The New York tech scene is exploding with talent, from serial entrepreneurs and investors who have been buildling companies for years to a crop of young founders who are embarking on their first startups.
In fact, some of the coolest new companies on the east coast are being built by people who are in their 20s and 30s.
Culled from our list of the 2015 Silicon Alley 100, here are dozens of startup founders and CEOs doing amazing things in New York tech and beyond — and they’re all under 35.
Cofounder and CEO, Alfred
Marcela Sapone, 29, and Jessica Beck met at Harvard Business School, fresh out of stints in the finance world. To keep their lives in order and their apartments clean, they had hired someone from Craigslist to buy their groceries and do their laundry. The woman they hired, Jenny, came to their apartments to take care of errands that would otherwise pile up. This was the earliest iteration of what would become their company, Alfred.
Today, Alfred is a startup that hires employees -- Alfred Client Managers, or just 'Alfreds' -- to run weekly errands: things like buying your groceries, sorting your mail, dropping off packages, and taking care of your laundry for you. You pay $US99 a month for the service, plus the cost of things like your groceries.
In May, Alfred raised a $US10.5 million Series A round of funding from New Enterprise Associates, Spark Capital, CrunchFund, and Sherpa Capital. In total, Alfred has raised $US12.5 million since it was founded in 2013.
Cofounders, Managed By Q
Named for the 'Star Trek' character and James Bond's Q Branch, Managed By Q is a mobile platform that helps companies book cleaning services, making it easier than it traditionally has been for companies to schedule, manage, and pay the people who clean their offices.
This year, the office-cleaning startup -- founded by 26-year-old Dan Teran and 33-year-old Saman Rahmanian -- expanded out of New York City for the first time, launching its operations in Chicago and San Francisco.
In June, the startup closed a $US15 million series A round of funding led by RRE Ventures with participation from Greycroft Partners, Homebrew, Sherpa Ventures, SV Angel and Steadfast Financial. Managed by Q's clients include Uber, Everlane, and Angelist.
Cofounder and CEO, DWNLD
These days it seems like everybody has an app in the App Store. And why not? It's a great way to make extra money while putting out a product that you believe in. Alexandra Keating, 29, is capitalising on that idea with DWNLD, a mobile app-creation platform that helps companies, brands, and other influencers easily and affordably turn their content, from social media to photos to videos to GIFs, into native mobile apps in minutes. DWNLD landed a $US12 million investment from Greylock Partners in September,and works with clients like Nylon, xoJane, and a number of YouTube stars and bloggers.
Founder and CEO, Vive
Few things make a woman feel more fabulous than a fresh blowout. But at $US40 to $US90 a pop in New York City, it's a luxury that quickly adds up. Enter Vive, a 'ClassPass for blowouts' that lets members book unlimited blowout appointments at salons in Manhattan for just $US99 a month. Founded by 29-year-old Alanna Gregory, Vive launched earlier this year and is still working with investors to raise funding.
Though the service isn't perfect yet, it's definitely gaining traction. Vive capitalises on the popularity of on-demand services like Uber that make it possible to get what you want when you want it, relatively hassle-free.
YouTube star, founder of Beme
Casey Neistat, 34, a YouTube star best known for viral videos that garner millions of views, took his interest in virality a step further this year, launching video-sharing app Beme in July. On Beme, users film short videos, no longer than four seconds, and cannot view what they're sharing before it's posted. The videos then automatically delete after they're viewed. Think of it as a simplified, filter-free version of Snapchat. Though the idea of posting anything unfiltered online might seem terrifying to many, Beme took off, amassing 1.1 million video shares and 2.4 photo reactions within its first week, TechCrunch reported.
Cofounder and CEO (Reich), cofounder and sales/growth (Britton), cofounder and VP of tech (Ratner); Troops
Founded in March by 30-year-old Dan Reich, 27-year-old Scott Britton, and 31-year-old Greg Ratner, Troops is a mobile-software company that gives professionals an artificial intelligence-powered mobile-sales assistant to make working easier. Though the company is currently in stealth mode, it will revolutionise customer relationship management (CRM) technology by making it mobile first.
