51 enterprise startups to bet your career on in 2018

These 51 venture-backed companies have all the earmarks of success for 2018 and beyond.

For those thinking of moving on to a new job at an up-and-coming young company, we've compiled this list to help.

All of these companies are "enterprise" startups, meaning they specialize in making tech for work and business use, a massive $3.7 trillion worldwide market. And all of them achieved milestones in 2017, setting themselves up for a successful 2018 and beyond.

We looked for one or more of the following elements: promising technology, healthy partnerships, experienced leadership and adequate funding. In other words, these companies have all the markings of long-term hits, or those likely to be snapped up by a bigger player for a hefty sum when the time is right.

Zapier: The plumbing that connects the internet

Name: ZapierHeadquarters: NoneFunding to date: $1.3 million, otherwise profitable and self-funded

Zapier, which makes tools for connecting business software to other business software, is somewhat of an anomaly on this list.

It took a meager $1.3 million seed round when it was founded in 2012, but Zapier hasn't touched another dime of investor money since. That's because it's been profitable since 2014, and hit a $20 million annualized run rate by 2017.

On top of that, Zapier doesn't have a headquarters. Instead, its team of around 85 people is entirely remote, working from their own homes all over the globe. Earlier this year, Zapier made headlines when it announced it would actually pay $10,000 in moving expenses for employees to the opposite of how it normally works.

Maybe it's no coincidence that "Zapier" rhymes with "happier."

Smyte: Bringing Facebook's trust and safety features to a broader audience

Smyte is the trust and safety feature startup you've never heard of but definitely want to have on your side.

Despite being just two years old, and early in its fundraising, Smyte has already landed customers like Indiegogo, GoFundMe, Medium, and Task Rabbit, who all have used its machine learning technology to catch everything from e-commerce fraud to space, scams, bots and harassers.

The company's success can be attributed in part to its all-star cast of tech veterans. The founding trio has resumes from Facebook, Instagram and Google.

Cofounder CEO

Fetch Robotics: Creating the warehouse robots of tomorrow

Fetch is a leader in what's known as "warehouse optimization" which attempts to create the perfect mix of human and robotic workers, each doing what they do best to make warehouses as efficient as possible.

There's never been a bigger need for Fetch's robots. As online retailers takeover the role of brick and mortar storefronts, companies face new challenges in quickly getting products out the door.

Fetch specializes in autonomous warehouse technology that works with humans to move cargo around quickly. It's like autonomous vehicles for moving boxes.

Fetch's CEO Melonee Wise, who joined in 2014, is a legend in the robotics industry. She was an early employee at Willow Garage, a now-defunct startup that helped launch the current renaissance in robotics.

SnapRoute: Tiny startup taking on the networking giants

Company name: SnapRoute Headquarters: Palo Alto, California Funding to date:$25 million in 1 round

SnapRoute is a startup created by Apple's former data center networking team. It makes software that helps corporate networks run faster and more reliably. It was born out of the pain of building a network that never went down for Apple’s huge internet services like iTunes, iCloud, Siri, and the App Store.

SnapRoute seemed to come from nowhere last year to take the computer network world by storm. Its network software is doing particularly well with Facebook's growing family of open source network products, part of Facebook's popular Open Compute Project.

Kong: Breaking up tech's big monoliths

Name: KongHeadquarters: San FranciscoFunding to date:$26.1 million in 4 rounds

At the start of 2017, Kong was known as "Mashape" but it renamed itself after the popular open source software developer tool it created called Kong.

Kong is at the forefront of the "microservices" movement. Instead of building one massive piece of software, like the old incumbents do, with "microservices" software is broken up into lots of little, tiny applications. The advantage is that you can then improve, swap out, or simply delete little pieces of your app as you go, without needing to dismantle the whole system.

Earlier this year, Kong raised $18 million from Andreessen Horowitz led by computer networking legend Martin Casado, and announced that it was cash-flow positive.

