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ERSU ABLAK > Startups to watch in 2013

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There are many startup companies to watch in 2013. Many aspire to be the next big thing. Here are a few that I picked.

Karma was founded in June 2011 by Lee Linden and Ben Lewis to “Give your friends gifts via your iOS and Android devices,” in San Francisco, CA with funding under $5 million. Karma lets you send gifts to your friends and family right from your phone without needing to know their mailing address. It has already partnered with the likes of Domaine Chandon, Kate Spade and Magnolia Cupcakes.

A similar startup was founded in Istanbul by Deniz Oktar. It is called Fyonk. The main idea is to send your friends gifts via social networks. You can give any amount as a gift certificate from various stores. Some small amounts such as 10 or 20 Turkish Liras are free but if you want to give more you have to pay.

Social shopping is definitely the biggest trend to watch in 2013 and so are these two companies.

 99Dresses was founded in 2010 by Nikki Durkin with the concept of an infinite wardrobe for women. It lets women trade clothing online. It did a test run in Australia: 4,500 dresses were uploaded and 3,500 of them were sold. It has already received the praise of tech gatekeepers Ben Parr and Robert Scoble. 99Dresses is going to be huge because it allows women to see what others have that they also must have. It allows you not only to exchange clothes but socially follow the fashion trends in your age group.

Getaround was founded in 2009 by Jessica Scorpio, Elliot Kroo and Sam Zaid with the concept of renting cars when their owners aren’t using them. It raised $5.13 million from Redpoint Ventures, Crunchfund and others. They’ve expanded to three cities but have many more to go. They have just gotten started. It’s part of the sharing economy, which puts value on accessing a car, rather than owning it. If it takes off, it could take millions of cars off the road. In Turkey, the car rental business is getting bigger each year. More and more companies are either investing in a Turkish company or opening up offices themselves to earn more. The Turkish people got used to the idea of renting a car, that’s why I believe that this could be a good business to copy in Istanbul.

Omada Health was founded in 2011 by Sean Duffy, Adrian James, and Andrew DiMichele. It lets people who are pre-diabetic use their programs to change their behavior so they don’t get the disease. It received $800,000 of funding from Esther Dyson, NEA, Kapor Capital, Aberdare and others. The CDC estimates that 79 million people in the U.S. have pre-diabetes, and if current trends continue, one of three adults in the U.S. will have diabetes by 2050. Programs that help people with pre-diabetes eat better and improve their physical activity have been proven to prevent diabetes and Omada Health is working to bring these to the web.

Turkey is statistically very prone to diabetes and one third of the population is obese. Someone should bring Omada Health to Turkey as well.

January/03/2013

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