The Next Billion-Dollar Startups 2017

Examples

Date: 03.03.2018

Every year for the past three, Forbes has gone looking for 25 young U.S. companies with a strong shot at reaching a valuation of $1 billion or more. Last year's list included hot companies like the crowdfunding site GoFundMe, online retailer Boxed and innovative home seller OpenDoor. This year, with the help of TrueBridge Capital Partners, we asked venture firms which companies they thought most likely to hit the billion-dollar mark soon. Then we cut that list down to a final 25, evaluating strategies, funding and competitive challenges as well as estimating current revenues.

More on our methodology: TrueBridge, a 10-year-old Chapel Hill, NC firm that also collaborates with Forbes on our annual Midas list of the world’s top tech investors, asked 195 venture firms to nominate startups and to encourage their portfolio companies to nominate themselves. It also fielded entries directly, through a link that appeared on its website and on Forbes.com. To be considered, firms had to give TrueBridge their revenue numbers, their most recent valuations, a list of investors, data on their customers and an outline of their business model and growth trajectory. There was no fee to apply. TrueBridge examined nearly 100 companies, then passed a list of 40 to the Entrepreneurs team at Forbes. We did further reporting and analysis, researching companies’ track records, evaluating business plans, and talking to founders, investors, customers and competitors. We also gave TrueBridge more than a dozen additional companies to evaluate. The list is confined to U.S. startups. We’ll start fielding nominations for the 2018 list in June.

We like the variety among this year's picks, from an innovative online bridal registry (Zola) to a company that builds and launches satellites the size of wine bottles (Spire).  Our feature story this year is on Optoro, a company that helps retailers and manufacturers deal with America's mountain of rejected merchandise.

This is the first time the list includes founders who have previously appeared in Forbes on our annual 30 Under 30 list. Eugene Martinelli made the 2017 finance list because we thought his mortgage software maker, Blend, held promise. Same story with Zach Perret and William Hockey, who made the 2015 finance list after starting Plaid, whose software helps tech companies work with banks. T.J. Parker made the 2013 health care list after cofounding PillPack, a mail-order pharmacy that delivers medications in packages sorted by the date and time pills should be taken. And the four co-founders of Segment, Calvin French-Owen, Peter Reinhardt, Ian Storm Taylor and Ilya Volodarsky, were on the 2015 list in enterprise technology after launching their customer data analysis startup. This year's Under 30 list took note of the cofounders of Owlet Baby Care, a company that made our next billion-dollar startup list last year.

BetterCloud

Founder: David Politis (CEO); Equity raised: $47 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $21 million; Lead investors: Accel, Flybridge Capital Partners

 

Blend

Founders: Erin Collard, Nima Ghamsari (CEO), Eugene Marinelli; Equity raised: $160 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $27 million; Lead investors: 8VC, Founders Fund, Greylock Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners

Bright Health

Founders: Kyle Rolfing, Bob Sheehy (CEO), Tom Valdivia; Equity raised: $240 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $45 million; Lead investors: Bessemer Venture Partners, Greenspring Associates, New Enterprise Associates

Cohesity

Founder: Mohit Aron (CEO); Equity raised: $160 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $50 million; Lead investors: Artis Ventures, GV, Qualcomm Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Wing Venture Capital

Farmers Business Network

Founders: Charles Baron, Amol Deshpande (CEO); Equity raised: $84 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: More than $60 million; Lead investors: Acre Venture Partners, DBL Investors, GV, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

What it does: Uses data analytics to give farmers price information on supplies. It also sells seeds, fertilizers and pesticides online.