That's a far cry from CEO Augusto Marietti's days of crashing on Travis Kalanick's couch while he got the company off the ground.

Shippo: Helping ecommerce sites ship their products off

Shippo helps ecommerce businesses deal with how to ship the purchase to the customer. The app can already be found across e-commerce sites like eBay and Etsy.

Shippo lets e-commerce sites offer shipping from any parcel service you can think of, which lets the customers easily weigh the benefits of cost versus speed.

Though still in its early days, the 3.5 year old and 60-person company is growing.

Run by 25-year-old German transplant Laura Behrens Wu, Shippo announced $20 million in funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners in October. It plans to use those funds to build out its team and make a mark on the international shipping world.

Gigster: Helping programmers find their next gig

Name: GigsterHeadquarters: San FranciscoFunding to date: $32.5 million in 4 rounds

Gigster's pitch is simple: If you're a hotshot programmer, designer, or product manager, Gigster is a platform to hook you up with high-paying freelance gigs, so you can make a Google- or Facebook-level salary while working remotely.

In 2017, Gigster raised a $20 million round of funding that included participation from Redpoint, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, and basketball legend Michael Jordan.

Heptio: Spreading a better way to build software

Name: HeptioHeadquarters: SeattleFunding to date: $33.5 million in 2 rounds

Over the last year or two, a Google-created technology called Kubernetes has taken Silicon Valley by storm. It lets programmers take advantage of the same principles that Google uses to manage its tremendous, world-spanning data center infrastructure.

Heptio was founded by Craig McLuckie and Joe Beda, two of the three developers who created Kubernetes at Google (the third, Brendan Burns, is now a distinguished engineer at Microsoft). The company is taking Kubernetes and making it easier-to-use and more secure for the largest of enterprises.

Ripcord: Making gigantic paper-shredding and scanning robots

Name: Ripcord Headquarters: Hayward, CaliforniaFunding to date: $34.5 million in 2 rounds

Ripcord CEO Alex Fielding started his career in 1996 when he joined Apple at age 18 to work on the iMac under the just-returned Steve Jobs. Since then, he's started or advised a long string of startups, including a stint as a co-founder with Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak himself.

Now, his current company Ripcord is building and r

NGINX: Serving up the most popular websites

Name: NGINX Headquarters: San FranciscoFunding to date: $41 million in 4 rounds

NGINX (pronounced 'Engine-X') is one of the startups that secretly runs the internet, with a majority of the million most popular websites in the world relying on the company's core web server technology. Even Business Insider uses NGINX, making it possible for you to read this article.

This year, NGINX went beyond websites, building tools to help application developers use the NGINX technology to reach mass audiences. It's a whole new market, and NGINX is starting with the advantage of already being very popular.

G2: Reviews for enterprise software

Company name: G2 Headquarters: Chicago Funding to date:$45 million in 5 rounds

G2 is a crowdsourced review site for enterprise software, helping IT professionals find software for their businesses based on the recommendations of other users. The site hosts 250,000 reviews and 1 million visitors a month, the company says.

Its cofounders hail from the enterprise software world. Chairman Godard Abel came from Steelbrick, bought by Salesforce, and CEO Tim Handorf was formerly an exec at Big Machines, acquired by Oracle.

In 2017, G2 landed a $30 million investment led by Accel. It’s also backed by LinkedIn.

GitLab: Helping programmers work together

Name: GitLabHeadquarters: None (all employees work remotely)Funding to date: $45.6 million in 5 rounds

chief rivals to $2 billion Silicon Valley darling GitHub, and $8.8 billion Atlassian's popular BitBucket product.

It's been an eventful year for GitLab: Back in February,employee error led to an overnight outage. However, the company ultimately won praise for the transparency with which it addressed the outage, keeping users appraised via a stream of detailed updates.

And GitLab turned things around by year's end, raising a $20 million round led by GV, formerly known as Google Ventures.

