- 19 of the top 50 hottest startups to work for in the U.S. according to LinkedIn are from the software industry.
- 90% of the Top Startups do not require a college degree (only four do) and they’re looking for soft skills like teamwork.
- Better.com is the hottest startup to work for in the U.S. this year, with 171 positions currently open on LinkedIn.
- DoorDash is the second-hottest startup to work for in 2020 and currently has over 1,200 open positions on LinkedIn today.
- IoT startup Samsara is the 4th hottest startup to work for in 20202, combing the power of IoT-enabled hardware with analytical software to boost efficiency in industries such as trucking and food production.
These and other insights are from LinkedIn’s Top Startups 2020: The 50 hottest U.S. companies to work for now published today. This is the 4th annual LinkedIn list of the hottest startups to work for. The list is determined by the billions of actions taken by LinkedIn’s 706+ million members. The annual list is a reflection of how business and work is evolving through the pandemic, what industries are emerging and growing and where people want to work now, reflecting the current state of the economy and the world. Even in the face of Covid-19, the startups on this year’s list are all still innovating and experiencing growth and the majority of the companies on the list are currently hiring, with 2,500+ jobs now open on LinkedIn.
To be eligible for the list, a company must be independent and privately held, have at least 50 employees, be seven years old or younger, be headquartered in the country on the list which they appear and have a minimum of 15% employee growth over the time period.
The top 50 U.S. startups include the following:
Full-time headcount: 4,000 | Headquarters: New York City | Year founded: 2016 | What you should know: While the U.S. economy quickly sank into a recession at the start of the pandemic, one of its engines has been roaring: housing. Digital mortgage lender Better.com has been inundated with refinancing applications and new loan demand as a result of falling interest rates (thanks to the Federal Reserve) and a growing desire for space (thanks to work-from-home policies). To keep up, the four-year-old company is hiring at a staggering rate, onboarding more than 1,500 employees since March and planning to bring on 7,000 more in the next 12 months.
Full-time headcount: 3,500 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Year founded: 2013 | What you should know: Having filed to go public in February, the on-demand food delivery service was already embarking on a big year. The pandemic introduced quarantines and delivery demand skyrocketed. While DoorDash continues to clash with California regulators over whether its “dashers” must be classified as employees, its ambitions have only grown. It expanded its delivery service into pharmacy and grocery offerings. And after nearly doubling its employee base for the second time in two years, DoorDash has revamped its hiring process to focus on what it calls “engineering values” rather than culture fit.
Full-time headcount: 1,042 | Headquarters: Menlo Park, Calif. | Year founded: 2013 | What you should know: Robinhood, which bills itself as “investing for everyone,” has sought to democratize stock market investing via its app by making trades affordable and easy to execute. It recently raised $200 million in new funding, making it worth $11.2B. It’s now on a hiring spree to keep up with its growth and respond to growing regulatory concerns, bringing on hundreds of registered financial service representatives in Southlake, Texas and Tempe, Arizona.
Full-time headcount: 1,350 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Year founded: 2015 | What you should know: Samsara makes internet-connected sensor systems used by fleets of trucks and other vehicles to operate safer and more efficiently. Retrenchment in some European markets led to layoffs in May, but Samsara’s U.S. operations remain robust. Samsara enacted layoffs in European markets including Spain, Italy and the Netherlands, but its U.S. operations remain robust. Nearly 30% of the company’s U.S. engineering team is non-male, one of the highest percentages among U.S. Top Startups.
Full-time headcount: 1,500 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Year founded: 2013 | What you should know: Databricks, an open source analytics platform, gives companies the data science and machine learning tools they need to extract more value from their data, from helping health care providers develop tailor-made treatment plans to giving banks an upper hand in tracking fraudulent activity. In late 2019, the firm raised $400 million in funding at a valuation of $6.2 billion; and in June of this year, it acquired Tel Aviv-based data visualization firm Redash to expand its dashboard capabilities for customers.
