Most Performing Startups
The pandemic has made many changes to the way people live and work. The use of technology has increased with many professionals still working from home. For example, there’s been a growth in communication tools. Collaborating on projects, hosting meetings, and chatting with co-workers, requires digital platforms.
Activities like going out to eat or shopping for groceries have shifted. We use apps to order these services without leaving the house.
Many startups have capitalized on this shift to experience rapid growth. Who are these growing companies and what industries are they in? Let’s take a look at the companies that are growing the fastest (and hiring) in this post-pandemic world.
Founded in 2016 and headquartered in New York City, there are over 9,000 employees. The online lending startup capitalized on the explosive mortgage industry. Better.com has done billions of dollars in mortgage origins, refinancing, and title and property insurance sales. Pushing down its fees and commissions to zero has helped it achieve this success.
Better.com is planning to go public this year through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Aurora Acquisition. Its loan value was over $24 billion in 2020. That’s a 490% year-over-year increase over its previous year.
Founded in 2017, Brex’s employees are remote for the most part. There are small office hubs in San Francisco, New York City, Salt Lake City, and Vancouver, B.C. Businesses use Brex to manage its finances. Its customers include life science companies, e-commerce brands, and established tech companies.
You’re likely familiar with some of their customers like Airbnb, Classpass, and Y Combinator. Back in October, Brex raised $300 million in funding. This comes six months after its valuation of $7.4 billion. The funding has led to a new valuation of $12.3 billion. Brex’s revenue will likely increase two-fold in 2021 over the previous year.
Gemini is a financial services company that’s based in New York City. Founded in 2014, it offers cryptocurrency exchange and custodian services. This allows users to buy, sell, and store digital assets like Bitcoin. The startup also offers interest-bearing crypto savings accounts. Gemini plans to launch a credit card that offers crypto rewards on purchases.
The crypto company has raised $400 million in funding back in November. The funding round was led by Morgan Creek Digital. This brings up the valuation of the startup to $7.1 billion. Other players in the funding round included Commonwealth Bank of Australia, 10T, and ParaFi.
Based in New York City, Ramp started in 2019. Ramp is a corporate credit card startup that helps businesses save money with services like expense management. The startup has over 2,000 business customers. It acquired the negotiation service, Buyer recently to help boost its growth.
It raised $300 million in a Series C round of funding in August 2021. This funding raised its valuation to $3.9 billion. That doubled its valuation from the April prior during its Series B.
Aviation and Aerospace
Founded in 2016, Relativity Space designs builds, and flies its own rockets. The aerospace manufacturing company calls Long Beach, California its home. The company has a pretty lofty long-term goal: To upgrade humanity’s industrial base on Earth and Mars. It created the world’s first 3D-printed rocket. Terran 1 is also the largest metal 3D-printed object made.
In June of last year, the startup raised $650 million Series E funding. Fidelity Management & Research Company was the major investor in the round. It has raised over $1.2 billion in total. Relativity Space’s valuation is at $4.2 billion.
Founded in 2014, Brooklinen is a direct-to-consumer home essentials business. It is best known for its sheet and pillows. Brooklyn, New York is the headquarters of this startup. A husband and wife duo started the company to make bedding “accessible for everyone”.
Vicki and Rick Fulop noticed there was a gap in the market for high-quality and affordable bedding. The company also offers bath, loungewear, accessories, and its home goods marketplace called Spaces. In June of 2021, the startup announced it received an investment from Freeman Spogli & Co. This investment will accelerate its expansion of retail and wholesale branches.
The computer software company Gong, which headquarters is in the San Francisco Bay Area, started in 2015. The startup develops software for recording, transcribing, and analyzing calls. Gong can examine the number of questions a representative asks, divide the time between the representative and customer, and pause before asking or answering a question.
It uses AI that studies tens of thousands of interactions with customers. The company raised another $250 million on a $7.25 valuation this past summer. The funding came from Franklin Templeton, Coatue, Salesforce Ventures, and others. The reason for the huge investment? Gong is helping to solve the problem of bringing more intelligence to the revenue process.
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in San Francisco, Discord
offers an online communication platform. Discord allows users to talk over text, video, and voice. Friends and communities can create a place to talk and hang out. Jason Citron, a computer programmer, was struggling to make it in the video game industry.
He created a game’s chatting feature into a sole product. In the early days, Discord was popular only among gamers. Its platform hit over 1 million members in December 2021. The company was in talks with Microsoft last year for acquisition. Although the deal didn’t go through, Discord made $130 million in revenue in 2020. The startup has a solid future.
Headquartered in Seattle, the computer software startup, Outreach got its start in 2014. Outreach offers an integrated business-to-business platform that enables companies to drive their sales. Its software uses machine learning and automation to manage voice, social, email, and text communications with customers.
Tableau, Okta, and DocuSign are among its customers. It received $200 million in venture capital last June to push its valuation up to $4.4 billion. The pandemic has shifted more sales processes to digital formats, helping its growth. Outreach has also expanded its product offers recently. For example, it launched a new AI reporting tool that analyzes buyer sentiment, called Insights.
