47 red-hot tech startups that became worth billions this year

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Epic Games, the makers of ‘Fortnite,’ reached unicorn status in 2018. Getty

When Instagram sold to Facebook for $US1 billion in 2013, it felt like a massive sum of money.

Five years later, we seem to be numb to the billion-dollar acquisitions and valuations around us. WhatsApp was acquired for $US19 billion. Uber is valued at $US72 billion.

Yet, to build a billion-dollar company from scratch is still an incredibly difficult feat. Last year, CB Insights reported that the odds of becoming a unicorn – a company valued at $US1 billion or more – was less than 1% for companies that had raised venture capital.

In 2018, there were 47 tech companies in the US to reach this unicorn status, according to data provided by PitchBook.

Others were included in PitchBook’s list, like the makeup company Pat McGrath Labs, the fancy healthcare provider One Medical, and the publicly traded weed dispensary company MedMen. There were also international companies. For our list, we selected US companies with technology at the core of their business.

Here are the 47 US tech companies that reached unicorn status in 2018:


47. ThoughtSpot

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What it does: Search and AI-based analytics

What it’s worth now: $US1 billion

Year founded: 2012


46. WalkMe

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Walkme CEO Dan Adika. Dan Adika/Twitter

What it does: Guides users to navigate websites and apps more efficiently

What it’s worth now: $US1 billion

Year founded: 2011


45. Seismic

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What it does: Software for sales team productivity

What it’s worth now: $US1 billion

Year founded: 2010


44. Tresata

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What it does: Analytics software company

What it’s worth now: $US1 billion

Year founded: 2011


43. Talkdesk

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Talkdesk CEO Tiago Paiva. Talkdesk

What it does: Cloud-based call center software

What it’s worth now: $US1 billion

Year founded: 2011


42. JFrog

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What it does: Deploys software to the cloud

What it’s worth now: $US1 billion

Year founded: 2008


41. OutSystems

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OutSystems CEO Paulo Rosado.

What it does: Platform for “low code” app creation. Think Squarespace, but for mobile apps.

What it’s worth now: $US1 billion

Year founded: 2001


40. SoundHound

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What it does: Audio and speech recognition software

What it’s worth now: $US1.05 billion

Year founded: 2005


39. Formlabs

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What it does: 3D printer manufacturer

What it’s worth now: $US1.065 billion

Year founded: 2011


38. Rubicon

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What it does: Waste management and recycling

What it’s worth now: $US1.066 billion

Year founded: 2008


37. Postmates

What it does: Food delivery

What it’s worth now: $US1.076 billion

Year founded: 2011


36. Convoy

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What it does: Tech-powered trucking services

What it’s worth now: $US1.085 billion

Year founded: 2015


35. Tradeshift

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Tradeshift CEO Christian Lanng Tradeshift

What it does: Open-source trade platform

What it’s worth now: $US1.1 billion

Year founded: 2008


34. Brex

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What it does: Corporate credit cards for startups

What it’s worth now: $US1.1 billion

Year founded: 2017


33. Airtable

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What it does: Spreadsheet and database product

What it’s worth now: $US1.1 billion

Year founded: 2012


32. Lime

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What it does: Electric scooters and e-assist bikes

What it’s worth now: $US1.1 billion

Year founded: 2017


31. Cohesity

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Cohesity CEO Mohit Aron. Cohesity

What it does: Data infrastructure and storage

What it’s worth now: $US1.1 billion

Year founded: 2013


30. Gitlab

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What it does: A single application for development operations, from project planning to source code management.