Auth0: Turning heads in Seattle by managing logins

Company name: Auth0 Headquarters: Bellvue, Washington Funding to date:$54.3 million in 4 rounds

Auth0 is a hot Seattle-area startup that helps companies manage passwords for employees, and helps developers manage the password/login process for their customers.

In its nearly five years of existence, Autho has amassed a solid list of customers including PBS, HarperCollins, AMD, AeroMexico. Over 2,000 enterprise customers use the product for 42 million logins a day in 70 countries, the company says.

recently landed on Hired’s list of the Top 10 employers in Seattle.

Skydio: Guiding drones and flying high

Company name:Headquarters:Funding:$56 million

CrowdFlower: At the intersection of smart machines and humans

Company name: CrowdFlower Headquarters: San Francisco Funding to date:$58 million in 6 rounds

CrowdFlower makes a technology that helps machine learning/AI apps learn what they are supposed to do and lets them hand a task off to a human when they need to, too.

It has landed a considerable number of customers in the tech industry such as Autodesk, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Cisco, Github, Mozilla, VMware and others.

And that means if you've bought something on eBay, searched a home improvement store's website, listened to music on Spotify, or watched a video on YouTube, you've come in contact with CrowdFlower founder Lukas Biewald tells us.

CrowdFlower also has some star investors including Microsoft Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Bessemer, Peter Thiel’s Founder Fund and angels like Travis Kalanick.

Outreach: A fast $10 million in revenue

Company name: Outreach Headquarters: Seattle Funding to date:$60 million in 6 rounds

It's usually a kiss-of-death sign when a startup "pivots," or ditches its original idea and does something else. But not for Outreach. It initially launched as as a maker HR recruiting software. But when the team built some software to help their tiny sales team get more leads, that tool worked so well that all their would-be customers wanted it.

And that’s how Outreach accidentally found its true calling, selling marketing automation software. It’s been growing fast ever since, hitting annual recurring revenue of about $10 million in 2016, Medina told Business Insider. That's just two years after its sales automation product was released.

Cofounder CEO Manny Medina got his start as an early employee at Amazon Web Services, moving onto Microsoft. A cheerful guy, he fist-bumps every employee every morning when he arrives to work.

Stack Overflow: Helping programmers help themselves

Name: Stack OverflowHeadquarters: New YorkFunding to date: $68 million in 4 rounds

Millions of programmers rely on Stack Overflow, the question-and-answer site for the tech industry, to do their jobs. So much so, that it's become something of an industry in-joke.

It doesn't matter which programming language you're using, what kind of software you're trying to make, or where in the world you're located: if you have a question, one of Stack Overflow's 50 million monthly visitors likely has an answer. That's made Stack Overflow the premiere place for programmers to socialize and discuss important issues.

Stack Overflow has big plans, too: While programming Q&A is still its bread-and-butter, its network of sites now includes subsections for everything from art to relationships.

It's made big moves into helping programmers find the perfect job, while also providing companies with a private version of the site just for its employees.

Rigetti Computing: Taking on the giants in quantum computing

Company name: Rigetti Computing Headquarters: Berkeley, California Funding to date:$69.5 million in 6 rounds

Silicon Valley startups love to talk about how they are trying to “solve hard problems."

But Rigetti Computing really is working on a ridiculously hard thing: ushering in a whole new kind of computer, known as quantum computing. It’s building the quantum computer chips and software needed to build one in the cloud.

Where ordinary computers use binary switches that have two states, on or off, quantum switches have three: on, off or both at the same time. This is tech that’s so out-there even Bill Gates admits he doesn’t really understand it.

Quantum computing promises to create vastly more powerful computers and, for the most part, it is being tackled by universities working with giant corporations with huge R&D budgets, like Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft.

It takes a bit of chutzpah for a startup to being in there competing. Rigetti has at least one true believer, A-list VC Andreessen Horowitz, who has invested nearly $70 million so far.

