Valuation: UnknownTotal raised to date: $2.56 millionYear founded: 2011HQ: Sunnyvale, CA
What it does: Zapier helps users easily connect apps together through integrations. In other words, it will automatically connect one piece of workplace software to another
Why it's hot: This six-year-old company has raised a total of $2.56 million, but this year, it announced that it already has a $35 million annualized run rate, a key measure of revenue. Oh, and by the way, at Zapier, you can work in pajamas from the comfort of your bedroom, if you really wanted to. This all-remote company even started a delocation package of $10,000 to move away from the pricey San Francisco Bay Area.
Valuation: UnknownTotal raised to date: $14 millionYear founded: 2015HQ: San Diego
What it does: Platform Science does what it calls "enterprise IoT fleet management" which is a lot of buzzwords that means it puts a specialized computer into each truck (or other fleet vehicle) stuffed with all kinds of apps, communications, mapping, fuel economy, driver performance. Plus it allows other software developers to write apps for the device, too.
Why it's hot: CEO John Kennedy is a former Qualcomm bigwig, who sold his last telematics company for $800 million. Now he's back with a new telematics company that uses all the latest tech to take on the legacy players.
Valuation: $26.06 millionTotal raised to date: $46.16 millionYear founded: 2015HQ: New York
What it does: BigID offers a way for companies to find and identify their most sensitive data.
Why it's hot: Data privacy software became a hot category after European GDPR data privacy rules were mandated in May. This helped the company raise $30 million this year from investors like Scale Venture Partners and the investment arms of Comcast and SAP. Founder and CEO, Dimitri Sirota, also sold his previous security startup to CA in 2013.
Valuation: $14.35 millionTotal raised to date: $3.76 millionYear founded: 2015HQ: New York
What it does: Paladin is a case management system specifically designed for lawyer's pro bono work.
Why it's hot: This Mark Cuban- backed startup is helping companies with a wave of social activism and it's already landed a bunch of marquee customers like Lyft and Verizon, helping corporate lawyers volunteer their time to work on a range of issues from family separation to environment.
Valuation: $48 millionTotal raised to date: $18.6 millionYear founded: 2014HQ: Oakland, CA
Why it's hot: This year, DevOps, which combines development and operations, is a huge jackpot for investors. NPM is one of these startups that has been benefiting from this boom, and in just the last four years, it has already raised almost $19 million.
Valuation: $32 millionTotal raised to date: $9.6 millionYear founded: 2016HQ: Somerville, MA
What it does: Kolide is a cloud service that analyzes a company's Macs and PCs to find problems with devices — everything from security issues to repair needs — and suggests fixes.
Why it's hot: This startup was launched by the creators of a popular open source project called osquery developed inside Facebook that helps protect Macs, Windows and Linux computers from hackers.
Valuation: $100 millionTotal raised to date: $32.04 millionYear founded: 2015HQ: London
What it does: Snyk automates the process of finding and fixing vulnerabilities in open source software. In other words, it will continuously keep a lookout for security issues — and fix them.
Why it's hot: This year, Snyk raised $22 million on a $100 million valuation. As breaches and vulnerabilities become more common and continue to make headlines, more venture capitalists are investing in security. What's more, there's more investment in open source startups now. Since Snyk's technology focuses on security for open source software, it's a score for both fields.
Valuation: $121 millionTotal raised to date: $38.5 millionYear founded: 2015HQ: New York
What it does: Offers cloud customer support software.
Why it's hot: Kustomer is the latest company founded by Brad Birnbaum, formerly co-Founder of Assistly, which was acquired by Salesforce and became Desk.com. It's last round of funding included an investment by Cisco.
Valuation: UnknownTotal raised to date: $5.38 millionYear founded: 2014HQ: Denver
What it does: Offers cash register/point-of-sale software to marijuana dispensaries.
Why it's hot: As marijuana becomes legal in a growing number of states it is creating a variety of business opportunities, including in tech. Flowhub is one of those poised to prosper by helping dispensaries ensure they are following regulations as they run their businesses.
Plus, it scored a first-of-its-kind partnership deal with HP earlier this year in which HP will supply the computer hardware outfitted with Flowhub's software.
