Taking part in a successful startup today feels in many ways like a right of passage in the business world these days. Not only do these efforts give people a chance to achieve their dreams, but these organizations find solutions to the world’s most pressing issues. 

These small-scale organizations usually comprise a small group of people — often Millennials, but not always — who’ve been able to identify a key general problem that has always been addressed with a traditional solution — if at all. The team comes up with an out-of-the-box mindset and approaches the problem from a completely different angle. Startups also tend to be highly efficient as the members multi-task and a single person caters to a lot of areas.

The solutions these startups offer tend to also be highly regarded by the public, as the innovative product or services aren’t offered by mainstream companies, deemed infeasible or entirely ignored.

Startups in the COVID-19 Era

As the dates roll over and we see the start of 2021, the public seeks out a brighter outlook than what 2020 held for them. The whole world witnessed the virus wreaking havoc at every level, from the macro-economics at a national level, right down to the individual level. This has shaped the issues startups faced in 2020 and their outlook for 2021.

COVID-19 vaccines are finally available and many countries have started to roll out mass inoculations. However, global population, logistics, manufacturing limitations and the rise of new virus variants mean changes in lifestyles and society will persist.

Here’s a list of 10 startups we believe are going to be major players in 2021 and why you should look into these for possible investments:

1. Payflow

Banking services are slower than ever. Even coupled with the latest technologies, it’s still necessary to have humans involved. Social distancing and other measures put in place by these institutes to slow the spread of the virus means that there’s less manpower to handle the day-to-day affairs that financial institutions face.

Payflow is Spanish startup that allows employers to instantly pay out salaries to their employees, who can collect their salaries through the accompanying mobile app. The startup allows employees’ salaries to be even calculated on an hourly basis, with the recipients being able to withdraw as little as 80 EUR per transaction.

With its extreme flexibility and ease of use, Payflow isn’t for small companies only. Large firms can also benefit from its automation and reduce the stress on their HR and payroll departments. It has garnered a lot of interest and the year-old company has been able to secure 1.6 billion EUR of funding.

2. Eligma

If you thought 2017 was a year that was crazy for cryptocurrencies, now you know that was nothing. The digital assets were still considered to be in a metaphorical winter in 2020. 

However, the new year proved they weren’t tied down with the traditional finance and economics of the world. Cryptocurrencies have been breaking records, led by Bitcoin which crossed the $50,000 USD mark in February, achieving a new all-time high.

Efficient and fast as they are, cryptocurrencies still have one major issue: acceptance in day-to-day use. Cryptos today are more like a store of value than a means of payment. 

Slovenian startup Eligma intends to change this concept. The platform has created multiple Point of Sales (POS) solutions for merchants and vendors to support digital token payments as easily as when they accept cash or swipe a credit card. 

Eligma offers three innovative solutions for all kinds of retail points, whether a small cafe or a multi-billion-dollar company:

  • Web-based POS: For small-scale shops and stores, retailers can accept crypto payments using a web browser-based terminal.
  • Integrated ERP POS: Standardised plugins allow stores and retailers to integrate Eligma services with their existing ERP and POS. The startup offers custom-built plugins for firms that aren’t compatible with their systems.
  • E-commerce POS: Eligma offers digital crypto payment solutions for companies that have abandoned their brick and mortar existence or have moved purely online.

With $17.4 million USD in funding and cryptocurrencies popular than ever, Eligma might just be on the right track to make crypto payments a mainstream thing.

3. Everli

A study by Coresight, predicted that online grocery sales business was set to grow by 40%. The survey of 1,152 respondents revealed that more than half (52%) had bought groceries online in 2020. Italy was one of the hardest-hit countries in the pandemic with citizens strictly not allowed to go out, apart from buying the basics of essentials and food. This is where Everli came in.

Founded in 2014, the Italian startup is old in terms of startups. The firm caught the eyes of investors in a series B funding, securing 13 million EUR round in 2018 and then another 11 million EUR in the early days of the pandemic. Everli has the potential to grab a fair share of the Italian online grocery shopping market and to expand beyond the country’s borders.

