Identifying fast-moving companies at a pre-IPO stage is often a matter of deploying ample digital research on web traffic trends – and then off course any other market data that becomes available. A closer evaluation at leadership teams, strategic advantage and value proposition can then reveal if a company is worth watching as a possible investment target. Below are some companies that have quietly moved into very strong positions, as will be explained below:
Reservations – the global travel platform winning with personalization at scale and human touch:
Reservations.com is growing fast in spite of fierce competition with great success and is now the fastest growing US-based online travel platform, with a global reach. The CEO and co-founder, Yatin Patel was recognized at the 2019 Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business awards. He brought years of travel technology experience into the venture and disrupted the market by being the first online travel agency (OTA) to bring personalization at scale. Instead of dropping prices like other platforms and making price driven arbitrage, they have a very successful loyalty program known as R Club – which, like the rest of the platform, is driven by personalization and with human touch deployed alongside the latest technology.
The most significant impact of this technology platform on the travel industry?
It is quickly redefining the market by creating a new segment of users that require a special experience that other platforms fail to provide. Yet it eliminates the need to physically visit a travel shop for a tailored special travel experience.
SnatchBot.me – Because chatbots and AI are now major factors in credit card safety:
Roland Bleyer who is widely considered an authority on the credit card industry, recently tipped chatbots as one of the most prominent interventions to improve credit card safety. He said “let tech do it’s job” and explained that tech is now used to bypass the unreliable behaviour of humans. It is widely known that criminal gangs have previously penetrated call centers in order to carry out credit card fraud. Today, leaders in the field of AI, like Avi Benezra and his team in Israel, completely outsmarted these criminals by creating a new generation of super intelligent bots to handle credit card processing and remove humans as the weak link.
The most significant impact SnatchBot has?
Actually, SnatchBot is much more than a mono-sector outfit: It is used by governments – for example in militaries, hospitals etc. – and it is used by big commerce, including major banks and multi-sector organizations in sales, customer service and things that were previously only done by humans. It’s founders, Avi and Henri Benezra have a strong track record of creating global companies.
Elementor – turning WordPress into a drag & drop visual editor
Considering that around 80% of the worlds’ websites run on WordPress with severe design restrictions for non-coding professionals, Elementor.com is onto a winning game, as it is one of the only plugins that enabled WordPress to be used as a drag & drop “what you see is what you get” editor. Yoni Luksenberg (co-founder and CEO) and Ariel Klikstein (co-founder and CTO) are the masterminds behind it. With more than 3000 000 active installs and a pricing model that ranges from $49 to $199 annually, this may be one of the hottest subscription businesses in the web designing space.
The most significant impact of this technology?
It transforms WordPress for almost 80% of website owners in the world. With only 3 million active installs, it is nowhere near market penetration with plenty of upside.
Kustomer – providing customer support software in the cloud
Kustomer.com provides cloud customer support software. It provides any business with real-time views of omnichannel conversations and it automates any repetitive manual tasks.
The company prides itself for making personalized, efficient and effortless customer service a reality.
What is significant about it?
Founded by Brand Birnbaum, Kustomer is a little pre-disposed to the right names in a specific industry: he previously co-Founded of Assistly, which was acquired by Salesforce and became Desk.com. It is off course industry-neutral and has a broad appeal from businesses around the world.
Botkeeper – automated bookkeeping and accounting using AI
Botkeeper is a truly interesting concept with a narrow focus on accounting, but then again: accounting is a core aspect of businesses in every sector. It will likely incur savings for businesses across the globe and bring more reliability than what humans could previously deliver.
What is significant about this business?
Google invested in it via Gradient Ventures, it’s AI investment firm. This means that the business could potentially get all the marketing help it needs to seriously penetrate markets it seeks to operate in. Given the all-time high employment levels in the US, bots in general is fast becoming a critical support in the short-term. The more long-term view in Europe, is that with an ageing population, future skill-shortages will increase the necessity for bots.
Alpine Security – Providing next-generation solutions and training in the cybersecurity space
This is one of the few companies offering a complete arsenal of world-class cybersecurity services. Beyond the usual services such as penetration testing, they are also a leading training provider for anyone seeking to change careers and enter cybersecurity industry. With possibly the widest spectrum of services that includes enterprise security auditing, cybersecurity risk management, digital forensics and more, they are well-positioned to benefit from the rising global challenges in cybersecurity.
The most significant points about it?
Cybersecurity is entering a critical zone, known as “peak cybersecurity” where both governments and private businesses are affected. Not many companies in the US provide an A to Z solution like Alpine Security – and given the sensitivity of the industry, most companies prefer a single point of contact.
Conclusion: A world of opportunities in tech
The above 6 companies stood out for glaringly obvious reasons – yet analysts who deploy a similar research methodology may discover more viable targets. The most significant fact about most of these examples is that they are all heavily reliant on virtual proprietary assets and human capital, especially a leadership team with intense industry knowledge. They are highly scalable due to their global appeal which transcends borders and cultures.
This was by no means an exhaustive list of success stories in tech: it may well be that some of the best rising stars were overlooked.