Despite concerns over startup bubbles and venture funding drying up, there have been a number of new startups that launched in 2016 in the Boston area, with some of them landing funding rounds to get things started.
There have been dozens and dozens of new ventures that have started in Boston, some of which we probably haven’t even heard about. So we wanted to highlight some of the new Boston startups that have generated quite a bit of buzz this year and show a lot of promise for the future. They range from a coaching platform for military veterans to wiki software being made by HubSpot vets. One of them was even launched by a major insurer in Boston, Liberty Mutual.
Obviously this isn’t a comprehensive list by any means, so feel free to share with us which new Boston startups you think deserve some praise and attention, whether it’s here in the comments or on social media.
Without further ado, here are 10 hot Boston startups that launched in 2016:
All Set is a Boston-based on-demand home service provider app that was one of the first startups to launch from Solaria Labs, the new accelerator from Liberty Mutual. The startup launched its app this year with a massive $14.4 million seed round from Liberty Mutual and Boston Consulting Group’s corporate venture arm. Its CEO is Erin Breslin, a former product manager for Amazon.
Athletes of Valor is a Cambridge-based online service that helps college sports teams recruit military veterans, and it launched this year with a seed investment led by CoachUp founder Jordan Fliegel, with participation from Accomplice. The startup is led by Alex Stone, a former Marine Sergeant and former Under Armour product line manager. It also works with corporate partners to provide career opportunities.
Not much is known about BlueArchive, the Boston-based cloud data storage startup started by Carbonite co-founders David Friends and Jeff Flowers. But it has already managed to amass $8.2 million in funding from investors this year without making much of a peep. While Friend has said he isn’t ready to discuss the startup yet, BlueArchive’s website once claimed it’s planning to provide a high-performance cloud storage service at one-tenth of the price of Amazon Web Service’s S3 service.
Gamer Sensei is a Cambridge-based coaching platform for competitive gamers that launched with a $2.3 million seed round co-led by Accomplice and Boston Seed Capital. The startup formed a partnership with NRG eSports, a group founded by Gerard Kelly and Sacramento Kings co-owners Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov. It also hired a video game industry veteran, former WB Games Vice President Jim Drewery, as its COO and acquired DotaCoach.org, a coaching service for Dota 2.
Quilt is a Boston-based self-service online insurance provider that was started by a group of professionals who have worked at Boston tech companies working in the insurance space, including Goji and EverQuote. The startup, whose CEO is Blair Baldwin, launched this year with a $3.25 million seed round led by NextView Ventures, with participation from Founder Collective and other investors.
Spotted is a Boston-based online platform for “native celebrity advertising” that has already landed some major clients like New Balance, Orbitz and Warner Brothers. Its founder and CEO is Janet Comenos, a former senior vice president of sales at Promoboxx, and the startup has already raised $4.75 million from investors, including early HubSpot investor Joe Caruso.
AirFox is a Boston-based adtech venture that aims to make mobile internet affordable for people who struggle to pay for it. It was founded by Sara Choi and Victor Santos, who met while working together at Google in California, and it launched earlier this year with a $1.1 million seed round led by Boston-based venture capital firm Project 11. The startup was part of Techstars Boston’s Spring 2016 class, and it started in August with two partnerships with mobile phone carriers for a sponsored data platform.
Tettra is a Somerville-based provider of wiki software for Slack teams, and it was founded by HubSpot veterans Andy Cook and Nelson Joyce. It launched at the beginning of the year and closed a nearly $1 million seed round a few months later from a group of angel investors, many of whom are current and former HubSpot executives and employees, as well as some of HubSpot’s original angel investors. Tettra recently came out of beta, and it now has 100 paying customers.
RadioPublic is Boston startup spun out of PRX, the Cambridge-based public radio distributor of “This American Life,” that aims to make the act of discovering and listening to podcasts better with its new app. It launched earlier this year with more than $1.5 million from a diverse group of organizations, including The New York Times, American Public Media and Boston venture capital firm Project 11. Its founding team is CEO Jake Shapiro, Chief Product Officer Matt MacDonald and Chief Architect Chris Rhoden. Shapiro was previously CEO of PRX.
FutureFuel is a Boston-based startup aiming to make student loan payments an employee benefit. Back in October, the startup launched its online marketplace, allowing employers to offer 5-10 percent of compensation in the form of student loan payments, each year for three years, and that’s on top of the competitive salary and benefit packages they’re providing. Its founder is former Google executive Laurel Taylor.