7 Startups to Watch in 2014



Innovative minds and savvy businesspeople have created some interesting new companies. From helping businesses get paid easier and creating adaptable cloud storage, to interpreting all the social media data businesses encounter from moment to moment, these companies are presenting new ideas to businesses and individuals.


Mass Relevance


Mass Relevance provides its clients with templates to track what’s going on in different social media platforms all at once. Clients can follow what their consumers are saying and use the information to create more meaningful marketing and conversations. In April of 2014, Mass Relevance merged with Spredfast, creating a powerful service that can keep up with real-time social media data relevant to even extremely large companies.




Many travel websites exist, and most of them seem to focus on flight prices. Not RouteHappy. This startup doesn’t just compare flights by price, but by experience. It offers a new way to find comfortable flights that are perfect for business people who travel a lot. Users can rate flights based on a number of criteria, like leg-room, Wi-Fi, plane quality, and entertainment. It raised $1.5 million in funding in 2012. Priceline has recently started tests including RouteHappy ratings in their iOS app.


Grafix Softech


Tej Kohli’s company Grafix Softech focuses on making it easy for businesses to get paid. It offers a number of features to make receiving payments convenient for businesses, such as security, the ability to track performance, and the ability to accept major forms of payment. Businessman and philanthropist Tej Kohli began the business in 1998, and it has provided Internet marketing services to businesses since.




The eBook industry has become a large part of publishing and bookselling, considering the convenience of keeping an entire library on a single device, instantaneous downloading, and a generally lower price. But some people don’t want to purchase eBooks. That’s where Oyster comes in. Instead of purchasing eBooks one at a time, Oyster users pay a monthly fee of $9.95 for unlimited access to more than 200,000 eBooks. Oyster recently added a significant number of children’s books to its list, giving parents a money-saving incentive to subscribe.




Big data and cloud computing have been important topics in the tech and business worlds recently. The cloud offers storage solutions for many businesses facing large amounts of data, and Egnyte offers several cloud-based and local-access data storage options for businesses. Egnyte has come up with a system that offers security and accessibility to large companies; it’s raised $61.5 million in funding.




Instead of taking a taxi, why not use your smartphone to summon a car wearing a pink mustache? Ridesharing company Lyft allows people to sign up as drivers and does background checks and safety checks on their vehicles. Then, app users needing a ride can find a driver close to them and get a friendly ride at a price likely cheaper than a cab. Lyft encourages users to sit in the front seat and chat with their drivers, which fosters the important communication aspect of this service. People using Lyft have met friends and business partners. The incentive to be a driver is to make friends and make some extra money.




Keeping track of professional relationships is the name of the game for RelateIQ. The startup lets professionals track business relationships by managing their contacts and helping them optimize their calendar. Phone calls, emails, and other interactions all become data that RelateIQ uses to help analyze and optimize professional relationships. Users can track one-on-one relationships, facilitate teamwork and new projects, and keep track of projects and teams that already exist. This startup has already raised significant funds, recently adding $40 million to create a grand total of $245 million.


Whether you need to find a way to track your business contacts, or get a lift from the airport in a new city after having a satisfying flight, these seven companies offer some innovative services. Keep an eye on them as 2014 unfolds for more great ideas and even better business and personal solutions.

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