Why invest in startups? As I have mentioned in previous articles about startup investing, the advantages are many. One of the most notable for me is how the best startups give you the feeling of supporting a new vision, a bold business plan.
They’re also a great way to diversify the portfolio as startup investing may have little if no correlation with other traditional forms of investments such as public traded stocks. There are considerable risks to consider in startup investing, the lack of financial performance and business history is probably the most important one.
But startups have the potential to become future leaders in their sectors. In the list below you can find seven promising ideas for startup investing on the equity crowdfunding platform StartEngine (OTCMKTS:STGC). These seven startups are among the companies that recently launched equity crowdfunding campaigns.
The list of the best new startups right now is:
- ZEVA AERO
- Enginuity Power Systems
- Centric Wear, Inc.
- Zoe Immersive, Inc.
- dexFreight Inc.
- Mycroft AI, Inc.
The Best Startups: ZEVA AERO
Is the future of mobility and transportation aerial? ZEVA AERO believes so, as it designs and builds electric aircraft for true point-to-point travel. The mission is to disrupt the way people move by providing sustainable air vehicles for daily personal use.
The zero-emission electric vertical aircraft is an affordable, electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft called the ZERO. ZEVA AERO is “currently flight-testing a full-scale prototype.”
But why fly rather than drive to get anywhere within 50 miles?
The company believes this will be the fastest way to safely make that trip, traveling over 160 miles per hour. Sounds impressive.
Reasons to invest? ZEVA AERO believes eVTOL vehicles will lead to the largest market opportunity of our lifetimes, and it is starting by aiming to sell 500 vehicles by 2025 into the first responder and defense markets. That could provide a total revenue of $125 million.
ZEVA AERO has a valuation of $56.1 million and the minimum investment is $200.00.
Enginuity Power Systems
Enginuity Power Systems is all about efficiency — combining the best features of a backup generator, a water heater, and a furnace. The device is still in the prototype phase.
Enginuity’s E|ONE micro-CHP system is an efficient appliance that can provide efficient electricity, hot water, and heat. This means consumers can save money and enjoy a more comfortable life reducing the costs associated with electricity bills.
In addition to this, home generators are expensive and difficult to install. E|ONE, an All-In-One appliance solves this problem of grid inefficiency. There is a growing opportunity from the 80 million homes that use natural gas and propane in the U.S. Enginuity Power Systems targets 35 million of these homes which are located in states which seem to have ideal conditions for buying the E|ONE All-In-One appliance for reasons such as “favorable economics and state incentives.”
The business model is based on a mix of existing installers, wholesale distributors, and other B2B channels and is aimed to be part of the smart grid evolution.
Enginuity Power Systems has a valuation of $91.8 million and the minimum investment is $579.90.
The Best Startups: Centric Wear, Inc
Centric Wear, Inc makes functional sportswear — high-quality athletic apparel made to perform. The vision is to make the world a better place focusing on revolutionizing the fitness apparel industry. They want to make “meaningful and strong connections in the health and fitness community.”
The company has gained traction since launched in mid-2020. Notably, it has $500k gross revenue so far, and was Google’s top search result for “high-performance athletic wear,” with over 1,000 5-star reviews. It also built media buzz by getting the company featured on outlets such as Men’s Health, Shape, Forbes, and USA TODAY.
Centric believes that activewear has a huge market and that it is poised for expansion in the premium athleisure apparel market. Established partnerships with reputable third-party retailers can provide strong growth opportunities. Centric is a modern activewear company that is built around color, functionality, and high performance.
Centric has a valuation of $8 million and the minimum amount of investment is $250.
Zoe Immersive, Inc.
Zoe Immersive is a software company whose claim to fame is Zoe, a “remote learning solution and marketplace.”
Zoe’s addressable market is estimated at “more than $150 billion per year in 2021 and growing to $220+ billion.” EdTech is surging by 16.3% and “will grow 2.5x from 2019 to 2025.” It’s expected to reach $404 billion in total global expenditure by 2025.