Full-time headcount: 595 | Headquarters: Seattle | Year founded: 2014 | What you should know: Sales engagement platform Outreach provides AI-powered tools that help sales reps identify, contact and stay in touch with customers. The firm doubled its headcount to nearly 600 employees since summer 2019 and it raised $50 million in June at a valuation of $1.33 billion to support the development of new tech and an expansion into Europe and beyond.
Full-time headcount: 85 | Headquarters: Brooklyn | Year founded: 2014 | What you should know: The idea for Brooklinen was born in a Las Vegas hotel room, when co-founder Vicki Fulop fell in love with the sheets she slept on. She and her husband Rich tracked down the luxe bedding. The price? $800. The two saw an opportunity: Go straight to the manufacturers and sell directly to customers at lower prices. The move has paid off. The startup has turned a profit in three out of the past five years and it raised $50M million in March to expand abroad and further expand its product line beyond bedding.
Full-time headcount: 380 | Headquarters: New York City | Year founded: 2016 | What you should know: Attentive specializes in mobile messaging marketing, which uses real-time behavioral data that helps brands target users at the right moment. It works with companies like Urban Outfitters, CB2 and Coach. The startup raised $40 million in funding in April and it plans to use those funds to keep growing: CEO Brian Long expects to have more than 400 employees by the end of this year.
Full-time headcount: 98 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Year founded: 2015 | What you should know: Workplace video messaging service Loom lets users create and share recordings of their faces and screens with others, allowing for easy asynchronous meetings. Such tech is especially relevant in today’s increasingly remote working world. Investors have taken note, with Loom announcing a $29M funding round in late May that valued the company at $350M, double what it had been in late 2019.
Full-time headcount: 405 | Headquarters: San Mateo, CA | Year founded: 2016 | What you should know: Verkada, which sells enterprise security systems, more than doubled its headcount this year. Just before the pandemic took hold, it raised $80 million, catapulting its valuation to $1.6 billion. Verkada is attempting to expand beyond security to become, as CEO Filip Kaliszan said, “an operating system for modern buildings.” In response to Covid-19, the company rushed out new features that let customers detect when crowds are forming, for example and determine areas of a building that are highly trafficked and may need more cleaning.
Full-time headcount: 200 | Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif. | Year founded: 2019 | What you should know: Semiconductor company Nuvia, which focuses on designing chips for high-performance computers, raised $53M at the end of 2019. Co-founders John Bruno, Manu Gulati and Gerard Williams III worked together at Apple before joining forces to meet increased demand for silicon that can rapidly process ever-growing amounts of data.
Full-time headcount: 102 | Headquarters: Bend, Ore. | Year founded: 2017 | What you should know: Dubbed the “Shopify for Cannabis Dispensaries” by TechCrunch, dutchie is capitalizing on a surge in online-ordering as the industry overall grows at a rapid clip. Dutchie charges a small fee to some 450 dispensaries to create and maintain their websites and accept and track orders.
Full-time headcount: 100 | Headquarters: San Jose, Calif. | Year founded: 2018 | What you should know: BrightInsight offers software that helps biopharma and medtech companies analyze data across drugs and devices to deliver better patient outcomes. With big-time players like AstraZeneca and CSL Behring as customers, BrightInsight is quickly establishing itself as the go-to platform for healthcare providers grappling with an onslaught of information they need to track and make sense of.
Full-time headcount: 408 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Year founded: 2017 | What you should know: In its quest to become the next American Express, Brex had planned for 2020 to be a growth year and staffed up on business people. When the pandemic struck, the financial services startup changed course, laying off 17% of its workforce in late May. Now, Brex is focusing on adding features that aim to help customers feel safer in a riskier economy, like FDIC insurance. Meanwhile, the company’s corporate credit card for startups continues to attract customers as new firms get funding.