The Troops team already has an all-star list of investors and advisers, including First Round Capital, Founder Collective, Next View Ventures, Great Oaks Capital, Single Platform founder and CEO Wiley Cerilli, Flatiron Health cofounders Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg, and more.
WayUp (formerly Campus Job) is a marketplace for college kids looking for internships and jobs. About 90% of the positions offered on WayUp are paid, and the startup sees 10,000 new college-age users signing up weekly. Listings on the website include freelancing gigs, bartending jobs, and campus representative roles for companies.
WayUp was born out of a campus-rep company that former Googler Liz Wessel, 25, had started with fellow student JJ Fliegelman, 26, at Penn; it's an alternative to a college career-service center and Symplicity, a job board employers have to pay for postings on. It recently went through the startup accelerator Y Combinator, moved back to New York from Silicon Valley, and raised over $US9 million in May, bringing its total funding to $US10.3 million.
Reham Ragiri, 32, is one of the only minority female founders to take a company through prestigious startup incubator Y Combinator, transforming the preowned-furniture marketplace in New York City. She and cofounder Kalam Dennis, 34, developed their service so that buyers and sellers of used furniture don't have to coordinate delivery or pick-up times, or even do the actual delivering or picking up themselves -- AptDeco has a delivery partner that does it all, taking one of the biggest hassle of trying to buy or sell furniture in New York City out of the equation.
As a cofounder at New York-based General Assembly, 29-year-old Hargreaves noticed a growing housing crisis affecting the tech education provider's students, many of whom couldn't meet the rigorous rental requirements stipulated by landlords in New York City. He set out to solve that problem with his new company, Common, which launched in July and has already raised $US7.3 million in funding.
Common is a new community offering flexible shared housing in major cities, starting in New York, and eliminates traditional methods of verifying applicants (like two years of tax returns as proof of income). Residents at its first space, a 19-room apartment building in Brooklyn scheduled to open this fall, will pay for rooms on a month-to-month basis. Common manages all aspects of living -- from the application process to cleaning services to community events -- to create the best experience for residents while also integrating with the neighbourhood.
David Nemetz, 31, Michael Schaefermeyer, 28, Steve Marshall, 34, Winton Welsh, 31, and John Degner, 34, cofounded Inverse
Founder and CEO (Nemetz), cofounder and senior software engineer (Schaefermeyer), cofounder and head of product and design (Marshall), cofounder and CTO (Welsh), cofounder and developer (Degner), Inverse
Inverse is a new media and news website that targets millennial men -- consider it the antithesis to Bustle, a news site for women. Makes sense considering that 31-year-old cofounder and CEO David Nemetz used to work with Bustle's founder and CEO Bryan Goldberg at the sports news site they founded together, Bleacher Report.
Inverse, which launched in August, raised an undisclosed seed round from BDMI, Crosslink Capital, Greycroft Partners, Rothenberg Ventures, and The Social+Capital Partnership. Nemetz launched the company along with 28-year-old Michael Schaefermeyer, 34-year-old Steve Marshall, 31-year-old Winton Welsh, and 34-year-old John Degner.
Cofounders, The Muse
Kathryn Minshew, 29, and Alex Cavoulacos, 28, are the cofounders of the job-search and career-advice site The Muse. This year, it raised a $US10 million series A round of funding from investors including Aspect Ventures, DBL Partners, Great Oaks Venture Capital Partner, and QED Investors. In total, the Y Combinator startup has raised $US12.8 million from investors.
The Muse receives 3 million active users every month and is competing with other career-advice and job-search sites like LinkedIn and Monster.com. By the end of 2015, The Muse expects to hire 25 people. The startup also wants to expand to skills development. Compared to the average age of users on LinkedIn -- 47 -- The Muse's is much lower at 29.
Cofounder and CEO (Beard), cofounder and president (Draghi), A Plus
Evan Beard and Kendall Draghi, both 28, launched A Plus, a website they hope will become the next BuzzFeed, in actor and investor Ashton Kutcher's living room in April 2014. Now based in New York, the site has 50 million monthly readers, and this spring raised a $US3.5 million convertible note at a $US30 million valuation cap.
