7.10.2019

Boston Startup Guide: 15 Companies Shaking Up Tech Industry

Article by
author
Michał Rejman
7 min read

With more than a hundred higher education institutions in the metropolitan area, including top-level universities such as MIT and Harvard, Boston is one of the world’s most recognized academic hubs. However, despite its historical and educational legacy, the city has its eyes set on the future, spearheading progress and innovation in a wide spectrum of fields including arts, science, medicine, and technology.

Boston earns the top spot with technology investors thanks to a well-developed VC network, a conducive regulatory environment, and a steady supply of highly-educated, passionate talent. Thanks to these assets, the city can compete with burgeoning startup ecosystems in the likes of Austin, Denver, or San Diego to become America’s next big startup hot-bed. 

Yet, the proof is in the pudding. Here’s our pick of the 15 best digital start-ups in the Boston area.

1. Spiro

The CRM market is growing at 12% annually, expected to reach $82B by 2025. Spiro is hoping to get a fair slice of that cake with a proactive relationship management platform available as an iOS and Android app that works seamlessly with the web application. 

The platform integrates CRM, sales enablement and telephony functions, and leverages APIs to integrate with all business systems, such as email, marketing automation, and ERP. However, its sweet spot lies in the use of artificial intelligence that eliminates the need for data entry and empowers sales with intelligent sales suggestions.

Round of funding: Seed

Founder/ CEO: Adam Honig, Andy Levi, Justin Kao

Funding: $7M

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

2. Apptopia

The next Boston startup team draws on Machine Learning to provide mobile publishers and developers with the opportunity to gain market insights, build informed business strategies, and monitor consumer trends. 

The app collects intelligence from an abundance of data points including downloads, audience insights, advertising, localized data, SDK, and more, and exposes it to customers via its API and an intuitive web tool. Notably, earlier this year, Apptopia partnered with Bloomberg to bring high-quality mobile intelligence to the financial sector.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Eliran Sapir, Jonathan Kay

Funding: $8.2M

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

3. FutureFuel

In a country where the collective student loan debt exceeds $1.5 billion and an average student graduates with $30,000 in debt, a solution enabling student loan repayment is poised to take the world by storm.

FutureFuel has created a SaaS platform that enables employers and organizations to offer education loan repayment as an employee benefit. The product comes with a holistic enterprise dashboard, out-of-the-box integration with HR systems, and a user app extending advanced analytics and reporting capabilities.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Laurel Taylor

Funding: $15.7M

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

4. LinkSquares

LinkSquares is the first of several companies on our list that capitalize on the increasing use of Artificial Intelligence in advanced software development. The startup from Boston this year raised quite a nice chunk – $4.8 million – in funding to expand their AI-powered contract analytics software for in-house legal and finance teams. 

The platform leverages APIs to integrate with a host of tools, repositories, and libraries used by financial ops departments, and automatically reads and retrieves key information to accelerate review and reporting.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Chris Combs, Vishal Sunak

Funding: $7M

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

5. Privy

The average pop-up conversion rate is 3%. However, effective pop-ups see conversion rates 10-15 times higher! Privy’s ambition is to help small online businesses tap those impressive conversion scores. 

The company’s intuitive drag-and-drop marketing suite integrates with e-commerce apps and platforms, website builders, email service providers to enable the creation of highly targeted, customizable pop-ups, banners, bars, and other elements that slash website bounces and drive greater online sales. The suite starts from a free plan, up to 5,000 website visitors per month; the pricing then gradually increases, depending on the website traffic.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Ben Jabbawy

Funding: $8.3M

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

6. Humanyze

While many startups launch from a garage, Humanyze started at uni. The company developed in 2011 out of the MIT Media Lab, and it specializes in people analytics. Its Elements platform empowers company decisions through data collected by measuring the frequency and duration of face-to-face human interactions. 

Instead of relying on subjective surveys and period assessment forms, the solution applies a powerful analytics engine and real-time communications data to deliver detailed insights around organizational health, workplace strategy, and business process optimization.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Ben Waber, Daniel Olguin Olguin, Taemie Kim, Tuomas Jaanu

Funding: $5M

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

7. Experfy

We remain in the data analytics realm. Nothing complements advanced technologies better than brilliant minds, and Experfy combines both in a unique talent marketplace of vetted AI, Big Data Analytics, Blockchain, IoT, mobile, and cloud experts. 

Companies on the lookout for high-tech expertise may use the platform to find top-notch skills and upskill their teams by using on-demand training and consulting capabilities it provides. One of the most prominent clients in Experfy’s portfolio is Deloitte; recently, the consulting giant established an alliance with the startup to augment its analytics and artificial intelligence teams. 

Round of funding: Seed

Founder/ CEO: Harpreet Singh, Sarabjot Kaur

Funding: $1.5M

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

8. Repsly

Empowering front-line teams with technology is one of the most effective strategies to grow sales. A retail execution software by Repsly equips retail sales reps and managers with real-time data and insights to recognize and leverage opportunities at the shelf. 