Rigetti is named for its founder, CEO Chad Rigetti, who is better known in the Valley as the husband of Uber whistleblower Susan Fowler.

Lever: Helping companies hire the right people, at the right time

Name: LeverHeadquarters: San FranciscoFunding to date: $72.8 million in 5 rounds

Lever, founded by former Googlers, is designed to make it easier for companies to hire top talent. It provides a set of tools to help hiring managers figure out the best times and ways to get in touch with candidates, and who the best person might be to make the initial introductions.

In the summer of 2017, Lever closed a $30 million round of funding, with plans to double down on advancing the "art and science" of hiring.

HackerOne: Paying hackers to do good, not evil

Name: HackerOneHeadquarters: San FranciscoFunding to date: $74 million in 3 rounds

Convoy: Taking on shipping with a who's who of billionaires

Company name: Convoy Headquarters: Seattle Funding to date:$80.5 million in 3 rounds

Convoy is a matchmaking service for the trucking industry that matches those who need to ship products with regional trucking companies. It lets them book the trucks online with an upfront price.

Cofounder and CEO Dan Lewis hails from Amazon, where he was previously the general manager of new shopping experiences (and he cut his teeth at Microsoft before that).

Convoy has attracted a who’s who of investors including Greylock Partners Reid Hoffman (who is on his board), Jeff Bezos’ investment company Bezos Expeditions, IAC’s Barry Diller, Salesforce’s Marc Benioff and Y Combinator.

Segment: Competing with Salesforce with the blessing of Twitter's former COO

Company name: Segment

Segment is looking to take on Salesforce in the marketing space with a platform that lets companies track and consolidate customer data.

And it just might succeed thanks to the entrepreneurial chops of Peter Reinhardt, a 27-year-old MIT dropout who launched Segment through the Y Combinator incubator in 2011.

Skytap: Prepping for its IPO while fighting off competition from AWS

Company name: Headquarters: Funding: $109.5 million

Smartsheet: Inching toward unicorn status one shared document at a time

Company name: Headquarters: Funding: $120.5 million

Mesosphere: An operating system for the world's biggest systems

Name: MesosphereHeadquarters: San FranciscoFunding to date: $122.3 million in 4 rounds

Mesosphere is the proprietor of DC/OS, short for the "data center operating system." As the name implies, this is software that lashes together tons of servers into one big computing cluster, making it easier to add and update software, even at huge scales.

It has investors like Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Andreessen Horowitz, and Microsoft. In 2015, it was reported that Mesosphere had turned down an acquisition offer from Microsoft.

Two years later, it's thriving as an independent business: Mesosphere recently told Business Insider that it was on a $50 million annualized revenue run rate, helping it get closer to the break-even point.

Pindrop: Security for the next big thing in computing

Name: PindropHeadquarters: Atlanta, GeorgiaFunding to date: $122.8 million in 4 rounds

The world is changing, as devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home show, and your voice could be the next major way you work with computers.

Pindrop is a fraud detection and security startup that can analyze your voice, even over the phone, and decide if you are who you say you are. Banks and insurance carriers are already adopting Pindrop's tech so customers don't have to enter PIN codes or remember passwords just to authenticate with the system.

Earlier in 2017, Pindrop took on legendary Cisco executive chairman John Chambers as an investor and member of the board. Simultaneously, Pindrop announced that Marc Andreessen will be serving as a board observer at Pindrop, with Andreessen Horowitz's Martin Casado joining the board, too.

C3 IoT: Hot tech and a famous CEO

Company name: C3 IoTHeadquarters: Redwood City, CaliforniaFunding to date:$143 million in 5 rounds

C3 IoT has a whole bunch of things going for it that are harbingers of success. For one, it offers tech, in the form of a cloud service, for the hot up-and-coming areas of Internet of Things and AI apps.

