New York may not have Snapchat. It may not have Google, Twitter or Facebook. But in the past 365 days, a lot of value has been created by a few New York City-based startups.
In the past year or two, three companies have gone from being worth $US0 to $US500 million+ valuations. Those companies are:
- Flatiron Health — Founded by Invite Media’s Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg, Flatiron Health is two years old. It started as a passion project for Turner and Weinberg who both had family members who had been diagnosed with cancer. Then they started looking into clinical trials. Now the company’s mission is to organise the world’s oncology data and it’s working with a number of cancer clinics in beta. Khosla Ventures led a $US130 million round in Flatiron Health in May 2014 at a valuation that exceeds $US500 million.
- Oscar — Joshua Kushner’s Oscar is a health insurance company that launched in July 2013. It’s goal is to make healthcare affordable and medical bills easy for everyone to understand. Investors have poured $US150 million into it at a valuation that exceeds $US500 million.
- Blue Apron — Blue Apron, a Brooklyn-based startup, sends recipes and perfect ingredient portions to your doorstep so you can learn to cook new meals at home relatively quickly without any waste or store visits required. It’s rumoured to be doing more than $US80 million in annual revenue and its latest valuation was about $US500 million on the nose.
Another startup that created a lot of value in New York over the past year is Ori Allon’s Urban Compass. Urban Compass helps people find homes to buy or rent on a mobile-friendly interface. It earned a $US350 million valuation one year after its launch.
An older company that’s finally beginning to take off is Pond5, a marketplace for royalty-free videos, sounds and stock images. It raised $US500,000 from a group of NYC angels back in 2008. Accel recently bought out all of the angels in a new $US61 million round of financing. A similar NYC company, Shutterstock, went public a few years ago and turned its founder Jon Oringer into a billionaire.
Vice and BuzzFeed are also older but massively valuable ~$1 billion businesses being built in New York.