2020 has saddled us with one of the roughest rides in recent history. From the spread of COVID-19 to the resulting lockdown to a sinking economy to political strife and protests, it’s been a tough year for individuals and for organizations.
SEE: Launching and building a startup: A founder’s guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Despite the challenges of doing business, especially as a startup firm, many companies have been able to not only survive but thrive. In a new report published Tuesday, LinkedIn looks at the top 50 startups in the US as proof of resiliency in the face of obstacles and as an aid for professionals looking for a new opportunity.
To compile the list, LinkedIn’s editors and data data scientists analyzed the actions and information from its 171 million members in the US. The site then narrowed down the criteria to four factors: Employee growth, job seeker interest, member engagement with the company and its employees, and how well these startups wooed talented workers from the LinkedIn Top Companies list.
To qualify as a top 50 startup, a firm must be seven years old or younger, have at least 50 employees, be privately held, and be headquartered in the US.
Grabbing the top spot is NYC-based mortgage lender Better.com. Though the bitter economy has hurt many types of industries, the housing market has been booming, and Better.com is a hot beneficiary. The company is on a hiring spree, according to LinkedIn, bringing aboard more than 1,500 people since March and aiming to hire another 7,000 more over the next 12 months.
In second place is food delivery service DoorDash, located in San Francisco. As the coronavirus quarantine has forced people to stay at home, delivery services have thrived. Expanding from food delivery to pharmacy and grocery items, the company has doubled its workforce for the second time in two years.
Next on the list is Menlo Park’s Robinhood, a financial service firm that tries to simply the process of investing and stock trading. Now looking to hire more people to keep up with growth, the firm wants to bring on hundreds of registered financial service representatives in Southlake, TX, and Tempe, AZ, according to LinkedIn.
In fourth place is Samsara, a business that makes internet-connected sensor systems for trucks and other vehicles. Located in San Francisco, the company has had to lay off personnel in Europe, but LinkedIn says its US operations are still strong.
Taking the fifth spot is Databricks, another San Francisco-based company. Databricks supplies customers with the data science and machine learning tools needed to learn how to extract value from their data. The company raised $400 million in funding in late 2019 and bought data visualization firm Redash this past June to expand its dashboard features for customers.
In sixth place is Seattle-based Outreach, which offers AI-based CRM tools to help sales people stay in touch with customers. The firm has doubled its workforce to almost 600 employees since the summer of 2019 and raised $50 million this past June to develop new technology to expand in Europe and elsewhere, according to LinkedIn.
No. 7 on the list is Brooklinen, a Brooklyn-based firm that sells linens directly from manufacturers to customers at budget-friendly prices. The company earned a profit three out of the past five years and raised $50 million in March to expand beyond the US and beyond bedding linens.
In the No. 8 spot is NYC-based Attentive, which specializes in mobile messaging marketing to help brand companies reach users at the right moment, according to LinkedIn. Raising $40 million in funding this past April, the company is aiming for a total of 400 employees by year’s end.
In ninth place is San Francisco-based Loom, a video messaging service that lets users create and share recordings of their faces and screen with other people. In May, the company announced a $29 million funding round that valued it at $350 million, double its worth from late 2019.
And in the 10th spot is Verkada, a provider of enterprise security systems headquartered in San Mateo, CA. The firm more than doubled its workforce this year. Before the pandemic, it raised $80 million in funding, bringing its total valuation to $1.6 billion.
“None of these companies saw 2020’s collection of crises coming,” LinkedIn senior editor Jessi Hempel said in a blog post. “Start with a global pandemic that abruptly brings just about all business to a brief halt. Add a recession without a clear path to recovery. And wrap it in civil unrest as protesters demand that we reckon with institutionalized racism at every level of society. These companies have risen to the challenges that 2020 has presented.”
Beyond the top 50 startup list for the US, LinkedIn compiled similar lists for other countries, including Brazil, Canada, Australia, UK, India, France, Germany, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, and Italy.