Among the myriad equity crowdfunding platforms helping individuals invest in startups, StartEngine is a clear leader. A critical factor for this is that the company is an early mover in the industry. But StartEngine has also been focused on innovating the platform. For example, the company recently rolled out a secondary trading platform. This allows for trading in the shares of startups, which should help to encourage even more activity on the platform.
CEO Howard Marks helped co-found StartEngine, the latest in a long line of successful ventures. The most notable of those previous companies was Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), which has a market value of $59 billion. He also co-founded Acclaim games, which was later sold to Disney (NYSE:DIS).
“Overall, I consider StartEngine to be one of the three ‘must-have’ accounts for online startup,” said Brian Belley, who is the founder of Crowdwise.org and VentureWallet. “Investing on any other equity crowdfunding platform is much more of an optional preference for investors who either want to invest in certain niches or want to spend additional time screening every equity crowdfunding deal.”
Here are the 7 best startups to buy on StartEngine right now:
- xCraft Enterprises
- Cyber Dive
- SAM Email by Airto
- Liberty Access Technologies
Keep in mind that StartEngine currently has more than 100 deals across its platforms. The 7 we’ll look at today seem destined for big things.
Equity Crowdfunding Pick: xCraft Enterprises
xCraft Enterprises calls itself the “American Drone Company.” This firm got its launch on ABC’s “Shark Tank” program and raised about $1.5 million.
Even though the addressable market is large — projected to reach $86.8 billion by 2035 — it is also highly competitive. The mega-player in this space is China’s DJI Innovations, estimated to control about 70% of the globe marketshare.
But xCraft Enterprises thinks it has a better approach. For the most part, the company’s drones fly at high speeds but also have sophisticated communication systems. For example, the Panadrone can fly up to 400 feet and remain in the air for more than 24 hours.
As for the equity crowdfunding campaign, the company has received commitments of over $41,000 from 43 investors, with a valuation of $35 million. Before this, there were other campaigns that raised over $2.1 million.
With breakthroughs in AI approaches like deep learning, there has been lots of progress when it comes to facial recognition software. But of course, there are emerging ethical and privacy issues in this sphere as well. Because of this, major companies like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) have taken steps limiting the use of their own offerings.
Yet there is still considerable opportunity in this market — but there need to be strong guardrails. And this is where Zenus comes in. The company calls its system “ethical facial analysis.” To this end, there is the use of data on an anonymized basis with strict opt-in requirements. The cameras also do not pick up personally identifiable information.
The target for Zenus is the in-store retail market. The company’s system allows for the processing of video to detect consumer behavior and foot traffic information. For example, one camera can track 12 metrics, cover an area of up to 15,000 square feet and reduce data transmissions by 64,000 times.
As for the equity crowdfunding campaign, the company has raised over $168,000 from 280 investors and the valuation is $9.99 million.
Recruiting for clinical trials is usually expensive and time-consuming. This not only means a longer process for getting drugs to market, but also less time for patent protection.
Some of the challenges with clinical trials include HIPPA privacy laws and the difficulty of putting together a diverse patient population. For example, in 2017 there was demand for about four million patients but only 1.8 million were enrolled.
But for MedVector, these challenges are an opportunity. The company is building a sophisticated telemedicine platform for clinical trials. This is a plug-and-play system, fully HIPPA-compliant and equipped with the necessary tools for finding and recruiting patients.
By leveraging telemedicine, MedVector is able to bring more efficiency to recruiting. There are also functions to allow for collecting data and performing analysis across a broad array of categories like pills, sprays, inhalers, creams, drops and self-injectable medications.
In terms of traction, MedVector has signed agreements with seven hospitals with hundreds of thousands of patients. Moreover, a case study with Novartis (NYSE:NVS) has shown that recruiting for a clinical trial took only seven weeks with the company’s methodology.
As for the equity crowdfunding campaign, MedVector has raised over $444,000 from 204 investors and the valuation is $10 million. The minimum investment amount is $495.90.