For another, it has a famous CEO, Tom Siebel. He built a hugely successful enterprise company called Siebel Systems back in the day, bought by Oracle for $5.85 billion in 2006. Plus, has people like Condolezza Rice and well-known investor Jim Breyers on its board.

Such star power has helped it raise nearly $143 million from investors who value it at $1.4 billion, according to Pitchbook.

Zoom: Simplifying video conferences for better meetings

ThoughtSpot: Making every employee the smartest person in the room

Company name:Headquarters:Funding:$150.7 million

Cohesity: A second act for a successful founder

Company name: CohesityHeadquarters: Santa Clara, CaliforniaFunding to date:$160 million in 3 rounds

Cohesity is the second-act for its founder Mohit Aron, who had previously co-founded Nutanix, a hot startup that went public in 2016. He left Nutanix before its IPO in part because he had the idea for Cohesity, and his fellow co-founders weren’t keen on pursuing it, he told Business Insider.

Cohesity helps make storage back-ups less expensive, easier to manage, and more functional for high-volume data analysis projects.

Like Nutanix, Cohesity has been a VC darling, raising $90 million in April. And sales have been going so well that last December, Aron treated the whole company and their families to an all-expense-paid vacation to Hawaii for exceeding the company's targets.

Gusto: Unicorn startup inching toward an IPO

Company name: Gusto Headquarters: San Francisco Funding to date:$176 million in 5 rounds

Things are going so well for unicorn HR software company Gusto, valued at $1 billion, that CEO Josh Reeves just hired his first CFO. He nabbed former DocuSign CFO Mike Dinsdale and together, they are setting the company up for an eventual IPO.

Gusto is backed by a whole bunch of big-hitter venture investors like Google’s GV fund, Kleiner Perkins, General Catalyst and has a host of successful angels, too, like Box CEO Aaron Levie, SugerCRM CEO Larry Augustin and Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo.

Gusto is also known for its warm-and-fuzzy culture where employees work in their socks, eat a catered lunch together, and get first-rate benefits like infertility treatment coverage in their health insurance plans.

Cylance: Using AI computers to out-think hackers

Company name: Cylance Headquarters: Irvine, California Funding to date:$177 million in 4 rounds

Cylance is a cybersecurity firm that uses artificial intelligence to help predict the likelihood of attacks, so companies can prevent them before they happen.

Its founder CEO is Stuart McClure, a former exec at McAfee who penned the popular security book, “Hacking Exposed.”

It’s backed by VCs like Khosla Ventures, Dell’s investment arm, and security-specific fund TenEleven Ventures.

Cylance is also a marquee sponsor of both a women’s and a men’s pro cycling team, and it just signed two-time World Champion, Giorgia Bronzini to the women’s team.

Darktrace: Merging AI and IoT for cybersecurity gold

Company name: Darktrace

Under CEO Nicole Eagan, Darktrace secured $75 million in series D funding in July led by Insight Venture Partners. Though not quite a unicorn, that funding round garnered the company an $825 million valuation. At that time, the company said it had $200 million in contracts along with 3,000 customers around the world.

Cloudflare: Gearing up to be IPO-ready in 2018

Company name: Cloudflare

Coinbase: Taking cryptocurrency trading mainstream

Company name: CoinbaseHeadquarters: San FranciscoFunding to date:$217 million in 6 rounds

Coinbase has brought mainstream legitimacy to cryptocurrency exchanges and given wide-eyed investors a safe harbor for exploring the emerging industry.

With its easy to use interface, and its strategic decision to only trade established cryptocurrencies, Coinbase has also made a name as the great place for novice bitcoin enthusiasts to get their feet wet.

In August, the startup confirmed its unicorn status with a $1.6 billion valuation tied to $100 million in Series D funding. Though Coinbase has faced its fair share of growing pains, it's sure to retain its up-and-coming status through 2018 as more and more consumers and investors invests in cryptocurrencies.

