Online companies are in the unique position to reach out to clients from around the world, but with this large customer-base comes steep competition. As 2014 slowly winds down and we prepare for 2015, many are wondering what companies are going to stand out when it comes to the online environment. For those that have their eye on the internet, here is a closer look at five of the most innovative online companies and exactly what they are doing to change the world around them.
Kenya may not be known for developing innovative online companies, but Kytabu has set out to break this mold. One of the biggest problems facing those that are looking to improve their living situation in Kenya is the inaccessible nature of education. The most glaring problem is often the price tag of core curriculum textbooks that can be as expensive as the courses themselves. Kytabu is a subscription-based service that both sells and gives away textbooks at almost every level of education. Users can even pay for single pages or chapters of a specific textbook and then stream it directly to their mobile device and share it amongst their friends in the same class.
There are now a number of mobile banking companies that have attempted to take the guesswork out of making payments with credit cards, but few are as focused on mom-and-pop shops as Square. Square got its first break when it signed a large contract with the Starbucks chain, but their primary goal is to provide a simple card reading service to smaller companies. When merchants apply for a Square account they receive one or more dongles that can be used in their store or on the go. The dongle is attached directly to an online account that transmits banking information over a secure network and helps owners track sales, inventory, shopping trends, and more.
3. AutoGrid Systems
More information than ever is being uploaded onto cloud servers, and this includes information coming from home energy meters, power grids, thermostats, voltage regulators, and countless other commercial and residential devices. AutoGrid Systems is a relatively new company that has created an online system to track and regulate this information. With AutoGrid Systems’ tracking software in place, companies, homes, and even municipalities can cut down on wasteful energy usage and lower the chance of a blackout during peak periods of energy use.
Almost every home, storage unit, and garage is filled with a variety of old DVDs, CDs, and video games, but many are unsure of what to do with this software outside of selling it for next to nothing or giving it away for free. Decluttr is now helping to streamline this process by purchasing old software in a 3 step process. Users log into http://www.decluttr.com to input their collection of old discs, ship it in a single box, and receive a paycheck in the mail based on pre-determined prices.
The idea of a “smart home” is no longer relegated to science fiction stories. A number of companies have now released automated and wirelessly-controlled devices for the home, but few are as comprehensive or popular as the lineup from Quirky. Partnering with GE, Quirky products can be preset, controlled by a mobile device, or tracked through an online program. Their current lineup includes a variety of useful devices such as an egg carton that alerts users when they are out of eggs and a mobile app to control the humidity, lighting, and temperature within the home.
While it will always be impossible to predict the future, these five companies have proven to be some of the top choices when it comes to innovative online organizations with quite a bit of potential in 2015.