Full-time headcount: 610 | Headquarters: New York | Year founded: 2015 | What you should know: Capsule — a digital pharmacy that offers free, same-day delivery — is taking a bite out of the more than $335B spent on prescription drugs every year in the U.S. It operates in New York City, Boston, Chicago and Minneapolis and wants to be in “all major cities” very soon. It’s delivery model has been a boon: When COVID hit, the company fielded increased interest, not just from customers, but from doctors and government leaders who see medication delivery as an essential tool to containing the virus’ spread.
16. Modern Health
Full-time headcount: 101 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Year founded: 2017 | What you should know: Modern Health is a mental well-being platform for employees. They can tap into the virtual resource to get on-demand access to certified coaches or therapists for help with anything from burnout to depression. The startup, which has raised over $42M in venture funding, opened up its resources to the general public this year in response to growing need, creating groups to address racial trauma as well as social isolation.
Full-time headcount: 872 | Headquarters: Los Angeles | Year founded: 2020 | What you should know: Curative, the youngest company on this list, originally launched in January 2020 to develop tests for sepsis. After seeing the urgent need in early March for coronavirus testing, the company quickly pivoted—and scaled up massively—to roll-out an oral-fluid-swab test for Covid-19. The startup is currently operational within a CLIA-certified lab and working to increase available testing, which can be self administered to ease pressure on hospitals and clinics.
Full-time headcount: 650 | Headquarters: Mountain View, Calif. | Year founded: 2016 | What you should know: Nuro is combining robotics with artificial intelligence to solve everyday challenges, starting with autonomous delivery. The company, which developed a self-driving vehicle pod for local delivery of everything from groceries to restaurant meals (no human needed), has seen a 3x jump in demand for its delivery services since the pandemic began, according to co-founder Jiajun Zhu. Nuro has also volunteered its R2 vehicles to aid with contactless delivery of medical supplies for Covid-19 patients in California.
Full-time headcount: 250 | Headquarters: Los Angeles | Year founded: 2018 | What you should know: Mobile entertainment platform Quibi launched in early April with a roster of big name stars like Chrissy Teigen, Idris Elba and the Kardashians creating exclusive content — and features some well-known names on the business side, as well. It was founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg, former chairman of Walt Disney Studios and is helmed by former HP CEO Meg Whitman. The video service has struggled to retain subscribers but reeled in 10 Emmy nominations for its short-form video content.
Full-time headcount: 110 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Year founded: 2017 | What you should know: Deliverr, an e-commerce platform that provides shipping services and logistics for businesses around the U.S., is riding high on the surge in online sales and delivery services in the wake of the pandemic. The company has more than doubled its warehouse capacity, on-boarded thousands of new merchants since March and recently raised $40M in funding.
Full-time headcount: 377 | Headquarters: Boston | Year founded: 2015 | What you should know: Drift, an AI-powered sales and marketing platform, originally launched as a chatbot for companies to make B2B sales decisions when a human representative was unavailable. Now, more than 50,000 businesses use the platform to aid all kinds of B2B digital marketing and sales campaigns. The company has also committed to diversifying the tech world through its work with Founders for Change and partnerships with local STEM programs.
Full-time headcount: 1,000 | Headquarters: Mountain View, Calif. | Year founded: 2014 | What you should know: Founded by the brains behind Apache Kafka, Confluent is an event streaming platform that lets companies easily access multiple types of data in real-time. This is the kind of tech that lets you buy groceries via app, then immediately notifies a store worker to put together your order so everything is ready for you the minute you step foot into the store. The company recently raised $250M in funding at a valuation of $4.5B.
Full-time headcount: 106 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Year founded: 2015 | What you should know: Instabase lets companies build customizable apps that allow them to automate different parts of their operations. The company — which has a marketplace of pre-packaged apps for different industries — works with over half of the top 10 financial institutions in the U.S., helping them with activities like client onboarding and claims processing. And in late 2019, the firm raised $105 million at a valuation of over $1 billion.
