20 Fast-Growing Ecommerce Startups (2021)

by Josh Howarth - August 6, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic accelerated growth in the eCommerce space.

In fact, last year, eCommerce spending skyrocketed up 44% YoY to over $861B in the U.S.

The global eCommerce market is seeing similar growth, with the total market value slated to reach nearly $5T before 2022.

Nearly everything, from authentic Chinese food to cars to cannabis, can be purchased online.

These 20 eCommerce startups show the vast range of companies that can flourish in this space.

1. Snackpass

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5-year search growth: 3000%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $95.7M (Series B)

What they do: Snackpass is an online food ordering platform with an emphasis on pickup orders. The startup first saw success at its founders’ university, Yale, when they captured 80% of the institution as customers shortly after launch. Snackpass, which closed a Series B funding round amounting to $70M in mid-2021, now operates in 13 college town markets and serves around half a million customers.

2. Leaflink

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5-year search growth: 4100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: New York, New York

Funding: $339M (Series C)

What they do: LeafLink is a wholesale cannabis eCommerce startup aimed at servicing B2B retail customers. Their eCommerce marketplace, which they say has over 30% wholesale cannabis market coverage in the U.S., helps retailers and brands alike streamline their operations. In late 2020, LeafLink announced a $40M funding round that they plan to use to add more businesses to their platform and advance into newly legalized markets.

3. Deliverr

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5-year search growth: 5100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: San Francisco, California; Chicago, Illinois

Funding: $240M (Series D)

What they do: Deliverr is an eCommerce startup that helps companies of all sizes compete with the lightning-fast delivery timelines of popular marketplaces, such as Amazon. They accomplish this through a streamlined fulfillment system built and managed by industry veterans. The company, which saw 6x YoY growth in customer orders in 2020, brought in a whopping $170M in spring 2021.

4. HungryPanda

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5-year search growth: 1011%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: London, England

Funding: $90M (Series C)

What they do: HungryPanda is a food delivery startup focused on Chinese cuisine and groceries. Their main target audience is roughly 50M Chinese people and students living abroad. The company raised $70M in late 2020, bringing their total 2020 (and all-time) funding to $90M. They aim to use the funds to expand their app into even more locations.

5. Jungle Scout

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5-year search growth: 250%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Austin, Texas

Funding: $110M (Private Equity)

What they do: Jungle Scout is an eCommerce platform that helps entrepreneurs leverage Amazon to sell products. Their platform offers customers solutions to manage inventory, conduct product research, find suppliers, and more. Though the company is mainly Amazon-centric now, they are eyeing expansion to cover solutions for other online retail platforms, such as Walmart.com.

6. Klarna

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5-year search growth: 295%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2005

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Funding: $3.7B (Secondary Market)

What they do: Klarna’s payment software allows online sellers to give their buyers the option of paying in installments. The Swedish startup, which is now valued at over $45B, raised $639M in mid-June, establishing it as Europe’s leading “unicorn”-status company in the fintech space. The latest funding round was headed up by SoftBank, which joins other backers of the company, including Ant Group and well-known entertainers like ASAP Rocky and Snoop Dogg.

7. Lunya

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5-year search growth: 500%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2012

Location: Santa Monica, California

Funding: Unknown

What they do: Lunya makes modern sleepwear and loungewear for a female target audience. The company, which has grown to $25M in annual revenue, was founded by entrepreneur Ashley Merrill after noticing how few appropriate sleep options were available for women. In addition to being the current CEO of Lunya and its brother brand Lahgo, Merrill serves as the board chairperson of the activewear company Outdoor Voices.

8. Cazoo

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5-year search growth: 7900%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: London, England, United Kingdom

Funding: $557M (Series D)

What they do: Cazoo is an online alternative for used car buying with a rigorous vehicle inspection process and home delivery. The U.K-based eCommerce startup raised over $400M in less than a year over two 2020 funding rounds. In October of 2020, the company also shared that its valuation had hit more than $2.5B. Backers of the digital car sales platform include L Catterton, whose portfolio includes Bliss and Hanna Anderson, and dmg ventures, who has backed other eCommerce companies, including Zilch and Farewill.

9. Hawkers

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5-year search growth: 47%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2013

Location: Alicante, Comunidad Valenciana, Spain

Funding: €70M (Corporate Round)

What they do: Hawkers is an eCommerce sunglasses brand founded in Spain by startup Saldum Ventures. Pitting itself against competitors like Oakley and Ray-Ban, the company relies on social media, word-of-mouth, and celebrity collaboration as its primary forms of marketing and promotion. Alejandro Betancourt, an early investor of the company and owner of investment management group O’Hara, invested an additional $23M in 2018 and gained greater control of the company.

10. Misty Robotics

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5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: Boulder, Colorado

Funding: $24.7M (Series unknown)

What they do: Misty Robotics sells personal robots that can be programmed by users to teach coding skills. Robots like the Misty II can be configured to complete tasks, communicate, show personality, recognize faces, and more. In response to COVID-19, they modified their Misty II model to act as a Temperature Screening Assistant. The company most recently raised $11M in late 2018 from existing investors.

