Our ranking of the highest valued tech startups
These days it seems like there’s a tech startup with a product or service for everything. Whether you want your groceries delivered or need a ride home after a night out, you can download an app and make it happen. Tech startups are big business, so it’s no surprise they’re worth a ton of cash. We’ve rounded up some of the most valuable tech startups in the United States, and they are all worth over $1 billion. Even though many of these companies have yet to turn a profit, they have all become household names and changed the way we do things. Can you guess what the highest valued startup will be?
If you listen to podcasts on a regular basis, you’ve definitely heard your favorite host sing the praises of a Casper mattress during a commercial break. For the uninitiated, Casper is a mattress company that sells directly to consumers so they can offer high-quality mattresses at lower prices than the typical mattress superstore.
Casper’s marketing and sales techniques have the company resting easy on a pile of money. Casper was recently valued at $1.1 billion. The company isn’t making profits yet, but they expect to turn that corner later this year. They also opened a brick and mortar Casper store in 2018 and have discussed plans to open many more soon.
NEXT: This company connects regular folks with professionals in over 1,000 types of services.
Whether you need a plumber, a wedding photographer, or a violin teacher, you can find a professional to help you out on Thumbtack. Basically, Thumbtack helps you quickly and easily connect with a skilled pro, and it helps independent contractors grow their businesses. Thumbtack was founded in 2009.
Thumbtack founder Marco Zappacosta raised his first round of funding with help from friends and family, which was likely helped by the fact that his parents founded the computer accessory company Logitech. In the decade since his first round, Thumbtack has grown to a $1.2 billion valuation and has over 10 million users.
NEXT: This tech startup is connecting people in over 200,000 neighborhoods in a brand new way.
Part social network, part marketplace, and part neighborhood watch, Nextdoor is a place where you can connect with neighbors, share safety concerns, and maybe even sell that old sofa you’ve been meaning to get rid of. Unlike other social networks, Nextdoor actually verifies where users live, so you can be sure you’re sharing with people who are really part of your community.
Nextdoor was founded in 2008, and today it is worth $1.5 billion. Nextdoor hasn’t publicly disclosed whether or not they are profitable, but it’s clear that their database of information on real peoples’ interests and where they live is invaluable to advertisers.
NEXT: This website-building tech startup has also built itself a pretty high valuation.
Building a website used to take a lot of time and the ability to code. Thanks to tech startups like Squarespace, it’s easier than ever to get a website live on the World Wide Web. Using Squarespace’s service, it’s simple and fast to set up a new website. They offer a variety of designs and you can even set up a custom domain name through the service.
It turns out that making website construction easy is an idea worth $1.7 billion. Unlike many other so-called unicorn startups worth a billion or more, Squarespace makes money too. In 2017 they posted $300 million in profits.
NEXT: This tech startup generates a lot of buzz, but is it worth it?
Buzzfeed is a digital-native media company specializing in viral news, entertainment, interactive quizzes, and headlines designed to make you want to click them. Buzzfeed was founded in 2006, and thanks to their ability to find and share viral content they average over 100 million unique visitors every month.
Buzzfeed made about $300 million in revenue in 2018, and they have been valued at $1.7 billion. However, despite these numbers, they laid off 15% of their staff in early 2019 in an effort to reduce their costs. The layoffs at Buzzfeed sparked fears for trouble ahead in the news industry, but only time will tell if Buzzfeed is really built to last.
NEXT: Genetic testing has been making headlines, but is it also making money?
Named for the 23 chromosome pairs in most human cells, 23andMe offers a pretty unique service. From home, you can take a sample of DNA from your mouth and send it to one of their processing centers. 23andMe then runs genetic testing on your DNA to determine your ancestry and if you are carrying genes associated with diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and celiac diseases.
The company has been valued at $1.7 billion and recently began a $300 million partnership with drug company GlaxoSmithKline to develop new treatments for Parkinson’s. It seems genetic testing could hold the keys to the future of healthcare, and 23andMe is poised to reap the rewards for their research.
NEXT: This company is shaking up the way we get our eyeglasses.
24. Warby Parker
Purveyor of hipster eyeglasses Warby Parker has succeeded thanks to a very innovative model. Instead of having to go into a store to try on new glasses, Warby Parker sends customers frames to try on at home in the mail. Combining a great selection of stylish frames with the convenience of online shopping has helped Warby Parker carve out a special niche for themselves.
With talk of an app that can test user’s eyes, thereby cutting out the eye doctor, Warby Parker seems to be on the verge of making shopping for glasses even easier. The company is valued at $1.7 billion and there are rumors that a public offering may be on the way very soon.
