal to onboard 30 more agencies in 2018.

Uplevel Security CEO Roselle Safran. Uplevel Security

Company: Uplevel Security

Founder: Roselle Safran and Liz Maida

Funding as of 2016: $2.5 Million

What They Do: Built to increase a firm’s responsiveness to cyber attacks in addition to simply preventing them via advanced pattern recognition technology.

Website: www.uplevelsecurity.com

Current Status:

Funding as of 2018: $5 Million

Number of Employees: 11-50

At the beginning of 2018 Uplevel Security raised another $2.5 million in seed funding from Fitz Gate Ventures, which complemented its initial seed round of $2,5 million from 2016.

An April 21, 2018 TechCrunch article covering NYC startups in the cybersecurity space, named Uplevel as one to watch.

Said co-Founder Maida, ““Let’s build a system that allows for correlation between machine intelligence and human intelligence.”

Wiley Cerilli, left, and Matt Doumar, cofounders and co-CEOs of Good Uncle. Good Uncle

Company: Good Uncle

Founder: Wiley Cerilli and Matt Doumar

Funding as of 2016: $4.37 Million

What They Do: A food delivery service that focuses on obscure eateries and premium food experiences.

Website: www.gooduncle.com

Current Status:

Funding as of 2018: $2.5 Million

Number of Employees: 11-50

While their motto is “Fast AF” since 2016 Good Uncle has slowly built its model and refined its processes. The company has expanded from its original college town market of Syracuse to Delaware in late 2017, and on to College Park, Maryland in March of 2018, With a model that offers no storefront but instead mobile autonomous kitchen.

The plan according to Cerilli is to “expand Good Uncle to 10 new markets in the next nine months and between 15 and 20 new markets in the next year and a half.”

Kit CEO Camille Hearst. Kit

Company: Kit

Founder: Camille Hearst and Naveen Selvadurai

Funding as of 2016: $2.5 Million

What They Do: A user generated product recommendation platform that leverages user input to conceptualize hobby-based “kits” ranging from photography to fashion festivals.

Website: www.kit.com

Current Status:

Funding as of 2018: $2.5 Million

Number of employees: 1-10

Since 2016 the founders of Kit.com have navigated a path to acquisition by Patreon, announced on June 5, 2018 for an undisclosed sum. For Patreon, which facilitates the monetization of merchandise for artists and bands, Kit’s platform and product curation and logistical execution expertise made it a natural fit.

“When we met Kit founder Camille Hearst and her team, we were impressed with the product they built, the active community of creators they support, and how much thought they put into the needs of creators. We knew immediately we wanted to work with them,” says Patreon VP of product Wyatt Jenkins.

Jason Wasserstrum, cofounder and CEO of TheSquareFoot. TheSquareFoot

Company: TheSquareFoot

Founder: Jonathan Wasserstrum, Aron Susman, and Justin Lee

Funding as of 2016: $2.89 Million

What They Do: A “Zillow-like” platform focused on revolutionizing the process of leasing commercial real estate.

Website: www.thesquarefoot.com

Current Status:

Funding as of 2018: $13.4M

Number of employees: 11-50

Since 2016 TheSqaureFoot has had two separate raises of $3.9 million and $7 million, respectively, most recently on April 18, 2108.

With an aim to connect prospective tenants with better options of available commercial Real Estate and has since its founding facilitated hundreds of transactions for established institutions and high-growth startups like Yale University, Casper, Roivant, City Block, and Dr Smood.

“Businesses today understand that an office is much more than a space to work. It’s a physical extension of the brand, its culture, and values,” said Jonathan Wasserstrum, co-founder and CEO of SquareFoot. “By bringing transparency and technology to an industry that’s historically had neither, we’re empowering businesses to find the perfect home with confidence and ease.”

Capsule Pharmacy Founders Sonia Patel and Eric Kinariwala. Capsule

Company: Capsule

Founder: Sonia Patel and Eric Kinariwala

Funding as of 2016: Undisclosed

What They Do: Using a single brick & mortar pharmacy in each city, Capsule enables users to order prescriptions and OTC meds via its custom app and delivers to your doorstep.

Website: www.capsulecares.com

Current Status:

Funding as of 2018: $20 million + Undisclosed Series A

Number of Employees: 11-50

In May of 2017 Capsule raised another $20 million on top of a previous undisclosed Series A. The company’s goal to disrupt the pharmacy model via home delivery and digital consultations on the consumer side with cost savings occurring through vertical integration on the business side has yet to be derailed by legacy competitors or the pharmaceutical industry.

Featured in Fast Company in October of 2017, co-Founder and CEO, Eric Kinariwala, of Capsule dug deeper into its plan to dominate the future landscape of the B2C pharmacy industry.

“There are two keys to making sure that someone takes their medicine,” says Kinariwala. “Make it simple and do it with a partner.”

Climb Credit cofounder and CEO Zander Rafael. Climb Credit

Company: Climb Credit

Founder: Zander Rafael and Amit Sinha

Funding as of 2016: $403.10 Million

What They Do: Climb Credit offers students low interest loans and low monthly payments “working only with schools that will improve students’ earning potential and justify tuition costs.”

Website: www.climbcredit.com

Current Status:

Funding as of 2018: $409.10 million

Number of Employees: 11-50

Since 2016 Climb Credit raised another $6 million in funding to expand its capability to provide a digital lending ecosystem to vocational-based schools and students.

Speaking to Crowdfund Insider of the deal, CEO and Co-Founder Zander Rafael stated.

“This transaction is further testament to our innovative approach of building a student lending platform focused on quality skills-based programs that increase their students’ earning potential…. When Climb aligns the incentives between students, school and lenders, everyone succeeds.”

Frame cofounder and CTO John Traver, left, and cofounder and CEO Emery Wells. Frame.io

Company: Frame.io

Founder: John Traver and Emery Wells

Funding as of 2016: $14.02 Million

What They Do: Build a better video collaboration platform to facilitate sharing and editing of video projects among creators and production teams.

Website: www.frame.io

Current Status:

Funding as of 2018: $34.02 million

Number of Employees: 11-50

Garnering $20 million in Series B funding in October 2017 led by FirstMark Capital, with participation from existing investors including Accel Partners, SignalFire and Shasta Ventures, Frame.io continues to grow and progress in its mission to reinvent how creators, producers, editors and content managers collaborate on video projects with its unique platform.

The product has over 370,000 users with a consumer and enterprise level platforms as well as a mobile app to facilitate feedback on projects. Enterprise level users include Turner Broadcasting, Vice, Spotify, Buzzfeed and Funny or Die.

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