Investing in startups today is much easier now than in the past, when generally only venture capitalists and angel investors could invest in private companies. With the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act, startup investing became easier and more accessible to millions of Americans who could not invest previously due to regulatory restrictions.
Nowadays there are plenty of excellent equity crowdfunding platforms that offer a plethora of investment opportunities for those who want to get into the best startups on the ground floor.
Most of these platforms apply their screening criteria and due diligence to find strong startups as investment opportunities. This is great, but it is also a good idea for the individual investor to do further due diligence, to study and fully comprehend the risks of investing in startups.
Now, if startup investing is suitable to your investment philosophy and risk tolerance, here are seven interesting startups to consider now:
- AMASS Botanics
- Wahi Nutrition
- Overland Bound
Best Startups: NowRx
What are some of the desired characteristics of healthcare, not just in the U.S. but globally? Features such as convenience, accessibility and affordability for all are probably among the top answers. To help address these, NowRx is a Digital health platform that wants to transform healthcare by providing same-day prescription delivery, along with telehealth services.
NowRX is a platform using proprietary software that provides free delivery in multiple territories, including Northern California, Southern California and Phoenix, Arizona. There is even extra-fast one-hour delivery service for an extra $5 fee.
NowRX has built its business based on three core advantages — an advanced pharmacy software, a network of efficient micro fulfillment pharmacies and a digital-based service model. The company is expanding in the telehealth market not just in the U.S. but globally.
NowRX generated more than $13.4 million in revenue in 2020, up about 90% compared to 2019. And for the first half of 2021, revenue has increased 70% to $9.79 million, although these numbers are unaudited.
There are plans to expand to more territories, about 30 of them in the U.S. The minimum investment in NowRx is $998 on SeedInvest.
Polycade is a connected arcade gaming platform that wants to bring back the era of social gaming that was present in the ’80s and ’90s. Remember that? Back before social distancing and the coronavirus? The era of meeting together to play games and achieve high scores and applaud each other with high-fives seems nostalgic.
But Polycade wants to bring back these distant memories again. The gaming market is huge, estimated at $176 billion with expected continued growth. But there are not many gaming platforms for commercial environments such as offices, bars or universities.
Polycade is an arcade gaming software platform either for home or for commercial uses, supporting tournaments players.
The business model relies on sales from the arcades, game sales, revenue from tournaments and plans to pay for time, such as in bars and restaurants, a service that will be available in 2022.
Since its inception in 2015 Polycade has generated more than $2 million in inbound sales, and revenue growth from 2021 until August has picked up compared to the same period for the years of 2019 and 2020.
You can invest in Polycade on SeedInvest with a minimum investment of $1,000.
Best Startups: AMASS Botanics
AMASS Botanics, in a nutshell, offers a “portfolio of premium, high-growth botanic beverages, and self-care products.”
Modern life is about having a lot of options in things, from investing to the way we work (such as remote working due to the coronavirus crisis) and to choices about drinking preferences — either consuming alcohol or not.
“AMASS is a botanical spirits & body care lifestyle brand, producing clean botanics” and offering a differentiation to the more traditional spirit brands. While there are several countries that impose alcohol regulations and restrictions, there is a gap to fill in this low-to-no-alcohol spirits market.
AMASS products consist of gin & vodka, hard seltzers, a botanic non-alcoholic spirit, and an upcoming cannabis spirit.
There is also a self-care line including lotions, hand soaps, and hand sanitizers.
The traction is present, with sales not just in the U.S, but in several European countries, including Greece, the U.K., Spain, as well as in Singapore. The distribution channel network is strong, with strategic collaborations with companies such as Verishop and Revolve. And revenue is growing fast, with a reported 33% QoQ gross core business sales growth since January 2019, though the figures are unaudited.
The minimum investment in AMASS Botanics on SeedInvest is $498.
Wahi Nutrition sells itself as “plant-based, functional beverage retailing nationally.”
Wahi Nutrition has launched wahiwater, made by infusing “pharmaceutical-grade plant extracts” into the water, to target specific health functions. There are currently four different tastes of wahiwater filled with plant extracts and each one is targeting specific health functions.
The motto of Wahi Nutrition is to “drink intentionally.”
The goal is to disrupt the health water market and the beverage industry. There are four functions supported by their drinks — purify, revive, drive and repair. Each one supports different daily lifestyle activities, from exercise to digestion to hair and skin treatment.
