20 Skyrocketing SaaS Startups 2021

by Josh Howarth - June 22, 2021

It’s no secret that SaaS has exploded over the last decade.

And market projections have the total size of the SaaS market coming in at around $272B by the end of 2021.

SaaS’s attractive business model combined with simplicity and flexibility for end-users is part of the reason that “software is still eating the world”.

The SaaS startups on our list are all rapidly growing and varied in the industries and roles they help serve.

From HR departments to sales teams to IT orgs, our SaaS startups cover the gamut of use cases and applications.

Here’s our list of some of the SaaS start-ups making waves in 2021. And set to see strong growth over the next 18-26 months.

1. Cockroach Labs

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5-year search growth: 208%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: New York, New York

Funding: $355.1M (Series E)

What they do: Cockroach Labs has developed a cloud-native database solution that automatically scales as data and workloads increase or decrease.

The startup also emphasizes its extreme reliability based on innovative features like live rolling upgrades. These rolling updates perform software updates without any downtime for the network. Earlier this year, the company raised $160 million at a valuation of $2 billion, doubling its value in just eight months.

2. Confluent

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5-year search growth: 438%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: Mountain View, California

Funding: $455.9M (Series E)

What they do: Apache Kafka is one of the most popular open-source platforms for processing data streams in real-time. Confluent has built a cloud-native streaming platform that frees up time and resources for IT teams by self-managing Kafka at an enterprise scale.

Confluent has established a foothold with large clients including Bosch, