20 Skyrocketing Martech Startups (2021)

by Josh Howarth - October 15, 2021

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The marketing technology space is growing at a breakneck pace.

(In fact, Scott Brinker estimates that there are now over 8,000 martech products out there)

However, the vast majority of marketing technology startups are either growing slowly. Or just scraping by.

Which is why we created this list of 20 fast-growing martech startups.

1. Manychat

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5-year search growth: 2700%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2015

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $23.1M (Series A)

What they do: Manychat is a software company specializing in website-based chatbots. However, they also have features that support Facebook Messenger and SMS communication. Manychat reports that they currently have over 1 million customers. And that their tool has supported over 1 billion "conversations" to date.

2. Aspire

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5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $27.3M (Series A)

What they do: Aspire is a database of social media influencers. Specifically, the tool allows businesses to find influencers, connect with them, and track campaigns over time. With clients ranging from Walmart to small DTC brands, AspireHQ is one of the leaders in the influencer marketing tool space.

3. Artlist

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5-year search growth: 1050%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2016

Location: Afikim, Israel

Funding: $48M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Artlist runs several different platforms for royalty-free media, including audio, images and video content. Perhaps their most popular platform, Artgrid, boasts a library of thousands of HD and 4k video clips.

4. Wavve

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5-year search growth: 8100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Charleston, South Carolina

Funding: None disclosed

What they do: Wavve is web app for repurposing audio content (namely, blog posts) into video. These clips are typically shared on Twitter and YouTube in order to raise awareness of a long-form podcast episode.

5. Heepsy

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5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2015

Location: Bilbao, Spain

Funding: None disclosed

What they do: Heepsy connects brands with influencers on Instagram and YouTube. Besides a database of 11M influencers, they also have a feature for identifying the actual influence level of each account. Heepsy currently boasts over 10k customers, including big names like Ikea and Red Bull.

6. Visme

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5-year search growth: 233%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2013

Location: Rockville, Maryland

Funding: None disclosed

What they do: Visme is software for creating visual assets, including infographics, Facebook ad creatives, and videos. The company reports that they currently have over 4 million users from 120 different countries. And that they're a completely bootstrapped startup.

7. Mangools

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5-year search growth: 6100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: Bratislava, Slovakia

Funding: None disclosed

What they do: Mangools is a set of software tools for SEO and content marketing. Specifically, the startup offers tools for link building, keyword research and competitive analysis. They're known for pricing that's significantly lower than many competitors in the space (like Ahrefs and SEMrush).

8. Contentful

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5-year search growth: 152%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: Berlin, Germany

Funding: $349.6M (Series F)

What they do: Contentful is a content marketing platform for planning, creating, publishing and scaling content marketing (with a focus on enterprise organizations). In other words, Contentful is a CMS that includes features for content team collaboration. The company reports that they have over 2k clients.

9. Sendinblue 

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5-year search growth: 132%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2007

Location: Paris, France

Funding: $197.7M (Series B)

What they do: Sendinblue started out as an email marketing tool (like Mailchimp). But they've recently expanded their offering to include a CMS, a website chat tool, and the ability to communicate with customers via SMS. The company reports that they now have over 20,000 paying customers.

10. Rank Math

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5-year search growth: 609%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: New Delhi, India

Funding: None disclosed

What they do: Rank Math is a martech startup known for its SEO WordPress plugin. In addition to their free plugin, they also sell a premium version that includes keyword rank tracking, Schema features and support.

11. Clickfunnels

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5-year search growth: 116%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: Eagle, Idaho

Funding: $1M (Series Unknown) 

What they do: ClickFunnels, the current leader in the funnel software space, is a bootstrapped SaaS Business that recently hit 9-figures in annual revenue. Their co-founder and CEO, Russel Brunson, is a popular marketing influencer with millions of followers across Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

12. Upfluence

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5-year search growth: 100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: New York, New York

Funding: $3.9M (Series A)

What they do: Upfluence is an influencer marketing tool designed specifically for ecommerce. Their platform boasts 4 million total influencers along with proprietary metrics for evaluating the potential reach of a campaign with each influencer. One feature that makes Upfluence a little bit unique compared to other influencer databases is the ability to measure ROI within the tool. Upfluence reports that they currently have 1,000 customers, including Verizon and Amazon.

13. Bonjoro

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5-year search growth: 190%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2017

Location: Sydney, Australia

Funding: None disclosed

What they do: Bonjoro is a tool for creating "personalized videos at scale". In other words, it lets customer service and sales staff create and share videos with potential clients and customers. The idea is that sending a video instead of a text-based email will add a "wow" factor to outreach messages and email replies. What separates using Bonjoro vs a video recording tool like Loom is that Bonjoro can integrate with a CMS. And supports CTAs so customers can take action right away.

14. Ahrefs

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5-year search growth: 131%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2011

Location: Singapore

Funding: None disclosed

What they do: Ahrefs is a search engine optimization tool suite geared towards marketing professionals and agencies. Their web crawler indexes 8 billion pages per day. And their link database currently contains data on about 12 trillion links.

15. Substack

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5-year search growth: 6400%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $82.4M (Series B)

What they do: Substack is a platform for launching and managing a paid email newsletters. However, this fast-growing startup in the martech space is quickly adding features to help with newsletter discovery. For example, they currently feature newsletters (organized by topic) on their homepage. Substack also recently launched their "Substack Reader" tool for reading all of a user's Substack newsletters in one place.

16. Flodesk

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5-year search growth: 8800%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: None disclosed

What they do: Flodesk is an email service provider with a focus on sleek design. So instead of funnels or marketing automation, Flodesk tends to emphasis the look and feel of each email. Flodesk's target user base is made up largely of small ecommerce site owners (especially in the beauty and fashion industries).

17. Podbean LLC

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5-year search growth: 156%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2006

Location: Wilmington, Delaware

Funding: None disclosed

What they do: Podbean is a podcast hosting SaaS company. Their platform supports audio and video-based podcast content. Along with automatic distribution to multiple podcast apps (like Spotify) and blogs (like WordPress).

18. Brandbassador

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5-year search growth: 110%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: London, UK

Funding: Amount not disclosed (Seed round)

What they do: Brandbassador is designed to help turn customers into influencers and brand ambassadors.  In other words, instead of cold outreach to Instagram influencers, businesses can use Brandbassador to find loyal customers. And encourage them to spread the word about their brand.

19. Designrr

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5-year search growth: 63%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: London, UK

Funding: None disclosed

What they do: Designrr is a web app for creating ebooks out of existing content (like a YouTube video, podcast episode transcript or blog post). In other words, the tool extracts text from a given document. And turns that content into an ebook.

20. Later

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5-year search growth: 7%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2014

Location: Vancouver, Canada

Funding: $1.3M (Seed round)

What they do: Later is a social media scheduling tool that integrates with Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok. Along with analytics on how each post performed. The company reports that they currently have over 4 million users.

Conclusion

That sums up our list of martech startups to keep a close eye on in 2021.

If there's one thing that ties many of these companies together it's: content.

As you may have noticed, much of the software on this list is designed to help marketing teams scale up their content.

Another common feature is the large number of SaaS companies designed specifically for influencer marketing. With influencer marketing becoming a go-to channel for many brands (especially in DTC), it makes sense that we'd see more software designed to help brands find and collaborate with social media influencers.

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