Valuation: $278 millionTotal raised to date: $89.52 millionYear founded: 2014HQ: Denver
Plus, it scored a first-of-its-kind partnership deal with HP earlier this year where HP will supply the computer hardware outfitted with Flowhub's software.
Valuation: $500 millionTotal raised to date: $31 millionYear founded: 2015HQ: Mountain View, CA
What it does: HeadSpin allows developers to easily test, debug and monitor mobile apps and sites in real-time on actual devices.
Why it's hot: After only three years, HeadSpin is worth $500 million. In November it closed $20 million. The market is growing because mobile app developers need a way to help them make sure that the apps are working correctly — and HeadSpin lets them do this.
Valuation: $500 millionTotal raised to date: $120 millionYear founded: 2011HQ: San Francisco
What it does: Dialpad is what's known as a voice-over-IP (VoIP) startup. It does conference calls, and call-center work over the internet via a desktop browser or mobile app.
Why it's hot: Dialpad is business internet phones for the modern era. It integrates with popular apps like Slack, Zendesk, Salesforce and G Suite and it plans to add artificial intelligence features, too. It's the latest VoIP startup by Craig Walker, who sold his previous companies to Yahoo and Google and created what became Google Voice.
Valuation: $516 million Total raised to date: $84 millionYear founded: 2012HQ: Palo Alto, CA
What it does: Carta provides equity-management software that helps companies manage their employee-owned shares and options.
Why it's hot: Earlier this month, Carta raised $80 million for an $800 million valuation. With a mission to help companies share their wealth with employees through equity, Carta is benefiting from the wave of startups that go public and offer their employees stock.
Valuation: $59 millionTotal raised to date: $22.5 millionYear founded: 2015HQ: Boston
What it does: Botkeeper automates bookkeeping and accounting using artificial intelligence.
Why it's hot: This year, Botkeeper raised $18 million from Gradient Ventures, Google's artificial intelligence investment firm. In the coming year, Botkeeper will continue working on its AI technology, as well as hiring more engineers.
Valuation: $620 millionTotal raised to date: $113.3 millionYear founded: 2011HQ: Half Moon Bay, CA
What it does: Uses drones to deliver life-saving medical supplies to rural communities in Rwanda and around the world.
Why it's hot: Although Amazon introduced the idea of drone deliveries to the world in 2013, and Google is working on the same, Zipline has already created the world's largest fully autonomous delivery system, proving the concept while saving lives.
CEO Keller Rinaudo recently spoke at Business Insider's Ignition conference — Watch the full session here.
Valuation: $679 millionTotal raised to date: $229 millionYear founded: 2018HQ: San Francisco
What it does: Bright Machines is using machine learning to create a smarter factory robot.
Why it's hot: The company was spun out of robotic manufacturer Flex and came into being as a full-fledged company equipped with 300 employees. It then proceeded to raise a healthy $179 million round of funding from Eclipse Ventures.
And it's run by Armar Hanspal, who previously served as Autodesk co-CEO with Flex CEO Mike McNamara and Seagate CEO Steve Luczo on the board.
Valuation: $700 million Total raised to date: $143.25 millionYear founded: 2009HQ: Boston
What it does: Flywire handles cross-border payments.
Why it's hot: While Flywire is not the only startup in this market, it had a stellar 2018, when Deutsche Bank partnered with the company to streamline tuition fee payments for India’s overseas students. Some 300,000 students attend overseas colleges in the US, Australia, Canada, the UK.
It also raised $100 million in new funding this year, and said it expects to reach annualized revenue of $100 million later this year.
Valuation: $80 millionTotal raised to date: $22.75 millionYear founded: 2014HQ: San Francisco, CA
What it does: Mode offers software that improves wide-area networks for enterprises, which connect remote offices together.
Why it's hot: The company was formed by Cornell researchers Kevin Tang and Nithin Michael after they devised a mathematical way to watch and predict network traffic, something thought previously impossible. Not only did their research wow the academic world, but investors from NEA approached them and asked them to build a product.
Should they figure it out, it could upend and greatly reduce the costs of building corporate networks.
