11 US startups to bet your career on

Slack CEO Stewart ButterfieldSlackSlack CEO Stewart Butterfield

If you’re tired of your day job, fear not. We’ve compiled a list of 11 startups that will make you want to quit your job and bet your career on an exciting new venture.

These companies could make (or break) your whole career.

If you’re looking to make a switch, and if you’re willing to gamble on some startups disrupting their traditional industry equivalents, look no further than the companies on this list.


Headquarters: New York
Investment raised to date: $US86.2 million

FanDuel is a fantasy sports website for busy or casual fans. It lets users participate in one-day leagues, as opposed to having to commit to season-long leagues. The company says it pays out over $US10 million in cash payouts weekly, and has paid out $US600 million to date.

Founded in 2009, FanDuel is 'seriously considering' another round of funding that would give the startup a $US1 billion valuation. FanDuel offers leagues for MLB, NFL, NHL, and the NBA.

Magic Leap

Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz

Headquarters: Dania, Florida
Investment raised to date: $US592 million

Magic Leap is an intentionally vague virtual reality startup that describes itself as a 'developer of novel human computing interfaces and software.' Rony Abovitz's stealthy startup could provide a more-realistic kind of proprietary augmented reality than what's currently available on the market, like Oculus VR. He's said Magic Leap is 'a new way for humans to interact with computers.'

In October, Magic Leap raised $US542 million in a Series B round from Legendary Entertainment, Qualcomm Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, KPCB Holdings, and Google. Sundar Pichai, the man who runs Android, joined the board of Magic Leap after its most recent round of fundraising news.


Shyp CEO Kevin Gibbon

Headquarters: San Francisco
Investment raised to date: $US12.1 million

Shyp takes the hassle out of shipping packages. Instead of schlepping your goods to UPS or the post office, all you have to do with Shyp is simply take a picture of whatever it is you want to send. A driver will then pick up the package in minutes, and you're done.

You can track your package's progress and see when it arrives at its destination. Shyp comparison-shops across carriers and charges you the lowest price for shipping, tacking on $US5 per package plus the cost of shipping. Unlike Postmates, which delivers packages locally, Shyp delivers your packages anywhere in the world.


Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta

Headquarters: San Francisco
Investment raised to date: $US274.8 million

Instacart lets you order groceries from an app on your phone or online, and have them delivered to your apartment in less than an hour. Instacart operates in 10 cities right now. Most locations offer food and household essentials from places like Costco, Harris Teeter, and Whole Foods.

In December, Instacart raised a $US220 million Series C round led by Kleiner Perkins at a $US2 billion valuation. The new funding, CEO Apoorva Mehta said, would be used, in part, to continue to grow geographically.

Blue Apron

Blue Apron cofounder and CEO Matt Salzberg

Headquarters: New York
Investment raised to date: $US58 million

Too lazy to come up with your own meals, but still want the satisfaction of making a homecooked meal? Look no further than Brooklyn-based startup Blue Apron. Blue Apron sends you recipes and perfectly portioned, fresh ingredients, allowing you to cook healthy meals at home quickly and easily.

The startup is rumoured to be doing more than $US80 million in annual revenue. Blue Apron raised

$US50 million in a Series C round in April from venture-capital firm Stripes Group. Its latest valuation was about $US500 million.


The Classpass team

Headquarters: New York
Investment raised to date: $US54 million

ClassPass CEO Payal Kadakia was working on her startup Classtivity, a precursor to ClassPass, in a Starbucks in Manhattan when she was mugged and attacked. She says the incident made her want to be better at protecting herself, and in turn, the incident 'motivated me to perfect my business.'

Kadakia then pivoted Classtivity to be a more consumer-facing product, and ClassPass was born. For $US99 a month, ClassPass users in New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Los Angeles can sign up for hundreds of local spin, dance, yoga and barre classes. Since ClassPass launched in May, the startup has booked more than 350,000 classes.

Yik Yak

Headquarters: Atlanta
Investment raised to date: $US73.5 million

Best known in high schools and on college campuses, Yik Yak is a gossip app that lets users post anything they want without a username. It looks a little like Reddit, and users can upvote or downvote posts. Yik Yak works geographically, so you see only what other people within a mile and a half radius of you post. Using GPS technology, some schools have already blocked the app.

Yik Yak was cofounded by Droll and Brooks Buffington, Kappa Alpha fraternity brothers who went to school together at Furman University. To get Yik Yak off the ground after they graduated in 2013, the two moved back to their hometown of Atlanta, started working at Panera, and bootstrapped their anonymous-gossip startup.


Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel

Headquarters: Los Angeles
Investment raised to date: $US648 million

Spiegel dropped out of Stanford University just a couple credits shy of a degree to create Snapchat, the ephemeral multimedia mobile messaging app. Snapchat has 100 million users, and huge tech companies like Yahoo are looking to possibly invest in the company.

Snapchat has received $US163 million in funding. Additional funding could be on the way for Snapchat, too -- the startup is in talks to raise another $US500 million at a $US16 to $US19 billion valuation. According to Bloomberg, the company is speaking with hedge fund managers to close the new round, which would bring Snapchat's total amount of money raised to more than $US1 billion. The company only has ~100 employees, so joining now would mean getting in early.


Headquarters: New York
Investment raised to date: $US220 million

Marc Lore, formerly the CEO of Quidsi -- the website behind Diapers.com -- is working on unveiling a new, discount-focused e-commerce website called Jet, which is rumoured to be an Amazon-killer. Lore has promised Jet will be a 'new kind of e-commerce experience, uniquely grounded in transparency and customer empowerment.'

Jet hasn't officially launched yet, but it has announced it will offer shares of stock to early users. Earlier this month, investors gave Jet $US140 million, though you can't use the service yet.


Headquarters: San Francisco
Investment raised to date: $US5.9 billion

Uber is too big to be considered a startup by many definitions, but since it hasn't exited yet, we've included it as a bonus.

The car-hailing company is the most valuable private tech company in the world right now.

In January, Uber worked out a $US1.6 billion convertible-debt round with Goldman Sachs, and this week, Uber expanded its Series E round of funding by $US1 billion, bringing the total amount of money Uber has raised since its 2010 launch to more than $US4 billion and valuing the company at more than $US41 billion.

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