Full-time headcount: 50 | Headquarters: Chicago | Year founded: 2017 | What you should know: Upkey works with universities and corporations to provide online career resources to students at no cost. The company has worked with over 15,000 students in the U.S. in the past six months and its newly launched virtual summer internship program (VIP) helped students connect to the workforce during the pandemic.
Full-time headcount: 85 | Headquarters: New York City | Year founded: 2013 | What you should know: The digital advertising agency has been making waves, landing clients like Zillow, Benjamin Moore and Spotify. FIG has also teamed up with CNN on its “Facts First” campaign, as part of a larger effort to combat misinformation in politics and in the wake of the pandemic. The firm has seen three-year revenue growth of 150%, putting it on Inc.’s Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies for two years in a row.
Full-time headcount: 300 | Headquarters: New York City | Year founded: 2017 | What you should know: Unqork helps companies build applications without writing a single line of code. Its investors include Google’s CapitalG venture fund as well as Goldman Sachs. Some 32% of its U.S. engineers are non-male, one of the highest percentages among U.S. Top Startups.
Full-time headcount: 121 | Headquarters: Chicago / Remote | Year founded: 2017 | What you should know: Cameo, an online marketplace that lets you book personalized video shoutouts from celebrities, has grown exponentially through the pandemic, as people turn to the platform to send celebratory messages to friends and family (think feel-good birthday greetings, wedding postponements, graduation shout-outs) from stars ranging from Snoop Dogg to Tony Hawk to the cast of Netflix’s “Tiger King.” The company’s revenues shot up by 400% between early March and May and it had its first profitable month in April.
28. A Cloud Guru
Full-time headcount: 394 | Headquarters: Austin | Year founded: 2015 | What you should know: Online training developer A Cloud Guru helps individuals — ranging from students to techies to small business employees — develop and strengthen their cloud skills. The company’s courses emphasize a “learning by doing approach,” and its new Hands-On Labs feature puts learners in “real world cloud environments” to hone their abilities. The company has taught 2 million people since its founding, with 800,000 signing up within the last year.
Full-time headcount: 61 | Headquarters: Los Angeles | Year founded: 2018 | What you should know: NTWRK, dubbed the “QVC for Gen Z,” uses live streamed shows to promote exclusive streetwear, allowing its devotees to purchase items directly through the app. It’s entertainment meets e-commerce and it has attracted investment from the likes of Live Nation, Foot Locker and rapper Drake. The startup, known for its limited-time drops that often sell out, leaned into the current digital moment amid Covid-19, launched a two-day digital festival in August, combining DJ sets, interview panels and (of course) exclusive products for sale.
30. TULA Skincare
Full-time headcount: 50 | Headquarters: New York City | Year founded: 2014 | What you should know: “Clean” beauty is clearly having a moment and TULA Skincare is capitalizing on the trend. The direct-to-consumer skincare — which uses probiotics and superfoods in its products — saw a 400% increase in sales in April, compared to the previous year. The company has been riding high on online sales, all while the beauty industry overall suffers from pandemic-related office and store closures.
31. Guild Education
Full-time headcount: 712 | Headquarters: Denver | Year founded: 2015 | What you should know: Guild Education is an education benefits company that connects employees at large companies like Walmart and Chipotle with employer-subsidized online degree and certificate programs from partner universities across the U.S. Guild works with three types of clients: working adults who wish to earn academic credentials, companies looking to retain and upskill their workforce and colleges reaching to increase enrollment online. In response to the pandemic, Guild launched Next Chapter, a service to help laid-off workers access training and job opportunities.
Full-time headcount: 251 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Year founded: 2015 | What you should know: When the pandemic sent millions into lockdown, many turned to MasterClass to brush up on their cooking skills with chef Thomas Keller or take up guitar with Carlos Santana to pass the time. Subscription numbers have jumped and users are spending twice as much time with the service as they did at the start of the year. The video-based learning platform raised $100M in May, valuing the company at $800 million. And the company plans to increase production and release weekly class installments.