Valuation: $63.47 millionTotal raised to date: $21.67 millionYear founded: 2016HQ: San Mateo, CA
What it does: This search and analytics company helps users build live apps on raw data, speeding the process by which data and apps can "talk" to each other. It's targeted at developers building data-driven applications and data scientists managing this data.
Why it's hot: Founded by ex-Facebookers who spent years managing the social media giant's online data and search infrastructure, Rockset just came out of stealth with $21.5 million in funding from the top-tier Silicon Valley venture firms Greylock Partners and Sequoia Capital.
Valuation: $200 millionTotal raised to date: $86.75 millionYear founded: 2010HQ: Berkeley
What it does: It offers an alternative to nitrogen fertilizer, a type of fertilizer that is a pollutant and greenhouse gas.
Why it's hot: Pivot is backed by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, one of nine save-the-planet startups to attract the fund's money. BEV was founded by a group of investors, including Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg, who set aside $1 billion to fund startups.
Valuation: $90 millionTotal raised to date: $34.84 millionYear founded: 2014HQ: Oakland, CA
What it does: LaunchDarkly helps developers test and manage how new features get deployed to an app's users. With LaunchDarkly, user can manage features and switch on and off test features for different sets of users.
Why it's hot: When LaunchDarkly first tried to raise seed funding in 2014, investors laughed. But fast forward to now, and DevOps, a term that combines development and operations, is all the rage. LaunchDarkly, a DevOps startup, proved that the practice of deploying code faster, something that is going to become increasingly important in the years to come.
Valuation: $900 millionTotal raised to date: $223.3 millionYear founded: 2011HQ: Atlanta, GA
What it does: Prevents telephone fraud by helping identify people's voices.
Why it's hot: This company is backed by numerous big names including Martin Casado at Andreessen Horowitz and former Cisco CEO John Chambers. In December it raised an additional $90 million to expand internationally. It boasts 8 large banks and 5 large insurance companies as customers, covering more than 200 million of their accounts.
Valuation: $900 millionTotal raised to date: $149.12 millionYear founded: 2014HQ: San Francisco
What it does: Cloud software that runs background checks on employees
Why it's hot: With the rise of contract employment thanks to the likes of Uber, GrubHub, Instacart and the like, comes the rise for the need for background checks. Checkr has become the popular choice for Silicon Valley companies who rely on contract work.
Valuation: $925 millionTotal raised to date: $220.04 millionYear founded: 2011HQ: San Francisco
What it does: Fastly calls itself an "edge cloud platform." It helps large websites work faster by moving data and apps closer to their users.
Why it's hot: Fastly has come on strong in this well-established market (also known as a Content Delivery Network) and already powers sites such as Airbnb, GitHub, Alaska Airlines, Pinterest, Vimeo, The Guardian, and The New York Times.
It reportedly broke the $100 million revenue mark in 2017 and this year raised funding that included backing by the investment arm of telecom giant Deutsche Telekom.
Valuation: $1 billionTotal raised to date: $77.5 millionYear founded: 2011HQ: Munich, Germany
What it does: A big data startup that helps companies find the areas they should automate.
Why it's hot: Celonis zoomed to unicorn status this year with a unique take on a buzzword trend known as "digital transformation." That's where companies look for ways to use apps and tech over legacy methods. Celonis sifts through data to help them find areas and processes that can be automated. It has gained a growing clientele of big customers including Siemens, GM, 3M, Schlumberger, Airbus and Vodafone.
Valuation: $1.1 billionTotal raised to date: $411 millionYear founded: 2013HQ: San Jose, CA
What it does: Helps make storage back-ups less expensive, easier to manage, and easier to sift through for big data projects.
Why it's hot: Cohesity is the second-act for its founder Mohit Aron, who had previously co-founded Nutanix. And its been growing like a weed ever since. In 2018, Cohesity landed a massive $250 million round of investment from Softbank's Vision Fund, only the second enterprise company to be backed by the massive fund.
Valuation: $1.1 billionTotal raised to date: $181.62 millionYear founded: 2017HQ: San Francisco
What it does: A fintech startup that offer the first credit card specifically for startups.
Why it's hot: Brex zoomed to unicorn status backed by a who's-who of tech royalty including Y Combinator Peter Thiel and Max Levchin.
