Miami’s Top Startups, 2021
Startup Hustle is always on the lookout for disruptive startups, and Miami is one of the cities that caught our eye. We give you a rundown of the top Miami startups to watch.
Great weather, favorable tax laws, and a laid-back attitude make Miami one of the best places for older people just to enjoy the fruits of their labor. As a retirement community, Miami certainly fits the bill.
Lately, however, the state of Florida has been undergoing subtle changes, partly because some prominent investors decided to move there. As a result, quite a few promising tech startups have access to capital that was not there before.
The infusion of investor funding has spurred innovation in tech startups, particularly in Miami. That means creating jobs for tech talent that will most likely move to the area. In fact, projections for 2030 indicate that the population of Florida will be mostly people under the age of 65.
As a channel of founders for founders, Startup Hustle is naturally curious about this state of affairs. We decided to do a little digging to find Miami startups that have already attracted significant attention in their spaces.
Miami startups raised a total of $972 million in investor funding in 2020. If you look further afield to the Greater Miami area, you will see that seed, venture, and corporate financing reached almost $1.9 billion. That is pretty impressive, considering it was amid the economic downturn due to pandemic lockdowns. Is that why Miami is called “Magic City?”
Whatever the reason, the availability of investor funding for Miami startups established the city as a fledgling tech hub. Here are Miami’s top startup companies we liked.
Listen to the Podcast Episode About Miami’s Top Startups
While all Miami startups are exciting to us, we focused more on the following companies. We had a chance to have a bit of a schmooze with some of them, which is always great.
Construction companies often deal with risks onsite. The pandemic has only compounded the challenges they face. SmartBarrel helps construction companies by providing an online platform to monitor projects and keep track of subcontractors in real-time.
Integrations with Procore® construction software also enable each client to maximize the platform’s capabilities across operations. Additionally, SmartBarrel uses big data and automation to make processes more efficient. That earned it a place at the top Miami startups table.
Smart Barrel provides clients with retrievable daily logs to manage all facets of operations and keep job site workers safe on site. Among other things, the records ensure workers comply with safety protocols by monitoring accurate PPE and COVID-19 scans.
Another smart tech company servicing an essential workforce, SmartHop, helps small trucking companies achieve efficiency in their operations. As a result, they can do more deliveries in less time.
The trucking industry in the US brings in billions of dollars in revenue and employs nearly one million truck drivers. However, many drivers work overtime to meet demand despite these impressive numbers.
SmartHop uses artificial intelligence for its dispatch software to provide drivers and trucking companies with smart load recommendations. With truck drivers in short supply, improving trip efficiency can help small truck companies manage demand and make more money.
The software also tracks performance, manages digital bookings to guarantee above-market rates, and provides full-service back-office support. All that means more money going into the pockets of small trucking companies and their drivers.
With its Copilot technology, SmartHop optimizes each trip and automatically books trips when it makes the most sense. The platform creates more revenue for trucking companies with 53′ Dry Van and Reefer Trailers.
SmartHop users also have discount privileges for insurance, fuel, and payment platforms. They can also get Motor Carrier (MC) authority with SmartHop’s help.
Because of their value to an important industry, co-founders CEO Guillermo Garcia and CTO Miguel Sucre attracted much attention. They have acquired investor backing to the tune of $16.6 million in four funding rounds.
We had an interesting dialogue with SmartHop CEO and Co-Founder Guillermo Garcia on “Finding Your Startup’s Niche.” The episode aired on December 7, 2021.
Also known as JOOX Music, Unitea is a music loyalty platform available on the web and mobile. It uses a virtual emotional currency called Karma to encourage fans to support their favorite musicians on the platform.
Unitea allows fans to support their favorite musicians in concrete ways. This allows fans to engage with artists by streaming music, sharing it with friends, following artists, and participating in festivals. They earn Karma for each of these activities, which they can use to “buy” exclusive rewards.
The goal of Karma is to give artists a platform to grow and connect with their fans in exciting ways. As a result, Unitea promotes top artists, helping them become more attractive brands so artists can monetize their streams. Co-founder and CEO Ketan Rahangdale calls Unitea “a platform for superfans.”
Unitea has certainly attracted the right kind of attention as one of the top Miami startups. It has received $5.3 million from eleven investors since its founding.