A Plus, a variation on Kutcher's initials (A + K), highlights social issues and aims to inspire positive change in journalists and readers. Investors include Kutcher and Guy Oseary's Sound Ventures, Gary Vaynerchuck, Venture 51, and a slew of A-list celebrities, among others.
SeatGeek is a website and mobile app founded by Jack Groetzinger and Russell D'Souza, 30, that helps users find out what's going on and buy tickets all in one place. SeatGeek has poured six years of work into its interactive maps, which pull data from a ton of sources.
This year, SeatGeek raised a $US62 million Series C round of funding from Technology Crossover Ventures, Accel, Causeway Media Partners, Fabrice Grinda, Jason Finger, Jose Marin, Mousse Partners, and Sean Black. To date, SeatGeek has raised $US103 million, and its new round of funding reportedly values the company at $US200 million.
As of April, SeatGeek had 64 employees, with plans to increase the size of its team to 110 employees by the end of the year. According to the company, its app has been downloaded more than 3 million times. Sixty per cent of SeatGeek's users access SeatGeek on mobile devices.
Among risky business ventures, loans and startups sit at the top of the list. But Jared Hecht, 27, and Rohan Deshpande, 28, are -- successfully -- diving into both headfirst with Fundera, an online marketplace that helps small business owners receive loans from non-bank lenders to get their businesses off the ground. The company launched in February 2014, and raised $US11.5 million in series B funding from Susquehanna Growth Equity, QED Investors, Khosla Ventures, and First Round Capital in September. Not only that, but Fundera helps make small businesses possible, helping sustain and expand New York's growing tech scene.
For Hecht, the startup world isn't new. He sold his first company, group-messaging app GroupMe, to Skype in 2010 for $US80 million.
Cofounder, Rent the Runway
Rent the Runway, a website founded by Jennifer Fleiss, 32, and Jennifer Hyman, that lets women rent and return designer dresses for special events, raised $US60 million in a series D round of financing led by Technology Crossover Ventures in December 2014. To date, the company has raised a total of $US126 million from investors including Advance Publications, Bain Capital Partners, American Express, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Condé Nast.
The clothes-sharing service continues to expand, capitalising on the fact that women care more about feeling great for an event than actually owning the dress they wear. Rent the Runway has more than 5 million shoppers and operates four brick-and-mortar stores, where customers can rent clothing and accessories.
Canary, a company cofounded by Adam Sager, Chris Rill, and Jon Troutman, 32, that makes home-security cameras, is like Dropcam, which Google acquired for $US500 million, except it's a fully fledged security system with siren, temp-humidity sensors, and an optional call center. It will even auto-arm/disarm the system as you come and go, and strives to detect strange movements and potential break-ins.
In June, Canary raised a $US30 million series B round of funding from investors including Walden Riverwood Ventures, Cota Capital, Flextronics International, Khosla Ventures, Two Sigma Ventures, and WTI. The new funding brings Canary's total funding to $US41 million.
Matt Burton, 33, Jonathan Kelfer, 31, Angela Ceresnie, 33, and David Snitkof, 32, cofounded Orchard Platform
Cofounder and CEO (Burton), cofounder and CTO (Kelfer), cofounder and CFO (Ceresnie), cofounder and CPO (Snitkof), Orchard Platform
Orchard Platform, a fintech company that provides technology and infrastructure for marketplace lending, has gotten millions in VC funding, including a recent $US30 million series B round led by Thrive Capital with Spark Capital, Canaan Partners, Victory Park Capital, and Thomvest Ventures.
Wall Streeters are also throwing their hats in the ring for Orchard -- which was founded by 33-year-old Matt Burton, 31-year-old Jonathan Kelfer, 33-year-old Angela Ceresnie, and 32-year-old David Snitkof -- as they see peer-to-peer loans as a potentially huge moneymaker for them.
Cofounder and CEO (Johnson), cofounders (Carnevale and Aboyeji), Andela
Andela is a program that finds the best and brightest students or programmers in Africa -- the continent which has the most untapped potential tech talent, according to 31-year-old cofounder and CEO Jeremy Johnson.
Andela trains them and places them in jobs at startups or Fortune 500 companies. Johnson and his three cofounders -- 25-year-old Ian Carnevale and 24-year-old Iyinoluwa Aboyehi, along with Christina Sass -- launched the company last July and plan to develop a new model for how companies staff their organisations. In June, Andela raised a $US10 million series A round from Spark Capital and Arena Ventures.
On-demand home-cleaning startup Handy raised a $US15 million round of series B funding this year from investors including TPG Growth and Sound Ventures and other current investors. In total Handy has raised $US60 million, and the company, which was cofounded by Umang Dua, 28, and Oisin Hanrahan, 31, is reported to be in talks to raise another $US50 million round at a $US500 million valuation.
Handy also hired a new CTO -- Tumblr's Ken Little -- to grow its platform. This summer, the startup announced it would expand beyond cleaning and home repair to furniture delivery and assembly. Handy now lets its New York City users buy IKEA furniture from Handy's website, which the company's workers will then deliver to your home and assemble for you.
Online-shopping app Spring is now the first major mobile shopping mall, thanks to a $US25 million series B round of funding in April. The round included investments from 34-year-old Spring cofounder David Tisch's seed fund, BoxGroup, as well as Yuri Milner, Groupe Arnault, Google Ventures, and Thrive Capital, bringing the company's total amount of capital raised to over $US30 million.
The app, which allows customers to immediately purchase any product with a single swipe, also reportedly received an investment from Snapchat earlier this year, Re/code reported, although reps for both companies declined to comment. Other cofounders include 27-year-old Alan Tisch, 33-year-old Ara Katz, as well as Octavian Costache.
Siddhartha Dabral, 33, Stephen Milbank, 33, Tanner Hackett, 32, Mikey Wakerly, 34, and Michael Jaconi, 32, are all part of Button's executive team
Cofounder and CEO (Jaconi), cofounders (Dabral, Milbank), executive team member (Wakerly), Button
Button enables smart connections between apps that could let you do things like booking a restaurant reservation through Resy and an Uber ride to the restaurant at the same time, creating a more integrated mobile experience.
The deep-linking startup raised a $US12 million series A round in January from the likes of Redpoint Ventures, Greycroft Partners, and Atlas Venture, among others. This brings the total amount Button has raised to $US14.3 million. Button's executive team currently includes plenty of young talent: 32-year-old Michael Jaconi, 33-year-old Siddhartha Dabral, 33-year-old Stephen Milbank, 34-year-old Mikey Wakerly, and 32-year-old Tanner Hackett.
Partner and cofounder, Notation Capital
Notation Capital is a 'pre-seed' investment firm -- meaning it awards funding to those with ideas for startups, even if they don't yet have a product, traction, or even a working prototype.
Former Betaworks executives Nicholas Chirls, 30, and Alex Lines are paving this new mode of investing with their $US8 million pre-seed fund, awarding up to $US500,000 for a great idea. It's an alternative to the traditional friends-and-family round of investing among new startups, and gives worthy entrepreneurs the startup capital to get their ideas off the ground. This summer, Notation invested in four companies-to-be.
Blade, the $US25 million 'Uber for helicopters,' launched on Memorial Day in 2014 with helicopter flights from New York City to the Hamptons through a partnership with Liberty Helicopter. The company, founded by former Warner Music COO Rob Wiesenthal and GroupMe cofounder Steve Martocci, 33, owns no 'copters of its own; like Uber, it's an operator and logistics manager, arranging flights without the hassle of aircraft maintenance. It's quickly become a popular service with New York's 1%.
Founder and CEO, Hinge
In December, the dating app based on third-degree Facebook connections raised a $US12 million series A round, led by Shasta Ventures, bringing the company up to a total $US20.6 million raised since it launched in 2012. Not bad for an app that nearly tanked less than a year after it launched, only to survive by the skin of its teeth with an app launch party that gained it the much-needed users that make it now one of Silicon Alley's hottest startups, and an incredibly viable competitor to Tinder.