San Diego-based startup, ClickUp started its beginnings in 2017. It offers a platform (as well as app) that allows employees to be more productive. It combines task management, calendars, goal setting, to-do lists, and an inbox. Through the combination of these tools, teams can become more productive.
The startup is looking to take a piece of the pie from incumbents like Microsoft. ClickUp raised $400 million in Series C funding in October of last year. This brings its valuation up to $4 billion. The shot in funding will help the startup with its plans to grow in Europe.
Making its home in San Francisco, Scale AI launched in 2016. Its platform allows machine learning teams to process their data more accurately and faster. This allows companies to advance their efforts with artificial intelligence. Scale AI has worked with companies like Toyota to help expand its self-driving efforts.
Scale AI reached a valuation of $7.3 billion during its latest funding round in April, 2021. It raised $325 million, which doubled its last funding found back in December 2020. Dragoneer and Greenoaks Capital lead Scale AI’s latest funding round.
This startup helps companies manage their privacy, security, and government requirements. OneTrust has dual headquarters in Atlanta and London. Founded in 2016, OneTrust’s compliance software allows teams to safely and securely collaborate across all privacy needs.
OneTrust announced its Series C funding of $300 million in December 2020. That increased its valuation to over $5 billion. Then in April of 2021, OneTrust added investors SoftBank and Franklin Templeton with a $210 million Series C extension. This led to a new valuation of $5.3 billion.
Startups in the consumer goods sector have also experienced success. Based in sunny Los Angeles, Ritual offers direct-to-consumer health products. It offers multivitamin and protein products that are better for the environment.
Women can get a month-long supply for $30 on the Ritual vitamin. It includes nine essential nutrients that women often lack in their diets. CEO and Ritual Founder, Katerina Schneider has said “Through our team’s research, we discovered that women actually don’t need the typical 203- nutrients in most multivitamins, but that there are specific nutrients that are especially hard to find in our food sources alone.” In 2019, Ritual raised $25 million in Series B Funding.
Glossier’s headquarters is in New York City. The company started in 2014. It is a makeup and skincare startup whose founder is Emily Weiss. She was a beauty editor who asked the question, “How could you make a beauty brand whose sweatshirt people would want to wear?”
The startup is a direct-to-consumer brand. That means you can’t its products at places like Nordstrom. Glossier did launch its own brick-and-mortar stores. However, the pandemic leads to the decision of closing those locations for good. Glossier landed an $80 million Series E funding round last summer. This is funding its retail comeback.
Papa & Barkley
Founded in 2015, Papa & Barley is in the fastest-growing industry of cannabis. Located in Eureka, California, the startup produces wellness and lifestyle product that uses CBD or cannabinoids. It uses a science-driven approach and partners with researchers in Isreal to help formulate and test its products. Papa & Barkley products are found in cannabis dispensaries in California.
Its THC product offerings are only available in California currently. Papa & Barley has a national line of CBD products. These products are available at Vitamin Shoppe and national grocery chains. It also sells its product line to customers directly.
San Francisco is home to this voice-based social app. The startup launched in 2020, during the pandemic, right as lockdowns were beginning. Clubhouse allows users to drop into chat rooms to have real-time, podcast-style conversations on different topics. The app was available on iPhone when it launched.
You could only join Clubhouse if you received an invite when it launched. Its weekly user base grew to over 10 million in a year of its launch. The popularity of the app grew with several big names like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg appearing.
This startup started in 2014 with its digital platform for consumer products companies. Located in New York City, MikMak has two main products. The first is its e-commerce solution that allows multi-relater checkout by customers. The second is an insights solution that allows brands to better understand their customer’s online behavior.
The startup received $10 million in Series A funding in 2020. Wavecrest Growth Partners was the leader in the round of funding. Luminari Capital, Brave Ventures, and Lunch Partners were other notable investors. Westcrest Growth Parner’s Co-Founder, Deepak Sindwani joined the startup’s board of directors as part of the deal.
Founded in 2017, Cameo is a video-sharing platform. The company is remote, with physical headquarters in Chicago. Cameo allows celebrities and public figures to send their fans personalized video messages. There are over 30,000 celebrities on its platform including athletes, social media influencers, and chefs. Pricing for videos is $1 to $2,500, though some in-demand stars are higher.
The company was growing steadily in recent years. The pandemic boosted its growth as celebrities and regular people all had more time on their hands. Cameo raised $100 million in Series C funding last year. That puts its valuation over $1 billion. Jonathan Turner of e.ventures, lead the funding round.
Medable has made Palo Alto, California its home since 2015. The startup uses its global platform to help get effective therapies to patients fast. It does this while minimizing the need to have in-person clinical visits. The startup enables digital clinical trials to help accelerate the development of treatments and vaccines. The timing of the pandemic worked out in favor of Medable for this reason.
In October 2021, the startup raised $304 million in Series D funding. New investors, Blackstone Growth and Tiger Global lead this funding round. It was Medable’s fourth round of funding in 18 months. This last valuation grew the startup’s valuation to $2.1 billion.