Full-time headcount: 209 | Headquarters: Atlanta | Year founded: 2014 | What you should know: FullStory offers a platform that lets companies identify and address the biggest challenges customers face with their websites, paving the path for fewer user pain points and, hopefully, more sales. The company, which was founded in 2014 by a team of former Google engineers, quadrupled its headcount between 2017 and 2019 and has raised $67M in funding since its launch.
Full-time headcount: 143 | Headquarters: Mountain View, Calif. | Year founded: 2013 | What you should know: Mindstrong is a mental health care platform that connects patients with severe mental health conditions (schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder) to therapists, where they can communicate via video, phone or text. The company, which raised $100 million in May, can also track patients’ smartphone usage patterns to alert therapists that their patients’ mental health may be deteriorating. Mindstrong has been looking for remote therapists and software engineers to respond to growing demand for telehealth services amid the pandemic.
Full-time headcount: 149 | Headquarters: Boston | Year founded: 2015 | What you should know: Alyce is looking to add a personal touch to corporate swag, with the help of artificial intelligence. The company can analyze a sales prospect’s social media accounts to detect their interests, offering up a host of gift options that are likely to interest them. Alyce also offers a “Swag Select” product that lets clients and would-be clients choose their own gifts. The idea? More personalized gifts will translate to less unwanted swag and better client relationships.
Full-time headcount: 55 | Headquarters: New York City | Year founded: 2018 | What you should know: Professional coaching network Chief aims to advance gender equality in business by helping more women land and excel in executive roles. The organization raised $15 million in May and 2,000 executive women from companies like Google, Visa and IBM have joined the leadership development network. The pandemic hasn’t slowed Chief down, with members communicating even more with each other since its sessions have gone fully online.
37. Trella Health
Full-time headcount: 60 | Headquarters: Atlanta | Year founded: 2015 | What you should know: Trella Health offers data analytics to home health and hospice care providers. By analyzing over a billion Medicare claims a year, Trella can point these providers to area physicians who may be able to refer them to new patients. The company also provides software that lets home health and hospice care outfits track their own patient data, so they can more easily demonstrate their value to referring doctors.
Full-time headcount: 73 | Headquarters: New York City | Year founded: 2017 | What you should know: The pandemic has been a boon to the home fitness market, as gym closures sent consumers flocking to Peloton bikes, kettlebells and everything in between. At-home fitness startup P.volve has benefited from this shift, with 2020 revenue up by 154% and paid subscriptions jumping by 191% as of late August. The company offers streaming workouts and fitness equipment that’s designed to be high-intensity and low impact, reducing the risk of injury. And the firm has managed to release a steady stream of new content amid the pandemic, with instructors shooting workout videos from their homes.
Full-time headcount: 160 | Headquarters: Incline Village, Nev. | Year founded: 2017 | What you should know: Ridgeline offers cloud-based software that’s specifically designed to help investment management firms with their back end operations. The privately funded company was launched by billionaire entrepreneur Dave Duffield, who previously co-founded enterprise software firms Workday and PeopleSoft.
40. Carbon Health
Full-time headcount: 300 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Year founded: 2015 | What you should know: Carbon Health, a network of tech-enabled medical clinics that combines virtual and in-person care, more than tripled its employee headcount this year, helped by an additional $28 million of funding in May. Those employees are on the forefront in the fight against Covid-19, operating mobile testing sites and expanding its telehealth platform to 16 states. Carbon Health is also expanding its expertise to help other businesses get back into the office, launching a suite of testing and tracing tools for companies.
Full-time headcount: 78 | Headquarters: Columbus, Ohio | Year founded: 2018 | What you should know: Seamless.AI uses artificial intelligence software to help sales professionals identify and get in touch with new prospects. Companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook use the tool to gather intelligence and contact information on potential clients, reducing the amount of time it takes to track down sales leads. After securing $2.4M in funding in April, Seamless.AI is looking to triple its headcount over the next year.
