25 Fastest Growing Startups In 2022

by Josh Howarth - January 10, 2022

The digital revolution continues to transform the way business is done worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic has made entrepreneurs more resilient and creative in how they develop strategies for working in a world with less face-to-face contact. And has led to an entirely new crop of startups.

The startups on our list represent some of the most exciting and brilliant ideas across diverse verticals like tech, food services, logistics, and education.

Scroll down to read our list of 25 fast-growing private companies in 2022.

1. Preply

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5-year search growth: 2375%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2012

Location: Brookline, Massachusetts

Funding: $50.6M (Series B)

What they do: Preply is a fast-growing one-to-one language tutoring service. Built on a marketplace model like Upwork, students can select tutors from over 185 countries to help them learn anything from Chinese to English.

Preply’s has 49,000 tutors signed up to teach and has an impressive user base of over 100,000 monthly students.

2. StackBlitz

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5-year search growth: 5000%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: Private

What they do: Computer programmers love simplicity more than anything else, and StackBlitz serves up a suite of nuts and bolts tools in a single platform. Critical tools like source code editors, automation, and debugging are all accessible in a “Google Suite” type cloud environment. StackBlitz is already being used by Google and other leading enterprise developers worldwide.

3. Linktree

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5-year search growth: 9400%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2016

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Funding: $55.7M (Series B)

What they do: Linktree was designed to help influencers and content creators share content across platforms via a one-click link. Instead of having subscribers searching tediously through different platforms to find their page, a Linktree link branches out to show all of a creator's pages in one simple display.

Featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Digital Trends, Linktree continues to expand its functionality with features like payments and Shopify integration.

4. Fandom

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5-year search growth: 288%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2004

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $145.5M (Series E)

What they do: Fandom is a “nerd’s paradise”, the world’s largest wiki for gaming, fantasy, and entertainment culture all on one site. 315M rabid fans across 250K communities from Halo to Game of Thrones interact with the site on a monthly basis.

Gaming alone is massive on the platform. Over 1.2B gaming questions are answered every month with a user base of 125M gaming users worldwide.

5. Lalamove

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5-year search growth: 1171%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2013

Location: Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Funding: $2.5B (Series F)

What they do: Fresh off of a massive Series F round led by Sequoia China, Asian logistics platform Lalamove continues to ramp up its impressive fulfillment times and last-mile delivery.

As of 2021, Lalamove counts over 7 million customers and an enormous pool of 700,000 drivers as valued users on their platform. Customers and drivers can be matched within 12 seconds, and deliveries are finished within 55 minutes.

6. OnlyFans

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5-year search growth: 99X+

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2016

Location: London, U.K.

Funding: Private

What they do: During the Covid-19 lockdowns, almost everybody caught wind of an explosive new platform called OnlyFans. Famous for raunchy content, endless memes, and putting power back in the hands of content creators, OnlyFans has been successful despite limited investor backing (mainly due to NSFW content).

Despite net revenue of $2.5B in 2022 and a dedicated user base of 7M fans per month, OnlyFans’ public image has prevented many larger investors from jumping in thus far.

7. Labster

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5-year search growth: 350%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2011

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Funding: $103.5M (Series C)

What they do: Virtual learning took off in 2020 largely due to necessity. But many educators and students have discovered that online learning has its perks. One of the hardest-hit areas in terms of in-person education over the last 2 years has been lab work. Labs were seen as one of the last frontiers of science that required in-person instruction.

Labster’s software team has developed over 200 high-quality virtual labs for students to experiment on everything from DNA sequencing to cancer treatment. The popular gamified approach has worked and 2,000 institutions and 3M students worldwide now use Labster to simulate real lab work.

8. Oura Ring

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5-year search growth: 8900%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2013

Location: Oulu, Finland

Funding: $148.3M (Series C)

What they do: Oura’s sleek Rings have started to permeate the globe. But their creation all started from a small city in Finland by a trio of Finnish entrepreneurs. Less noticeable than many other wearable competitors, Oura monitors heart rate 24/7, sleeping patterns, body temperature, via their smartphone app.

