10 start-ups destined to take the world by storm in 2016

There’s no shortage of start-ups in today’s frenetic world of entrepreneurship and technology. Here we look at the 10 start-ups we think will take the world by storm in 2016:

Number 26


Founders: Valentin Stalf (CEO) and Maximilian Tayenthal

Year founded: 2013

Based: Berlin

Funding faised so far: £9.1m ($13.7m) in Seed and Series A

Genre: Mobile banking

As one of the oldest industries in the world, banking is overdue for a degree of ground-floor disruption. Travel and music have both been hit with the millennial bat in recent years and now NUMBER26 wants to take it flush to your finances. Launched as Germany’s first solely digital bank in January 2015, it’s now accessible in seven other Eurozone countries and has moved on establishing itself as the first pan-European bank.

NUMBER26 is banking for the digital age. It’s design as well as product-led, dispensing with the bureaucracy of yesteryear and moving the process seamlessly over to the smartphone. With plans to become a bona fide financial platform and hub within the near future, offering savings and investment products from select partners, the future looks golden.


GB Screenshots

Founders: Navid Hadzaad (CEO), Maximilian Deilman, Jens Urbaniak and Joko Winterscheidt

Year founded: 2015

Based: New-York and Berlin

Funding raised so far: £5.3m ($8m) in Series A

Genre: Digital personal assistant

Your own Jeeves on call, a one-stop shop for pretty much anything and just a message away, GoButler is the, 24/7, 365-days-a-year, on-demand service for finding solutions and taking care of the inconveniences in everyday life. Having amassed 200,000 users in just under a year, GoButler is available in six countries – Austria, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, the UK and the US – and is vying to replace nearly every other app on your phone. Whether it’s making booking travel plans or making a restaurant reservation, GoButler uses human assisted AI, to process and carry out requests. Best of all, the service itself won’t cost you a cent.



Founders: Tom Moss (CEO) and Mike Chan

Year founded: 2013

Based: San Francisco

Funding raised so far: £12m ($18m) in Series A and £900,000 ($1.36m) through Kickstarter

Genre: Cloud-based smartphone

Nextbit is engineering a smartphone overhaul, taking the ubiquitous device to a new dimension, in this case, the cloud. The smartphone has gone nearly 10 years without a significant make-over. Nextbit could well have cracked it with their debut Android model, Robin. The cloud-first phone has a sizeable 32GB of in-built storage, but owners also have access to 100GB via the cloud. Not only that, but the phone interacts with said storage intelligently. For example, it’ll back up apps to the digital space and then remove them from the device if you’re not using them, restoring them in the exact same state when you want them back. Ultimately, Robin adapts intuitively to the user, growing with their needs ad-hoc. No more missing a once-in-a-lifetime photo op due to a full storage notification.



Founders: Ed Rex (CEO) and Patrick Stobbs

Year founded: February 2012

Based: London

Funding raised so far: £500,000 ($750,000) in Seed and £2.8m ($4.3m) from other investors

Genre: Artificially intelligent music composer

With the explosion of online content and video, artists have had to protect their musical creations like never before; 300 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every single minute. Jukedeck has brilliantly solved a problem facing all content creators when it comes to getting royalty free music, by essentially teaching a computer to write and create previously unheard and, crucially, free tracks. No musical aptitude is needed either; users just select the style, mood, length and tempo, and Jukedeck will spit back out a ready-to-use track. Google and London’s Natural History Museum successfully sampled it in a private beta and the full product launched in December 2015.



Founders: Marc Benioff (CEO), Ron Conway and Joe Green

Year founded: June 2014

Based: San Francisco

Funding raised so far: £13.5m ($9m) in Series A

Genre: Civic engagement social network

Sean Parker, of Facebook fame, is throwing himself into and behind another social network. Brigade, the strictly politically focused platform plans to bring democracy into the present day and capitalise on modern communications in a way the current American system has yet to do. Because it offers users an online home for their civic lives, early adopters have already begun engaging with elections as well as everyday issues. With a team of experts assembled behind it and the US presidential race coinciding nicely with a number of products planned for release in 2016, Brigade is set for a sure start to life in full launch.