Full-time headcount: 172 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Year founded: 2013 | What you should know: Front is a workplace communication platform that combines customer messaging, business apps and team collaboration tools into a single inbox, making it easier to stay in touch with customers and work internally as a team. At the beginning of the year, Front announced it had raised $59M in funding and it more than tripled its headcount between January 2018 and January 2020.
43. Hawke Media
Full-time headcount: 129 | Headquarters: Los Angeles | Year founded: 2014 | What you should know: Marketing agency Hawke Media puts its customers in the driver’s seat, letting them pick the services they want “a la carte” and structuring contracts on a month to month basis. The company — which counts Verizon and Alibaba as clients — made a rapid transition to remote work in the wake of the pandemic and it has decided to make the shift permanent.
44. Sana Benefits
Full-time headcount: 83 | Headquarters: Austin, Texas | Year founded: 2017 | What you should know: Sana Benefits offers self-financed health insurance plans that are geared toward small businesses. With self-financed health plans, employers pay for the health care their employees use (versus a flat rate), potentially saving money. Sana has also teamed up with fellow health-focused startups like Beam Dental, Calm and ClassPass as part of its offerings. The company, which operates in Kentucky and Texas, raised $20.8M in Series A funding in September.
Full-time headcount: 120 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Year founded: 2017 | What you should know: Bungalow, the largest co-living network in the U.S., provides early career professionals with private bedrooms and fully-furnished common areas in urban cities spanning from New York to Portland to Los Angeles. The company, which raised $47M last year, says it has had to “reinvent in nearly every aspect of our business” amid the pandemic, which has led to new approaches like a completely virtual leasing process and supporting local restaurants by coordinating take-out roommate dinners.
Full-time headcount: 254 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Year founded: 2016 | What you should know: Sendoso, a sales and marketing solutions platform, helps companies build customer relationships by sending physical gifts. The startup has taken a page from its own playbook to keep employees engaged while working remotely in the pandemic — employees are regularly sent virtual and physical care packages, including things to occupy children at home and e-gifts for food delivery services and charitable donations.
Full-time headcount: 248 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Year founded: 2016 | What you should know: Harness describes itself as the industry’s first “continuous delivery-as-a-service platform,” with the goal of helping developers release their code efficiently and securely using machine learning to detect quality of deployments. Despite a busy summer — including the launch of a new product to help companies cut cloud costs and the acquisition of continuous integration company Drone.io — Harness has implemented a once-a-month company-wide Friday shutdown.
Full-time headcount: 1,600 | Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif. | Year founded: 2014 | What you should know: Rubrik, which offers cloud data management solutions, has seen an uptick in demand as more companies move to the cloud now that they aren’t able to send people to their data centers as easily. Looking to score one of its open positions in product management, engineering or marketing? The company says it looks for candidates that embody relentlessness and integrity — and who aren’t afraid to take risks in order to solve problems and innovate.
49. Alto Pharmacy
Full-time headcount: 750 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Year founded: 2015 | What you should know: It’s been a busy year for Alto, a digital pharmacy started by former Facebook employees that offers price comparisons, remote access to pharmacists and free delivery. The company raised $250M in January to support its expansion across the U.S. Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit — which led Alto to pivot to helping doctors and clinic staff transition to telemedicine and guarding supply chains against potential shortages, even coordinating its courier fleet to connect donated medicines to local nonprofits and hospitals.
Full-time headcount: 160 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Year founded: 2015 | What you should know: Lattice, a people management platform, allows companies to better manage employee performance by setting and tracking goals — and rewarding achievement. The startup has seen growing demand amid the shift to remote work, adding some 500 new customers between October and July this year. It also raised $45 million in new funding, bringing its valuation to about $400 million.