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5 Category-Building Startups that You Should Watch Out For

Modern entrepreneurship is a competitive landscape with all the new and upcoming startups and innovations taking flight; but some startups choose to take the road less traveled: they create entirely new categories of products and services. These startups, instead of just vying for market share, are working towards defining new markets and reshaping industries. Their approach: introducing novel concepts that often require significant consumer education and market development.

Despite the number of barriers to entry in this strategy, there are several category-building startups that deserve the spotlight — examining the unique challenges they face and the strategies they employ to succeed.

Lunar.Dev – API Consumption Gateway

Lunar.Dev is the first enterprise-grade API Consumption Gateway designed to redefine how organizations handle API dependencies, providing real-time monitoring, governance, and optimization of third-party API traffic. Created by developers who have experienced API management challenges firsthand, Lunar.Dev offers unparalleled insights into outgoing API traffic, detecting issues in real-time and recommending custom policies.

The platform enhances security and compliance with advanced policies such as PII obfuscation, improves application reliability, and achieves cost savings of up to 50% through smart caching and prioritized API calls. Seamlessly integrating with existing infrastructures, Lunar.Dev supports major LLM API providers like OpenAI and Azure AI. As a category-building startup, Lunar.Dev pioneers a new vertical in API management by focusing on outgoing traffic and setting new industry standards.


Walnut – Disrupting Traditional Sales Processes

Walnut is a pioneering startup in the sales technology sector, revolutionizing how software sales teams engage prospects with its innovative cloud-based platform. By focusing on personalized demo experiences, Walnut addresses industry frustrations such as lengthy sales cycles and impersonal presentations. Their platform empowers sales teams to create tailored demo experiences that adapt to the unique needs of each prospect, backed by real-time analytics for optimizing performance and increasing conversion rates.

Walnut’s approach not only simplifies the sales process but also sets a new standard in sales technology by defining a category centered around interactive and data-driven demo presentations, thereby establishing itself as a category-building startup transforming the dynamics of software sales.

Kinetik – Non-Emergency Medical Transportation

Kinetik is a groundbreaking healthcare technology and services company pioneering the nation’s first digitally integrated healthcare transportation infrastructure. Their platform connects payors, patients, and transportation providers to deliver seamless non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services with full trip lifecycle visibility, program transparency, and enhanced member experiences.

By providing actionable data and flexibility in program design, Kinetik not only improves access to care and claims accuracy but also reduces fraud, waste, and abuse. This innovative approach establishes Kinetik as a category-building startup, setting new standards in healthcare transportation management and interoperability.

SEAMM – Phygital Fashion Marketplace

SEAMM is a London-based tech company pioneering a digital fashion platform that merges real-life fashion with virtual environments. They enable fashion brands to create digital collections for use in metaverses and video games, enhancing user experiences by allowing them to purchase and trade digital assets via an in-app marketplace.

SEAMM’s innovative B2C Phigital marketplace ensures every physical fashion purchase includes a corresponding digital twin, complemented by AR try-on and customization features. Their digital twin transfer technology extends into popular games and metaverses like Minecraft, Roblox, and Decentraland, positioning SEAMM at the forefront of reinventing fashion in the digital age.

Overjet – AI Dental Support

Overjet stands as a global leader in dental artificial intelligence, boasting the largest team of seasoned technologists and domain experts with extensive AI, dental, and insurance backgrounds. Their FDA-cleared platform integrates deep dentistry knowledge with advanced engineering to pioneer precise pathology detection methods.

Overjet facilitates a seamless feedback loop among payers, providers, and patients, enhancing patient care by operationalizing actionable insights within healthcare systems. Trusted by major DSOs and insurance firms, Overjet’s platform ensures accurate information delivery crucial for effective patient care and service provision on a daily basis.

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