Originally published on Forbes.com
A recent report by McKinsey and Co found that 80% of executives think their current business models are at risk and 84% think that innovation is important for growth. The problem is that innovation can be difficult as it requires disruption, a change of mentality, and risk taking.
Companies that innovate usually optimize existing processes or take a factor that works and create a standalone product that can be considered a first mover in an industry. In this list, we look at ten companies that are either leveraging new technologies or creating their own technologies to improve and optimize business models and user experiences.
1. BabelBark (Pets)
BabelBark offers the world’s only globally enabled, horizontal digital platform for the pet industry. The company consolidates data from pets businesses, veterinary clinics, and pets themselves to enable services, promotions, and payments for pet owners. This sharing economy is similar to Uber or Airbnb in the sense that it is a mobile-first platform adding mutual value to an ecosystem for pet owners, businesses, and animal hospitals.
Since the company’s soft launch in 2018, the number of pet services and connected pets has grown at a high rate with over 400%. Additionally, the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) has chosen BabelBark as its exclusive vet-pet platform through Dec 2021. This will give access to 4400 clinics and help capitalize on their first mover advantage.
HYGH is among the most interesting AdTech startups at the moment as it’s focused on the hot digital out-of-home advertising (DOOH) market. The company aims to provide a P2P marketplace where digital display owners and advertisers are able to make deals for real-time outdoor advertising. Outdoor advertising is still among the most effective ways to reach a mass audience since it’s completely public and has access to consumers that are harder to reach.
In order to fund its business, HYGH chose the innovative method of conducting a security token offering, which is currently still ongoing. HYGH Security tokens act as revenue shares which are organized through blockchain technology, enabling a variety of advantages for both management and investors. The Switzerland-based startup announced to share nine percent of its revenue with its security token holders.
3. Sensorium Corporation (VR)
Sensorium Corporation, in partnership with Redpill VR, is launching a social 3-D virtual reality platform that could radically change how we consume music and entertainment by creating a unique virtual universe to remotely enjoy events. Each event is attended live and you can engage with avatars and artists and hang out with friends as it’s happening. Many high-profile venues and artists from around the world have already joined.
5G rollout will drive adoption but it’s not an overriding factor, even a powerful PC, already owned by millions of people, does the job. The platform is built around a ground-breaking 3-D social virtual reality engine and Sensorium is also developing a library of events so you can revisit, or even attend for the first time, concerts that happened earlier. Three million users are expected within the first year of release with the goal of eventually having hundreds of thousands of virtual rooms (concerts) available.
4. SonicX (Gaming)
SonicX is a payment gateway that facilitates P2P transactions using a tokenized system for content storage and online gaming. The company’s native token can be used to make cross-border payments and help drive scalability at a minimum cost to the user or sender. To provide security, the ecosystem uses a zero-knowledge framework and will have its own digital governance that will allow the community to retain voting rights to do what is best.
SonicX’s goals are to bring the world a high-performance decentralized payment gateway that allows direct P2P transactions, a tokenized system for gaming and digital content, frictionless cross border payments and remittance network, and most importantly a secure digital ledger.
5. Synchronium (Innovation)
Based in London and formed in 2014, Synchronium is an innovation network of entrepreneurs, researchers, and technologists that have built an ecosystem of over 40 startups. These startups are divided into public platforms and business platforms that include distributed ledger technology, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, and more.
The company’s leading product, SynchroSphere, is set to launch in 2024 and acts as the backbone to the whole suite of products. The company also runs a global network of hubs and innovation centers to connect world-class talent with the network and new ideas created within the network. Think of Synchronium as an incubator, accelerator, and innovation lab rolled into one. The company currently has over 230 active members and offices globally.
6. Curate (Fashion)
Curate is a decentralized platform that brings content, curators, discovery and rewards, all on one platform. The platform allows parties to discover fashion trends as users are rewarded to upload fashion content based on community engagement and uproots. As the content gains popularity, curators and users are rewarded. Retailers and brands get to discover fashion trends and authenticity is maintained with the help of RFID and QR codes.
The platform’s payments and rewards are in the form of a native token based on the Ethereum blockchain which helps ensure transparency and safety for each interaction. The company will be partnering with major retail fashion brands to grow the marketplace after their IEO and launch in 2019.
7. BRYTER (Legal-Tech)
BRYTER is developing a software that enables all professionals to build, manage and sell interactive applications all in 4 simple steps. The legal-tech startup has gained popularity with companies like PwC, ING Diba, and 20 out of 50 top EU law firms running the software.
BRYTER’s technology is a no-code, smart SaaS building platform to turn expert knowledge, processes & workflows into interactive, scalable modules. Users can combine decision paths and logics with specific actions, such as sending emails, generating documents, or integrating with other applications. The finished modules can be embedded on websites or intranets or run invisibly in the background. At this time developing digital apps is still a highly complicated challenge to most people, which is exactly what BRYTER is trying to disrupt.
8. Digistore24 (SaaS)
Digistore24 transforms the world of online business through an easy-to-use business automation solution, consisting of a reseller platform for digital products and services, as well as the largest affiliate marketplace in Europe. The German SaaS market leader offers services geared towards automation of sales, marketing, accounting, analytics and many other business processes.
Digistore24 users may also enjoy various free of charge benefits, such as payment solutions, website and sales optimization, data protection and affiliate management. Moreover, the company is working with a “profit first” philosophy, which allows its customers to pay only after generating revenue.
9. Currency (B2B Payments)
Currency believes buying a bulldozer online should be as easy as buying a book, but the process today is overly complicated and largely paper-based. Currency is setting out to change that with an end-to-end transactions platform. The platform integrates automation for sellers to manage invoices, process credit card payments, and offer their customers competitive financing at the point-of-sale, thus enabling big-ticket assets to transact online.
Based in Los Angeles, Currency CIO Logan Murphy wants to give power back to sellers and buyers by enabling frictionless transactions, a process known as transaction enablement. The company’s goal is to simplify the process of buying, selling, and borrowing.
10. Internet of People (Blockchain)
IOP is building a restructured version of the internet where data is decentralized with the users instead of being centralized on the platform they are using. This creates an open social graph that is not owned by any single entity. As all personal data remains with the users, applications built on the IOP stack are by default GDPR compliant.
Cryptographically secured identifiers stored on blockchain allow users to control all aspects of their online identity. These identifiers will create a web of trust for credentials ranging from simple things like age to government documents, all with fine-grained access control, never leaking more data than absolutely necessary. Instead of relying on email addresses and passwords, IOP uses cryptographic addresses as “phone numbers” for fully encrypted P2P communication that can integrate with any underlying network.