Imagination drives innovation, and where there are new ideas, there are sure to be startups. Entrepreneurs of every stripe – smart, energetic people – are behind these businesses, spending their waking hours creating great companies and products that offer unique benefits. With all this in mind, here are five of the most promising online startups to watch in 2017. Some have been around for a while, reinventing and adapting themselves; others are truly the new kids on the block.
A startup that combines fashion retail with the online world, Farfetch was founded back in 2008. It’s just now catching on all over the globe, enabling small, independent boutiques to advertise and sell their offerings to a worldwide audience. Lovely, imaginative, edgy styles with unique identities and spectacular visual appeal – what’s not to love?
On the business side of things, Farfetch has grown to include more than 600 employees all over the world. The website helps its boutique partners increase their growth – often drastically – so an average of 30% of all sales are made with the company’s help. Boutiques keep Farfetch riding high by paying a small commission.
Gift cards and vouchers are more popular than ever. Unfortunately, many of us have found ourselves in the position of being gifted with the occasional card or voucher for something we’ll never use. Zeek has a unique position in the marketplace; this cool-sounding startup lets its sellers trade unwanted cards and vouchers for cash in hand, and offers those cards and vouchers for sale at a discount.
This company was founded in the UK, and has been so successful there that it was recently able to raise $9.5 million by investors who believe in Zeek’s mission and want to see it succeed. An overseas expansion is likely – perhaps in 2017, although the company is keeping mum on that point for now. Whether an expansion takes place or not, things are definitely looking up. According to co-founder and CEO Daniel Zelkind, Zeek sees nearly 30% growth each month – a great thing for everyone from investor to consumer.
While we’re having fun with the letter Z, let’s take a peek at Zoopla. This property website combines user-generated data with hundreds of thousands of property listings and local information, providing incredibly accurate property price estimates throughout the UK and certain overseas areas. Favoured by letting agents, property developers, and estate agents alike, it’s also popular with consumers.
Zoopla has been around since 2009 and is expanding rapidly. The company enjoys tens of millions of website visitors each month.
Nearly everyone loves a good holiday, and Secret Escapes helps fulfill travelers’ dreams by offering exclusive rates on lodgings throughout the UK and abroad. Consumers save up to 70% on luxury accommodations by filling bookings that top hotels, resorts, and spas would rather let go for a bargain than leave unbooked.
As successful startups go, Secret Escapes definitely fits the bill. Founded in 2010, this fab company now has more than 19 million registered users and is continuing to grow.
We’re willing to bet that Just Eat’s founders are astonished at how much this startup has grown since it was introduced way back in 2001. Whenever hungry consumers open the web page or flip open the app, Just Eat instantly connects them with their favourite takeaway establishments. Dinner is a click away; no greasy menu or phone call necessary.
Today, Just Eat is listed on the London Stock Exchange, and it operates in 15 countries. It’s definitely a far cry from its humble beginnings in a Danish basement – and it serves as an illustration of just how successful a simple concept can be.