31 Hot New York Startups You Need To Watch

ClasspassPayal KadakiaClassPass CEO Payal Kadakia

The New York City tech scene is bigger and stronger than ever, with new startups popping up all the time.

A good indicator: The number of companies represented at this year’s TechDay NYC doubled from the year before.

We wanted to highlight some of the most interesting companies that are doing cool things to help boost Silicon Alley’s reputation as a great place for tech. We picked the brains of several investors and people plugged into the New York City tech scene to put together this list of 31 startups.

We’ve ranked them in order of least-to-most funding.

Poncho will make sure you never forget your umbrella again.

Why you should care: Poncho is a text or email based weather service that gives subscribers fun, actionable advice about the weather each day instead of a list of temperatures. The company, which has a sassy orange cat as its mascot, initially only served New York City, but it launched in Boston in April.

Year founded: 2013

Funding: Poncho is a Betaworks project

EmPowered will make sure that you're never stranded with a dead phone again.

Lori Edwards, founder of emPowered, in the center

Why you should care: This startup was founded with the connected woman in mind. All of EmPowered's stylish bags can store enough juice to bring your smartphone from dead to 100% twice before you have to plug it back in. This is founder Loni Edward's third startup and she won the Woman In Business award at this year's TechDay NY event.

Year founded: 2014

Funding: None

Lynxsy plays matchmaker for college grads looking for startup jobs.

The Lynxsy team at TechStars Demo Day

Why you should care: Lynxsy, which presented at TechStars Demo Day NYC, allows startups to recruit junior talent on demand. Recent grads can import their LinkedIn profiles to the app and make a brief video to apply. Then employers hire and pay their new employees directly through the app.

Year founded: 2013

Funding: $118,000 for inclusion in TechStars NYC

Fancy Hands gives you a virtual personal assistant whenever you need it.

Fancy Hands founder Ted Roden

Why you should care: For a monthly fee, you can get the extra help you need with Fancy Hands. Make your request via mobile app, the Fancy Hands website, or a simple phone call -- one of the thousands of Fancy Hands virtual assistants will confirm your hotel reservation, find you cheap Lady Gaga tickets, or schedule a coffee meeting for you.

Year founded: 2010

Funding: $1 million

Cover wants to change how you pay at restaurants.

Cover co-founders Andrew Cove (left) and Mark Egerman

Why you should care: Instead of worrying whether you can split a check at a restaurant with five different credit cards, Cover lets you check in through the app once you arrive, select the table you're joining, and put your phone away. The mobile app automatically adds a tip, splits the bill, and pays with your on-file credit card. You can pay for a meal with Cover at about 100 restaurants in New York City and San Francisco.

Year founded: 2013

Funding: $US1.5 million

Glamsquad brings on-demand hairstyling to you.

Why you should care: Need a blowout in a pinch? Make an appointment and pay via the Glamsquad website or its app, and one of Glamsquad's trained stylists will come to you. All you need to do is have your hair washed and still wet when your stylist arrives.

Year founded: 2014

Funding: $US1.5 million

ClassPass wants to make it cheaper, easier, and more fun for you to get fit.

ClassPass CEO Payal Kadakia

Why you should care: ClassPass lets users sign up for a monthly membership program so that they can switch up their routine and take classes at several different gyms and studios for one set fee. ClassPass raised $US2 million in seed funding in March and offers its services in New York, Boston, and Los Angeles.

Year founded: 2013

Funding: $US2 million

Fundera is an alternative lending business that helps small businesses find the best non-bank loans for their needs.

Jared Hecht, Fundera

Why you should care: Founded by GroupMe millionaire Jared Hecht, Fundera is a website that helps make it dead simple for small businesses to get loans from non-bank lenders. Fundera connects users to its group of 24 lenders and educates them on which products would be the best suit for their needs.

Year founded: 2014

Funding: $US3.4 million

Lover.ly is the Pinterest for all your wedding planning needs.

Lover.ly founder Kellee Khalil

Why you should care: Wedding business is big business, and Lover.ly is cashing in. Besides aggregating and categorising every detail of wedding planning, Lover.ly is also an e-commerce site, letting brides-to-be shop and find vendors for their weddings. It's reportedly in the process of raising a $US2.5 million Series B round at a valuation of $US15 million.

