Consumer Electronic Show (CES) is one of the largest exhibitions in the world gathering around 200,000 technology geeks from all over the globe. CES is where the biggest tech companies unveil their latest innovation and many startups showcase and launch their products.
While in the main convention center you can see the largest TVs you have ever seen in your life from the likes of Sony, fast and stable drones from the likes of DGI, and breathtaking concept cars from the likes of Mercedes Benz, what I look for in CES is the next generation devices and products in the startups section, Eureka Park.
CES is not the best place for VCs to look for the next big investment opportunity. First of all, not many VCs are keen on investing in hardware and hard tech companies. Secondly, there are tens of hundreds of startups, mostly working on cool gadgets (while some are still making battery packs and speakers!) which don’t have a big enough market and are not by their nature VC backable.
So, I took a look around Eureka Park at CES this year and have hand-picked the top 10 early stage startups which are working on unique products that can have a large enough market appealing to VCs.
What: Robomart is a self driving stores that brings the groceries, baked goods and prepared foods of the supermarket at consumers’ doorstep.Consumers will simply tap a button to request the closest robomart. Once it arrives, they head outside, unlock the doors, and shop for the products they want. When they are done, they just close the doors and send it on its way. Robomart tracks what customers have taken using patent pending “grab and go” checkout free technology and will charge them and send a receipt accordingly.
Funding: No data
Where: Santa Clara, CA
What: Nima is developing products enabling users to know what is in their food. Their first product is a portable device that allows people to test their food for gluten. A peanut sensor is now available as well. Sensors for milk and tree nuts are in development.
Funding: Nima has raised a total of $13.2M from Foundry Group, Lemnos Labs, Upfront Ventures, Uncork Capital, and SK Ventures and would be looking for a series B next.
Where: San Francisco, CA
What: Arable is an agricultural business intelligence solution founded on in-field measurements. Arable enables data-driven decisions in agriculture and natural resource management with measurements that matter.
Funding: $9.7 from NSF, Middleland Capital, S2G Ventures
Where: Princeton, NJ
What: Humon is a sports wearable company that has built the first thigh-worn wearable that non-invasively measures oxygen levels in the muscle in real-time. They are able to leverage this data to provide personalized actionable insights to endurance athletes about how they are exerting themselves relative to their limits, as well information about warm-up and recovery.
Funding: $1M from Accomplice
Where: Boston, MA
What: Meeting space on the go! ZenSpace finds an open meeting room near you or where you need to be. Totally private and equipped with reliable Internet connection and industry-leading collaboration tools.
Funding: No Data
Where: San Jose, CA
What: Founded in 2015 as a spin-off of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), tacterion develops and markets a unique tactile sensor technology called sensorskin. Sensorskin is a highly flexible sensory layer that measures interaction and pressure on any surface.
Funding: Series A
Where: Munich, Germany
What: ProGlove is a professional wearable tool for production and logistics equipped with different sensors. ProGlove enables its wearer to work faster and therefor more efficient, is easy to use and unlocks a new level of information and business intelligence for production management.
Funding: $2.4M in total from Intel Capital and Bayern Capital
Where: Munich, Germany
What: There are a couple of technical limitations that have been holding back augmented reality (AR) smart glasses back from widespread adoption. One of which is the weight and bulk of the devices, the other is the potential eye-strain and dizziness. LetinAR has developed a technology it called Pin-Mirror, which can show a crisp virtual image of an object without inducing eye fatigue.
Funding: ₩800,000,000 from Naver (South Korea’s Google)
Where: Seoul, South Korea
What: Placed inside knee prostheses, BoneTag enables communication with surgical orthopedic implants by connecting them and making them smart. The BoneTag device provides traceability throughout the entire lifetime of the prosthesis, offering an unprecedented ability to evaluate in vivo temperature and pressure. BoneTag solves a long-standing need for traceability, while also founding an international registry of surgical implants that is essential for improving prostheses.
Funding: Unknown amount from AXLR, and Eurobiomed
Where: Montpellier, France
What: Lishtot builds products that quickly detect contaminations in drinking water. Their newest product, the TestDrop, a handheld keychain consumer device, provides a “drink or don’t drink” indication in 2 seconds. The devices can detect contaminants such as lead, E. coli, and chemicals like PFOA/PFOS at EPA and WHO guidelines.
Funding: No Data
Where: Jerusalem, Israel
Please let me know if you get in touch with them and end up engaging, it would make my day!
Also, please comment below the names of other exhibiting early stage startups in CES 2018 that you think are VC back-able.