Like Tinder, Hinge, which was founded by 31-year-old Justin McLeod, matches users with nearby singles, but takes the matching process one step further by only searching for people with whom the user has at least one Facebook friend in common, eliminating the randomness that makes many of Tinder's potential users sceptical.
Editor-in-chief (Ward), founder and CEO (Goldberg), Bustle
Bryan Goldberg, 32, and Kate Ward's, 30, publication for women announced at the end of last year that it now sees 20 million monthly readers, up from 10 million last July. At the same time, it raised a $US15.5 million series C round of financing, led by General Catalyst Partners.
The site, launched in August 2013, aims to be the ultimate content site for women, covering everything from news to fashion to entertainment. And after meeting with a dose of criticism in the beginning, Bustle has managed to convert many of its critics into fans.
Founded in 2011 by Jake Horowitz and former Goldman Sachs employee Chris Altchek, both 28, Mic is a news site aiming to be the voice of the digital generation -- 73% of Mic's 20 million monthly readers are younger than 35. Mic didn't generate any revenue in 2014, but this year, it will generate $US5-$US10 million. Some months, Altchek says Mic is accidentally profitable. This year, Mic got to interview President Obama.
The media startup has just 82 full-time employees with 50 staffers in its editorial department. In June, Mic raised a $US17 million series B round of funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Advancit Capital, Axel Springer, Jim Clark, John Hadl, Knight Foundation, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Red Swan Ventures. The new funding valued Mic at nearly $US100 million. Mic is also rumoured to have walked away from early Twitter-acquisition talks for that same amount.
Victoria's Secret-killer AdoreMe is a vertically integrated, fast-growing lingerie startup founded by 33-year-old Morgan Hermand-Waiche. It's on track to generate more than $US16 million in revenue this year. Describing itself as the 'Zara of lingerie,' the e-commerce startup promises quality lingerie at a price more affordable than brick-and-mortar retailers like Victoria's Secret.
'We aim to slay Victoria's Secret,' Sharon Klapka, Adore Me's director of business and brand development, told Business Insider. 'They are slow, they are expensive, they make women feel sidelined. It is about time that someone really revolutionised the space, and we're doing it,' she said.
Cofounders, The Skimm
Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, both 28, quit their jobs at NBC to start a daily email newsletter called The Skimm. In December 2014, The Skimm raised a $US6.3 million series A round from Greycroft Partners, Irving Azoff, and RRE Ventures, bringing its total funding to date
The Oprah Winfrey-endorsed newsletter launched three years ago. The last time subscriber numbers were released the count was at 1.5 million. 'We've grown a lot since then,' Zakin told BI a few months ago. In addition to growing its readership, The Skimm has grown from two friends on a couch to 14 people in an office.
Founder and CEO, LearnVest
In March, LearnVest, a financial-planning startup, was acquired by Northwest Mutual for more than $US250 million in cash, Business Insider reported.
LearnVest was started by 31-year-old Alexa von Tobel -- a former Morgan Stanley trader -- in 2007 as a way to make financial services affordable. The company provides free online resources to help readers manage money, including articles and advice on budgeting, investing, and money habits, as well as paid financial planning services. For $US19 a month, plus a $US299 start-up fee, members are given a fully customised financial plan and paired with a certified financial planner available 24/7.
Cofounder and CEO (B. Uretsky), cofounder and CPO (M. Uretsky), cofounder and CMO (Wainer), DigitalOcean
DigitalOcean, a cloud-computing startup, is out to take on Amazon. This summer, the fast-growing company raised $US83 million from Access Industries and Andreessen Horowitz in a series B round of funding, and has raised $US173.2 million in total to date.
DigitalOcean, which was founded by 33-year-old Ben Uretsky, 32-year-old Moisey Uretsky, and 30-year-old Mitch Wainer, directly challenges Amazon Web Services by providing big, powerful virtual services, but aims to one-up the competition by putting developers first and making things as streamlined as possible. DigitalOcean promises a simple, easy-to-use interface, lower prices, and better performance. And it looks like the strategy is working: Though it's still a relative newcomer, DigitalOcean is the third-largest hosting company in the world -- Amazon is No. 1 -- and has grown from 10,000 to 140,000 sites in the last year.