Year founded: 2012

Funding: $US3.7 million

Lulu never wants women to go in blind on a first date again.

Alexandra Chong, CEO of Lulu

Why you should care: Lulu's app lets women rate guys they have met with a series of hashtag descriptions that ultimately lead to a rating on a scale of one to 10. The point is for women to easily share their insights with others who may be considering dating those guys. In May, Lulu launched a version of its app for men, who can now see their scores and analytics for their profiles.

Year Founded: 2011

Funding: $US6.3 million

Created by a bunch of dog lovers, BarkBox will make your pup happy.

Strife, Meeker and Werdelin, BarkBox cofounders

Why you should care: BarkBox is a subscription e-commerce and content company that sends a monthly box full of dog goodies to owners' doors. In May, the team launched an app called BarkBuddy that helps people find adoptable dogs in their area.

Year founded: 2011

Funding: $US6.7 million

Hinge is a dating app that connects you with your friends' friends.

Why you should care: Hinge is a dating app that connects you with your Facebook friends' friends and pulls your info for your profile from Facebook, allowing you to rate other users with either a heart or an X. It's totally free and available in nine markets -- DC, Philadelphia, NYC, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and L.A. The company raised $US4.5 million in July.

Year founded: 2011

Funding: $US8.6 million

Kickstarter lets you crowdfund all your creative projects.

Charles Adler, Perry Chen, and Yancey Strickler

Why you should care: Kickstarter is the world's largest crowdfunding platform -- more than 5 million people have pledged more than $US900 million since its 2009 launch. Recently, LeVar Burton raised more than $US4.7 million in pledged donations with more contributors than any other project in Kickstarter's history to revive the PBS series Reading Rainbow.

Year founded: 2009

Funding: $US10 million

MakeSpace takes the pain out of typical self-storage facilities.

Adam LeVasseur, Sam Rosen, and Rahul Gandhi, co-founders at MakeSpace

Why you should care: Instead of having to move your stuff back and forth from apartment storage facility, MakeSpace does the work for you. The startup provides you with free storage bins, and once you pack up, they do all the heavy lifting -- they will worry about picking up your belongings, storing them, and redelivering to you when you need them again.

Year founded: 2013

Funding: $10.1 million

Use KeyMe and you'll never have to call your roommate at 3 a.m. if you're locked out of your apartment.

The KeyMe teams.

Why you should care: With the tagline 'Store your key now, thank yourself later,' KeyMe lets users share and duplicate their physical keys based on a digital scan that they stored in the cloud. The company has several kiosks throughout New York City where users can print new keys on the spot, and plans to place more in cities around the country thanks to a $US7.8 million fundraise in April.

Year founded: 2012

Funding: $10.4 million

YPlan will make sure you always have something to do, even last-minute.

Why you should care: YPlan curates a handful of awesome events going on each night and lets you pay for a ticket in two taps, with no hidden 'processing' fees. Right now, the app lists events in New York, London, Las Vegas, and San Francisco, with more markets on the way.

Year founded: 2012

Funding: $US13.7 million

Rap Genius wants to annotate the world.

Why you should care: Despite having faced several very serious bumps in the road in the last year, Rap Genius is still plowing forward on its path to annotate songs, books, poems, news articles, speeches, and more. In January, it launched a new app to let users browse the site and identify songs they hear using a Shazam-like feature.

Year founded: 2009

Funding: $US16.8 million

With HowAboutWe, you'll never be bored again.

Why you should care: Offering an online dating service for singles and date ideas for couples, HowAboutWe uses its personal concierge service to become your go-to date night resource. IAC, which owns dating sites Match.com and OKCupid, is rumoured to be buying the startup soon.

Year founded: 2009

Funding: $22.3 million

Handybook lets you book cleaners, plumbers, and handymen on demand.

Why you should care: If you need work done around the house but are no handyman yourself, Handybook can help. Book services in 60 seconds and schedule it as soon as the next day, and one of Handybook's insured, background-checked professionals will help you out with that leaky faucet.

