In some ways the web has democratised business by making it simpler for entrepreneurs to connect with the public and investors before launching new projects.
But an exceptional USP, a robust business model and lots of tenacity are still essential to keep a new business afloat.
And some startups are getting the formula right — here are five to watch in 2018.
Data Plus Math
This Boston, Massachusetts firm is developing an AdTech software platform called ‘Thor’ that helps firms accurately measure the impact of video on sales of products.
US TV executives are keen to back the platform as it helps convince advertisers that the fees they pay for ad spots provide a tangible ROI.
The tech is still not yet in a finished form — but it’s hoped it’ll launch in 2018.
Project HomeTap is a home equity partnership that allows homeowners to raise funds by selling a portion of their house while keeping the rest.
Advanced data analytics predict real estate trends and create accurate valuation models — a customer-centric approach that allows owners to weigh up the benefits of participating.
The partnership has substantial backing from a major venture capital firm and should launch in the first quarter of 2018.
Stitch Fix uses data science to match shoppers with their ideal clothes and accessories — it’s an electronic personal assistant that will find you dresses to die for and perfect pants.
Members create a profile based on their style, size and budget and receive their ‘fix’ by post — five clothing items they can either keep or return free of charge.
Founder Katrina Lake took the fashion subscription startup public at the start of November and she’s now one of the wealthiest self-made women in the US.
The firm has amassed 2.2 million users in a short few years and its market value is over $2.1 billion — making it a prime pick for potential investors.
Gousto is a fun foodie startup that delivers healthy recipe boxes stuffed full of tasty ingredients to subscribers on a weekly basis.
It simplifies cooking from scratch for busy people by providing fresh pre-portioned ingredients for a choice of 20 easy to follow recipes.
It’s the ideal solution for customers too busy to plan meals to perfection but tired of pre-packaged or frozen food.
CityStasher is another simple business model executed effectively — customers store luggage at various stash points across the UK and pick it up anything from three to 24 hours later.
Each piece of luggage is insured to the value of £750 and it costs as little as £6 for a 24 hour stay.
And it’s easy to use — just select your stash from a convenient choice of shops and hotels, drop off your luggage at the location with your ID code and pick it back up when you’re ready.
This is another example of a straightforward business with great potential.
These five digital startups will go from strength to strength in 2018.
What startups will you have your eye on next year? Share your tips in the comments section.