Founders: Dan Bladen (CEO) and Charlie Cannell

Year founded: 2013

Based: London, New York and San Francisco

Funding raised so far: £1.8m ($2.7m) in Series A and £466,000 ($700,000) from other investors

Genre: Wireless charging

It’s well known that the iPhone battery has the life expectancy of a turkey in the run-up to Christmas; getting through a working day without having to whip out a charging wire has become nigh on impossible. Apple is set to correct this with an additional battery pack to plug in on the go, but Chargifi is aiming to beat them to the punch by making wireless charging ubiquitous. With successful pilot schemes run in locales around London, Singapore, New York and India, the next step is rolling it out to venues, including hotels and airports, making wires a thing of the past in the process.



Founders: Doron Myersdorf (CEO), Gil Rosenman and Simon Litsyn

Year founded: 2012

Based: Ramat Gan, Israel

Funding raised so far: £4m ($6m) in Series A and £47m ($70m) from other investors, including Roman Abramovich

Genre: Nanotechnology

Still on the theme of smartphone battery life or rather the lack of, StoreDot is tackling the problem with a more substantial innovation. Working in the field of materials-science, synthesising new molecules designed from scratch, StoreDot has developed a working prototype of a smartphone battery that can be fully charged in 30 seconds. The bio-organic battery could yet be available for market in 2016 and would genuinely revolutionise the smartphone market and give any brand partners a leg-up in a saturated, competitive market.

Nervana Systems


Founders: Naveen Rao (CEO), Amir Khosrowshahi and Arjun Bansal

Year founded: 2014

Based: San Diego

Funding raised so far: £16m ($24m) in Series A and £400,000 ($600,000) in Seed

Genre: Machine learning hardware

With a payroll loaded with experts, Nervana Systems is dedicated to building artificial intelligence systems that specialise in deep learning algorithms. In layman’s terms, this Californian start-up is creating a platform that will allow machines to learn faster and be less computationally intensive. Currently, deep learning software is fairly advanced, but it’s being bottlenecked by the power it takes to run them. Nervana Systems is targeting a scalable solution to solve the problem and democratise the access to these kind of systems. Very sci-fi, yes, but also seriously impressive.



Founders: Danielle Morrill (CEO), Kevin Morrill, Andy Sparks

Year founded: 2014

Based: San Francisco

Funding raised so far: £4.3m ($6.5m) in Series A and £2.3m ($3.4m) in Seed

Genre : Data platform for venture capitalists

The concept of Mattermark is very meta; a start-up that predicts other potentially successful start-ups. The business intelligence firm has ambitions of being a ‘business-to-business Google’, collating information across a range of primary and secondary sources on companies for firms to use when attempting to identify a likely lucrative new venture. Now tracking data on over one million businesses, Mattermark is bringing a scientific approach to deal-making and venture capitalism. Its success may hang on whether it eventually does pick the next unicorn out of an ever-deepening stable of racehorses.



Founders: Pierre Becerrill (CEO)

Year founded: March 2015

Based: Berlin / Madrid

Funding raised so far: £16,700 ($25,000) in Seed, and currently fundraising £250,000 ($375,500)

Genre: Online travel broker

Started during a competition at Disrupt Europe, Seeusoon was conceived in just 24 hours and placed as second runner-up in the contest. It’s now set for a significant year after the founders ditched corporate life for an entrepreneurial existence. Taking up arms in the well-equipped arena of online travel brokers, Seeusoon was initially slated as a platform for those in a long-distance relationship. It’s now broadened to encompass a wider audience, with designs on bringing innovation and spontaneity to the center of millennials’ travel aspirations. Unlike its competitors, it’ll scour the likes of Airbnb to find the best details and offer a range of potential destinations for you to consider, sating that un-yet decided wanderlust.

(This article originally appeared in the Jan.Feb 2016 issue, for more subscribe here)

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