We spoke with Creative and Marketing Director of Unitea Sydney Schavietello about his insights on the platform in “Festivals, Musicians and Rewarding Superfans.” The episode aired on December 9, 2021.
Automated handwritten notes have become quite a trend with many companies. More businesses are sending handwritten notes to potential and current customers to better engage with them. Audience.co is there to lend a hand.
Audience.co can help clients book meetings and close deals by automating the creation and delivery of handwritten notes through regular mail. It adds that personal touch that can help companies retain more customers and expedite the sales process.
The tech startup uses a machine that can replicate the strokes of human illustrators, creating handwritten notes that look authentic. Audience.co provides companies with a cost-effective way to reach out to potential customers.
The software tracks return on investment for clients. It measures the lifetime value and sales increase from people that received notes against those that did not. Clients can insert unique promo codes and tracking URLs if they want.
Given the stress that most people feel during the tax season, Taxfyle provides welcome relief. Taxfyle is a product of Tickmark, a Latinx-founded company that develops disruptive accounting software for iOS and Android platforms.
Taxfyle is currently the top tax app in the Apple Store, four tax seasons in a row. Considering the ease and convenience of using Taxfyle and the low costs of using the service, Taxfyle is hard to beat. Tickmark has received a total of $7.3 million in five funding rounds since its founding.
A perfectly chilled glass of wine is the epitome of relaxation and elegance for most people. Plum produces an appliance that automatically chills wine to the perfect temperature. In addition, it dispenses the wine in exact amounts for an excellent drinking experience.
The Plum appliance also automatically identifies and opens any bottle of wine you put in. It will then set the perfect temperature for the wine and keep it there for 90 days. Plum is in the capable hands of Founder and CEO David Koretz and President Andreas Hansen. The venture has received a total of $23 million so far.
Fanatiz is a high-value platform that streams sporting events and channels online, live, and VOD. CEO and Founder Matias Rivera and CMO Jose Romero comprise the company’s leadership. As a result of their efforts, the company acquired $17 million in funding from 777 Partners.
Cargobot provides shippers and carriers a free platform to negotiate rates with multiple carriers for the best deals and track their shipments in real-time. It is a Latinx-founded company.
The founders of Cargobot worked in the freight brokerage business for many years. CEO Fernando Correa and co-CEO Catalina Machado understand ground transportation challenges and the need to make the system more efficient. The innovative logistics platform has raised a total of $3.8 million in investor funding since its founding.
Caribu is an interactive video-calling ed-tech platform designed for families with children. The platform allows callers to read, draw, watch, and play games right on the app. Caribu makes staying virtually connected more interesting for children with games, activities, picture books, coloring sheets, and scavenger hunts. All these activities are available in ten different languages.
Caribu is a women-led and Latinx-founded company. Founders CEO Maxeme Tuchman and Alvaro Sabido have raised $5.1 million from investors.
Safrapay is an all-in-one contactless payment, online, and mobile platform for small businesses. Users can get a business bank account from Safra National Bank of New York. They may also use the app to manage balances and use the platform as a POS system to send invoices. Safrapay has CEO Mariano M. Zadeh and President and COO Daniel O’Connell at the helm.
Milo is an online financial technology company focusing on direct lending and home credit solutions for global consumers. It aims to provide foreigners with property in the US with access to mortgage credit and financial solutions. CEO and Co-Founder Josip Rupena leads the company, which has acquired $6M in two funding rounds so far.
Papa is an on-demand assistance services platform. College and nursing students can sign up to become Papa Pals and help older adults with everyday tasks. Founders CEO Andrew Parker and COO Alfredo Vaamonde certainly had a bankable idea. Under their leadership, Papa has received a total of $92.1 million from thirteen investors.
EPICA is a prediction as a service solution and the first in the world. It helps companies in decision-making by analyzing online and offline customer data using artificial intelligence. The company aims to make accurate retail, e-commerce, and CPG business forecasts. Under founders CEO Hernan Rodriguez and CTO Alexander Gedranovich, EPICA has received $2.9 million from investors.
Miami Startups, Take a Bow
Miami startups have not exactly been waiting around for investors to come to them, and many are still bootstrapping their operations. However, tech startups today can benefit from the backing of prominent investors in Miami. Having them close at hand has helped make the city a true tech hub of the South.
If you would like to read more about top startups in other cities, check out our list here!
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