Flexport

Founder: Ryan Petersen (CEO); Equity raised: $204 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $500 million; Lead investors: First Round Capital, Founders Fund, Y Combinator

Fundbox

Founders: Yuval Ariav, Tomer Michaeli, Eyal Shinar (CEO); Equity raised: $108 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $55 million; Lead investors: General Catalyst, Khosla Ventures, Spark Capita

Ginkgo Bioworks

Founders: Jason Kelly (CEO), Reshma Shetty, Austin Che, Barry Canton, Tom Knight; Equity raised: $154 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: More than $20 million; Lead investors: Senator Investment Group, Viking Global Investors, Y Combinator

Interactions

Founder: Michael Cloran; Equity raised: $163 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $100 million; Lead investors: Comcast Ventures, Cross Atlantic Capital Partners, NewSpring Capital, Revolution Growth, Sigma Partners, SoftBank Capital

Jive Communications

Founders: Matthew Peterson, John Pope (CEO), Mike Sharp, Andrew Skeen, Brent Thomson, Stephen Todd; Equity raised: $19 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $100 million; Lead investor: Guidepost Growth Equity

Leesa Sleep

Founders: Jamie Diamonstein, David Wolfe (CEO); Equity raised: $30 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: More than $150 million; Lead investors: One Better Ventures, TitleCard Capital

Livongo

Founder: Glen Tullman (CEO); Equity raised: $142 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $36 million; Lead investors: General Catalyst, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Microsoft Ventures

Looker

Founders: Ben Porterfield, Lloyd Tabb; Equity raised: $178 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $70 million; Lead investors: CapitalG, First Round Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Meritech Capital Partners, Redpoint Ventures

Optoro

Founders: Justin Lesher, Tobin Moore (CEO), Adam Vitarello; Equity raised: $129 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: More than $50 million; Lead investors: Grotech Ventures, Revolution Growth, UPS

Orbital Insight

Founders: James Crawford (CEO); Equity raised: $79 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: More than $20 million; Lead investors: GV, Sequoia Capital

Outreach

Founders: Wes Hather, Gordon Hempton, Andrew Kinzer, Manny Medina (CEO); Equity raised: $60 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $27 million; Lead investors: DFJ Growth, Mayfield Fund, Trinity Ventures

PillPack

Founders: Elliot Cohen, T.J. Parker (CEO); Equity raised: $118 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: More than $100 million; Lead investors: Accel, Astral Capital, Atlas Venture, CRV, Founder Collective

Plaid

Founders: William Hockey, Zach Perret (CEO); Equity raised: $60 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $40 million; Lead investors: Goldman Sachs, New Enterprise Associates, Spark Capital

Postmates

Founders: Bastian Lehmann (CEO), Sean Plaice, Sam Street; Equity raised: $278 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $300 million; Lead investors: Founders Fund, Spark Capital

SeatGeek

Founders: Jack Groetzinger (CEO), Russ D'Souza; Equity raised: $160 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $70 million; Lead investors: Accel, Founder Collective, Glynn Capital Management, Mousse Partners, TCV

Segment

Founders: Calvin French-Owen, Peter Reinhardt (CEO), Ian Storm Taylor, Ilya Volodarsky; Equity raised: $109 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: More than $45 million; Lead investors: Accel, e.ventures, GV, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Thrive Capital, Y Combinator Continuity Fund

ServiceTitan

Founder: Ara Mahdessian (CEO), Vahe Kuzoyan; Equity raised: $98 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $39 million; Lead investors: Battery Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Iconiq Capital

Spire

Founders: Jeroen Cappaert, Peter Platzer (CEO), Joel Spark; Equity raised: $110 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $39 million; Lead investors: Promus Ventures, RRE Ventures, Shasta Ventures

Vlocity

Founders: David Schmaier (CEO), Craig Ramsey; Equity raised: $105 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: $75 million; Lead investors: Accenture, Salesforce Ventures, Sutter Hill

Zola

Founders: Shan-Lyn Ma (CEO), Nobu Nakaguchi; Equity raised: $41 million; Estimated 2017 revenue: More than $120 million; Lead investors: Canvas Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Kevin Ryan, Thrive Capital

https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2017/09/26/the-next-billion-dollar-startups-2017/#69182cf44447

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