Brooklyn isn’t just for hipsters anymore.
Manhattan may be known as New York City’s Silicon Alley, but Brooklyn — its neighbour to the east — is buzzing with startups too.
We rounded up some of the coolest startups in Brooklyn. They solve problems — like delivering your packages on your own time so you never miss the UPS guys again. They’re also revolutionizing food, making podcasts into a big business, and delivering laundry on demand.
GoTenna is a pocket-sized device that promises to give you WiFi anywhere. The GoTenna device pairs up with your phone to let you communicate, even when you don't have service.
Cofounders Daniela and Jorge Perdomo came up with the idea for goTenna in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Months later, Daniela had created physical prototypes for a gadget to help people communicate even when they don't have cell phone service. GoTenna has raised $US1.8 million in seed funding.
At the end of May, Livestream moved its streaming services from its Google-owned property in Manhattan to the artistic neighbourhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn. There, the company occupies 30,000 square feet on two floors of a refurbished warehouse on Morgan Avenue.
About half of Livestream's employees live in Brooklyn, so the move made sense. Livestream is the first tech company in its neighbourhood. The company has 140 employees total, most of whom work in Livestream's New York offices. But Livestream has offices worldwide, in places like Los Angeles, the U.K., Ukraine, and India.
Take a look at our tour of Livestream's offices here.
Currently, Gimlet Media runs two podcasts: one is called Reply All and is about the internet, and the other is a show called StartUp, which talks about what it's like for Blumberg to start his own business. In November, Gimlet Media raised a $US1.5 million round of seed funding from Lowercase Capital, Knight Enterprise Fund, and betaworks, and the company is rapidly expanding.
Last year, Vice Media made waves when it moved to a new -- and bigger -- office in Williamsburg that can house 525 employees. In 2013, Rupert Murdoch bought a 5% stake in Vice, which was co-founded by Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi, for $US70 million.
In September, Vice raised $US500 million at a valuation exceeding $US2.5 billion. Smith believes his company could be worth as much as $US30 billion if it goes public. All told, Vice seems to be doing pretty well. In December, Smith stood on stage at his company's holiday party and handed out $US1 million to his employees in the form of envelopes stuffed with $US1,500 in crisp, new $US100 bills.
Farmigo is a startup that helps communities and other businesses -- like Etsy, Virgin America, and LinkedIn -- access local, farm-fresh grocery deliveries. Startups can designate a place in their office to be a Farmigo drop location, so workers don't ever have to go to the grocery store themselves. Some companies even cover the cost, saving employees time and money.
Farmigo has raised $US10 million in two rounds of venture capital funding from Benchmark, Sherbrooke Capital, Toby Coppel, and Hadi Partovi. The company moved into a brand-new, 5,000-square-foot office in Gowanus in 2014.
Check out our office tour of Farmigo's Gowanus office -- it looks like a jungle gym.
If you need your laundry done but can't be bothered to bring it to your laundromat yourself, FlyCleaners has your back. Once you download the app, you specify your washing, dry, and dry cleaning preferences, and then schedule a time for FlyCleaners' 'Fly Guys' to come pick up your clothes. FlyCleaners outsources its laundry process to laundry partners, which then charge FlyCleaners a wholesale cleaning rate.
You can schedule a pickup on-demand, or for another time slot. If FlyCleaners picks up your laundry before 11 at night, they will be ready as early as 7 a.m. the next day. After FlyCleaners lets you know your wash is done, scheduling a delivery is a matter of taps on the screen.
FlyCleaners has raised a $US2 million seed funding round from Fabrice Grinda and Zelkova Ventures.
Mouth curates food products from independent artisans and companies across the country, selling hundreds of products in its online marketplace. You won't find Mouth's products in your grocery store.
Craig Kanarick, formerly of digital ad agency Razorfish, co-founded Mouth with Sam Murray and Nancy Kruger Cohen, who had worked for Details and ESPN Magazine. 'This is an opportunity for me to combine a good 10 to 15 years of digital expertise with this pervasive love of food,' Kanarick told Business Insider.
Mouth has raised $US2.9 million from investors including Vocap Investment Partners, VegasTechFund, Joanne Wilson, Jason Calacanis, and Philip Kaplan.
Mouth is located in DUMBO, and you can check out what it looks like here.
Parcel is a delivery service that receives your packages during the day -- when you're not at home -- and drops them off for you when you're home after work that night. Here's how it works: when you're online shopping, you'll punch in an address that corresponds with one of Parcel's Manhattan locations.
As soon as your packags arrive there, Parcel will text you to tell you they're ready to be delivered. Then you pick a one-hour time slot between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. that night, and Parcel will drop your packages off at your door.
Parcel raised its $US1 million seed round in September from Archangel, Galvanize Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Liberty City ventures, and David Cohen.
Founded in 2007, HowGood helps shoppers make good choices about their food -- not just in terms of how good it is for you, but also in regards to whether the food product was locally produced, the animals involved in the making of the food were treated humanely, the people who made the food were paid a fair wage, and other factors. HowGood has a proprietary system that rates and ranks different food products.
The company has raised $US2 million in funding from FirstMark Capital, Highline Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Serious Change LP, Jake Lodwick and Joanne Wilson.
Popular crowdfunding platform Kickstarter moved last year from a Lower East Side tenement building -- where the team had to do its dishes in a bathtub -- into a building in Greenpoint that once served as the Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory.
Last year, more than 3.3 million people around the world pledged more than half a billion dollars on 22,252 Kickstarter projects. A high-tech cooler, the Coolest Cooler, became Kickstarter's most-funded project of all time, raising $US13.2 million by its August 29 deadline.
Modern Meadows does something with food that's never been done before: the startup grows meat, fish, poultry, and leather in its labs in its lab using biofabrication, which takes small biopsies from animals but leaves them unharmed. The end result of culturing cells in its lab: a humane and eco-friendly animal product.
The leather grown in Modern Meadow's labs isn't just cruelty-free -- it has no imperfections that normal animal skin would have, making it perfect for fashion designers who want to use it. Prior to cofounding Modern Meadow, CEO Andras Forgacs cofounded Organovo, a company that 3D prints human tissue. Modern Meadow raised a $US10 million Series A round from ARTIS Ventures and Horizons Ventures in July.
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