Publications like Wired have given Oura rave reviews for their accurate data and very lightweight design.

9. Tailwind

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5-year search growth: 423%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2012

Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Funding: $1M (Series B)

What they do: Pinterest and Instagram are loaded with content creators. Which makes standing out from the crowd hard to do. Tailwind’s visual creation platform is used by over 100,000 brands and influencers worldwide largely because it makes sticking out easier than attempting to create content from scratch. Automating the most annoying parts of the creation process like hashtagging, color schemes, and scheduling lets brands focus on the idea behind the posts.

Over 1M small businesses like Article, Serena & Lily, Jenny Yoo, and even giants like Shopify utilize Tailwind.

10. Gumroad

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5-year search growth: 222%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2012

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $16.1M (Equity Crowdfunding)

What they do: Digital creators have traditionally struggled to monetize their audiences. Gumroad is the answer for over 100K creators who have sold over $565M on the platform. Their platform lets creators sell anything from blog posts to cookbooks.

Gumroad has launched a blog, a “university”, and a podcast thanks to the explosion in interest around the platform.

11. Clockify

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5-year search growth: 4900%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2017

Location: Palo Alto, California

Funding: Private

What they do: Project managers everywhere despise one thing more than any other: tracking their time. Time across projects, billing around time, time things in general.

Clockify is a free time tracking tool used by millions from companies like Disney, Sony, Amazon, and more. In the last month alone, the Palo Alto startup added 80K plus users.

12. Glow Up

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5-year search growth: 766%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2020

Location: Khobar, Saudi Arabia

Funding: Private

What they do: Glow Up lets women in Saudi Arabia book on-demand beauty services that are offered in the comfort of their own homes. By simply choosing from 4 categories (Makeup, Hair, Spa, Model) on the platform, women can then choose which professional they’d like to hire.

13. Brightwheel

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5-year search growth: 203%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2014

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $88.8M (Series C)

What they do: Running a daycare or preschool is not an easy task in the slightest. Between managing attendance, juggling learning plans, and keeping anxious parents at ease, daycare center staff have to do it all. Brightwheel sensed an opportunity and developed their SaaS solution to handle essentially everything involved in running a child care facility.

Brightwheel claims that 85% of users end up recommending them, 100% of parents are more satisfied with their child care, and tens of millions of moments have been recorded and shared.

14. Manscaped

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5-year search growth: 7200%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: San Diego, California

Funding: $500K (Convertible Note)

What they do: As you scroll through social media you might have seen edgy ads from Manscaped, the San Diego startup trying to bring the cool back to men’s grooming. Manscaped has gone with the strategy of using masculine sports stars like tight end Rob Gronkowski and millennial publications like Barstool Sports to get their sleek grooming tools notoriety.

American made in San Diego, their signature products like “The Lawnmower” have been so successful that SPAC talks to go public are potentially in the works.

15. StreamYard

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5-year search growth: 7800%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2018

Location: Tualatin, Oregon

Funding: Private

What they do: The explosion of popular streaming services like Twitch and Youtube Live has given birth to an entirely new class of content creation for gamers, entertainers, and influencers. StreamYard’s browser-based platform allows creators to effortlessly stream via their web browser and transmit across popular platforms like Facebook, Twitch, Youtube, and more.

Big-time content gurus like Gary Vaynerchuk are hyped around StreamYard’s capabilities, with Gary saying he’s “blown away by the incredible software.” Geige Vandentop is the mind behind StreamYard, leading the startup to a hefty $250M valuation.

16. Magic Spoon

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5-year search growth: 1580%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2019

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Funding: $14.5M (Venture-Series Unknown)

What they do: Every kid grows up and reminiscences about the cereal (usually unhealthy) that they used to eat as a kid. DTC startup Magic Spoon has taken the breakfast world by storm by combining the flavors we used to love with a healthy formula of high protein, low carb cereal. Featured in publications like Fast Company, Forbes, and Delish, Magic Spoon’s brand awareness has grown rapidly.

