Editor’s Note: This article is regularly updated to provide the most up-to-date information.
Among the many equity crowdfunding platforms out there, StartEngine is one of the leaders, thanks in part to its early-mover advantage in the industry. But, as one might expect of a pioneering company, StartEngine is also an innovator.
For example, the company recently introduced a secondary trading platform. This allows for trading in the shares of startups, which should help to encourage even more activity and liquidity.
Howard Marks is the CEO and co-founder of StartEngine. Before launching the company, he started several other successful ventures, most notably Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), which has a market value around $75 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 investors,” said Brian Belley, 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.”
Let’s take a look at the seven best startups you can buy on StartEngine right now:
- Care Angel
- Flash Scientific Technology
It’s not often that a startup will attempt to create an OS (Operating System). And this is not just about the technical difficulties. It can also be a big challenge to get adoption.
But for NanoVMs, this startup is trying to beat the odds. The company is building a unique OS, which is based on the Linux unikernal.
So what is the focus of the NanoVMs? Essentially, it is about providing top-notch security without sacrificing speed and performance. This is certainly addressing a major pain pint for developers and DevOps teams.
The technology has four filed patents and two that have been issued. In terms of customers, NanoVMs has a contract with U.S. Air Force. There is also a trial with Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN).
NanoVMs has already raised $2.4 million since 2015. As for the equity crowdfunding round, the company has raised over $72,000 from 168 investors and the valuation is $20 million.
Care Angel has developed an AI-powered voice assistant to provide personalized care management and health monitoring. The company’s focus is primarily on high-risk populations with chronic conditions. By using the app, it is possible to live alone at home and still receive continuous monitoring.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, digital medical technologies have become mainstream. They are also a key for managed-care insurance companies to provide cost-effective care.
Care Angel launched in 2017 and netted more than 60,000 patients. Since then, growth has remained strong. The company now works with various large health plans across the world, representing about 600,000 members. Care Angel estimates that its solution has seen 83% engagement and clinical cost reductions of $41 per member per month.
In terms of the equity crowdfunding round, the company has raised over $258,000 from 280 investors, for a valuation of $45.7 million.
Jetson founder Peter Peng got the inspiration for his startup when he tried using Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Alexa to order toothpaste. The experience was frustrating because the system offered only one brand and had no effective way to do a search.
Peng looked for alternatives to Alexa, but couldn’t find a suitable option. So he built his own. Jetson is a “voice-first” marketplace that allows any brand to sell their products or services.
Consider that it uses sophisticated AI, including NLU (natural language understanding), which is patent-pending. This essentially allows for multi-step conversations with a voice assistant. The software can also be easily integrated into existing platforms like Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Siri, Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google Home and, yes, Alexa.
Note that voice commerce is expected to see significant growth. According to Juniper Research, spending via voice commerce is forecasted to reach $80 billion by 2023.
In terms of traction, Jetson has signed a variety of partnerships, including with Postmates, Chowly, Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) and Delivery.com. There are over 13,150 merchants and 1.46 million products available.
The company has already raised about $2.8 million. As for the current crowdfunding round, Jetson has raised more than $279,000 from 391 investors. The valuation is $20 million.
Even with the advancements with artificial intelligence (AI), the fact is that the best computer vision systems can only achieve about 2% of the acuity of the human eye.
The technology generally is good with larger objects — say, nearby cars or pedestrians. But for autonomous driving to be mainstream, computer vision systems will need to get better. And this is the focus for Epilog. In fact, the company claims that its systems are at least 10 times better than what’s on the market today. There are nine patents on the technology.
Epilog’s system for advanced driver assistance is called SideCar, which drivers mount on the windshield. This is currently in customer trials.
In the meantime, the company has found another interesting use for its technology: remote body temperature measuring, such as for Covid-19. The product, called Tempo, is now in production. (There is a partnership with Jabil Optics.)
As for the equity crowdfunding round, the company has raised over $254,000 from 301 investors, and the valuation is $21.2 million. The minimum investment amount is $250.60.
For most authors, ginning up sales can be extremely difficult. Advertising on platforms like Amazon or Google can be expensive. There are also a large number of titles released every day — many of which are self-published.
Yet BookSniffer is setting out to solve this problem. The company has developed an iOS and Android app that has more than three million books and over 1,600 authors registered.
Some of the features of BookSniffer include:
- direct messaging between authors and readers;
- sophisticated author portals;
- low-cost advertising programs; and
- custom book landing pages
In October, when the app was launched, revenues hit $30,000. The company’s business model includes both advertising and subscriptions.
Regarding the equity crowdfunding campaign, the company has raised over $129,000 from 239 investors, and the valuation is $18.4 million. The minimum investment is $249.84.
The cannabis market is growing across the globe. But the industry is still complex for consumers and producers because of the patchwork of regulations and laws. This has made it difficult to have a more efficient direct-to-consumer sales infrastructure.
But for WebJoint — which was founded in 2017 — this startup is providing the tools to help out. The company has built a software platform that allows for e-commerce and inventory management.
There has definitely been considerable traction. WebJoint is now the No. 1 cannabis delivery network in California (with more than a third of the deliveries). Since inception, about $161 million worth of orders have been processed. There are currently over 400,000 retail customer accounts, and the average ticket price is $87.50. As for the delivery growth, it was 346% on a year-over-year basis.
Regarding the equity crowdfunding campaign, the company has raised nearly $379,000 from 477 investors, and the valuation is $44.3 million.
Flash Scientific Technology
Jason Deese has spent the past 25 years as a meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. During this time, he has seen the havoc that lightning can wreak on cities and towns. Keep in mind that over 4,000 people die each year from it. As for the economic impact, it is estimated to range from $6 billion to $7 billion per year in the U.S.
So Deese founded Flash Scientific Technology to help solve the problem. His system is based on a sophisticated algorithm — which has processed data on over 3,000 storms — that predicts lightning with a high degree of accuracy (there is an issued patent on the technology).
The result is that it can give earlier warning, and therefore makes it possible for people to have enough time to take shelter.
The company is in the early stages of commercialization. Currently, it is in conversations with companies like NetJets, Southwest Air (NYSE:LUV), Georgia Power, the Atlanta Hartsfield Airport Authority and the Elbit Defense Systems (NASDAQ:ESLT).
For the crowdfunding round, the company has raised over $1 million from more than 1,900 investors, and the valuation is at $10.2 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 founder of WebIPO, which was one of the first platforms for public offerings during the 1990s.