One company creates Facebook chatbots, another helps you write online wills. Several are trying to make work better—say by tackling performance reviews. These fast-growth cloud startups are the Rising Stars of the Forbes Cloud 100 list, whose early momentum suggest they could become the Stripes and Slacks of tomorrow.
While they can’t match the $450 million in average funding the top 20 companies on the Cloud 100 list claim, the up-and-comers demonstrate impressive sales growth and buzz in the cloud sector. They’re selected in partnership with Bessemer Venture Partners, which evaluates thousands of early-stage tech companies each year. Like many Cloud 100 alumni that have since gone public, more than half of this year’s Rising Stars are based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Others operate centrally in New York City, Atlanta, or Burnaby, Canada—or, in the case of design software company Sketch,100% remotely.
Companies previously identified as Rising Stars have done well. Of the 2018 qualifiers, RedLock was acquired by public cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks for an estimated $173 million, says Pitchbook, and others have announced successful funding rounds in the past year. Among 2016 Rising Stars, Amplitude enters the Cloud 100 for the first time this year, joining other former Rising Stars that made the jump in years past, including Zapier, Cloudinary and Outreach. Three former Rising Stars cracked the top 20 of this year’s Cloud 100: Toast (No. 12), ServiceTitan (No. 14) and Canva (No. 16).
Leading these companies are some young CEOs who are familiar to Forbes, such as 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs list member Jennifer Xia Spradling, cofounder and co-CEO of Freewill, which provides an online will-writing service that makes it easy to donate to charity. Other 30 Under 30 alumni include Jack Altman and Eric Koslow, cofounders of the management software company Lattice, as well as Ryan Sandler and Ethan Winchell, whose startup Truework offers employment and income verification software.
This year’s crop spans multiple industries, from cybersecurity software maker Axonius to marketing with ManyChat, which provides a simple way to create Facebook Messenger chatbots to use for support or e-commerce. Some are designed for developers, like software builder Retool, whereas others are geared toward the everyday user, such as Notion, which bills itself as an all-in-one platform that combines tools like Google Docs, Asana and Confluence.
Despite their young age, the 20 Rising Stars have already demonstrated great success. Automated contracting provider Ironclad boasts a client list that includes FitBit, Glassdoor and Cloud 100 No. 6 company Procore. In years to come, they could break into the Cloud 100 themselves, just as Amplitude did this year.
Check out the full list of Rising Stars below. For the rest of the Cloud 100 package, see here.