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20 Emerging Project Management Startups

The demand for project management startups is expected to grow substantially over the coming years.

According to a report from Mordor Intelligence, the market will hit $9.81B by the year 2026, an increase of greater than $4B from 2020.

While large, established companies like Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP hold significant weight in the project management space, there are also many smaller, younger startups that focus on delivering project management functionality in a new way.

(Or for a specific vertical.)

In this article, we’ll profile 20 project management startups with strong search growth over the last five years.

1. monday.com

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5-year search growth: 129%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2012

Location: Tel Aviv, Israel

Funding: $234.1M (Series D)

What they do: monday.com is a project management platform that allows companies to manage a range of initiatives from bug tracking to video creation. The Israeli startup is eyeing a potential IPO in Q2 of 2021 after raising over $200M over several investment rounds. Monday.com’s valuation as of 2020 was $2.7B.

2. ClickUp

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5-year search growth: 316%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2016

Location: San Diego, California

Funding: $137.5M (Series B)

What they do: ClickUp’s productivity platform touts high levels of flexibility for different types of companies and projects. The company’s software offers features like documents, goals, different levels of views, and traditional task management abilities. Within a period of 6 months, ClickUp brought in over $100M in funding from investors, including Craft Ventures and Georgian, and is now valued at $1B.

3. Trello

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5-year search growth: 60%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2011

Location: New York City, New York

Funding: $10.3M (Acquired)

What they do: Trello is a kanban board-focused productivity and task management tool for multiple kinds of organizations. Initially spawned in 2011 at TechCrunch Disrupt’s startup competition, Startup Battlefield, Trello has since been acquired by software company Atlassian for $425M, joining a group of other Atlassian-acquired companies that include OpsGenie and Statuspage.

4. Hubstaff

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5-year search growth: 326%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2012

Location: Fishers, Indiana

Funding: Bootstrapped

What they do: Hubstaff is a time-tracking software that can be used with remote companies or teams that are distributed in the field. While not for lack of investor interest, Hubstaff’s leadership has opted to remain bootstrapped since their founding in 2012. Their reasons included no need or plan for additional funds and a desire to retain control of the company.

5. Backlog

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5-year search growth: 100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2004

Location: Fukuoka, Japan

Funding: $5.9M (Series A) for parent company Nulab

What they do: Backlog offers teams the ability to manage projects and work on code in the same platform, which includes features such as kanban boards, wikis, and Gantt charts for a better view of key project dates. Parent company Nulab, which is based in Japan, serves upwards of 4M people with Backlog and two other collaboration products, Typetalk and Cacoo.

6. Plutio

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5-year search growth: 714%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: London, England

Funding: Bootstrapped

What they do: Plutio is a project management platform targeted at freelance business owners. The technology offers an array of tools, from task management to time tracking to invoicing and more. Leo Bassam, the founder of Plutio, initially launched the business after his own experiences with the difficulties of scaling a freelance operation. The bootstrapped company brought in $250,000 only a week into their 2017 soft launch and achieved profitability within one year.

7. Filestage

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5-year search growth: 466%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2015

Location: Stuttgart, Germany

Funding: €2.8M (Series A)

What they do: Filestage is a company that helps businesses manage the review processes for content. The German startup touts faster reviews, fewer emails, and hours saved as benefits of using their tool. Filestage completed a Series A funding round early this year that brought in €2.8M from Newion, Seed+Speed Ventures, and HTGF.

8. Notion

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5-year search growth: 1,014%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2013

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $68.2M (Series unknown)

What they do: Notion is a productivity and project management tool designed to provide workplace solutions for Engineering, HR, Marketing, Product, and other departments. The San Francisco-based startup recently brought in $50M as they re-evaluated their opinion on venture capital due in part to the coronavirus pandemic. Valued now at $2B, Notion has received financial backing from investors such as former Twitter VP Elad Gil, AngelList Founder Naval Ravikant, and Shana Fisher, whose other investments include Stripe and Pinterest.

9. Frame.io

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5-year search growth: 3,600%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: New York City, New York

Funding: $82.2M (Series C)

What they do: Frame.io is a startup built to make video creation and collaboration easier. In 2019 the company brought in $50M from Insight Partners, Shasta Ventures, Accel, and other investors. Simultaneously, they announced the hiring of former Panavision exec Michael Cioni as their Global Senior VP of Innovation.

10. Kissflow

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5-year search growth: 100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2012

Location: Wilmington, Delaware; Chennai, India

Funding: $1M (Angel)

What they do: Kissflow is a platform for businesses to use to manage projects and workflows. Originally introduced as a Google Suite workflow platform, the Indian startup has grown to service over 10,000 customers in 160 countries. Domino’s, Sears, Comcast, and Hubspot are just a few of the companies that have signed on with the company.