Cofounder and CEO (Arabov), cofounder and COO (Francis), cofounder (Adams), Elite Daily
In January, media startup Elite Daily was sold to British newspaper Daily Mail for between $US40 million and $US50 million in cash. The deal accentuates Elite Daily's rapid growth: The site -- founded and run by 24-year-old David Arabov, 29-year-old Jonathan Francis, and 31-year-old Gerard Adams, along with Miguel Burger-Calderon -- had raised a $US1.5 million convertible note (a type of debt) from Greycroft, Vast Ventures, Red Sea Ventures, SocialStarts, and angel investors, and amassed 74 million unique monthly readers since its launch in early 2012. Further, because the two sites' readers barely overlapped demographically, the deal greatly broadened Daily Mail's reach, bringing millions of millennial readers to the company each month.
ViralNova, a Buzzfeed-like media startup chock full of feel-good stories, was bought this year by digital-media company Zealot Networks in a cash-and-stock deal that could be worth as much as $US100 million if Zealot appreciates in value.
For a while, ViralNova was run by DeLong, 32, and two freelancers. They grew ViralNova to BuzzFeed's size and scale -- about 100 million monthly readers -- without full-time staff or raising any venture-capital funding.
DeLong, who launched the website in mid-2013, put a few Google ads on each page. Within eight months, his lean shop was generating six figures a month and millions annually. Today, ViralNova has 22 full-time employees and is on track to generate $US35 million this year. The company will likely move to Zealot Media's Venice, California, headquarters.
Cofounders, Flatiron School
Flatiron School, a programming institute that teaches adults and high schoolers how to code, is on the rise. The startup raised $US9 million in April in a round of funding led by Thrive Capital, with participation from CRV and Matrix. It also gained recognition when model Karlie Kloss enrolled in 2014, later partnering with the school to launch #KodeWithKarlie, a competition that gave sponsorships for girls ages 13-18 to attend.
Founded in 2012 by Avi Flombaum, 31, and Adam Enbar, 32, Flatiron School is an intense, full-time program -- and it's highly selective, accepting 6% of all applicants. But the rigour pays off, and 99% of graduates leave with coding jobs ready to go.
In June, mattress-delivery startup Casper raised another $US55 million in a series B funding round led by Institutional Venture Partners, with other investors including Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Adam Levine. In total, the mattress delivery startup, which was founded by 25-year-old Gabe Flateman, 26-year-old Neil Parikh, 32-year-old Philip Krim, 26-year-old Luke Sherwin, and Jeff Chapin, has raised $US70 million in venture-capital funding, and has plans to expand.
Casper's based on a simple idea: Make buying a new mattress an easy, pain-free process. Customers choose a size online (ranging from twin to California king), and Casper delivers the compressed memory foam mattress straight to your door in a box no bigger than set of golf clubs, streamlining both the delivery and assembly processes. The plan is working too -- Casper generated $US1 million in sales in its first month after the site launched in 2014.
Cofounders and co-CEOs, Harry's
In under two years, Harry's cofounders Jeff Raider, 34, and Andy Katz-Mayfield, 33, launched their online shaving service, raised more than $US200 million in funding, and
purchased German razor factory Feintechnik, where their products are produced, vertically integrating the company. Harry's raised $US75 million in venture funding in November 2014 and another $US75.6 million in a Series C round in July, not to mention the $US122.5 million they received back in January 2014. As of this summer, the startup was valued at $US750 million post-money.
Raider and Katz-Mayfield first came up with the idea after a trip to the drugstore where Katz-Mayfield found himself overpaying for a poorly branded product and frustrated by the lack of customer service. They knew there had to be a more efficient way to purchase razors -- and Harry's was born.
Executive chairman, Saavn
Saavn is the leading-streaming service for Bollywood, Indian, and other international music and content -- a streaming service that raised a boatload of a series C round in July to the tune of $US100 million. The round was led by Tiger Global Management, with Bertelsmann, Liberty Media, Mousse Partners, and Steadview Capital.