Cyber Dive is a dashboard for parents to monitor their children’s social media accounts (the product is under beta). No doubt, the online world is full of potential threats like bullying and violations of privacy.
The Cyber Dive application currently integrates with TikTok, Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube, Discord, Snap (NYSE:SNAP) and Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) Instagram. There is a sophisticated algorithm, called Mia, that detects the problematic content. Keep in mind that co-founder Derek Jackson used an early version of this technology when he was in the U.S. military and monitored the social media of extremist organizations.
Founded less than two years ago, Cyber Dive has grown its organization to 16 employees. In terms of the business model, it uses a freemium approach. There are upgrades available via monthly subscriptions of $5 to $25 per month.
As for the equity crowdfunding campaign, the company has raised over $114,000 from more than 90 investors and the valuation is $17.1 million.
SAM Email by Airto
Email is one of history’s technological gamechangers. But of course, the technology is far from ideal. Managing email is often challenging, with seemingly endless threads. The end result is a net loss of productivity.
Then there are difficulties with marketing emails. For the most part, email was not designed for interactive experiences.
But as for Airto, the company believes it has a better approach. This startup has developed SAM Email, which makes it easy to create rich emails that function more like a website or app. Some of the features include drop-down menus, hover-over states, interactive forms, image carousels, polls, appointment booking and even online payments.
As a validation of the technology, Airto was able to get investments from JetBlue Technology Ventures and EL AL Israel Airlines. Both certainly understand the need for a new kind of email paradigm.
In fact, the airline industry has been a vertical with plenty of traction for Airto. Take a look at LATAM Airlines, the largest carrier in Latin America. The company has seen a 2X increase in engagement time, 5X increase in click-through rates and a 40% increase in sales rates since working with the company.
Airto has already raised $650,000 from prior equity crowdfunding campaigns. And as for the current one, there have been over $154,000 in commitments from over 200 investors and the valuation is $19.8 million.
Liberty Access Technologies
Liberty Access Technologies is the developer of a charging system called the HYDRA-RX AC Fast Charger Controller for electric school buses and delivery vans. The system provides a quick charge at a fraction of the cost of DC chargers.
This technology was first launched in 2010. But it’s only been over the past few years that we’ve seen an uptick in adoption. There are now over 350 HYRDA systems on the market in the U.S. and Canada. Some of the customers include Los Angeles County, San Diego Gas & Electric, Unilever (NYSE:UN), Campbell’s Soup (NYSE:CPB) and the University of California Los Angeles.
The underlying patented technology allows for access control, metering, reporting and load management. The system can also continue to operate if there is a loss of connection to the Internet or cell towers.
No doubt, the market opportunity is enormous. One of the hottest corners of Wall Street is the EV market, as seen through highly valued companies like Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA).
As for the equity crowdfunding campaign, the company has commitments of more than $474,000 from nearly 800 investors and the valuation is $19.2 million.
Founded in 2018, Veriglif has been developing a platform to help people manage and monetize their personal digital information. Until now, it has been mostly the tech industry benefiting from the explosion of data, such as Facebook, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and Snap. But Veriglif wants to level the playing field.
With the company’s technology, a person can monitor and reclaim his or her personal data, which will be placed in a portal. There will be various third-parties that can pay for access to this data. But of course, the environment will be in strict compliance with privacy laws.
In the investor materials for Veriglif, the company indicated that the core functions are complete and that there will soon be a soft launch. The goal will be to onboard more than 30,000 users per month.
The target market will be for consumer insights, such as with surveys and polls. The spending on this category is at $47 billion in the U.S. and $80 billion across the globe.
As for the equity crowdfunding campaign, the company has raised over $46,000 from nearly 60 investors and the valuation is at $7 million.
On the date of publication, Tom Taulli did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article.
Tom Taulli (@ttaulli) is the author of various books on investing and technology, including Artificial Intelligence Basics, High-Profit IPO Strategies and All About Short Selling. He is also the author of courses on topics like the Python language and COBOL.