17. Deeper

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5-year search growth: 1300%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2012

Location: Vilnius, Lithuania

Funding: $23.8K (Seed)

What they do: Deeper is one of Lithuania’s great success stories. Their fishing products have won numerous awards including Mail Anglers Best in the UK, Best at CES (2016), Best in Australia, and more.

Offering sleek sonars in combination with an app that gives real-time information around what’s happening in the water gives fishermen a new angle to landing the big ones.

18. ShareChat

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5-year search growth: 6200%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2015

Location: Bangalore, India

Funding: $1.2B (Series G)

What they do: ShareChat is one of India’s largest social media apps with over 250 million monthly active users across the vast country. The app supports 15 languages spoken in India. ShareChat’s success has led to several mammoth funding rounds that value the Bangalore unicorn at $1.2B.

19. AppZen

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5-year search growth: 4400%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2012

Location: San Jose, California

Funding: $100.6M (Series C)

What they do: Trusted by numerous finance teams at leaders like Chase, Salesforce, Nielsen, and Airbus, AppZen helps teams automate tedious tasks like spending approvals while proactively offering suggestions around cutting costs.

AppZen is used in over 40 countries and counts a third of the Fortune 500 as customers. Processing 8B transactions a year for their 1,000 customers has led to a successful Series C raise.

20. Printify

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5-year search growth: 3100%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2015

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $54.1M (Series A)

What they do: Printify is an on-demand printing service that makes adding custom designs to physical products relatively easy. Mugs, socks, coffee cups, shirts, and a catalog of over 300 products are available on-demand for whatever designs that users draw up.

21. Melio

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5-year search growth: 305%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2018

Location: New York, New York

Funding: $504M (Series D)

What they do: One of the banes of a small business’s existence is keeping the books, especially paying and invoicing vendors and contractors. Melio seamlessly syncs with Quickbooks and lets business owners create workflows that streamline the payment process.

22. Adalo

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5-year search growth: 8400%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Funding: $9.8M (Series A)

What they do: Creating an app can seem like a scary task when you don’t know how to code or where to start. Luckily, Adalo is solving that problem with their seamless no-code app builder. Fresh off of a Series A funding round of $8M led by renowned Tiger Global, Adalo’s easy-to-use interface lets app creators drag and drop simple blocks to create their dream application without a single line of code.

23. The Farmer’s Dog

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5-year search growth: 166%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2014

Location: New York, New York

Funding: $103.1M (Series C)

What they do: Most dog owners are happy to do whatever it takes to give their “fur babies” the best life possible. The Farmer’s Dog seized the opportunity to offer high-end, human-grade dog food without preservatives. Over 200,000,000 meals have been delivered so far and The Farmer’s Dog team has grown to 300 plus employees.

Farmer’s Dog is hoping they can cure the rising threat of obesity (over 60%) in dogs, which is largely down to the food they consume.

24. Elegoo

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5-year search growth: 733%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2015

Location: Shenzhen, China

Funding: Private

What they do: Chinese manufacturing startup Elegoo is committed to providing STEM students worldwide with affordable robots, 3D printers, and other machinery to help them learn the basics of software and hardware combinations at an elementary level.

Elegoo’s 3D printers have gotten rave reviews from critics for their combination of affordability and functionality.

25. Misfits Market

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5-year search growth: 8500%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2018

Location: Pennsauken, New Jersey

Funding: $526.5M (Series C)

What they do: Fighting food waste while providing an organic meal subscription service that contains fresh fruits and veggies? That’s the business model of NJ-based Misfits Market. Since Misfits delivers items that grocers can’t sell, they’re able to offer discounts up to 40% off what grocery stores charge.

Misfit claims that folks save up to $25 a week using their service. A massive Series C round at a valuation of $1.8B bodes well for the future of organic, ugly foods delivery.

Conclusion

2022 promises to be an electrifying year for startups as technology keeps advancing and software continues “eating the world.”

Keep a close eye on the names on our list as they continue to scale, offer new product lines, and make waves in their industry. If this year can top last year’s earth-shattering record of $240B of startup funding in only 9 months, hang on.

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