Based in New York, Saavn has the capacity to tag music, initiate music chats, and deliver on-demand music and radio streaming. Saavn is being used by 18 million monthly active users in more than 150 countries. The company was founded by 34-year-old Paramdeep Singh, along with Rishi Malhotra and Vinodh Bhat, in 2007.
Cofounder and CEO (Haber), cofounder and CTO (Sherwood), Bond Street
David Haber, 28, and Peyton Sherwood, 34, are coming after Wall Street banks with their startup, Bond Street, and Wall Street has begun to take notice. Bond Street is eating into the business of some major banks by making loans to small businesses.
This summer, Bond Street pocketed a whopping $US110 million investment from Jefferies investment bank and Spark Capital, where Haber previously worked. Some investors, like Airbnb cofounder Nathan Blecharczyk, also participated in the round. The new funding will be put toward expanding Bond Street from eight to 25 full-time people next year. 'We'll probably expand that even more to 40 within the next two years, but we'll see,' Haber told Business Insider.
CEO, Revel Systems
Revel Systems sells point-of-sale systems based on Apple's iOS mobile platform. Since its 2010 founding, Revel Systems has sold its POS systems to 10,000 customers -- including Dairy Queen, Goodwill, and Tully's Coffee. Its employee count has doubled in the past year, from 200 to 400 people, and Revel Systems has deals with tech companies like Apple and Intuit.
In November 2014, 30-year-old Lisa Falzone's company raised a $US110 million round of funding led by private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson, and Stowe. In August, it raised another $US13 million at a $US500 million valuation.
Gym rats love ClassPass, a service founded by Payal Kadakia, 32, and Mary Biggins, 32, that lets users take unlimited classes (up to three per location) at boutique fitness studios for a flat fee of $US125 a month. Not only does the ClassPass give users a steep discount on pricey classes like Pure Barre and SoulCycle, but it allows them to try a multitude of things, from spin to hot yoga to Pilates.
Investors are pretty keen on ClassPass as well. The startup is valued at about $US400 million, and raised $US40 million in January in a series B round of funding led by General Catalyst Partners and Thrive Capital, bringing its total amount of venture capital raised to $US54 million since its launch in 2013.
Cofounder (Yusupov), general manager (Toff), Vine
Twitter-owned six-second-video app Vine exploded this year, especially due to the work of cofounder Rus Yusupov, 31, and general manager Jason Toff, 29. In January, the company rang in its second year by announcing new stats: Every day the platform gets 1.5 billion loops, or plays of its videos. According to ComScore, its reach of the total US population is 14%.
As of August, Vine had 200 million monthly active users. By comparison, the number of monthly active users on Twitter, the company that bought Vine for $US30 million a few years ago, was at 316 million in late July. Teens can't get enough of the service, and now Vine even has its own crop of stars -- people who are making a living and getting famous from their videos on the platform.
How do you make money on Vine? Niche, an ad network that targets social-media stars, is one way. Niche was founded by Darren Lachtman, 33, and Rob Fishman, 29, in 2013 after the pair noticed that an increasing number of brands wanted to advertise on growing platforms like Instagram and Vine. The startup serves as a new type of ad agency, connecting social-media celebrities with advertising partners.
In February, the startup was acquired by Twitter for about $US50 million in cash and stock, including employee-retention incentives.
Cofounder and CTO, MongoDB
In July, database startup MongoDB hired Michael Gordon as its new CFO -- a man who is well known in the New York tech world for his work on many IPOs, mergers, and acquisitions while at Merrill Lynch. Gordon's joining MongoDB could hint at a possible IPO for the company, which has been a $US1 billion 'unicorn' company since 2013. Gordon joined 32-year-old cofounder and CTO Eliot Horowitz, as well as president and CEO Dev Ittycheria at the company.
MongoDB has raised more than $US311 million in eight rounds of funding, according to Crunchbase, the latest of which was an $US80 million series G round in January. Tens of thousands of companies use MongoDB to build high-performance systems, including more than a third of companies in the Fortune 100.
