Jul 28 - 4min readThe Startups Doing Great Things In 2017By Borne
2017 has been a big year for startups. Whether it’s helping farmers across the world, saving us all precious minutes or making online shopping a hell of a lot easier, these startups know what we need and when we need it. It was a tough choice, but here’s our list of the startups doing great things in 2017:
Bank of the future Monzo is taking the world by storm with its easy to use mobile banking app, offering a way for users to easily manage their finances. Our team here are all proud owners of Monzo cards and, to be honest, we can’t imagine our lives without them!
This year, the startup received its banking licence, meaning the company can now provide users with an unrestricted current account just like a normal bank – minus the lunchtime queue.
Why We Love It
Well aside from the fact that we haven’t felt this in control of our finances since before the 2008 recession, Monzo also provide a cracking customer service.
In any startup there’s going to be little niggles – things that don’t always go according to plan, and to say Monzo are on top of this would be a vast understatement. Whatever your issue, you can be sure a Monzo team member will try their hardest to help you, and perhaps even improve your day a little in the process!
WeFarm are a social enterprise, enabling farmers all over the world to share information with eachother, without needing access to the internet.
Farmers around the world who may need some advice can send a free SMS to their local WeFarm number. The text is posted online and, using machine learning technology, sent as an SMS to members of the community who are most likely to know the answer. Access to the internet is not required, instead all the farmers need is a basic mobile phone.
This year the company competed against seven other startups at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to win the ‘Disrupted by Mobile’ category – thoroughly deserved in our opinion!
Why We Love It
Dubbed as ‘Quora for farmers’, WeFarm is one of those fantastic companies using tech to do great things. In a notoriously difficult industry, it’s essential that we provide support for those struggling and WeFarm does just that. Farmers can learn how to improve crop yield, start a microbusiness or take better care of their animals. There is no denying that WeFarm have planted the seed of success and we can’t wait to watch it grow (sorry).
London Village Network
We LOVE London Village Network (LVN) and it’s not just because we made it! You can read more about the fantastic charity here, or download their app, but essentially LVN is a charity committed to social equality and helping young people get the best start possible.
Their recently launched app allows volunteering professionals to partner with disadvantaged young people, giving them guidance and advice on a huge variety of industries.
Why We Love It
We love everything that LVN stands for and the fact that we built the app ourselves makes it an extra special project for us. Not only that, but the fabulous team were joined by none other than Jeremy Corbyn at their launch party! We know the charity will go on to do great things and have a positive impact on the lives of young adults all over the UK.
Looking good is a full time job so for the fashion conscious among us, Thread is a lifesaver. This startup aims to ‘reinvent how the world buys clothes’ through online stylists and algorithms which recommend the best clothes for you.
On sign up, the platform encourages users to choose styles they like for various events, such as work, casual wear or dinner dates. Users can also enter their measurements and select their favourite clothing brands. The online stylists will then provide a list of clothes each Thursday, ranging from brands like ASOS and Urban Outfitters to smaller independent designers. The company makes a profit by taking a cut of the sales.
Why We Love It
While I like to think we’re a fashionable bunch, the reality is some of our clothing choices are, ahem, questionable. Coupled with the fact that visiting Oxford Street is about as fun as a visit to the dentist on a hangover day, it’s safe to say we need Thread in our lives. Thread takes the stress away, curating a list of products users may like, enabling us lazy folks to online shop with minimal effort.
Using machine learning software, Onfido allows users to verify potential employees and workers remotely, receiving results within seconds. The software can carry out a variety of checks including identity, right to work, criminal record and credit checks.
Onfido was founded by three entrepreneurs from Oxford University and has received over $30m in funding. They currently carry out checks in 195 countries for companies including JustGiving, BlaBlaCar and Couchsurfing.
Why We Love It
Another example of good things happening in the world, we love seeing machine learning helping to create equal opportunities. With immigrants making up more than half the population in cities such as New York, Amsterdam and Toronto, we feel it’s important they are given a fair chance of finding work in a country where they may lack credit histories or employment records – making it harder to compete against other candidates.
Onfido levels the playing field. Background information can be easily verified from anywhere in the world, opening doors for those who in the past, may have been denied employment, a loan or bank account.
That’s it for our list of startups doing great things in the world! If you have any others that you think should be on this list, please swing them our way and we’ll be sure to check them out!