Top 10 Most Exciting Startups in New York City in 2017

New York is one of the hottest tech hubs globally and attracts a great number of innovative startups. Today we will take a look at 10 most interesting in our opinion New York City based startups. We’re excited about their unique products, enthusiastic teams, and the way they are revolutionizing their industries.

WeWork

WeWork was founded in 2010 with a mission to ‘build more than beautiful, shared office spaces’ but a community for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups and small businesses. You can think of it as an office space-as-a-service.


Since 2010 the company has showed a tremendous growth not only in the US but across Europe. To date, it has 144 co-working spaces across the world, and more than 74,000 paying members. In 2017, WeWork also launched an online store for services and software for its members. WeWork is now valued at close to $20 billion.

Etsy

Etsy is often called one of New York’s most outstanding startup success stories. It was founded in 2005 as a marketplace for handmade or vintage goods, including art, photography, clothing, jewelry, food, beauty products, toys, and more.

Today, it is a global marketplace that helps millions of creators around the world to sell their unique goods. With more than 45 million sales items listed and 31.7 million active buyers, it’s annual gross merchandise sales reached impressive $2.84B in 2016.

Etsy is also known for its commitment to sustainable practices. It’s global headquarter in Brooklyn, New York is considered the greenest office space in tech. In 2017 the company also announced its commitment to running zero waste operations across its 10 offices globally by 2020.

The company went public in 2015 and now has a $2 billion valuation.

Source: Etsy blog

InVision

Invision has become a real game-changers in the world of design software. It is the world’s leading product design collaboration platform that makes it easy for designers to create prototypes for websites and apps that look like real products. It simplified the process of sharing designs and getting feedback from clients, team members, and stakeholders.

Clark Valberg, company’s CEO said Invision was created to make the world of design better. “We think of InVision as the Salesforce of the design world, giving us the opportunity to embrace and integrate and click design customers into one seamless workflow.”

Today Invision is used by millions of teams and companies around the world, including Airbnb, Lyft, Netflix, Salesforce and Twitter, Disney, IBM, Walmart, Apple, Verizon and General Motors.

In 2017 the company announced its own InVision Fund and is going to invest $5 million in startups working in the design space, giving $100K to $300K grants to teams building plug-ins specifically for the InVision platform, which will help to facilitate the design community around its platform.

In November 2017, the company has raised $100 million in Series E funding, with a total valuation reaching $1 billion.

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ClassPass

ClassPass is a popular fitness membership startup that provides its members access to the largest network of fitness studios in the world. For a monthly fee, members get access to hundreds of boutique fitness classes and gyms in US and Canada can easily look for and book classes with a mobile app, including yoga, cycling, Pilates, running, strength training, dance, and more.

The company’s roadmap for the next year is pretty impressive: from providing more offerings than boutique fitness and expanding the number of gyms available on the platform, to adding video fitness classes and introducing more outdoor sports.

Classpass is recognized as one of Forbes’s Next Billion Dollar Startups. In 2017 the company closed a $70 million Series C funding round, which brings its total funding to $154 million in total and $400 million in valuation.

Blue Apron

Blue Apron is probably the most well-known ingredient-and-recipe meal kit service in the US, which is especially popular with busy, on-the-go New Yorkers.


Blue Apron was a pioneer in delivering food kits to customers for cooking meals at home. For a reasonable subscription fee, customers get boxes of freshly prepared ingredients, with complete cooking instructions that help anyone to cook a delicious meal in under 35 minutes. Home cooking without the hassle of going to the grocery store or deciding what to cook tonight. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

The company showed an enormous growth in the last years, having reached $795.4 million in sales last year. Today it is considered a unicorn, after going public in June 2017 and reaching $2 billion valuations.

Codeacademy

Codecademy is an online platform that offers free coding classes in 12 different programming languages, teaching millions of learners how to code. Additionally, it provides paid services that give learners access to a personalized learning plan, quizzes, and help mentorship sessions.

Codeacademy launched in 2011 and has already signed up about 45 million people to take its free online courses. CEO Zach Sims says he expects that in the nearest future hundreds of millions of people can use their courses to gain new skills and improving their careers, as technology is everywhere now and people need tech skills in all industries and levels of jobs now. The total addressable market for its courses is around 3 billion people.

Digital Ocean

DigitalOcean is a cloud computing startup based in New York, competing with such giants as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Founded in 2011, it quickly has become the fastest growing cloud computing platform thanks to focusing on smaller developers and startups.

DigitalOcean helps teams and businesses to deploy and scale any application in the cloud. DigitalOcean is a favorite among developers due to the simplicity, pricing, and high-performance virtual servers. Another key feature behind DigitalOcean’s success is the unique community resources it provides to its customers, including developer forums, and tutorials.

The company has around a million customers and generated $175 million in revenue (ARR) in 2017. Currently, it has 9 data centers positioned in San Francisco, Singapore, New York, Amsterdam, and London.

The company has raised $123 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Access Industries, IA Ventures, CrunchFund, TechStars and more.

Citizen

Citizen is an app that sends out local alerts to users when a crime or other major incident is reported to 911 in their neighborhood. According to the company’s blog, its mission is to ‘build safer communities through transparency’ and to keep people informed of crimes in their area.

The app shows a real-time map of incidents in the area. Users can get real-time updates about crimes as push-notifications. The app allows to watch and upload videos of the incident within the app. For now, Citizen is only available in New York City and San Francisco.

The app was just released in March 2017 and has already raised $12 million in Series A funding from Sequoia Capital, Founders Fund, and other prominent investors.

Venmo

Venmo is one of the most popular mobile payment apps in the US that allows users to transfer money to one another with just one tap. Venmo is millennial-focused and more commonly used for payments among friends, who usually say “Just Venmo me” after picking up a lunch bill, for example.

There is an additional feature that sets the app apart from the crowd of competitors and makes it popular among young people – the social feed. Once the money is transferred, the transaction shows up in the app’s feed, which becomes a sort of a running record of what your friends are up to. Users can use a private mode too, but most like the social aspect, curious to see who went out for drinks together, and following the feed loaded with custom emojis.

Venmo is also planning is to facilitate more transactions between businesses and their customers. In 2016 they launched Pay With Venmo, a service that lets users easily make purchases in hundreds of different apps, a sports ticket app Gametime and meal-delivery app Munchery just to name a few.

Venmo was acquired by Braintree for $26.2 million in 2012, and in 2013 PayPal acquired Braintree for $800 million.

Anchor

Anchor is a new app aimed to become ‘the easiest way to create, share, and interact with audio’. It makes recording and sharing any audio super simple, from capturing voice to conducting remote interviews to broadcasting full length songs. With Anchor, anyone can start their own podcast, or station, and create episodes just from the app. Anchor is also sometimes called ‘a Snapchat stories for audio’ because all audio content disappears after 24 hours.

The app provides lots of creative tools for podcasters. One of the recent tools launched in 2017 is a possibility to automatically turn recordings into stylish video clips, complete with voice transcriptions. For listeners, the app has categories to browse and discover new stations: news, tech, life, music, and so on. There is also a personalized station that offers users the day’s news and weather.

In 2017 the company raised $10 million in Series A funding, led by GV (Google Ventures), Accel, Homebrew and others, bringing its total raised to about $15 million.

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Aleksandra Smelianska

Aleksandra Smelianska

I specialize in user research, product and marketing strategy, helping companies understand their customers better and create products that people love. Passionate about building communities and organizing events, from large tech conferences to small meetups.
Contact me: alexandra.smel@gmail.com.

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