4. MediQuo

MediQuo is a medical appointment-management app that allows doctors and health professionals to keep on top of their patients’ checkups and visits, both remotely and in-person. The app has gained popularity during COVID-19 pandemic due to its remote management features and already has been downloaded 650,000 times.

The Spanish startup has secured 4 million EUR through investors and allows patients to have consultations through chat, call or even video. It is available on both Android and iOS and has already managed more than a million appointments.

5. AccuRX

AccuRx is another medical and health-based startup, this time from England, that goes beyond simple appointments with doctors. The quarantine and isolated living means that people are unable to properly interact with other health professionals and institutes. The startup offers a full-fledged service, making interactions easier with both frontline medics  such as doctors and other health professionals remotely, resulting in savings of time, money and lives.

With the COVID-19 world we are in, the startup allows for more than just consulting a doctor, but also includes sending and receiving of medical prescriptions, test reports, health surveys and much more. AccuRX has raised 9.1 million GBP already and is all set to expand with a series B round in 2021, so this is the perfect opportunity to make a profitable investment.

6. CoachHub

With remote working the new norm, employees are facing difficulties in expanding their skillset and evolving as effective leaders. Pre-COVID, HR personnel had ample employee interaction time within the organisation, identifying key people who had the potential to grow. Groomed with different training and development programs, the employee would go on to become an asset. Remote working has set such interaction to a minimum and firms can easily overlook potential employees that can grow and give back to the company.

CoachHub is the perfect tool for firms to transform their people from simple employees to effective leaders. With $20.7 million USD in funds, CoachHub works with firms  all over Europe with offices in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, France, UK, Switzerland and Austria, with plans to expand.

7. ABTasty

The importance of website visitors and their customer experience cannot be overstressed. French startup ABTasty lets firms create custom-tailored visitor experiences, resulting in increased client conversion rates.

Overshadowed by competitors in its initial years, a C series round injecting $40 million USD during the summer of 2020 allowed ABTasty to gain huge ground, with big names such as L’Oreal, Klarna and Disney under its wings.

8. IDNow

A lengthy verification process for every new sign-up can be frustrating, especially in the case of financial or health-related services. IDNow is a startup from Germany that takes the long and tedious process out of the hands of service providers and collates it into one single platform. 

People signing up on IDNow’s partner services won’t ever need to enter their personal information. Instead, all they need to do is to register on IDNow and submit their documents for verification —  one time. Verified users simply enter their IDNow credentials on associated websites and start using the offerings immediately.

IDNow is already set to expand its services as it seeks out more than the $40 million USD funding, making it the perfect startup to invest today.

9. G2 Esports

Another startup from Germany, online gaming legends Jens Hilgers and Carlos Rodriquez founded G2 Esports, letting people take part in the largest online gaming tournaments and win money. G2 Esports tournaments include games such as League of Legends, Rocket League and Counter Strike.

Once just simple entertainment, online gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry now, growing at an average rate of 40%, year on year. International tournaments are already attracting a huge crowd, and this will only increase over time.

10. Yubo

Generation Z is the most internet-savvy and digitally connected generation in the world today. Without physical boundaries to limit their social existence, they’re all about having friends and relationships across oceans and timezones.

Yubo connects people from the 13 to 25 age bracket, allowing instant messaging, video streaming and much more. Founded in 2015 and relatively unknown, the pandemic has been a boom for the startup with backers putting in over $12.3 million USD in B series round (late 2019) and $4.5 million USD in C series round (November 2020), experiencing their biggest jump since inception.

Revain: Reviews on Startups

Revain is an online review platform that allows people to give feedback and opinions on different companies, including startups. Visitors can take the temperature of the public opinion towards startups and more, enabling well-informed investment decisions in organizations that are most likely to succeed.

Revain leverages technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence to avoid data manipulation and keep tabs on the review quality. Each review is coded into the immutable technology for permanent record. The platform also allows firms to interact with the public and read up on what their customers like, don’t like, and want, enabling them to provide better services and constantly improve their offering.