11. Flat Tummy Co

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5-year search growth: 300%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: Westbrook, Maine

Funding: Unknown

What they do: Flat Tummy Co is a wellness startup that sells bloat-reducing teas, health supplements, and appetite suppressant products. The company has been criticized for spreading purportedly toxic and harmful messages about dieting and body image to young women through social media and high-profile celebrity endorsements. Canadian healthcare and beauty company Synergy CHC Corp bought the company for $10M in 2015.

12. Nykaa

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5-year search growth: 272%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2012

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Funding: $341.9M (Secondary Market)

What they do: Nykaa is a Mumbai-based online beauty startup. The company provides millions of customers with a budget for high-end beauty and wellness products, a beauty community and helpline, and more. In March 2021, Inc42 reported that Nykaa aims to go public by 2022.

13. Licious

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5-year search growth: 1050%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Funding: $286.5M (Series F)

What they do: Licious is a Bengaluru-based food delivery startup focused on providing quality meat and seafood to an Indian market. In July 2021, Licious raised nearly $200M with plans to grow their business internationally. Temasek, a Singaporean investment company with investments in financial services, transportation, and other industries, and Multiples Private Equity, which has invested in healthcare, AI, and financial services companies, led the latest round.

14. Livspace

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5-year search growth: 171%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Funding: ~$200M (Debt Financing)

What they do: Livspace is a home improvement eCommerce startup that helps customers design spaces, purchase products, and coordinate installation for interiors projects. The company, co-founded by a Google executive, raised $90M in 2020 from Kharis Capital, Goldman Sachs, and others. In March 2020, they announced $200M in revenue and have plans to more than double that number by 2022.

15. Loopi

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5-year search growth: 120%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2021

Location: São Paulo, Brazil, South America

Funding: $5M (Seed round)

What they do: Loopi is a shoppable, video eCommerce platform founded in Brazil. The mobile app allows content creators to make money off of their content and brands to promote their products in a new, engaging way. The TikTok-reminiscent platform was founded in 2021 and has already brought in $5M in a seed round of funding.

16. OnBuy

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5-year search growth: 8700%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom

Funding: $60.1M (Series A)

What they do: OnBuy is an online eCommerce marketplace founded in 2016. The company offers safe transactions, competitive prices, a wide range of products, and claims to prioritize the success of its buyers and merchants by abstaining from any kind of selling themselves. The platform brought in £35M in a Series A+ funding round in mid-2021.

17. Your Super

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5-year search growth: 99X+

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Los Angeles, California

Funding: ~$18M (Series B)

What they do: Your Super is an eCommerce health and wellness startup that sells superfood and protein products in powdered and bar form. The company was founded by Kristel de Groot and Michael Kuech. Following Kuech’s battle with cancer, he discovered the energy and health benefits of using de Groot’s DIY superfood mixes. The company is backed by several firms in the healthy food space, such as PowerPlant Ventures, which has also invested in Thrive Market and Beyond Meat, and Clif White Road, run by the owners of Clif Bar.

18. Winc

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5-year search growth: 135%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2012

Location: Los Angeles, California

Funding: $43.9M (Series D)

What they do: Winc is an eCommerce wine delivery startup that uses data to create new wine blends. The DTC brand has raised funds through venture capital firms and a crowdfunding campaign, Winc Shares. That initiative wrapped up in early 2020 and raised over $7M. In 2021, Winc acquired the wine importer Natural Merchants.

19. Rohlik

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5-year search growth: 625%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: Karlín, Prague, Czech Republic

Funding: $402.2M (Series C)

What they do: Rohlik is a European grocery delivery startup. The company’s differentiators include their vast online stock and delivery in a matter of hours. In mid-2021, the Czech company raised $119M and received “unicorn” status with a valuation of $1.2B. With the injection of funds, they plan to expand across Europe into Germany, France, Spain, and other countries.

20. Rappi

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5-year search growth: 1866%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Bogotá, Distrito Especial, Colombia

Funding: $2.2B (Series F)

What they do: Rappi is an eCommerce delivery company that focuses on providing prompt, home-delivered products and services, plus cashback, to customers in nine Latin American countries, including Mexico, Brazil, Columbia, and several others. Since it was founded in 2015, the Columbian startup has raised upwards of $2B and is valued at over $5B.

Conclusion

Since its creation, the internet has upended multiple industries and allowed many businesses to thrive in an online space.

This list of 20 startups is evidence of the diversity in the eCommerce vertical.

Out of this list of disparate companies, one trend that surfaces is food and beverage delivery. But there’s also a growing number of startups designed to support existing eCommerce businesses (like Klarna). Which looks to be an interesting space to keep an eye on.

Written By
Josh Howarth
Co-founder of Exploding Topics.
548 Market St. Suite 95149
San Francisco, California
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