Valuation: $1.1 billionTotal raised to date: $170 million Year founded: 2012HQ: San Francisco
What it does: A cloud based spreadsheet app.
Why it's hot: Founded by alumni of Google, Salesforce, and Stack Overflow, Airtable has reached cult status among Silicon Valley developers. And plentiful funding at a hefty valuation has followed suit. Airtable says that more than 30,000 companies, including Target, Box, and Slack, use its product.
Valuation: $1.12 billionTotal raised to date: $165.82 millionYear founded: 2011HQ: San Francisco
What it does: GitLab is used for project planning to help developers collaborate on code, as well as managing and monitoring code.
Why it's hot: Forrester named GitLab as the leader in continuous integration or continuous development — practices that allow developers to test and push code to customers faster and more often. DevOps, a term that combines development and operations, is where investors want to throw their money, and GitLab easily blazes the trail in that space. Just look at this past year: in September, GitLab closed $100 million in a round led by Iconiq Capital, and just three months later, Goldman Sachs invested another $20 million.
Valuation: $1.18 billionTotal raised to date: $267.5 millionYear founded: 2013HQ: Sunnyvale, CA
What it does: Illumio does something called "application security" which involves watching the applications to make sure they aren't doing anything they are not supposed to do, indicating a hacker or a virus.
Why it's hot: Illumio fast growth propelled it to "unicorn" status — startups valued at $1 billion or more — just six month after it came out of stealth mode. In 2018, the company says it is still growing fast, increasing its bookings, aka revenue under contract, by 300%, it said.
Valuation: $1.28 billionTotal raised to date: $240.5 millionYear founded: 2011HQ: San Francisco
What it does: Intercom is an instant messaging system to connect customers with sales, marketing, and support employees, and it also includes chatbots that assist with this.
Why it's hot: For a while, Intercom ads took over all of San Francisco. And this is a startup Silicon Valley is definitely buzzing about. Founded in a Dublin coffee shop and focused on improving relationships between customers and businesses, Intercom has quickly grown to a $1.3 billion business.
Valuation: $1.3 billionTotal raised to date: $173.70 millionYear founded: 2009 HQ: San Francisco
What it does: PagerDuty helps companies quickly respond to IT incidents and alerts the best people to respond to any given incident, giving information about the incident and providing analysis.
Why it's hot: PagerDuty has been named one of the top companies in DevOps — a term that combines development and operations. DevOps is a gold mine for investors. In September, PagerDuty raised $90 million, and rumor has it that it's gearing up for IPO.
Valuation: $1.4 billionTotal raised to date: $247.25 millionYear founded: 2011HQ: Boston
What it does: Toast makes "point of sale" software for restaurants that handles payments and orders.
Why it's hot: Toast is one of Boston's hottest startups, growing to unicorn status this year. It's popular in about 25 cities and counts Jamba Juice, Dos Toros Taqueria and B.Good burgers as customers.
Valuation: $1.4 billionTotal raised to date: $130 millionYear founded: 2015HQ: San Francisco
What it does: Samsara offers sensors and cloud software for Internet of Things applications.
Why it's hot: The company was founded by Sanjit Biswas and John Bicket, who previously founded cloud corporate network company Meraki, sold to Cisco for $1.2 billion.
IoT is fast becoming the next big wave in tech, where everyday objects get sensors and apps, and Samsara is one of the biggest IoT success stories so far. It claims 5,000 customers, from tiny shops to giant corporations.
Valuation: $1.5 billionTotal raised to date: $213.51 millionYear founded: 2008HQ: San Francisco
What it does: Asana is a cloud-based software service that lets workers collaborate on projects and assign tasks.
Why it's hot: Founded by Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz, Asana just hit a valuation of $1.5 billion earlier this month after raising $50 million. This comes less than a year after Asana raised $75 million in January. It's been a momentous year for Asana, and its revenue is growing 90% year-over-year. It will also be hiring in the coming year, as it just opened an office in Australia and will be expanding its team from 400 to 600.
Valuation: $1.5 billionTotal raised to date: $250 millionYear founded: 2010HQ: San Francisco
What it does: Freshworks is a customer service and sales app.