One of the competitive advantages of the Zoe platform has is that most learning platforms don’t use 3D technologies today. Competitors are still focused on video, or on 2D web-based interfaces instead. In online learning, 3D technologies can increase engagement with both students and educators.
Important milestones to mention include industry alliances with companies like Microsoft (NASADQ:MSFT) and Unity (NYSE:U), and a pilot creator development. In essence, that’s customers actively using the Zoe creation tools to generate recurring revenue per month.
Zoe Immersive has a valuation of $12.6 million and the minimum investment is $199.99.
The Best Startups: dexFreight Inc.
According to its page on StartEngine, “dexFreight is a FinTech-enabled market network for freight companies to handle shipments from booking to payment in one place using smart contracts.” The company helps to connect all sources needed to handle shipments — carriers, freight brokers, shippers and more. Its network is built on decentralized protocols.
Some of the reasons to invest in this company include a large network of over 2,700 companies that aim to “reduce transaction costs while increasing efficiency,” to help it disrupt the logistics world. There are already 17 million shipments on DexFreight so far this year, worth a total of around $18 billion.
And there is a patent-pending technology “to allow carriers to get paid as soon as they deliver,” due to the use of decentralized finance (Defi) protocols. This technology has produced over $328,000 in revenue.
dexFreight wants to address two of the logistics industry’s biggest issues — fragmentation and lack of liquidity. dexFreight has a valuation of $30.1 million and the minimum investment is $390.
Snap, spin, cash in. What does this mean? It means that GameIQ has developed Spindy, a “mobile rewards platform that gamifies shopping.
How? By transforming the future of the B2C industry.
The platform uses a technology that offers consumer rewards by “turning every transaction into a game for the customer, no matter the industry.” The user simply uses the app to take a picture of their receipt, spins the wheel in the app, and gets cash back reward — anywhere from 1% to 100% of the original purchase price.
Customer engagement is tough, but the Spindy platform engages consumers and generates profits by leveraging people’s love of games. Users download Spindy for free but GameIQ makes a percentage of each transaction. The companies are encouraged to sign up since customers are more likely to shop at a store with a chance for cash back.
The rewards and loyalty market should hit $201 billion next year, and Spindy wants to be a disrupter in the space. GameIQ has a valuation of $12.4 million and the minimum amount of investment is $250.
The Best Startups: Mycroft AI, Inc
Mycroft AI is a tech company making a voice assistant that respects privacy.
Online privacy today is a huge issue for many consumers. Mycroft AI has developed a voice assistant that is capable, customizable and, most importantly of all, private. The company target the smart speaker market, especially people who want privacy. Because on big tech platforms, privacy can be a huge problem.
The voice market can move quickly, and Mycroft stands to gain by providing customers with all of the features they’ve come to expect from Big Tech without that feeling being monitored or having their data collected for marketing reasons.
The company has more than $1 million in pre-orders for its second-generation speaker and is also facing strong demand for additional speakers once the mass production begins. And according to Markets and Markets Research, “the global voice assistant market is $25B and growing annually.” Therefore a big business opportunity is present. The business model has both a free and a premium paid subscription with services offered such as music streaming, or email.
Mycroft AI has a valuation of $38 million and the minimum investment is $499.80.
Investing through equity and real estate crowdfunding or asset tokenization requires a high degree of risk tolerance. Despite what individual companies may promise, there’s always the chance of losing a portion, or the entirety, of your investment. These risks include:
1) Greater chance of failure
2) Risk of fraudulent activity
3) Lack of liquidity
4) Economic downturns
5) Dearth of investor education
Read more: Private Investing Risks
On the date of publication, Stavros Georgiadis, CFA did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Stavros Georgiadis is a CFA charter holder, an Equity Research Analyst, and an Economist. He focuses on U.S. stocks and has his own stock market blog at thestockmarketontheinternet.com/. He has written in the past various articles for other publications and can be reached on Twitter and on LinkedIn.
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