As the end of a stressful year in economic history approaches, it’s worth examining where investors are putting their faith. Businesses and industries that manage to thrive in this socially-distanced era may foretell what our post-pandemic world might look like in the coming years.
The good news is that investors seem to see opportunity for almost any business in any industry to adapt to changing circumstances. From healthcare to home fitness, food and sports to B2B services, here are the startups proving viability to investors and showing other businesses there are opportunities for success in these challenging times.
1. Hello Alfred - $42 million
Capitalizing on the momentum it has experienced during the pandemic, residential concierge service Hello Alfred closed $42 million in Series C funding in October. The app-based personal assistant allows property managers to coordinate cable and internet setup, deliveries, dry cleaning and even dog walking, providing residents a little relief.
Already serving 100,000 homes in 20 U.S. markets, CEO and Co-founder Marcela Sapone said in a press release that the company plans to grow its team and operations “in sync with the expanding in-home economy.”
2. JAXJOX - $10 million
Fitness technology company JAXJOX raised $10 million in a Series A round in October, bringing its total funding to $17 million since its founding in 2017. The company plans to invest in research and development for its forthcoming InteractiveStudio smart home gym, which features AI-powered performance tracking built into free weights and live and on-demand classes.
“By monitoring performance metrics and using AI, we can give users a more holistic view of their health and provide recommendations on improving their wellbeing,” said founder and CEO Stephen Owusu.
3. Guideline - $80 million
Guideline, which allows small businesses to provide 401(k) retirement plans, secured $80 million this summer. The platform bills itself as a “full-stack solution that automates plan administration and compliance” and doesn’t charge employees fees on investments.
“Companies are saving money with employees not going into the office and they are making up for that by offering this benefit,” CEO and co-founder Kevin Busque explained to Forbes. The SaaS platform’s valuation is now close to $500 million.
4. dataPlor - $4 million
LA-based startup dataPlor helps small businesses that lack an online presence target their expansions based on the location data collected by the company. The company raised $4 million this summer to build out its database product, invest in more technology, grow its leadership team and expand into Latin American countries.
“Global organizations like Uber will not be as successful as they want to be or could be due to this lack of local information,” founder and CEO Geoffrey Michener said in a recent interview. “And that is what we are solving at dataPlor.”
5. ProfitBoss - $3.5 million
It’s only a year old, but according to an SEC filing this summer, LA-based ProfitBoss has raised $3.5 million in funding. The SaaS company’s free, online ordering system and optimized SEO marketing for independent restaurants has proven to be essential for business during restrictions on dining in during the pandemic.
“It’s the most important time to support local restaurants,” founder and CEO Adam Guild told VatorNews. “It helps by saving the average restaurant thousands of dollars each month on fees they would otherwise pay to companies like GrubHub and by helping them use their customer data to market.”