NEXT: About 2 million small businesses rely on this tech company for their legal needs.
Nobody likes filing legal paperwork, but LegalZoom is a tech startup that hopes to take some of the pain out of the process. With LegalZoom, users can register their business, create wills and living trusts, and handle other types of legal processes without having to go out and hire a lawyer. LegalZoom is profitable too, with profit margins above 20%.
LegalZoom owes part of their success to international markets. In 2015, they started offering legal services in the U.K., and they plan to expand into Europe and Australia. The company is currently valued at $2 billion. Not having to deal with lawyers, however, is priceless.
NEXT: Let’s take a scooter down to the next highest valued tech company.
If you live in a metropolitan area, you’ve seen Lime’s bikes and scooters appear overnight on sidewalks and curbs. Lime is a micromobility company specializing in offering quick rentals of electric scooters and bikes to help folks make short trips around the city more easily. Just download the app, enter your payment information, and you’re ready to grab a scooter off the sidewalk and go.
Although there have been safety concerns and some controversy about the company’s strategy of dropping scooters off unannounced into cities, Lime’s service is still quite popular with young people in urban areas. Currently, Lime is valued at $2.4 billion.
NEXT: This lo-fi looking website has high tech cash.
Reddit looks more like a message board from the Internet’s infancy than a hot, new startup, but that lo-fi vibe is actually a big part of Reddit’s success. Unlike many social networking sites that now require users to reveal their real names, Reddit users can remain anonymous as they chat on subreddits about everything from politics to Marvel movies and even gardening.
Though Reddit at one time had a reputation as a haven for trolls and online hate, the company has taken actions recently to give users more power to report and shut down bad behavior. Cleaning up the site has drawn in more users and advertisers, boosting Reddit’s value to $3 billion.
NEXT: This tech startup can help you check your credit and then some.
20. Credit Karma
Credit Karma aims to do more than the many other websites that allow you to check your credit report for free. In addition to providing credit reports from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, Credit Karma offers tax services, credit services, and advice on raising your credit score. These extra services make Credit Karma more of a personal finance company than just a credit score checker.
As our credit information becomes increasingly important, services like Credit Karma are likely to see more interest. For now, Credit Karma is doing quite well for themselves with a valuation at $4 billion. They must have really good karma.
NEXT: The name of this company might be unfamiliar, but their augmented reality mobile games have taken the world by storm.
Does Niantic ring a bell? The company behind the technology that brought you Pokemon Go began inside of Google in 2010, but they have spun off into their own space. Using augmented reality technology, Niantic creates games like Pokemon Go and the upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite that bring mobile gameplay into a totally new dimension: the real world.
Since Niantic released Pokemon Go in 2016, it has been downloaded over 800 million times. With a Harry Potter game on the way, we’re betting that Niantic will soon need a vault at Gringotts to hold all their gold. Niantic is currently valued at $4 billion.
NEXT: This company offers a high tech solution to a low tech problem: getting a good workout.
Techies who love to get their sweat on are obsessed with Peloton. This company gave the home stationary bike a futuristic makeover by adding streaming live and on-demand spin classes to the bike, as well as heart rate monitors and other fancy features. The Peloton doesn’t come cheap. Their most basic package starts at $2,245.
To get access to Peloton’s streaming classes, subscribers also pay a $39 monthly fee. By supplying bikes and hardware plus a subscription service, Peloton has managed to post significant profits. Presently, Peloton is valued at $4.2 billion, and it looks like they’re pedaling their way to even more money in the future.
NEXT: Student loans and mortgages might make you feel like breaking out in hives, but this highly valued startup wants to change that.
Student loan debt is a common financial woe for many Americans. This type of debt can linger forever and prevent young people from buying homes, having kids, and making other big purchases. SoFi is a fintech company that hopes to alleviate some of this pain by offering student loan refinancing online.
SoFi is also in the business of offering personal loans and mortgage services, acting as a one-stop shop with the goal of helping its users achieve financial independence. SoFi has also begun offering EFTs, or electronically traded funds, with low fees to make it easier for lower and middle-income people to start investing. Focusing on personal finance has been good for SoFi’s finances too. The company is valued at $4.4 billion.
NEXT: When it comes to making money, this tech company isn’t playing games.
Formerly known as Machine Zone, the game company MZ is perhaps best known for its mobile massively multiplayer Game of War. Game of War is a strategy-based online war game where players can interact with other players all over the world. Game of War has run big ad campaigns, including a 2015 Super Bowl ad starring Kate Upton.