Why it's hot: This Salesforce competitor landed a $100 million funding round from marquee Silicon Valley investors Accel, Sequoia and Google's CapitalG, making it the first enterprise-software unicorn to ever come out of India, according to the company.
Valuation: $1.6 billionTotal raised to date: $280.5 millionYear founded: 2011HQ: Santa Cruz, CA
What it does: Looker is a business intelligence software platform that helps users easily analyze and share real-time business analytics.
Why it's hot: Earlier this month, Looker closed a major funding round of $103 million. It's already one of the top business intelligence platforms on the market despite being only six years old, with major customers including including Sony, Amazon, IBM, Lyft, and Spotify.
Valuation: $1.65 billionTotal raised to date: $325.96 millionYear founded: 2012HQ: Glendale, CA
What it does: Offers software for home repair and home services businesses.
Why it's hot: ServiceTitan raised a whopping $165 million funding round last month from investors like Index Ventures Dragoneer, T. Rowe Price, Battery and Bessemer. That made it the largest software investment round in southern California history, it says.
The company claims 2,500 customers who employ 50,000 technicians and use the software to bill roughly $10 billion worth of services annually.
Valuation: $1.9 billionTotal raised to date: $174.53 millionYear founded: 2012HQ: San Francisco, CA
What it does: HashiCorp is an open source cloud infrastructure automation company.
Why it's hot: HashiCorp is a leader in bringing multi-cloud to everyone's attention — and that's where the industry is going. HashiCorp provides tools to help companies that want to use clouds from multiple vendors, be it Amazon, Microsoft, Google or something else. HashiCorp started as a passion project, but it became so popular and widespread that the creators quit their day jobs to launch a business that's now valued at $1.9 billion after only six years.
Valuation: $2 billionTotal raised to date: $321.25 millionYear founded: 2012HQ: San Francisco
What it does: A payroll, benefits and HR technology platform for small businesses.
Why it's hot: Gusto has been a fast-growing, venture capital darling. In July, it raised another huge round that valued the company at $2 billion. It also hired its first CFO in 2018, hinting that its next financing stop is an IPO, which little birds say could happen in 2019.
Valuation: $2.65 billionTotal raised to date: $309.3 millionYear founded: 2012HQ: San Francisco, CA
What it does: Plaid provides online verification services for financial institutions like banks and stock-trading firms.
Why it's hot: Plaid is an up-and-coming fintech startup that landed a jaw-dropping $250 million funding round led by veteran Kleiner Perkins investor Mary Meeker. Although Plaid didn't pull in the full $3 billion valuation it wanted, the round was still a big vote of confidence, Sources told Business Insider that Plaid was on track to do $70 million in annual revenue and investors have tripled its valuation in a mere six months.
Valuation: $3 billionTotal raised to date: $449.23 millionYear founded: 2005HQ: New York
What it does: UiPath offers artificial intelligence software that helps companies automate tasks.
Why it's hot: UiPath's mantra is to provide “one robot for every person,” which means they promise to double a company’s workforce without hiring more people, shifting people from repetitive tasks to more complex ones.
Founded in Romania before moving to New York, UiPath is a VC darling. It raised two giant rounds in 2018 alone, climbing from a $1.1 billion valuation to $3 billion. It says that its annual revenue run rate has hit $150 million and believes it is the fastest growing enterprise software company in history.
Valuation: $3 billionTotal raised to date: $306.5 millionYear founded: 2003HQ: Carpinteria, CA
What it does: Provides software to manage construction projects.
Why it's hot: Procore is one of the more established companies on this list, with about 1,300 employees and 5,000 customers. But it found its stride with venture investors in the past few years. In 2018, it raised a new $75 million round which valued the company at $3 billion. And rumor has it, next stop is an IPO.
Valuation: $3.95 billionTotal raised to date: $922.95 millionYear founded: 2012HQ: San Mateo, CA
What it does: Snowflake is a cloud-based data warehouse, which lets companies sift through data stored in their favorite cloud to find answers to business questions.
Why it's hot: CEO Bob Muglia rose to fame in the tech industry as a top Microsoft exec. Under Muglia, Snowflake has raised massive amounts of venture funding and, in nine months, doubled its valuation to $3.5 billion.