Founder and CEO, Taboola
This year, content-recommendation platform Taboola became a unicorn -- a startup valued at more than $US1 billion -- after raising millions from Baidu, China's largest search engine. Though founder and CEO Adam Singolda, 34, would not confirm the exact amount, the capital pushes Taboola's valuation over the $US1 billion mark. The startup is the third-largest syndicated advertising platform in the world, and in addition to Baidu, it claims some big-name partnerships with sites like The Atlantic, MailOnline, and Business Insider.
Chairman and CEO, Cemtrex
At the end of June, industrial-technology company Cemtrex announced that it would begin trading shares on the NASDAQ Capital Markets under the new symbol CETX. 'Uplisting to Nasdaq allows us to attract a broader investor base which will be essential in enhancing the value of the company moving ahead,' 29-year-old CEO Saagar Govil said in a statement. Cemtrex is doing well so far, though, claiming $US47 million in revenue in 2014, a huge jump from 2013's $US13 million. Not only that, but Govil remains one of the youngest CEOs of a publicly traded company at just 29 years old.
Cofounder and co-CEO, Warby Parker
Warby Parker has done a lot in five years. Since its founding in 2010, the eyeglass retailer has raised $US115.5 million in venture-capital funding (most recently taking in $US100 million in a round of funding led by T. Rowe Price in April), opened 16 storefronts in nine cities and become a 'unicorn' with a valuation of $US1.2 billion. The startup, which was founded by David Gilboa, 34, and Neil Blumenthal also operates on a platform of social good, mirroring every pair of glasses purchased with a pair donated to someone in need.
The brand plans to continue expanding their brick-and-mortar operations, and has also considered developing technology that will let them issue prescriptions in-house.
Fantasy-sports website FanDuel had a huge year; the startup raised a massive $US275 million series E round in July from investors like KKR, Comcast Ventures, Google Capital, NBC Sports Ventures, and Time Warner Investments. The new funding valued FanDuel at $US1.3 billion and pushing it into a growing group of startups with $US1 billion valuations known colloquially as the 'unicorn club.'
FanDuel, which was founded by 33-year-old Tom Griffiths, along with Lesley and Nigel Eccles, made its first two acquisitions this summer too. In July, FanDuel acquired Scottish app-development company Kotikan, and in August it acquired sports-analytics platform numberFire.
FanDuel is for busy or casual fans. It lets users participate in one-day leagues, as opposed to having to commit to season-long leagues. The company says it pays out over $US10 million in cash payouts weekly.
Cofounder at Oscar and managing partner at Thrive Capital
In April, health-insurance company Oscar raised $US145 million, giving it a $US1.5 billion valuation. Then in September, Oscar closed another $US32.5 million round of venture funding led by Google Capital, pushing its valuation up to $US1.75 billion. With these investments, Oscar joins the ranks of buzzy startups known as unicorns, a moniker used to describe those with valuations over $US1 billion.
Oscar, which was founded by 30-year-old Josh Kushner, along with Mario Schlosser and Kevin Nazemi, wants to transform the healthcare industry by creating a better user experience when it comes to health insurance. It launched publicly in 2013 and had more than 40,000 customers across New York and New Jersey as of April, with plans to launch in Texas and California.
Cofounders, Blue Apron
Blue Apron, a company that makes cooking easy by delivering perfectly proportioned ingredients and recipes straight to your door, isn't just a godsend for lazy cooks -- it's also worth $US2 billion. Following a series D round of funding to the tune of $US135 million in June, the startup announced its $US2 billion valuation, making it one of tech's growing number of unicorns: privately held companies with valuations of $US1 billion or more.
Though it's only been around since 2012, Blue Apron is already selling more than 3 million meals each month, 32-year-old CEO Matt Salzberg told Business Insider earlier this year. The startup, which was also cofounded by 34-year-old Ilia Papas and Matthew Wadiak, has more than tripled in size since January, and reports hundreds of thousands of customers. Blue Apron's potential is vast: The service appeals to millennials who want to expand their repertoire in the kitchen as much as busy mums straining for creativity and simplicity in their weeknight meals.