2019 is all about tech in the startup world. ECO talked with many specialists in the area in order to figure out which are the most promising startups in this new year.
Whether it is services or products we are talking about, there is a common denominator between all the startups we have selected: technology applied to business. And this phenomenon is cross-sectional, it will be felt in areas such as health, and also in the food industry, insurance services and mobility. A lot of artificial intelligence, programming and blockchain will be involved.
Let’s start with Jungle.ai. This startup was chosen by Beta-i’s CEO, Pedro Rocha Vieira, as one of the most promising projects for 2019, mainly due to their success so far in the accelerator Free Electrons, their collaboration with EDP and with three other international utility companies. He also highlights Attentive.us, a startup which won the Lisbon Challenge two years ago, and Visor.ai, chosen by Fidelidade and Fosun as one of the three winners of the Protechting challenge of 2018. “These are all great examples of startups with founders that are 100% dedicated to their vision and global ambition”, he explained to ECO.
“Our experience so far has proved that it is this type of startups that have the ability to make a stance, as they present innovative solutions in tech, their business models are disruptive and have new business ideas. Entrepreneurs have to be highly motivated and incredibly focused in order to make a difference in this fast-paced economy, which is always mutating”, the leader of that institution stated.
As for João Vasconcelos, the former secretary of state for Industry, different sectors seem to be more attractive. He firstly highlighted the work done by IndieCampers, a startup which helps you rent vans. This startup is, according to the former state secretary, witnessing a continuous growth, and he believes that in terms of revenue it will be one of the most relevant next year, together with Undandy ( shoemaker for tailor-made luxury shoes) and Eattasty (a startup which commercializes and delivers at home or at your workplace, food made by the best chefs in town).
In terms of investment potential, Vasconcelos has highlighted other startups, such as DashDash — which allows users to create apps through spreadsheets — and Skyhours — which provides users with the possibility to get flying times in over 350 different airlines.
Liliana Castro, the founder and creative manager of FES Agency, is sure that the most promising startups out there are Oko (working with newsrooms and AI) and Codavel (content delivery at maximal speed and efficiency). These two startups, incubated at Founders Founders in Porto, have “huge potential”, considering the market they are inserted in and the type of products and services they offer. Liliana Castro, who is also the founder of Portuguese Women in Tech, also believes UTrust, from Braga, will be a very good project in 2019. “It has started gaining relevance ever since the bitcoin and blockchain fever started, and I would say that most of the market impact in these areas will be processed by UTrust”, she explained.
Sensei is also on the mind of specialists in Portugal. João Borga, the director of the National Incubator Network, believes that this company is meaningfully changing the way in which brands look at clients, and expects that this startup’s development potential will grow during this year.
In the IsurTech area, there are also several bets: Hugo Augusto, the leader of the acceleration programme TechStars, bets on the startup Habit Analytics, which has a very strong team, with a lot of experience, and a very interesting and refreshing view on the insurance sector. He also highlighted Sparkl, a startup in the area of beauty services at home and at work, and Secret City Trails, which recently received 150 thousand euros in investment.
In the real estate sector, Rui Coelho, the CEO of InvestLisboa, chose Casafari, a sort of “Trivago” for real estate, he explained.
Tech applied to health… and the sea
The health sector had already been considered a tendency for 2018 in the tech innovation scene, and it seems like that could remain unchanged this year. Technology applied to the health sector remains as one of the top choices of specialists. Daniela Seixas’ Tonic App is one of the most promising, and it has already gained recognition with an award it received in Dusseldörf during one of the biggest health fairs in the world, Rocha Vieira noted.
Infraspeak’s CEO, Felipe Ávila da Costa, and the co-founder of Founders Founders turns the lights on Peekmed, which will, according to him, “certainly bring amazing news once FDA approves the commercialization of their projects in the USA”, and on Nuada, the startup which represented Portugal in Startup Jerusalem, a competition organized by the Israeli government. This startup developed a magic glove which helps people who have lost strength in their hands or which have severe pain, defying those symptoms.
Beta-i’s CEO also noted that 2019 will be marked by many startups connected with tech and the sea. “It is worth to note Bitcliq, from the city of Caldas da Rainha, which recently closed an investment round with two risk capital investors, and which has also been awarded the first edition of the USA Flad.EY Buzz programme, which assists Portuguese tech companies in their internationalization processes. This solutions startup is focused on smart fishing and it is targetting the blue economy, and it also allows us to understand the potential of investing in the most traditional industries.”