The solution blends agile retail intelligence, proactive territory management, and data-powered field execution to help managers streamline and improve management and enable sales teams to maximize their performance in the field.

Round of funding: Seed

Founder/ CEO: Marko Kovac, Marko Linke, Matthew Brogie

Funding: $3.8M

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

9. Ten Percent Happier

Mindfulness is the fastest-growing trend in wellness right now, one that has also pervaded the mobile application development space. Meditation and relaxation apps abound, and Ten Percent Happier, a subscription-based mobile app from Boston is among them.

It outshines competitors with regular content updates, daily challenges, and personal coaching support. All these features bundled with an outstanding UX make it a #1 meditation app according to the New York Times’ ‘How to Meditate’ guide.

Round of funding: Seed

Founder/ CEO: Ben Rubin, Derek Haswell

Funding: $5.1M

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

10. Teikametrics

Here’s another solution utilizing data science to support retailers. Teikametrics is a SaaS that helps sellers, brands, and agencies increase the profitability of their Amazon advertising campaigns. 

The company’s retail optimization platform uses proprietary econometrics and machine-learning data models to generate higher returns on Amazon spend. While the startup was founded in 2013, it seems to be in its prime now. At the end of last year, it raised $10 million to accelerate the development of its platform and grow the engineering team.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Alasdair McLean-Foreman

Funding: $10M

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

11. BlueConic

It’s not the end of data-centric Boston startups on our list; here’s another example. The BlueConic team calls the company’s solution ‘the world’s simplest and most accessible customer data platform’; considering that the startup has already secured such top-class clients such as T-Mobile or ING, it might be right.

The web platform connects the world of business intelligence and data science with marketing. It is an integrated, easily-accessible suite for collection, segmentation, and analysis of customer data that marketers can use to automate tasks, improve customer intelligence, and build stronger relationships with buyers.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Bart Heilbron, Martijn van Berkum

Funding: $13.8M

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

12. Crayon

Operating in the same niche as BlueConic is Crayon, a market intelligence company from Boston. It captures a wide range of competitor insights and data, such as news, teams, media presence, content and social networks, product information and outputs it in a competitive analysis web platform powered by AI analysis and automation.

The software is particularly beneficial to small teams that strive to become more scalable with limited time and resources.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: John Osborne, Jonah Lopin

Funding: $16.1M

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

13. Fortify

Given the immense technological progress 3D printing has made in the last few years, it is now said to be reaching the mainstream. Apart from healthcare or architecture, manufacturing is one of the industries that can benefit the most from the technology.

Another Boston tech startup, Fortify, targets this specific niche with its offering. The company was founded following research work on composite printing, to disrupt traditional parts manufacturing. It combines magnetics and digital light processing (DLP) 3D printing to bring advanced materials to the aerospace, automotive, and other sectors.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Joshua Martin, Karlo Delos Reyes, Randall Erb

Funding: $12.5M

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

14. EnergySage

In Q1 2019, the U.S. installed 2.7 GW of solar power capacity, enough to power almost 13 million American homes. EnergySage contributes to that achievement by offering an online comparison-shopping marketplace for rooftop solar, energy storage, community solar, and financing.

The company’s energy-saving comparison and rating site connects individuals and businesses interested in installing solar energy with a network of over 500 pre-screened solar installation companies. The users specify their case and request a quote, and vendors share their offers to be compared by the buyer.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Vikram Aggarwal

Funding: $8.4M

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

15. InAuth

InAuth, our last tech company from Boston, was set up in 2010 as a security business offering mobile-first fraud prevention systems. Since its foundation, it has developed several solutions employing a proprietary device ID technology to help clients identify risks and reduce fraud in their digital channels, and mobile specifically. 

InAuth’s unique anti-fraud mechanisms and robust security tools proved highly appealing to fintech and banking institutions. In 2016, the startup was acquired by American Express and now continues as its wholly-owned subsidiary.

Round of funding: Series A

Founder/ CEO: Mike Patterson, Paul Marsolan

Funding: $30.8M

Follow on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

 


Whether ‘The Athens of America’ is going to win the race for the title of the nation’s hottest startup hub, it remains to be seen. One thing is for sure; entrepreneurs are gravitating to Boston, regarding it a vibrant alternative to established tech hubs such as San Francisco or NYC. 

The above 15 innovative companies represent just a fraction of the city’s tremendous startup scene. However, we hope this sample is enough to get you inspired to develop your next best project. If you need expert software development to make it happen, give us a shout

 

author

Michał Rejman

Digital marketing specialist with a growth hacking mindset and 10+ years of experience. Michał’s goal is building high-quality technological content, with particular emphasis on React and RoR. Traveler, climber, remote work advocate.

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