Year founded: 2012

Funding: $45.7 million

Blue Apron is a godsend for lazy chefs.

Why you should care: Blue Apron ships pre-measured ingredients all over to U.S. to aspiring cooks who can't be bothered to lug themselves to the grocery store. Users subscribe to get boxes every week with recipes and ingredients for three meals, and each one is fresh, interesting, and pretty easy to make (check out our full review of the service). Blue Apron raised $US50 million in April.

Year founded: 2012

Funding: $US58 million

Sprinklr manages social media needs for big companies.

Ragy Thomas, Sprinklr's CEO

Why you should care: Ad tech startup Sprinklr works with large companies to take care of their needs across social media platforms. For instance, if a company has a different Twitter account for each of its products in different countries -- and then different Facebook pages on top of that -- the number of accounts the company has to maintain can add up quickly. Sprinklr's products make it easier to manage a company's social media accounts.

Year founded: 2009

Funding: $77.5 million

Fancy wants to make sure you're loaded up with the coolest, quirkiest products.

Why you should care: The social ecommerce site Fancy lets users curate and buy quirky products they like. Earlier this year, it launched a new 'Storefront' feature to let merchants create their own shops. Also, Fancy is reportedly trying to raise a new round of funding with a valuation that could be as high as $US1.2 billion.

Year founded: 2009

Funding: $US78 million

Etsy is an independent artist's best friend.

Why you should care: The community of artists on Etsy, the online marketplace for crafts and other funky things, sold $US1.35 billion worth of goods in 2013 and just poached one of Pandora's top execs to boost its mobile growth. Etsy is one of the biggest players in the NYC tech scene and, despite what its CEO says, it feels like an IPO could be just around the corner.

Year founded: 2005

Funding: $US97.3 million

ZocDoc takes all the hassle out of scheduling doctors appointments.

Oliver Kharraz, Nick Ganju, and Cyrus Massoumi of ZocDoc

Why you should care: ZocDoc is an app and website that lets you schedule various kinds of doctors appointments, and even fill out some of the paperwork ahead of time so that you won't have to spend as much time in the waiting room. It says that its services are used by more than 5 million patients per month, and it reportedly raising $US152 million at a $US1.6 billion valuation.

Year founded: 2007

Funding: $US97.9 million

app and website that lets you schedule in-network doctor appointments, is raising a fresh new round of funding,

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com.au/zocdoc-raising-at-16-billion-valuation-2014-6#ixzz36EeRnnBE

Warby Parker brings you boutique-style eyewear at great prices.

David Gilboa and Neil Blumenthal, two of Warby Parker's cofounders

Why you should care: E-commerce company Warby Parker specialises in vintage-inspired eyewear that looks much more expensive than its modest price tag. The startup has a 'try before you buy' program, allowing you to select five pairs of frames from its website that get sent to your house for free before you commit to a specific pair of glasses.

Year founded: 2010

Funding: $US115.5 million

Flatiron Health is revolutionizing healthcare by collecting information from cancer patients.

Flatiron Health cofounders Nat Turner and Zac Weinberg

Why you should care: After seeing friends and family members battle with cancer, Flatiron Health cofounders Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg sold their advertising tech startup Invite Media to Google for $US81 million. Flatiron Health aggregates cancer-related data and sells its extensive database to researchers and doctors, who can then use the data from cancer patients to make treatment decisions. It raised $US130 million in a round led by Google Ventures in May.

Year founded: 2012

Funding: $US138 million

AppNexus is using ads to power the Internet.

AppNexus CEO Brian O'Kelley

Why you should care: Specializing in real-time online advertising, AppNexus is the world's largest independent ad tech company. The startup handles at least $US700 million in advertising money each year, giving it the biggest reach on the Internet after Google.

Year founded: 2007

Funding: $140.5 million

Oscar wants to shake up healthcare.

Why you should care: Oscar, which officially launched in New York City in January, aims to use technology to create a better, more consumer-friendly health insurance company. It raised $US80 million in May, and Forbes reports that the company currently has more than 16,000 customers who pay an average of $US4,500 in annual fees, which puts Oscar's revenue at around $US72 million with a valuation of $US800 million.

Year founded: 2013

Funding: $US150 million

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