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Forbes Predicts The Next Billion Dollar Startups

Front CEO Mathilde Collin. Front is on this year's Forbes list of "Next Billion-Dollar Startups".  

Photo by Cody Glenn/Collision via Sportsfile

Every year, popular media publication Forbes dishes out a list of startups they predict will be the next to hit billion dollar valuations and join some roughly 360 startups that are currently in that position. Forbes has been quite good with its predictions, having predicted billion dollar valuations for many unicorns now widely recognized [to name some; Docker, Tanium, Looker, Outreach, Sonder, Opendoor, Deliveroo, Vlocity, Plaid, Segment, Flexport, DoorDash, AwayLemonade, KeepTruckin and more.

Forbes recently debuted its predictions for this year, selecting some 25 venture-backed startups that it foresees as the next billion dollar startups. The startups selected by Forbes are listed below;

Next Trucking: Next Trucking is an El Segundo, California-based startup that connects shippers and truck carriers in the $800 billion U.S. trucking industry. Next Trucking focuses on drayage [moving goods from ports to warehouses], which is its distinction from similar services like Uber Freight, Convoy, KeepTruckin and Transfix, which focus more on movement of freight from one destination to another.

Next Trucking is backed by VCs like Sequoia Capital, GLP, Brookfield Ventures and more. It raised $97 million earlier this year and is valued at a reported $500 million.

FuboTV: FuboTV is a New York City-based startup known for its sports-focused live TV streaming service. For a starting price of $45 per month, FuboTV users get access to more than 85 sports channels to stream content from. A costlier $50 package comes with more than 100 sports channels.

FuboTV has raised over $150 million in total funding. Its backers include 21st Century Fox, Sky, Univision, Discovery's Scripps Networks Interactive, ex-Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr. and NBA Commissioner David Stern.

Remitly: Remitly's prediction comes easy, given its recent $220 million [equity and debt] raise at a near $1 billion valuation. Remitly is a Seattle-based digital remittance startup that moves more than $6 billion annually between several countries. Using Remitly, persons in some 16 countries can transfer money to persons in 44 countries.

Remitly has grown nearly 100% for each of the past three years. Its backers include Naspers’ PayU, Stripes Group, Bezos Expeditions, Generation Investment Management, and DFJ Venture Capital (now Threshold Ventures).

Remitly co-founder and CEO Matt Oppenheimer

image: RISE on Flickr

Chainalysis: Chainalysis is a New York-based blockchain startup that makes cryptocurrency investigation and compliance software used by regulators, businesses and law enforcement to tackle illicit cryptocurrency activity. Chainalysis has raised some $53 million in funding from investors including Accel and Benchmark. The New York-based startup is led by Michael Gronager, a crypto veteran who cofounded Kraken [a top crypto exchange valued at $4 billion].

Contrast Security: Contrast Security is a Los Altos, California based cybersecurity company that monitors codes within running apps and sends real-time notifications of potential vulnerabilities to developers. Contrast is a pioneer in this field. The Los-Altos based company has raised $122 million in total funding, including a $65 million Series D earlier this year.

Its backers include Microsoft's M12, Battery Ventures, Warburg Pincus, General Catalyst, Acero Capital and more.

Duolingo: Duolingo is a popular language-learning app with 28 million monthly active users that's valued at $700 million. Pittsburgh-based Duolingo is led by Luis von Ahn, a former Carnegie Mellon computer science professor and winner of a 2006 MacArthur “genius” grant. Its backers include Kleiner Perkins, Union Square Ventures, Alphabet's CapitalG, A-Grade Investments and more.

Duolingo co-founder and CEO Luis von Ahn

image: PopTech on Flickr

Duolingo co-founder and CTO Severin Hacker

image: Insider Images/Andrew Kelly for Internet Week New York

FourKites: FourKites is a Chicago-based startup that lets large shippers track their deliveries. The company's customers include Unilever, Best Buy, NestlĂ©, Kraft Heinz, Perdue Foods and more. FourKites has raised $101 million in funding, including a $50 million Series C earlier this year.

Its backers include August Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Hyde Park Angels and more.

