Entrepreneurship isn’t just about having a dream. Everyone has a dream. Entrepreneurship is really about identifying what people want and need.
Creating is hard. And scary. For every Henry Ford, Bill Gates, or Ray Croc, there are thousands of entrepreneurs who don’t make it. Thirty percent of new businesses fail in the first two years, the Small Business Association reports. Half of them fail within five. Many of these startups will make it. Some likely will not. Perhaps one will go on to become the next Apple, Amazon, or Standard Oil.It’s not easy. But if you create something people desire, something that makes their life easier, something they’re willing to freely turn their money over to buy, you could just end up changing the world.
LinkedIn recently released the top 50 startups of 2019. Many of these startups will make it. Some likely will not. Perhaps one will go on to become the next Apple, Amazon, or Standard Oil. All should be saluted.
Here’s a look at the top 10 on LinkedIn’s 2019 list of the fastest-growing startups.
Nuro, a robotics company based in California, was founded in 2016 by entrepreneurs Dave Ferguson and Jiajun Zhu (both men were part of Google’s Self-Driving Car program). Nuru’s mission is “to accelerate the benefits of robotics for everyday life.” Right now, that primarily means developing a system to use self-driving cars to deliver consumer goods. As of 2018, Nuro had raised $92 million in capital.
*Global Headcount: 393 | Headquarters: Mountain View, California | Privately Held: Yes
Compass is a real estate technology company founded in 2012 by Ori Allon, an American-Australian-Israeli computer scientist, and Robert Reffkin, a former leader of Goldman Sachs. Operating out of nearly two dozen regions across the US, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, Compass’s goal is to tap the lucrative real estate market by hiring “legions of agents” who leverage their state-of-the-art mobile app to outcompete the competition. Investors appear to like the idea. Compass has raised a total of $1.5 billion in capital investment and had a valuation of $4.4 billion as of 2018.
Global Headcount: 13,653 | Headquarters: Menlo Park, California | Privately Held: Yes
8. Peloton Interactive
Founded in 2012, Peloton is the world’s largest interactive fitness platform. It makes fitness entertaining by offering technology-enabled exercise that allows members to stream instructor-led classes. Founded by Graham Stanton, Hisao Kushi, John Foley, Tom Cortese, and Yony Feng, the company is today led by William J. Lynch Jr., the former CEO of Barnes & Noble, who became Peloton’s president in 2017. It` s full slate of digitized fitness offerings helped bring the company’s market cap to more than $10 billion—before a recent slide following a controversial commercial.
Global Headcount: 1,599 | Headquarters: New York City | Privately Held: Yes
Robinhood is a commission-free stock trade service founded by former Stanford roommates Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt. Founded in 2013, Robinhood is making significant progress in its mission “to democratize our financial system.” It already boasts more than six million accounts, putting it ahead of many of its more established competitors. Agile and innovative, Robinhood has proved it’s not afraid to buck trends, offering consumers an almost unheard of 3 percent interest on checking and savings accounts. Investors don’t seem concerned by the high interest rate offering, however. In its last round of fundraising, Robinhood hauled in a smooth $50 million.
Global Headcount: 913 | Headquarters: Menlo Park, California | Privately Held: Yes
6. Good American
Founded in 2016 by Khloe Kardashian and Emma Grede, Good American is an apparel and fashion brand designed “for women of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds.” A socially conscious brand unafraid to leverage the trend of conscious consumption, Good American says it donates a portion of profits to helping girls in under-resourced communities. The company netted $1 million in sales its very first day by selling jeans ranging from size 00 to 24, and it shows no signs of slowing down despite its high price point—$169 for a pair of jeans.
Global Headcount: 182 | Headquarters: Los Angeles | Privately Held: Yes
Brex is a credit card company founded in 2017 by engineers Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi. Backed by PayPal’s Max Levchin and Peter Thiel, Brex has made an aggressive push in the B2B financial services sector by offering improved tech with fewer restrictions. As of 2018, the company had already attracted more than 1,000 customers and was operating globally.
Global Headcount: 364 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Privately Held: Yes
DoorDash is an on-demand food delivery service founded in 2013 by a few students from Stanford. Launched in Palo Alto, California, DoorDash has since expanded to more than 4,000 cities across the US and Canada. Offering food service from more than 340,000 stores across North America, DoorDash is making it easier for consumers to quickly satisfy their most primal urge: hunger. DoorDash brought in a smooth $100 million in its last investment round and is currently valued at more than $13 billion, overtaking competitor GrubHub in 2019.
Global Headcount: 8,082 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Privately Held: Yes
Founded in California in 2015 by the co-founders of Meraki, Samsara is a pioneer in Internet of Things (“IoT”) solutions. The company provides real-time visibility and analytics to thousands of clients across various sectors: transportation, food production, energy, manufacturing, construction, local governments, and more. Samsara secured more than $300 million in investment its last round of funding and appears poised to expand its already impressive footprint, which now includes offices Atlanta and London.
Global Headcount: 1,563 | Headquarters: San Francisco | Privately Held: Yes
Founded in 2016, Dosist is perhaps the fast-growing startup in Southern California. A health industry disruptor, Dosist (formerly called Hmbldt) is rebranding medical marijuana and making it easier to consume with precision with “dose pens” and other devices (all recyclable, of course). Tapping into the wellness aspect of cannabis, Dosist seeks to allow users to “experience the benefits of cannabis-based therapy in an effective and predictable way.” Named by Fast Company as one of 2018’s Most Innovative Companies, Dosist has emerged as a clear leader in natural plant-based health solutions.
Global Headcount: 128 | Headquarters: Los Angeles | Privately Held: Yes
Founded in 2012 by Bob Muglia, Snowflake is a cloud-based data-warehousing company. After two years in “stealth mode,” Snowflake was publicly launched in 2014 and soon began to offer fully-managed data service using a pay-as-you-go-model that reportedly works 200 times faster than non-cloud competitors at a fraction of the price. Snowflake has captured a great deal of interest from venture capitalists, raising more than $900 million since its launch, and was valued at more than $3.5 billion as of 2018.
Global Headcount: 1,626 | Headquarters: San Mateo, California | Privately Held: Yes
*All employee headcounts use LinkedIn’s figures. These figures may include part-time and contract employees.
Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has appeared in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, and Fox News.
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