Top 5 Startups of 2015

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Fostering Business Solutions, Inc.

By Harveer Singh

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Originally posted January 7, 2016 

Seeing as the year has just come to an end, I decided that it would be appropriate to display my favorite startups of 2015 (in no particular order). These companies are unique and are innovators in their respective industries. They all have immense growth potential.

What do they do?

Palantir is a Silicon Valley startup that services government agencies, such as the CIA and FBI, and businesses through accessible data analysis and specialized solutions ranging from fraud issues to national defense.

 

Valuation

Palantir raised over $880 million this year at a $20 billion valuation, making it one of the most valuable privately held tech companies in the world. Since inception, the company has raised $2.32 billion.

Why did I choose them?
  • Palantir is now the fourth highest-valued startup in the world after leading contenders Xiaomi, Uber and Airbnb.
  • They are backed by various government agencies and still have growth potential.
  • In 2015, Palantir’s valuation increased from a $15 billion valuation to $20 billion.
  • They are expected to IPO in 2016, because their revenues may exceed $1 billion (at which point you are forced to IPO).

What do they do?
SpaceX designs, manufactures, and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft.  Elon Musk founded the company in 2002 with the goal of revolutionizing space technology to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of other planets. I know… It sounds like something from a Sci-Fi film.

 

Valuation
In January of this year (2015) SpaceX raised $1B in funding from Google and Fidelity in exchange for 8.33% ownership stake, establishing the company valuation at approximately $12B.

 

Why did I choose them?

  • SpaceX is the first and only company to achieve a vertical landing of a rocket that had traveled into outer space (this past month).
  • They are revolutionizing space travel & exploration initiatives.
  • This company is so unique that to me it is a winner.

What do they do?

Fatsack Outdoors Inc. is committed to keeping the age-old, outdoor traditions alive by leveraging the latest in technology to provide consumers with an enhanced and simplified sporting experience for not only the casual weekender but for the professional as well.

 

Valuation

Fatsack Outdoors is the smallest of the companies listed by far. The company went from nothing to being valued at roughly $2.6MM in one year (Started from the bottom, now were here? Not yet, but soon). Fatsack Outdoors recently opened their second round of funding to raise $500K at the above valuation.

 

Why did I choose them?

  • The company has immense growth potential proven by the partnerships they have created this year alone.
  • Leaders in the fishing and outdoor industries have showed great interest in the company since they first launched their app (available on the Apple App Store and Google Play) in February.
  • They have a strong Board of Directors (with an ex-executive of Verizon – Jack Plating and myself of course) as well as a highly focused CEO, Nick Rubio (also Chairman of the Board).
  • They have raised roughly $400K in their first year when they required less.

What do they do?

Lyft Inc. helps commuters get to their location via share rides with friends, classmates, and coworkers going the same direction or non-shared rides. All of this is possible by requesting a Lyft through their mobile application and all you have to do is sit back and wait. The company was founded in 2007 and is based in San Francisco, California. Lyft Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Enterprise Holdings, Inc. Its main competitor is Uber.

 

Valuation

As of January 2016 the company has a $5.5 Billion valuation due to a $1 billion investment from GM. Lyft raised more than $2B in seven equity funding rounds since 2010. The company’s valuation surged 2.5x from $1B in series B to $2.5B in series C, reflecting an 8.3 P/S ratio for Lyft (prior to the recent GM investment). Lyft also a $250 million investment from Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, as well as the $1 billion from GM.

 

Why did I choose them?

  • In 2015, Lyft became the first ride-sharing company to offer trips to travelers at McCarran Int’l Airport in Las Vegas (As of Dec. 17th, Uber can also do this).
  • Between March and December of 2015, Lyft secured $927.7M in funding.
  • GM just invested $1 billion in the company, increasing its valuation.
  • Although I believe both Uber and Lyft are good investments, Lyft seems to have more upward potential, creating a bigger buffer when it comes to IPO time.

What do they do?
Birchbox offers online beauty products and retailing services.  The company provides makeup, shaving, hair, skincare, and fragrance products.  Additionally, it offers tools, gadgets and games, and lifestyle accessories. Birchbox, Inc. was founded in 2010 and is based in New York, NY. They are arguably the reason subscription boxes have become so popular.

 

Valuation

In April of 2014, the company raised 60MM at a $485MM valuation. They are expected to open a Series C round of funding at an estimated valuation of $750MM.

 

Why did I choose them?

  • In October of 2015, Birchbox launched its first in-house makeup brand, LOC (Love of Color).
  • They basically pioneered the subscription box services that everyone seems to be using now.
  • They are continuing to grow as per their next expected round of financing.

 

 

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