MZ is also behind Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire and Mobile Strike. MZ has succeeded where other apps like Farmville have failed by avoiding asking users to spam their friends and instead making sure that gameplay is truly fun and collaborative. As a result, MZ is valued at $5 billion. That’s a lot of cash to play with.
NEXT: It doesn’t rob from the rich and give to the poor, but this app might help lower income people grow their wealth.
Traditionally, getting started as an investor has required a healthy nest egg to play with. However, many Americans don’t even have savings, so they can’t crack into the investing market. Robinhood offers a new path for anyone interested in beginning to grow their wealth. Instead of requiring a big lump sum to start, Robinhood investors can start investing online with any amount they choose.
Robinhood also offers free trading and low fees. Although they had some regulatory problems when they attempted to add checking and savings accounts to their service, Robinhood is still going strong. The site has over 6 million users and a valuation of $5.6 billion.
NEXT: Getting hungry? Let’s order in some takeout using this app.
Founded in 2013, DoorDash makes it easier than ever to get tasty food delivered right to your door. DoorDash and their competitors like GrubHub, Postmates, and Uber Eats rely on independent contractors to deliver food from restaurants to hungry customers. The apps use location data from drivers’ phones to match them to the closest orders, ensuring hot food and happy users.
DoorDash has also added Walmart as a partner, allowing them to offer grocery delivery services. The ability to deliver more than just pizzas has given them a leg up on the competition. DoorDash is currently valued at $7.1 billion.
NEXT: 50,000 people use this tech startup to get their groceries delivered.
We’ve seen that DoorDash is getting into the grocery delivery business, and they aren’t the only ones. Big names like Amazon are now also offering grocery delivery, but Instacart was one of the first startups solely devoted to making sure you never run out of toilet paper or other home staples again. Instacart has succeeded by partnering with the grocery stores its personal shoppers frequent.
Instacart has partnerships with chains like Costco, Wegmans, and Safeway that allow them to offer their service to 70% of American households. This reach and the convenience of grocery delivery has allowed Instacart to bag up a $7.9 billion valuation.
NEXT: This hot startup is betting on bitcoin.
First of all, what the heck is bitcoin? To put it simply, bitcoin is an electronic currency that does not rely on a centralized banking system. Bitcoin users are able to conduct anonymous, untraceable transactions. Bitcoin is created using an algorithm, by way of a computerized process known as bitcoin mining.
Bitcoin has been tremendously popular in recent years as its value has gone up. Although some experts believe bitcoin is a bubble, Coinbase has built their business as a digital currency exchange, allowing people to buy, sell, and trade bitcoin. So far Coinbase has been very profitable, and the company is valued at $8.1 billion.
NEXT: This big name startup hopes you’ll put a pin in it.
Pinterest is a different kind of social media platform. Instead of centering on user-generated content, Pinterest provides a place for users to “pin”, share, and save interesting things they find all over the web. Pinterest is a haven for recipes, crafts, wedding ideas, and more. Due to its highly visually engaging interface, Pinterest is also popular among artists and designers.
Serving up social media that relies on what you’re interested in rather than who you are has turned out to be a great strategy for Pinterest. Although Pinterest isn’t profitable yet, there are rumors that they will soon go public. The company is currently valued at $10 billion.
NEXT: It’s time to start counting down the top ten highest valued startups. Can you guess what will be next?
10. Epic Games
Epic Games has created some truly epic games, like Gears of War and Infinity Blade. However, their most recent game has become a smash hit with mobile and PC gamers alike. That’s right, Epic Games is the studio behind the juggernaut Fortnite. In less than a year, Fortnite has attracted 125 million players, making Epic Games a very hot startup to watch.
One reason Epic Games has done so well with Fortnite is how accessible they have made the game. Players can join the fun on iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch, or their computer. Thanks to this widespread availability, Epic Games’ valuation has climbed to $15 billion.
NEXT: Everyone’s talking about how much this workplace chat app is worth.
We’re not going to lie, we’re big fans of Slack. Using Slack actually does make keeping up with workplace conversations a little more fun. Unlike email, Slack lets you divide your communications easily into different channels and groups, making it simpler to find information again later. Plus, with Giphy’s GIF integration and emojis, you can make even the most mundane follow up message a little more fun.
Slack isn’t slacking in the financial department either. The company has recently been valued at $16 billion. Slack is expected to go public on the New York Stock Exchange later this year, and it could be valued even higher.