Cybereason: Stopping bad apples at the point of attack

Company name:Headquarters:Funding: $188.6 million

Snowflake Computing: Former star Microsoftie tackles a database market

Company name: Snowflake Computing Headquarters: San Mateo, California Funding to date:$215 million in 5 rounds

Snowflake Computing is the startup where famed former Microsoft exec Bob Muglia eventually landed as CEO. Muglia was one of the top leaders under previous Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer before Muglia left in 2014. He was best known for running Office, Windows Server and its SQL database and tools for software developers.

It was a good background for Snowflake, which makes a kind of big data database known as a data warehouse. But unlike old-school databases, this one is designed to run in the cloud.

Snowflake raised a $100 million round earlier the year. Then one of its customers, Capital One, liked the product so much, it kicked in a $5 million investment of its own.

Flexport: Disrupting an ancient, paper-based industry

Company name: Flexport Headquarters: San Francisco Funding to date:$205 million in 4 rounds

Flexport is the type of Silicon Valley startup that VCs love to support. It's taken the old-school freight industry, which still relies on paper manifests, and given it a digital upgrade with custom software.

If you need to ship products across an ocean, Flexport’s software will arrange the ships, trucks, planes and track all the goods as they travel.

Earlier this year it closed a whopping $110 million round of investment to expand into freight financing, allowing its customers to finance the cost of shipping as well.

It’s backed by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Google Ventures, Bloomberg’s venture arm as well as an angels like Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian.

Plenty: Agri-tech startup backed by a who's who in tech

Company name: PlentyHeadquarters: South San FranciscoFunding to date:$226 million in 3 rounds

Plenty is billed by its investors as " target="_blank"the future of agriculture." It uses LED lights, micro-sensor technology, and big data analysis to help farmers grow produce indoors, on vertical racks.

This allows food to be grown in urban centers nearer to its grocery store customers, which extends shelf life and lowers costs.

Founded in 2013, Plenty has raised over $200 million by a who's who including Jeff Bezos fund Bezos Expeditions, Eric Schmidt's fund, Innovation Endeavors and Softbank.

Docker: Packing the internet into tiny boxes

Name: DockerHeadquarters: San FranciscoFunding to date: $242.7 million in 9 rounds

Docker started the Silicon Valley craze for software containers, a trendy technology that helps developers package up their software so that it runs the same way on their MacBook as it does on Amazon's or Microsoft's or Google's massive clouds.

This year saw Docker under pressure: Kubernetes, a Google-created technology for managing containers, rose as the de facto standard — denting Docker's ambitions to do the same. And back in May, Docker cofounder Ben Golub stepped down as CEO.

However, Docker was also able to close a $61.8 million funding round in October, a sign of faith from investors that the company can fully capitalize on the movement it started.

Bill.com: Replacing paper checks once and for all

Company name: Bill.comHeadquarters: Palo Alto, California Funding to date:$259 million in 10 rounds

Bill.com is looking to replace paper checks with digital payments. With convenient integrations in products like QuickBooks, it's no wonder that Bill.com claims that over 1% of all US businesses have used its services either to pay or get paid, with $50 billion in payments processed annually.In October, Bill.com attracted some heavy-weight investors who poured a $100 million investment into it and valued it at $742.8 million. The round was led by JPMorgan Chase and Temasek, a private holding company owned by the government of Singapore.

Illumio: An investor darling stopping hackers when they strike

Company name:Headquarters:Investment raised to date:$267.5 million

Skybox Security: Turning heads with a $150 million round of investment

Company name: Skybox Security Headquarters: San Jose, California Funding to date:$278 million in 9 rounds

Keeping hackers out of a corporate network generally takes a whole bunch of products like firewalls and anti-virus apps, as well as wares that make sure the latest software patches were installed.

Enter Israeli-born Skybox Security. It has an app that helps manage all of those other security products. It makes sure important alerts are seen, and it models a company's global networks to to help companies find their weak spots.

