The Future 5 of Boston Tech, Q2 2022
Sure the latest initiatives from the Teslas, Apple and Googles of the industry tend to dominate the tech news space — and with good reason. Still, the tech titans aren’t the only ones bringing innovation to the sector.
In an effort to highlight up-and-coming startups, Built In has launched The Future 5 across 11 major U.S. tech hubs. Each quarter, we will feature five tech startups, nonprofits or entrepreneurs in each of these hubs who just might be working on the next big thing. You can check out last year’s round-up here.
Some of the country’s largest, most-recognized startups like Drizly, Circle and Hopper have one thing in common: Boston roots. While these startups differ in the sense that one offers on-demand alcohol delivery, another sells crypto and the latter aids consumers in cutting costs on flights, establishing roots in Boston has led these three household names to immense success and billion-dollar valuations.
Boston is ranked as the 5th most popular city for startup ecosystems globally. It’s no surprise that tech and startup innovations have yet to slow down either.
This quarter, Built In sat down with emerging, starry-eyed startups who have yet to raise a Series A round and are working to reach the success of (and often surpass) the Boston-based startups who’ve come before them. These startups are democratizing the ability to create NFTs, making it easier for self-published artists to manage their fan bases and much more. Read more about these businesses in this quarter’s Future 5 round-up.
BUILT IN'S FUTURE 5 UP-AND-COMING BOSTON STARTUPS, Q2 2022
- Beasy (Web3/NFTs)
- Goldcast (Software Development)
- Paerpay (Fintech)
- Rivet (Consumer Tech)
- Willow (Fintech)
The Web3 and NFT arena is undeniably booming. As of this year, the sector is worth $3 billion and that number is expected to reach $13.6 billion by 2027. With that said, the number of emerging NFT startups is on the rise and Boston-based BEASY is one of them.
Founded in 2018, BEASY aims to democratize access to creating NFTs that artists can later sell for direct profit. On the platform, users are able to develop, mint, sell and manage the tokens directly from its website. This, according to the company, is most popular among those within the creator economy, like social media influencers, athletes and entertainers.
Having only raised $1 million in a family and friends round, BEASY has over 20,000 users on its platform and has also developed partnerships with the Recording Artist Guild and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, companies like Zoom and Slack were the premiere and pivotal platforms for virtual workforce collaboration. When the pandemic began, several tech innovators were hard at work developing solutions that further aided the global transition to remote work. Palash Soni, Kishore Kothandaraman and Aashish Srinivas, the founding team behind Goldcast, joined forces at Harvard University to do just that.
Together they developed Goldcast, a hybrid events platform and marketing service. Goldcast offers unique product offerings, such as allowing event organizers to add interactive polls and Q&A options to keep audience members engaged and the ability to create and upload custom branding banners that display as the background on live streams. On the marketing side of the platform, Goldcast documents attendee analytics which helps enterprise sales teams track and reach their marketing goals.
To date, Goldcast has raised $10 million in seed funding. The company’s seed round was announced in February and has been used to hire, invest in engineering resources and expand its marketing initiatives to increase brand awareness.
The preference for contactless payments has increased among consumers since the pandemic began. Considering the fact that the global contactless payment market size is expected to reach $6.25 trillion by 2028, the need for the service is on the rise.
Entrepreneur Derek Canton built Paerpay to originally serve as a platform for customers to be able to easily split the bill at restaurants. Today, the platform has shifted to helping restaurants accept contactless payments while still serving its original purpose.
Unlike other platforms on the market, Paerpay’s technology uses QR codes and a text message-driven system for restaurants to receive payment from customers. Earlier this year, Paerpay raised a $3 million seed round led by MassMutual that it is using to grow its team.
In recent years, musical artists within the creator economy have been able to scale success independently on platforms like YouTube and SoundCloud. While many artists find success in navigating artistry and their fanbase on those platforms, Anj Fayemi, a collegiate-level musical artist, felt there was a gap in the space.
Fayemi sought to build a tech-fueled audience engagement-focused platform for creators, so he co-founded Rivet. Through Rivet, artists can engage with their fanbase by using the platform to send out newsletters, sell merchandise and analyze audience data and demographics.
Over 1,000 artists use the Rivet platform, including producer Jon Glass, who has worked with big-name rappers BIA and J. Cole.
Studies show that when women receive financial guidance, they are often unhappy with the advice they receive. Lacy Garcia, the founder and CEO of Boston-based Willow, knows this struggle beyond a statistical metric because she’s lived it.
In her mid-30s, Garcia faced many of life’s hurdles all at once: fertility complications, motherhood, a demanding career and a divorce. Despite having a background finance, Garcia felt like she didn’t have all the answers she needed to navigate her own finances and figured other women may feel the same.
Overtime, she sought to build Willow, a financial advisory and life coaching startup for women. Today, Willow operates a dual business-to-business and business-to-consumer platform that provides financial education, personalized coaching and life journey support for women. Through the platform, women can receive personalized financial guidance with a focus on top stressors such as divorce, grief, fertility, family building, entrepreneurship or retirement.