NEXT: You might not know this company’s name, but if you shop online you’ve probably used their service.
Stripe is an online payment processor that serves thousands of different online businesses. With high profile clients like Target, Amazon, Google, and Uber, we’re willing to bet you’ve used Stripe before without even realizing it. As online shopping continues to grow in popularity, Stripe is poised to continue to make gains by processing more payments and attracting more businesses.
Stripe has some big shot investors betting on them too, like Elon Musk and Google’s venture capital arm Capital G. The company is currently valued at $22.5 billion. Next time you pay for something online, you should probably thank Stripe for making it so easy.
NEXT: This rideshare app mustache you a question.
Although Lyft retired their pink mustache logo in 2016, the company still projects a more fun-loving and youthful attitude than their biggest competitor Uber. Lyft was founded in 2012 and like Uber it allows you to hail a ride with just a few taps of an app. Although Lyft and Uber offer similar service, drivers report earning much more working for Lyft.
Additionally, Lyft doesn’t charge as much as Uber for rides during busy times, making Lyft a more attractive option if you’re trying to keep spending down. Although Uber has a higher valuation, Lyft is still doing well and valued at $24 billion.
NEXT: Get ready to blast off with this high-value startup!
Founded in 2002, SpaceX exists to build rockets and someday offer private space travel to tourists who want to get out of this world. Founder and CEO Elon Musk recently added some even more grandiose ambitions to the SpaceX agenda. SpaceX is currently working on building something called Starlink, which will be the largest and most efficient wireless broadband satellite system ever if completed.
Space travel and satellites don’t come cheap, even if your name is Elon. SpaceX recently raised another $500 million to fund their projects. The company is currently valued at $30.5 billion, and its profitability is unknown.
NEXT: Let’s head into the top five highest valued startups with a little bit of travel.
By allowing regular people to rent out their homes for a night or two, Airbnb completely shook up the hotel industry. Instead of spending their vacations sleeping in dull hotel rooms, Airbnb users love that the platform can help them find unique lodgings and experience more of what it’s really like to live in a different city.
Airbnb is currently exploring plans to branch out beyond just offering a place to stay. They have partnered with startups like Resy and Experience to help vacationers make reservations at hot local restaurants or book tours. At the moment, Airbnb is valued at $31 billion.
NEXT: This startup wants cigarettes to go up in a vape cloud.
Juul’s e-cigarettes and accompanying clouds of vapor may have been originally intended to help people stop smoking cigarettes, but they have become an addiction all their own. Juuls are aluminum battery packs that hold cartridges of nicotine that may be plain or flavored. Vaping with a Juul is more appealing than smoking to many, especially young people, because it is seen as healthier and cleaner.
While it’s true that vape users won’t smell as bad as traditional smokers, there is evidence to suggest that vaping still comes with health risks. Nevertheless, Juul continues to be popular and the company is currently valued at $38 billion.
NEXT: Are you ready for the top three highest-valued tech startups?
For years, Palantir has been among the most valuable startups, but it has never made a profit. Palantir is a software company specializing in big data analytics. The United States Department of Defense uses their software for counterterrorism analytics, and they have corporate clients like Morgan Stanley and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
Police departments in New York, Los Angeles, and New Orleans have also used Palantir to identify suspects. Palantir remains very secretive about their data mining operations, but one thing about Palantir is no secret at all. With a valuation at $41 billion, it’s the third highest valued tech startup around.
NEXT: There’s nothing wee about this company.
2. The We Company
Formerly known as WeWork, The We Company aims to offer a broad range of services. As WeWork, the company provided coworking spaces for companies, entrepreneurs, and freelancers not content with traditional office space models. Now, newly rebranded as The We Company, they hope to take what they have learned about working spaces and apply it to other parts of life.
The We Company has plans to add a WeGrow division dedicated to learning, WeLive for residential space, and perhaps even banking or sailing somewhere down the road. The We Company is valued at $47 billion and they appear to be on the verge of a public offering.
NEXT: You made it! Here comes the highest valued startup. What do you think it is?
Coming in at the top spot we have Uber. Though Uber is known for their ride-sharing app, that’s not all they do. Uber is also in the food delivery business with Uber Eats, and they have hopped on the micromobility trend with Jump Bikes. Even though Uber is at the top of the heap in terms of its valuation, the company is actually not profitable.
In 2018, Uber reported $3 billion in losses. Still, their value has continued to climb. Uber is currently valued at $83.8 billion. Must be nice to make money like that while still losing billions.