Illuminating Insights: What Is a Startup?

“Life is about making an impact, not about making an income”

A vigorous statement that drives the spirits of the innovators. Living in the 21st century, we’re all evidence of some giant companies that started with the aim of filling a gap in the market. Be it the back story of Facebook that started as “Facemash” which later turned to ‘thefacebook.com’ in 2004 which was exclusively for Harvard students, and eventually, after many ups and downs, turned to “Facebook”-one of the most influential social networking site, Or Uber that was born out of the need of a cab on one winter night when the duo, Travis Kalanick, and Garrett Camp, were in Paris for an annual tech conference in 2008, which has turned into a giant today. Most of them have risen out of an unfulfilled need. Innovative startups are making an impact on people’s lives by making everything simpler.

You may like to read — The Ten Steps Needed To Get Started With Your Startup Ideas

Coming Back to the Question — What is a Startup?

If you’re stuck with ‘I want to start a business but have no ideas’ check out our blog — 29 Startup Ideas to Look Forward to in 2019

Before starting your own business, you should know in which category you want to see yourself. There are several little things that make a startup different from a small business or a corporation. The major difference is an entrepreneur’s point of view of growth. It is up to you where you want to see your company in the next few years and are you capable of reaching there.

Now after having some idea about ‘What is a Startup?’ Let’s throw some light upon the factors that form a startup company.

Growth

For rapid growth, you need to have a product that has the potential of creating demand. Your startup needs to create a product which could disrupt the markets or bring an existing product to a new market.

Passion-driven

Bringing About a Change

A Team of Optimistic Fellows

A startup company may have a lesser number of employees, or a startup usually is founded with 1–3 people involved. Irrespective of the number of people involved, a startup usually is a company that has a bunch of like-minded people who are focused on the company’s growth and those who try to provide the best outcome they could from as little as possible. A startup company has a team of such optimistic fellows who ignore ‘what is’ and focus on ‘what could be’.

Creativity and Variation

Also, keep in mind to never totally love your idea. Startups are on an open-ended note to welcome variations in their ideas to make it fit for the market.

Adaptive Business Model

A startup searches for a scalable business model that fulfils all their aspects and is furnished to generate revenues and profitability over time. Generally, founders experiment with business models to create a unique sustainable model which is adaptable and could be changed with time. For instance, Netflix was earlier an online DVD rental service, with the changing technology it has adopted features in its business model that has led Netflix to become one of the titans of online video streaming industry.

After having a few insights upon ‘What is a Startup?’ let’s get some information about ‘What is a Startup Funding?’

What is Startup Funding?

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Before starting your own business, you may face many challenges to funding your business. New startup companies require a lot of investment to make products (brick-and-mortar startups), before executing their ideas or maybe to reach their target audience. Before pitching to your investors make sure you’re funding yourself first. If you’re not ready to invest in your venture, nobody else will.

The budding entrepreneurs generally fiddle with the funding ideas and are often lost in conversations with terms like venture capital, angel investors, and crowdfunding. Also, some consider business incubators and accelerators to be one and the same. Here we will discuss the ways you could fund your business.

Friends, Followers, and Family

Business Angels

Seed Capital

For instance, Google offered seed capital to the Center for Resource Solutions for the conception of renewable energy certification programs in Asia in April 2016.

Venture Capital

To initiate this funding, any business must submit a business plan first to the investor, after which there would be a systematic investigation of the business plan and the product provided by your company. After this, the investor takes an active part in the funding company by advising and monitoring its growth.

Private Equity

Private equity has two types of partners, Limited Partners (99% shares, limited liability) and General Partners (1% shares, full liability), who own shares in funds and liability.

Crowdfunding

There are two types of crowdfunding; Rewards, where entrepreneurs presell a product without incurring debt or loss of shares and Equity, where the investors hold shares of the company in exchange for crowdfunding.

Startup Incubator

Startup Accelerator

Top Startup Companies 2018

There are often various reasons for a startup to succeed as well as fail. However, all startups leave behind a few lessons to learn. After examining the success of several companies based upon their growth and valuations, here is a list of top startup companies 2018:

Bird

Bird provides an app that gives you information about all the scooters near you and other small details, for instance, battery charge in the scooters. It has gig workers and private contractors for charging the scooters, the company provides them with the charging equipment. The users can find a scooter near them and pick it for a minimal charge of $2–3 and they could park it anywhere in the city after use.

In a year, the company celebrated its 10 millionth ride. The total valuation of the company has reached $2 billion after Series C of funding.

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Noodle.ai

It builds custom-made applications for clients to solve data problems with its algorithms. It is already a part of a few success stories by its consumers, for instance, an airline company used this platform to compute better price flights. Noodle.ai is expected to expand its proficiencies in 2019.

Puls

A user books a service and is provided with a technician within an hour to the location to provide a solution. It provides in-house services like demonstrations, installations, and repairs of all household appliances. In August 2017, the company raised $25 million in Series B funding round. According to the last report, the company stands at a valuation of $93 million.

Drift

It started as Performable, a marketing automation platform in 2009 which was later acquired by HubSpot. Later in 2015, Drift was found as a messaging platform for sales and marketing. In 2017, the company introduced Bots to remove friction in conversations and today, 50% of conversations are managed by AI entirely.

Successful Tech Startups

In this fast-growing world, the startups are also showing fast growth that was not thought to be possible before a decade. In this world of Ubers and Twitters, let’s talk about some startups that were unable to gain much attention although they are more diverse and tech-centric than most other startups.

Slack

Slack has raised $790 million funding in 10 rounds. It has raised an issue in other companies like Microsoft and Atlassian to reconsider their own work chat apps.

Uptake

The company has received many awards, for instance, “the 2015 Moxie Award for Best New Startup” and was named s Hottest New Startup in Forbes in 2015. Later in 2017, Pitchbook named Uptake the Fastest US Startup to reach a $2B Valuation. Therefore, Uptake can be considered as one of the most successful Tech startups.

Zume Pizza

The restaurant provides a delivery service wherein the pizzas are cooked en-route in the van. It has raised $6 million in Series A round and raised $48 million in Series B funding. In November 2018, the restaurant stood valuation of $2.24 billion. Zume Pizza can be considered to be one of the most innovative tech startups.

Flexport

Today the company has clients like Warby Parker and Georgia-Pacific using their platform. According to Wikipedia, Paul Graham, the founder of Y Combinator, told Bloomberg News, “There will be more international trade because of Flexport and international trade is a very big thing for there to be more of” in 2015.

The company has raised $304 million in its three funding rounds. The founder of the company, Ryan Petersen, has also found Import Genius and is a contributor to TechCrunch. It was ranked as the eighth fastest growing company in the USA in August 2018.

Before starting your own business, keep in mind that it is not easy to bring technological advances in industries that have been working for ages in the same old fashion. But change is inevitable, new is good! You can take inspiration from these tech startups that have brought change in the world.

When is a Company Not a Startup Anymore?

The main factor when a company is not a startup anymore is when it goes public (a company goes public refers to IPO initial public offering, companies choose to go public to gain capital for their expansion). Another notable factor is when the startup forms rivals and competitors start copying their business model. The company starts having more employees and there is a considerable division of workload among the employees.

Such factors could be the measuring units (probably!) but there is no proper guideline to know when any startup company is ready to go to another level.

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So, What Is a Startup Anyway?

Do You Too Have a Startup Idea in Your Mind?

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Originally published at www.ncrypted.net.