Farwah Jafri | August 5 2021
A common misconception about startups is that people often think that these are small-scale businesses catering to a niche segment of the market. Nothing could be further from the truth.
With each passing day, we see more and more disruptive businesses bursting forth on the startup scene. ‘Disruptive startups’ is a hot-button term used for visionary businesses that break new ground to solve old problems. We are all hooked to stories of overnight success experienced by companies that seem to emerge from nowhere to completely turn their industries on their heads.
Such ventures tend not to fit the traditional definition of startups for several reasons, the least of which is a breakthrough innovation that might have started at the bottom of the market, but later became so popular and accepted as a mainstream product that it displaced a conventional product offering.
Source: Captain Dont’s Blog
At the root of a disruptive startup, therefore, is a term known as disruptive innovation, defined as a process by which an underrated product or service becomes common enough to either replace or displace its conventional counterparts (Christensen, 2013). Hence, a disruptive innovation introduced by an entrepreneurial venture is responsible for disturbing an existing market or displacing established market leaders with new products, services, and value networks – creating a completely new market landscape as a consequence.
Source: CB INSIGHTS
Technology startups are at the forefront of this game. Digital technologies, fintech, nanoscience, quantum computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are rapidly transforming how we work, learn, interact, and live today. Disruptive startups create radical structural shifts in technology, the economy, and society by using non-conventional business models, products, and services. They challenge the status quo and long-established, ingrained ways of thinking and doing things.
Today we are going to talk about the most disruptive startups of 2021 which will completely change your perception of them. In this dizzying world of eager entrepreneurs and ambitious venture capitalists and helpful angel investors, the new motto is to dream big and act now!
Ink was founded by Michael Umansky, Alexander De Ridder, and Gary Hayman and is a content technology company that deals with new ways of optimizing the performance of search engine content. The company visualized a world where search destiny can be controlled.
Hence, an SEO writing platform was created, providing search engine visibility control. Search engine content is optimized with the help of a to-do list in Ink’s writing editor. In addition, if you complete these tasks, the software will tell you how likely you are to get a better ranking.
This made Ink one of the worthiest nominees of the best search software tool category in the 2020 American Search Awards. Similarly, the software platform was shortlisted for the 2020 Content Marketing Awards finals.
OhmConnect Inc. is a disruptive startup based in San Francisco. Founded by three individuals from different work backgrounds, Cadir Lee, Matt Duesterberg, and Curtis Tongue, it aimed to develop and make accessible long-term sustainable energy to the masses. It uses smart meter analytics to provide energy management.
An automatic recommendation of when to save energy is received when users sign up and connect OhmConnect to their Wi-Fi thermostats, electric cars, and any other smart devices. Users can even sell their energy reductions in the market. This young startup already has over 100,000 users and is going strong.
Attestiv is an emerging IT company working for the verification of the authenticity of digital media and data, such as photos, videos, documents, and media files. Powered by AI, the startup helps businesses reduce risks inherent in digital technologies and digital transformation initiatives while building customer trust and improving customer experience.
In our increasingly ‘touchless’ world, digital fraud is becoming a major problem globally. With the growing number of digital platforms and marketplace services, the incidences of cyber fraud are on the rise. This is why a permanent solution becomes inevitable and that is provided by Attestiv.
The startup’s artificial intelligence and blockchain technology help organizations in the detection and prevention of fraud. Attestiv and Algorand, another blockchain company, collaborated to detect and eliminate insurance and other data-related fraud as well. The merger between Attestiv with Algorand will ensure further development of trust, automation, and improved customer satisfaction in a marketplace where e-fraud is rampant.
The disruptive startup, Jeenie, caters to people with hearing difficulties, providing them with an on-demand American Sign Language interpreter. Unlike other expensive interpretation applications, Jeenie offers an interpretation as low as $1 per minute. Users get to have in-person communication with a live HIPAA-trained medical interpreter after being connected to video calls through this mobile platform. Jeenie is also a winner of the Startup of the Year award.
Parking space owners and customers now have an all-in-one app with AirGarage. This disruptive startup is credited with developing and launching a smartphone app to manage parking spots by providing technologically advanced parking solutions.
Source: Arizona State University News
Some of the parking services include registration for visitors, collection of payment, enforcement, and customer support. A $2 million fund has already been raised by AirGarage from angel investors and venture capitalists.
The Turkish disruptive startup, Emoty.AI provides solutions for emotion detection. Specific physiological data is analyzed using deep learning techniques. This data includes eye-tracking, micro-expressions, pose detection, stress analysis, and pupil analysis, etc.
Such useful behavior analysis can be beneficial for a wide range of industries, especially those catering to cinema production and UX testing. This innovative startup has only been around for a year and is already transforming its sector.