Wahiwater is a differentiation in the functional beverages category, offering a mix of pharmaceutical-grade plant extracts with purified water without any calories added. The sales network includes national reach in the U.S. using online marketing, brick-and-mortar distributors, and sales via Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
According to Wahi Nutrition, the current U.S. market for bottled water is estimated at $33.6 billion, so even a small market share of 0.3% gained would mean annual revenue of $100 million. And in the U.S. functional beverages market — estimated at $46 billion — gaining a market share of 0.2% would translate to another $100 million in revenue.
The revenue prospects are not irrational, but tend to be conservative — as they should be. Future plans include the launch of sparkling water and effervescent tabs.
The minimum investment in Wahi Nutrition on SeedInvest is $999.
Best Startups: Overland Bound
Overland Bound is all about adventure in traveling, a platform for vehicle-based adventure with everything needed to explore places, and a global community that loves to travel and that is growing fast.
The Overland Bound app is a one-source platform that works as a mix of social network, resource map, trip planner and navigation tool. It helps explorers who want to use their vehicles to travel off the beaten path.
The app is built on three main features. First, there is the Connect aspect — a social network to interact with other users. Then there is the Plan feature, to help you organize a trip and invite other local members to join you in your adventure. Lastly, there is the Go feature, a resource map full of points of interest and useful information constantly updated by members.
The revenue growth has momentum as in 2020, it experienced a growth of 75% to $856,000 compared to revenue of $491,000 in 2019. There is also a strong social reach of 688,000 people. There are 30,000 paid members, for a total of $3 million in revenue to date, and the app is bringing in annual recurring revenue of $130,000 revenue per month from organic subscribers. The SAAS churn rate for new subscribers is also small, estimated at less than 3%.
The minimum investment in Overland Bound on Republic is $100.
Iris is an investing app that is making social trading or seeing what your friends are trading easier.
An investing app should be simple, transparent, and secure. Iris is all these plus more. Iris app connects with your brokerage and allows you to share your trades with your friends. Plus you get updates automatically when your friends make their trades.
Sure, copying your friends’ moves may not be the optimal trading or investing strategy. Nevertheless, Iris investing app is about making trading simple. Assuming you trust your friends based on their investment experience and that you always use your judgment before making your own decisions, Iris lets people who are interested in trading together share information quickly and efficiently.
And you have the option of not publicly showing how much money you have or have invested — there is a privacy option to show only percentages in trades placed, gains or losses.
By focusing on what matters in this investing app — talking stocks — you can track your investing performance and the performance of your friends. There is also the option to follow an investment professional and learn more about the investment strategy chosen. On top of that Iris has your data secured and claims it is never sold to anyone, such as hedge funds or advertisers.
Best Startups: PittMoss
According to its info on Republic, “PittMoss is a top-performing upcycled soil made from organic, recycled paper.” The product could be the future of the horticulture industry.
PittMoss has a co-investor in Mark Cuban. But this is not what makes it an interesting investment opportunity. Instead, what should grab you is the idea of a soil that doesn’t use peat moss, making it healthier for our environment and less likely to need overwatering.
PittMoss believes its product is the next generation in soils. It is made from recycled organic paper waste, which helps lessen the amount of watering needed and can create bigger plants with stronger root systems. Climate change is a problem and needs to be addressed drastically.
In 2020, the PittMoss soil products were reported to have prevented the emission of 811.11 metric tons of CO2. Since 2014, the total number of metric tons of CO2 emissions it has prevented is 3,811.11.
The traction is present, with more than $900,000 in revenue to date and a national sales network of more than 150 stores in 22 states in the U.S. The concept behind the PittMoss garden soils is remarkable. By using upcycled materials more air, water, and important nutrients are being delivered to all types of plants. The result is to have bigger, and healthier plants. That is the ultimate goal in the entire horticulture industry. The revenue streams are commercial, wholesale and retail.
On the date of publication, Stavros Georgiadis, CFA did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Stavros Georgiadis is a CFA charter holder, an Equity Research Analyst, and an Economist. He focuses on U.S. stocks and has his own stock market blog at thestockmarketontheinternet.com/. He has written in the past various articles for other publications and can be reached on Twitter and on LinkedIn.