In October, Skybox turned heads when it raised a $150 million round from London-based VCs CVC Capital and Pantheon.

CrowdStrike: Stopping hackers in their tracks

Company name: CrowdStrike Headquarters: Sunnyvale, California Funding to date:$281 million in 5 rounds

Crowdstrike is the security startup best known for discovering that the Russians were behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee. It is helmed by George Kurtz, a well-known security exec who was previously a general manager at McAfee.

CrowdStrike is one of the new crop of security companies that use artificial intelligence to protect against hackers. It can also detect a stealthy hack in progress and shut it down.

It’s been a VC darling, raising $125 million in 2017 alone. It's backed by Google’s CapitalG, Accel, and the VC arm of Australian telecom company Telstra.

DigitalOcean: A thorn in Amazon's side

Name: DigitalOceanHeadquarters: New YorkFunding to date: $305.4 million in 8 rounds

There's no denying that Amazon Web Services rules the cloud computing market. It's a $16 billion juggernaut that's getting bigger all the time.

But DigitalOcean proves there's still room to compete.

It focuses exclusively on smaller developers and their teams, aiming to provide a better programming environment for building their software. Just recently, DigitalOcean revealed to Business Insider that it's on a $175 million annualized run rate, and it's profitable by some measures, it says.

Zeta Global: Helping companies retain their customers

Company name:Headquarters:Funding:$380 million

Zeta Global is a customer management platform with a famous co-founder and a true Silicon Valley rarity — profitability.

Qualtrics: Data analysis powerhouse from Utah

Company name: Qualtrics Headquarters: Provo, Utah Funding to date:$400 million in 3 rounds

Five years ago, Qualtrics CEO and cofounder Ryan Smith stared at a $500 million acquisition offer for his bootstrapped company doing $50 million in revenue – half a billion dollars! – and he said, "No."

In 2017, his choice was validated again, when he raised another $180 million from investors. His company is now worth $2.5 billion. Qualtrics, which offers a cloud service for doing market research surveys and analysis, expects to earn $250 million in revenue in 2017, Smith told Business Insider.

One little-known fact: Popular gameshow podcast “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know,” by Freakonomics journalist Steven Dubner, debuted at Qualtrics’ 2016 tech conference.

Stripe: Helping businesses get off the ground all over the world

Name: StripeHeadquarters: San FranciscoFunding to date: $440 million in 8 rounds

Stripe makes software that lets merchants easily accept and track payments online.

Founded in 2010, Stripe is now the highest-valued tech startup in the financial technology market, reaching $9.2 billion in its latest round of funding in 2016.

What makes Stripe so popular? Simplicity. In seven years, Stripe has built a loyal developer community because of its easy-to-use interface and simple process to integrate payment systems into user apps such as Apple Pay. Even Amazon is relying on Stripe for at least some of its payment processing.

In 2017, Stripe doubled down on global expansion, making key moves into markets like China. The goal, says Stripe, is to make it easy for any business anywhere to accept payments and get off the ground.

AvidXchange: Simplifying payments with the support of Mastercard

Company: Headquarters:Funding: $545 million

Slack: The fastest-growing enterprise app

Company name:Headquarters:

Pivotal: Helping big companies do what Google does

Name: PivotalHeadquarters: San FranciscoFunding to date: $1.7 billion in 3 rounds

Pivotal started life as a small software consultancy, got gobbled up by EMC, and spun back out a few years later as its own entity.

Nowadays, there are two facets to Pivotal's business: First, it provides a "boot camp" for developers at even the largest technology companies, teaching them how to build software at the same pace as a Google or a Facebook. Second, it provides the technology and tools they need to fully take advantage of that approach.

In 2017, Pivotal inked a key deal with Google and VMware to help those big companies build bridges to bring software and data from their own data centers into the cloud, setting itself up to have a great year in 2018 and beyond.


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