Chronic disease patients with back pain or COPD can get affordable and effective relief through Kaia Health, a digital therapeutics disruptive startup. Technologies like artificial intelligence and computer vision are used to achieve this goal. Kaia Health also offers interdisciplinary treatment by working with medical personnel, so that you get quick access to non-pharmacological and affordable therapies. With total funding of $48 million, Kaia Health enlists more than 400,000 users in its digital therapy program.
Online shopping has gained popularity with the onset of the Covid-19 global crisis. One of the disadvantages of online shopping is the sharing and selling of buyer information by retailers to third parties, resulting in the potential loss of control over confidential information. However, Privacy.com allows the generation of virtual and disposable payment card numbers for free, thus ensuring greater privacy and security.
Hence, personal information does not need to be shared with online vendors or payment platforms and any issues from e-commerce security breaches can be promptly avoided. The company is believed to have issued over 5 million virtual over the last three years.
Founded by Jarrel Carter, Rodney Williams, Taylor Bruno, and Travis Holoway, this financial platform started with the simple mission of giving fast access to lower interest rate loans. While most traditional financial often overlook the creditworthiness of those asking for a loan, SoLo assesses them with its cutting-edge technology and helps loan seekers obtain their advances. Borrowers are determined by a machine learning process and data points powered by the software. Widely recognized and appreciated for its work, SoLo won the 2020 startup of the year award, making it the most disruptive startup of that year.
Xbird, a medical artificial intelligence company, is becoming increasingly popular by providing innovative software solutions to the modern healthcare sector. This Berlin-based disruptive startup personalized therapies for improved results using its AI-generated healthcare. Health risks are predicted and prevented by analyzing smartphone data and wearables. In many cases, the behavior and lifestyle of patients are recorded through the software’s algorithm which can help prevent critical situations from arising.
Dmitry Shevelenko co-founded this micro-mobility disruptive startup to bring a hybrid solution for scooters. To deal with the issues of scooters that are not parked properly and congestion created by grocery delivery, Tortoise uses autonomous technologies powered by remote teleoperators to move dockless scooters to available parking spaces. One hundred teleoperated scooters were arranged in the partnership between Tortoise and e-scooter operator GoX.
Source: Tech Crunch
Not only this, Tortoise came up with remote-controlled carts to deliver goods to customers as a result of partnering with the online grocery platform, Self Point.
This pioneering life science disruptive startup uses groundbreaking technology to engineer cells as medicine. Sana Biotechnology is dedicated to creating engineered cells to replace any damaged or missing cells and improve access to gene-based medicines.
Among the most important developments in healthcare, today are biotechnology and genetic manipulation to cure previously incurable diseases and make useful products. Many untreatable diseases can now be treated by modifying genes and using cells. Sana Biotechnology is a heavily funded startup promising novel treatments and is surely a disruptive startup transforming the face of biotechnology and regenerative medicine.
Blackboard is an EdTech disruptive startup and is a great platform for advancing learning. Its innovative technologies not only serve the higher education sector but many commercial businesses too. It prepares educators and institutions for upcoming challenges like the Covid-19 restrictions and offers solutions like e-learning, learning management, and student success solutions.
Multiple educational institutions and companies use Blackboard App and Blackboard Learn to manage their learning from home. This type of effective learning product is made possible by combining education and tech-savvy approaches. The startup successfully raised $16 in seed capital in 2020 and another $30 million in Series A funding in 2021.
Ex-Apple engineers, David Lee, Philip Lam, Reggie Chan, and Tony Sung founded HomeCourt, an interactive basketball iOS app that works just like a personal trainer with guided feedback and performance analysis.
Basketball players from around the world use this app to improve their skills with some big names like Mark Cuban, Steve Nash, and NBA associated with it. HomeCourt has won many recognitions since its inception, making it one of the most disruptive startups in its field.
Even though startups are typically much smaller than established corporations, we cannot ignore the part they play in the prosperity of the global economy. They not only create new jobs but introduce fresh ideas, products, and services that encourage creativity and healthy competition.
Today, businesses have to survive and thrive in a constantly changing and rapidly transforming environment, one marked by instability and disruption. The changes in consumer behavior, customer preferences, demographics, and technologies are forcing business owners to think unconventionally and work with disruptive ideas and opportunities and come up with the most disruptive startups. Innovation is fueling the growth of startups today, which in turn play an important and indispensable role in building an innovative culture and startup ecosystem.
Farwah is the Product Owner of Monily. She has an MBA from Alliance Manchester Business School, UK. She is passionate about helping businesses overcome challenges that hamper their growth, which is why she is working at Monily to facilitate entrepreneurs to efficiently manage business finances and stay focused on growth.