The 9th Annual Crunchies are almost upon us. On February 8, people from some of the best and brightest startups around will descend upon San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House to take part in an event that’s best described as the Oscars of startups and technology.
Up for grabs are highly coveted Crunchies in 12 categories, and today we’ll be taking a look at the finalists for the Fastest Rising #Startup of 2015. This award goes to the company that has risen from the depths of obscurity to become a household name.
There are several amazing startups up for the award this year, so let’s take a look at those startups and the ones who have won this highly coveted award.
The 2015 Nominees
Postmates is an on-demand delivery service that provides users access to a system of couriers who deliver food from local restaurants and goods from various stories within an hour. The service is aggressively expanding its reach into various markets, with services available in various cities across 24 states and the District of Columbia.
Slack is a team communication and sharing app that is trying to help change the way we work. It features real-time communication and collaboration tools, letting users collaborate and share files easily. And, everything shared is searchable to team members can always find what they need, when they need it.
TransferWise is a money transfer service that lets people send money anywhere in the world at rates that are much cheaper than bank rates. The company’s exchange rates follow the actual mid-market rates instead of the marked-up rates banks tend to charge customers, and all of TransferWise’s fees are presented to customers up-front.
New York City-based live social network YouNow is a service that connects broadcasters with an audience in real time. Anyone can be a broadcaster on YouNow, and unlike some other live broadcasting platforms, broadcasts can be as long as users want, and broadcasters can engage with users in real time via comments.
Zenefits is a startup that’s looking to revolutionize how companies work by streamlining the HR payroll and benefits processes. Companies can connect their HR, benefits, payroll, paid time off and several other HR systems with Zenefits and manage them in a sleek online dashboard, or purchase these services directly from the company if they don’t have them in-house.
The Fastest Rising Startup award was introduced with the 6th Annual Crunchies in 2013. While it’s only been around a few years, the award has been won by some pretty prominent startups.
Snapchat – 6th Annual Crunchies Winner
At its core, Snapchat is a service that lets users take photos and video, annotate and draw on them, and send them to their contacts. These photos and videos disappear forever after a brief period of time. The company has also longer-duration stories, live stories and a Discover channel that connects users with content from brands like ESPN and CNN, and it to this day continues to grow at a solid pace and change the way its mostly younger users communicate.
Upworthy – 7th Annual Crunchies Winner
Upworthy is a company that will totally blow your mind while simultaneously restoring your faith in humanity. The news service aims to tell shareable stories with a social impact, and it does so with meaningful stories and catchy headlines that beg users to click on them, to the tune of about 17.6 million unique visitors per month, according to Quantcast.
Yik Yak – 8th Annual Crunchies Winner
Yik Yak is an anonymous social network that, unlike competitors such as Whisper or Secret, focuses on proximity. Yik Yak users have a feed that shows them the most recent messages — or, yaks — from users near their location, making it a truly local anonymous network.
Which of the companies up for the Fastest Rising Startup award will join Snapchat, Upworthy and Yik Yak in the winner’s circle. The winner will be announced at the 9th Annual Crunchies on February 8, and you’re definitely going to want to be there in person.
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