Grove Collaborative: Grove Collaborative is an e-commerce company that's carved a niche for itself even in the age of Amazon. The San Francisco-based company sells home essentials like personal care products and cleaning supplies.

Grove Collaborative launched in 2016 and has raised some $213 million in equity funding so far. Its backers include Norwest Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund, NextView Ventures, MHS Capital, Bullpen Capital, Lone Pine Ventures, General Atlantic and more.

RigUp: RigUp is a marketplace for on-demand labor and services for the energy industry. It's based in Texas, a state known for its large petroleum reserves and long connections to the oil industry.

RigUp matches contractors and service providers in the oil industry to companies that require their services. The Austin, Texas-based startup takes a roughly 4% cut from each contract made on its platform. RigUp has raised $94 million in funding, including a $60 million Series C led by Founders Fund earlier this year.

Verkada: Verkada is a San Mateo, California-based video security startup that was recently valued at $540 million. Verkada sells video security systems comprised of a custom camera that comes with up to 120 days of built-in storage and continuous footage that can be backed up in the cloud. The footage from its camera is matched with smart features like object detection and proactive alerting that's triggered when unusual activities occur. In simple terms, Verkada sells video security systems to enterprises.

Verkada's customers include Juul Labs, the city of Memphis and the Newtown Public School District. The video security startup was launched by former CourseRank founders Filip Kaliszan, Benjamin Bercowitz and James Ren alongside Hans Robertson, a cofounder of Meraki [a cloud infrastructure startup acquired by Cisco for $1.2 billion].

(Starting from Left) Verkada founders Filip Kaliszan, James Ren, Benjamin Bercovitz and Hans Robertson

image: Verkada

Front: Front is a collaboration startup known for its shared e-mail inbox targeted at enterprises. Front's e-mail app incorporates Twitter, Facebook, SMS, web chat and more than 50 other apps into one place. It has become popular with enterprises, thanks to several customers including Shopify, Y Combinator, Zesty, HubSpot, General Assembly, MailChimp, Stripe, Cisco Meraki and more. Front is used by more than 5,000 customers in total.

The San Francisco-based startup has raised $79 million in funding, including a $66 million Series B early last year. Its backers include Social Capital, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, DFJ, Sequoia Capital and more.

(Starting from left) Front cofounders Mathilde Collin (CEO) and Laurent Perrin (CTO)

image: Front

Other startups in Forbes' 2019 "Next Billion-Dollar Startups" list are;

Cybereason: cloud-based cybersecurity platform
Dave: expense tracking app
Divvy: payments and expense management platform
Faire: wholesale marketplace
Figma: design collaboration platform
Kong: API management platform
Proxy: smartphone-powered identification platform. Backers include WeWork, Coatue Management, Kleiner Perkins and Coatue Management.
Lattice: human resources software

Lattice co-founders Eric Koslow (left) and Jack Altman. Jack Altman is the brother of Y Combinator chairman Sam Altman

image: Lattice

SignalFx: cloud infrastructure monitoring. Recently raised $75 million.
Synthego: Redwood City, California-based genome engineering startup. Raised $110 million October last year. Backers include Founders Fund, 8VC and Menlo Ventures.
Truepill: delivery fulfillment for online pharmacies. Truepill powers prescription deliveries for online drug retailers like Nurx, Hims, Apostrophe and Lemonaid Health. The global online pharmacy market is forecast to reach $107.5 billion by 2025, up from $42.3 billion in 2018. If Truepill keeps up with this growth, it's poised to capture a significant portion of the prescription delivery fulfillment market.
Rothy's: women's footwear brand. Makes 3D knitted shoes from recycled plastic water bottles and other recyclable materials. Rothy's sold more than $140 million worth of shoes last year. Backers include Goldman Sachs and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Redis Labs: database platform built on NoSQL, an alternative data compiling method that's faster than conventional models. Mountain View, California-based Redis Labs has raised $147 million in total funding, including a $60 million Series E earlier this year.

Redis Labs co-founders Yiftach Shoolman, CTO (left) and Ofer Bengal (CEO)

image: Redis Labs

Patreon: membership platform for artists and creators. Patreon works with more than 50,000 creators and expects to pay out more than $1 billion to its users by 2019.


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