About 90% of startups fail. But despite that sober statistic are the wildly successful entrepreneurs. Whether because they have an idea whose time has come; or they have shrewd leadership that knows how to survive the rocky first years of a startup, or both, there are startups that are surviving and thriving. Perhaps inspired by Uber Technologies Inc.'s success, transportation apps lead the pack of 2016's hottest startups. Here's a snapshot.


Public transit systems create routes for riders, but Chariot, owned by Chariot Transit Inc., lets users create the routes. If enough Chariot app users are in one place where buses do not go, Chariot’s will send one of its 14-seater vans to pick them up for as little as $3 per ride. The San Francisco-based company counts Major League Startup Ventures among its investors.

Bicycle Capital

Transportation apps continue to dominate the startup scene, but this Colombia-based startup has something different, with on-demand electric bicycles to help users count calories and reduce their carbon footprint. Bicycle Capital enthusiasts in the company’s two locations, Bogota, Colombia and Tallahassee, Florida, have ridden shared electric bikes close to 900,000 miles.


This Google-funded startup helps average people find out everything from their ancestry to their propensity for health conditions, such as cystic fibrosis. 23andMe users can request DNA kits from the company, submit their DNA for testing and review the results in their secure and encrypted accounts on the website. Co-founder Anne Wojcicki, former wife of Google chief Sergey Brin, serves as the company's CEO.

Gigster Inc.

This startup is not just another freelancing platform. Gigster connects programmers with the businesses that need their services. The platform then recommends code that freelancers can use to complete the projects, such as a website or app, saving the programmer the headache of writing new code for every project. The startup’s contributors include Hollywood tech enthusiast Ashton Kutcher.


Betterment wants to help Millennials make better financial decisions than preceding generations. The startup provides financial advice tailor-made for the generation for as little as $3. Betterment, founded by Jon Stein, has raised about $100 million for continued growth.


The loss of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has startups like Alula, founded by Thomas Byrd, John Keasler and Joe Rjeili, inventing new ways for airplanes to remain in contact with the ground, even in times of distress. The company’s Alula Heart aircraft connectivity device sends real-time aircraft diagnostics to a network of servers and gets data into the hands of decision makers quickly.

ClassPass Inc.

Workout enthusiasts use ClassPass’ website to search for fitness classes quickly and buy one convenient monthly pass for use at participating fitness studios in the United States and worldwide. Company co-founders Payal Kadakia and Sanjiv Sanghavi came up with the idea for the New-York based startup after spending hours searching for classes in general search engines.

Harry’s, Inc.

Shaving has never been easier and cheaper thanks to Harry’s, an online retailer and manufacturer of men’s shaving products. The New York-based startup, valued at around $750 million as of 2016, offers razors and other products at prices 50% less than the competition. Some startups own little real estate during the early years, but Harry’s owns its manufacturing facility located in Germany.


Slack’s virtual workroom makes it possible for teams to communicate via instant message, attach documents to IMs and take conversations private when needed. The startup, founded by Stewart Butterfield, has a lot of money in the bank, a hefty $340 million in venture capital funding as of 2016. Slack has a valuation of $3.8 billion as of 2016.


An upcoming election was the perfect time to launch Brigade. Touted as a social network for voters, Brigade’s app connects like-minded people around the political ideas that they are passionate about. Co-founder Sean Parker counts himself among the company’s investors, who have contributed approximately $9.5 million as of 2016.

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