Looking back at 2013 with a consumer tech eye, the term ‘start-up’ has been fervently present on the business scene and on the aspirational graphic. However, when it comes to understanding precisely what meaning this term carries, people might realize a lack of a universally accepted significance. It’s the point at which various factors and parameters are employed to convey the implications of a startup: from growth, profitability, to VC interest, exits etc. Steve Blank, author of Startup Owners Manual comes with a definition that to many seems to make some needed justice: ‘A startup is a temporary organization used to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.’
With that in mind let’s check out some of the best startups that launched in 2013:
This startup was launched as a research engine for online degrees from non-profit universities, a ‘guide’ to help students discover online education programs that best meet their needs. How it operates: non-profit schools buy their appearance on the site, the latter offering valuable information on courses, what degrees are available, how to apply to courses, and various other details relevant for those looking to upgrade their education.
Basically, what this startup aims at is saving people using its service time by shipping them directly to their doors those goods they would normally purchase at a warehouse club. Boxed does that by putting Costco on your smartphone. Founded by former Zynga employee Chieh Huang in June, this New York-based company managed to go from two states early in the beginning to 48 in the last quarter.
‘Do you snapchat?’ Yes, here comes another messaging app – this time is called “ephemeral messaging” and it’s advertised as ‘the fastest way to share a moment’ allowing users to send photo messages to friends called ‘snaps’ that are gone within seconds from sending. Soon after users accessed the ‘snaps’ they become unavailable being deleted from the company’s servers. Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel made headlines and probably history when back in November he reportedly turned down Facebook’s $3 billion buying offer.
Some predictions had San Francisco-based Coinbase at the forefront of buying and transferring online currency in the U.S. Those predictions were correct. The service has gained popularity very quickly making it now the most widely used Bitcoin startup in the US. Coinbase has managed to draw in funds of $25 million in a Series B round led by Andreessen Horowitz in a record funding event for a company specialized in Bitcoin digital currency.
5. Blue Apron
The idea behind New York-based startup is changing and challenging the way people cook at home. The service comes with an unbeatable $9.99 offering for a meal with no subscription fee and with the ability to deliver to 80% of the U.S. population. Blue Apron took the cream off the top before rivals such as Plated and HelloFresh and established itself as the leading U.S. operating dinner kit delivery service of 2013.