When it comes to technology companies, San Diego has long been known for its giants. But the region has a crop of young — and fast-growing — startups on the rise.
The companies listed below are some of the most valuable startups in the county. All are less than 10 years old, and operate in software, hardware or computing. The companies have also grown so quickly that they needed to take money from venture capitalists to support expansion and hiring.
This list was culled from data sources including Pitchbook, CB Insights and Moneytree data, with help from Pricewaterhouse Coopers. It includes the most valuable startups in the region according to post-money valuations from venture capital deals over the past 10 years.
This list, however, is not exhaustive. Valuations for private companies are often not shared to these platforms, and some valuable tech startups never raise venture capital at all. Take video game company Psyonix, based in downtown San Diego. That company was raking in over $100 million in revenue as of 2016, but that venture was bootstrapped by the founders — never taking a dollar from investors.
Still, these companies should be on your radar as some of the fastest-growing tech firms in the city, and some of the most active startup employers.
Human Longevity — $1.9 billion
Number of employees: 150
Human Longevity caught national limelight for raising over $300 million from venture capitalists to build the world’s biggest database of human genetic data. The company plays between the worlds of healthcare and technology, using advanced computing and software to try and make sense of the enormous data sets stored inside DNA. The hope is to cull insights from mass amounts of genetic information to better learn how to fight diseases tied to aging.
The company’s notable founder J. Craig Venter, the San Diego genetic researcher whose drive and insight sped the sequencing of the human genome, abruptly departed from Human Longevity earlier this year and an ugly lawsuit quickly followed. Although publicly rocked by the leadership changes, the company remains the most valuable tech startup in the city.
Tealium — $286 million
Number of employees: 375
This local tech company writes tracking software that helps companies advertise to — and ultimately drive purchases from — consumers. Tealium started out helping its enterprise clients manage “tags,” the snippets of code embedded in web pages that tell developers if you’ve visited a page or opened an email. In recent years, the company has expanded to help its clients track customers through affiliate marketing, display advertising, online search and social media, and to target market segments with specific product offers.
In 2016, Tealium raised $35 million in venture capital.
Brain Corp — $250 million
Number of employees: 200
The brainchild of computational neuroscientists, this startup is building AI software behind blue collar robots. Brain Corp makes advanced vision technology that helps robots get around, tailoring their software to machines that operate in fulfillment centers, large retailers, airports and other indoor locations. One of the company’s products — EMMA (Enabling Mobile Machine Automation) — is a floor scrubbing bot that packs sensors, cameras, 4G LTE connectivity, and routing algorithms that allow it to learn its way around a store quickly. It has been tested in Jimbo’s grocery stores around San Diego.
In 2017, the company raised $114 million led by Softbank’s Vision Fund and with participation from Qualcomm Ventures.
Seismic — $180 million
Number of employees: 500
From five guys working out of a basement in Solana Beach to a multimillion-dollar tech company employing hundreds, Seismic is one of San Diego’s most successful pure-software companies. Like San Francisco’s tech unicorn Salesforce, Seismic is serving the sales teams of massive corporations. The company makes a suite of software tools that help big teams communicate, get trained and store pitch materials, among other features. The company’s clients include titans of industry such as General Electric and TIAA, a multibillion-dollar financial services firm.
Seismic just acquired its biggest competitor — Savo Group — this summer, bulking up its staff and client base. By the year’s end, Seismic is now expected to pull in over $100 million in revenue.
Classy — $150 million
Number of employees: 230
Founded by a group of spirited young socialites, Classy’s first iteration was an events company that would host pub crawls and other social gatherings to raise money for nonprofits and charities. For fun, the founders named the company Stay Classy as a nod to the 2004 comedy Anchorman, in which Will Ferrell’s character memorably signs off his broadcasts with, “You stay classy, San Diego.”
As the events business grew, the founders recognized a greater need to serve the nonprofit sector with fundraising technology and relaunched in 2011 as Classy. The startup makes software that helps nonprofits raise money online, and in recent years, it’s landed some big names in charity like The Salvation Army, among its 4,000 clients. The startup just celebrated a milestone of helping nonprofits raise a collective $1 billion through the Classy platform.
This article provided by NewsEdge.