It used to be that there was no end to what could be done with consumer startups in the early days. It was like an endless ocean of socks and sandals in its boom. But now, it takes so much more sophistication, brand alignment, and consumer empathy to really iterate on what’s already existing to make it better in a way that nobody knew they needed, until they stumble upon your product. To say the market is still oversaturated is an understatement, but these companies rise to the top like a delicious triple layer cake on Bake Off. This is our list of the 10 Consumer Facing Startups to Follow in 2018.
ExExpense is a family expense management solution that helps mitigate every single dollar that co-parents spend to take care of their kids. It can be dicy post-divorce, dividing up those childcare expenses and ExExpense offers a three tiered product solution that makes it so that nobody really has to talk to each other to talk about where the money is really going. To paraphrase their own description, this doesn’t just keep the kids as the real focus here, it also makes the whole communication process super simple.
Founded by a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®), SmartCoparent is a comprehensive co-parenting solution for families and professionals. Not only can you share calendars and contacts, you can also automate support payments and requests. What’s really cool is that you can also loop in non-custodial parents and professionals to your shared account to keep everybody that’s important to you and your kids in the loop.
According to their LinkedIn, Helix’s mission is to empower individuals to be their best selves through products built to their own individual sleep needs. Now we’ve all heard something like this before. Whether it’s your sleep count, or those Purple mattresses ads where they drop an egg on the thing and nothing breaks. But where Helix stands out isn’t just that they’ve sold tens of thousands of mattresses, but that they take into account your body type and sleeping preferences and use different materials and firmness options in the layers of your mattress. Plus, there’s a really fun sleep quiz you can take on their website.
Officially launching Fall of 2018, Spot is coming to give people life insurance worth buying. They’re so fresh you have to request access to their beta. But as they say on their LinkedIn, in a world where life insurance is sold, not bought, they’ve created something unlike anything else. Whatever you want to cover, they put choice and chance back in your hands, on the spot.
Founded by a mother of teenagers, GoWithMe is an event based social application which is out to recreate the culmination of technology with human interaction. What that means is that it’s like video dating, but for group activities. They merge location services with an in app video interface to basically recreate the way people meet online, but also offline. So for example, users can post a video about something they want to do, choose some specifics on who can join in on the fun, receive video messages back from people interested in tagging along, and then decide who makes the cut.
As seen in Vogue, WSJ Mag, TIME and Martha Stewart Weddings, Journy is the travel agency for “luxe millennials” as they phrase it. It’s like having a concierge travel planner, or what they call a travel designer. They’re really big on shifting verbiage and mindsets here. And they should because what they’re doing is pretty awesome. They have this frictionless process that matches you 1-on-1 with a concierge who designs your perfect trip: including booking activities/hotels, leading you to hidden hole-in-the-walls and snagging you the most coveted restaurant reservations. Plus, the recommendations come from a trusted network of top chefs, tastemakers and local experts.
The brainchild of a bunch of grad students, Kipit helps busy people keep track of their things by sending them reminders if they are about to leave anything behind. The movie The Hangover would have been so much shorter had they had this. But unlike similar products that have come before, instead of just placing a little tag in the fold of your wallet so that you can find it if you forgot where you put it, Kipit sends you a major red alert if you’re about to walk out the door without something important. Maybe after too many drinks, for instance. It even goes further than that. You can also put one of their devices into your bag and put tags on what you own and then that device will keep tabs of whatever’s in the bag and your phone will alert you if anything is missing.
Rally is crowd-powered travel for the 21st century. Their technology connects you with other riders going to the same event or destination (like Coachella, or Bonnaroo), and then delivers high-end buses to get you there and back. Users can choose from preset trips or set up their own, then share the trip out, invite friends, and chillax, because the ride is covered.
In just a year, Daily Harvest has become one of the the fastest growing direct to consumer food brands, placing over 4 million smoothies, activated breakfast bowls, “nice cream” sundaes and soups in freezers across the US. That’s a lot. And according to their LinkedIn, they’re not just out to reimagine frozen food for people, they’re here to help support our insatiable desire for convenience without composing on the nutrition.
Dedicated to helping love ones connect, Final Thoughts is a lockbox web and mobile app that lets you upload memories and leave messages for your loved ones that can be sent out to them at anytime in the future. Basically, you choose a memory and upload it, assign it to someone, and schedule it out. It’s kind of like Hootsuite meets Dropbox, but a lot more like the Pensieve in Harry Potter.