Miami Beach, Florida cityscape. Editorial credit: Sean Pavone, Shutterstock.
Silicon Valley doesn’t have the same shine it once had. In recent years, some tech companies and venture capital firms have begun to move away from the hub in favor of new locales, a trend that has only been exacerbated by COVID-19. This shift has made cities like Miami, Florida prime real estate for the tech world.
The vibrant city is known for its clubs, beaches, and food scene, all of which could prove attractive to the stream of startups, tech workers, and venture capitalists that are now finding themselves able to work from anywhere. Additionally, the Sunshine State’s tax benefits and comparatively cheap living make it an easy choice for those looking to leave Silicon Valley.
However, Miami is no stranger to the startup world and boasted the highest startup density in the U.S. in 2019, at 247.6 startups per 100,000 people. Among these startups are some extremely successful ventures like Magic Leap, the augmented reality company that has raised nearly $3 billion in funding. But the list of successful and promising startups doesn’t stop there.
Keep on reading to discover ten disruptive Miami area startups you should know in 2020.
Co-founded by Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt, Bolt Mobility is on a mission to redesign urban mobility with smart, safe, and sustainable transportation solutions. Founded in 2018, the company has designed a fleet of electric scooters, bikes, and mopeds for B2B fleets, college campuses, and cities.
Bolt Mobility closed its Series A funding round in March 2020, bringing its total investment to $30 million at a $100 million valuation. But the company didn’t stop there, and in November, announced a new fundraising campaign on the crowdfunding platform Start Engine, which allows anyone to invest in the business for as little as $300.
Papa was founded in 2017 after CEO Andrew Parker recognized the extreme difficulty associated with juggling daily life and senior family members’ needs. Papa’s on-demand service pairs older adults and families with “Papa Pals” who provide companionship and assistance with everyday tasks. Papa’s task has become even more important as COVID-19 lockdowns have put more distance between older adults and visitors. In September 2020, Papa, which is available in at least 17 states, raised $18 million in a Series B funding round to help provide its service in additional markets.
Wellness Coach is a digital wellness platform that provides live fitness classes, nutrition coaches, and guided meditations. Previously known as meditation.live, the company offers its mental and physical wellness tools to over 200 companies worldwide and is backed by a $3 million investment from SoftBank. In April 2020, Wellness Coach partnered with Gold Medal Olympian Lindsey Vonn to host a live and interactive fitness session.
Fanatiz, an over-the-top (OTT) sports streaming service got its big break in early 2020 when it closed its $10 million Series A funding round. With a lot of streaming competition, Fanatiz has found its niche distributing live and on-demand content from Latin America’s top soccer leagues, as well as matches from Spain’s La Liga. The streaming service launched in 2016 and operates in the US, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, and Mexico. In September 2020, the company announced its exclusive sponsorship of Spain’s LaLiga throughout the United States and Canada.
Taxfyle is an on-demand accounting services platform that aims to make tax prep as easy as ordering dinner on your smartphone. Founded in 2015, Taxfyle also offers robust B2B solutions to disrupt the enterprise segment. With over 60k app downloads, the company raised $4.1 million in Series A funding, bringing its total funding to $7.3 million as of September 2018.
Plum is bringing the smart home revolution to your wine rack. The company’s $1,500 wine dispenser preserves wine for 90 days at the exact temperature the winemaker intended using motorized needle pierces and argon gas. Plum initially launched in 2017, and in early December 2020, the company announced Plum Integrated, a plug-and-play design solution that seamlessly integrates the appliance into any cabinetry.
SportsEdTV provides free online instruction in over thirty sports from world-class coaches and athletes. The sports education media company provides video and blog content on technique, strategy, tactics, strength and conditioning, nutrition, mental toughness, and the unique lifestyle complexities of being an athlete to anyone in the world with an internet connection. SportsEdTV also offers an online community for users (who could be athletes, parents, and coaches) to interact, connect, chat, share content, and find new friends. In April 2020, SportsEdTV closed its $3 million Series A funding round, which allowed it to move forward with its growth plans, which include key new hires, new content creation, and increased marketing activities.
ClassWallet is the first virtual wallet created for schools, allowing teachers and administrators to replace a system that relies on cash, checks, and interoffice envelopes. The company’s payment platform enables schools to grant teachers authority over classroom spending decisions and minimizes the time needed by school bookkeepers to manage the many individual classroom purchases.
Founded in 2017, aXpire creates SaaS fintech products to boost both productivity and profits for businesses. The company offers two products: Resolvr, a spend management and expense allocation solution, and Billr, a time-tracking, and dictation solution. These products have helped users, including well-known brands like Coca-Cola, Nike, and AT&T, save over $500 million. In May 2020, the company announced a partnership with Eleven Ten, a UK-based consultancy firm, to introduce aXpire’s digital transformation software products to the UK market.
Unitea merges music and social media to create an interactive fan platform that rewards music loyalty. Unitea’s app syncs with users’ Spotify account and allows users to earn currency, called “Karma,” by listening to and sharing their favorite artists’ music. This currency can be redeemed for rewards and experiences offered by artists, allowing musicians to directly engage with loyal fans.
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