What it’s worth now: $US1.1 billion

Year founded: 2011


29. TripActions

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What it does: Corporate travel management

What it’s worth now: $US1.2 billion

Year founded: 2015


28. Intercom

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The Intercom cofounders. Intercom

What it does: Customer messaging platform

What it’s worth now: $US1.275 billion

Year founded: 2011


27. Starry

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The Starry Station. Starry

What it does: Internet for $US50 per month

What it’s worth now: $US1.29 billion

Year founded: 2014


26. Chargepoint

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What it does: Charging stations for electric cars

What it’s worth now: $US1.3 billion

Year founded: 2007


25. PagerDuty

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PagerDuty CEO Jennifer Tejada. PagerDuty

What it does: Surfaces technical issues for companies

What it’s worth now: $US1.3 billion

Year founded: 2009


24. Toast

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What it does: Restaurant point-of-sale and management system

What it’s worth now: $US1.4 billion

Year founded: 2011


23. Allbirds

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What it does: Merino wool shoes

What it’s worth now: $US1.4 billion*

Year founded: 2014

*This valuation has been reported but never confirmed by the company.


22. Netskope

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What it does: Cloud software security

What it’s worth now: $US1.4 billion

Year founded: 2012


21. Samsara

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What it does: Fleet management system

What it’s worth now: $US1.4 billion

Year founded: 2015


20. Freshworks

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Freshworks CEO Girish Mathrubootham. Courtesy of Freshworks

What it does: Customer support and sales software

What it’s worth now: $US1.5 billion

Year founded: 2010


19. Asana

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Asana CEO Dustin Moskovitz Asana

What it does: Collaboration and productivity software

What it’s worth now: $US1.5 billion

Year founded: 2008


18. ZipRecruiter

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What it does: Job listings and recruiting platform

What it’s worth now: $US1.5 billion

Year founded: 2010


17. Dataminr

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What it does: Discovers critical, breaking information before it’s in the news

What it’s worth now: $US1.592 billion

Year founded: 2009


16. ServiceTitan

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ServiceTitan CEO Titan Ara Mahdessian ServiceTitan

What it does: Management software for home services companies

What it’s worth now: $US1.6 billion

Year founded: 2013


15. Discord

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Discord CEO Jason Citron. Discord

What it does: Voice, video, and text app designed for gamers

What it’s worth now: $US1.65 billion

Year founded: 2012


14. Looker

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What it does: Database software

What it’s worth now: $US1.7 billion

Year founded: 2012


13. Automation Anywhere

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Automation Anywhere CEO Mihir Shukla. Automation Anywhere

What it does: Software that helps companies automate repetitive and routine tasks, which industry folks like to call “robotic process automation,” or RPA.

What it’s worth now: $US1.8 billion

Year founded: 2003


12. HashiCorp

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HashiCorp founder and CTO Mitchell Hashimoto HashiCorp

What it does: Cloud computing infrastructure

What it’s worth now: $US1.9 billion

Year founded: 2012


11. InVision

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What it does: Digital product design platform

What it’s worth now: $US2 billion

Year founded: 2011


10. Bird

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What it does: Electronic scooters

What it’s worth now: $US2 billion

Year founded: 2017


9. Roblox

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‘Heroes of Robloxia’ Roblox

What it does: Online game creation platform

What it’s worth now: $US2.4 billion

Year founded: 2005


8. Plaid

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Plaid cofounders Zach Perret and William Hockey Plaid

What it does: Financial software that connects users’ bank accounts

What it’s worth now: $US2.6 billion

Year founded: 2013


7. Procore

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What it does: Construction management software

What it’s worth now: $US3 billion

Year founded: 2003


6. Circle

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What it does: Cryptocurrency investment platform

What it’s worth now: $US3 billion

Year founded: 2013


5. UiPath

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UiPath CEO Daniel Dines. UiPath

What it does: Automates routine tasks for businesses. Similar to Automation Anywhere, it calls its technology, “robotic process automation.”

What it’s worth now: $US3 billion

Year founded: 2005


4. Snowflake

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Snowflake Computing CEO Bob Muglia. Snowflake

What it does: Cloud-based data-warehousing

What it’s worth now: $US3.95 billion

Year founded: 2012


3. DoorDash

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What it does: Food delivery

What it’s worth now: $US4 billion

Year founded: 2013


2. Epic Games

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What it does: Video game developers and the makers of “Fortnite.”

What it’s worth now: $US15 billion

Year founded: 1991


1. Juul Labs

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What it does: Electronic cigarettes

What it’s worth now: $US38 billion

Year founded: 2017