11. Airtable

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5-year search growth: 225%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2012

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $617.6M (Series E)

What they do: Airtable offers a reimagined spreadsheet and database platform that helps companies build business applications with no code. Howie Liu, a founder of Airtable, previously masterminded the email contact CRM company Etacts, which was backed in part by actor Ashton Kutcher and acquired early on by Salesforce.

12. Miro

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5-year search growth: 150%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2011 (2019 - rebranded as Miro)

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $76.3M (Series B)

What they do: Miro, which, until 2019 was named RealtimeBoard, offers project collaboration functionality for businesses through a digital whiteboard interface. The company, which boasts 5M+ global users, raked in $50M investment in 2021 from lead investor ICONIQ and others, including Google’s Vice President of Product and Google’s former Global Head of UX.

13. Fieldwire

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5-year search growth: 168%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2013

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $40.4M (Series C)

What they do: Fieldwire is a project management startup whose primary focus is construction teams. Through the software, construction professionals can manage tasks, stay up to date with timelines and schedules, and compile project details for later reference. The software has been used on large building projects, including the expansion of San Francisco’s Moscone Center and more.

14. OneDesk

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5-year search growth: 577%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2008

Location: Montreal, Canada

Funding: Unknown

What they do: OneDesk offers a project management tool and helpdesk software married together in one platform. Key features include chat functionality, a customer support ticket portal, and integrations with Google, Slack, Salesforce, and more. OneDesk’s online media trail is sparse, but they did announce the acquisition of product management company Ryma Technology Solutions in 2012.

15. Taskade

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5-year search growth: 500%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $5.2M (Seed round)

What they do: Taskade is a project management and collaboration platform built for remote companies. The company was started by John Xie, Dionis Loire, and Stan Chang to offer businesses a complete workplace management tool rather than many disparate solutions. Taskade has amassed high-profile investors, including Hiten Shah, founder of KISSMetrics, Chris Golda, former Twitter Ad Center product lead and Coinbase investor, and more.

16. MyCase

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5-year search growth: 237%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2010

Location: Goleta, California

Funding: Unknown (Acquired)

What they do: MyCase is a project and case management platform for law firms. Founded by professionals in law and technology, the platform includes all the tools and features necessary to manage cases and clients from beginning to end. Previously owned by AppFolio, MyCase was acquired again in 2020 by Apax Funds for $193M.

17. Hygger

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5-year search growth: 6,100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: Newark, Delaware

Funding: Unknown

What they do: Hygger provides a project management platform that empowers software development teams to build new features and products more efficiently. Hygger was founded in 2017 by Alexander Sergeev, who previously co-founded UX research company HumanoIT Group, trucker information app Cargolink, and Rocketapps, a maker of Apple apps and games.

18. Bluescape

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5-year search growth: 56%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2012

Location: San Carlos, California

Funding: Unknown

What they do:

Bluescape is a collaboration platform that helps teams work together on projects in a visual, digital interface. The company, launched through a partnership between Obscura Digital and Haworth, aims to help cut wasted project time and improve teamwork for businesses including Mazda, Netflix, and Walmart. Bluescape was founded by Demian Entrekin, current CTO and previous founder of Innotas and Convoy Corp.

19. Scoro

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5-year search growth: 62%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: London, England

Funding: $23.5M (Series B)

What they do: Scoro is a workplace management company that gives businesses a way to manage projects, billing, and more in one platform. The company, founded in Estonia and based in London, has been recognized in Deloitte and Inc. and recently wrapped up a Series B funding round that amounted to $16.4M.

20. Cascade Strategy

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5-year search growth: 10%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2013

Location: Sydney, Australia; Seoul, South Korea; Portland, Oregon

Funding: Unknown

What they do: Cascade Strategy is a platform that helps companies align their teams on common goals and carry out strategies. The software centralizes goals and KPIs, enables companies to execute their strategies, provides metrics with context, and more. Cascade was founded in 2013 by Tom Wright and Eric Perriard to help companies mobilize and enable their workforce.

Conclusion

As the work world embraces a more remote environment, forward-thinking businesses need to be both digitally savvy and flexible to succeed—and they need project management tools like the ones in this list to support them in those pursuits.

While each of these companies takes its own approach to project management, they all share the goal of helping companies use technology to simplify work and get more done.

Last Updated: 
May 11, 2021
Josh Howarth
Co-founder of Exploding Topics.

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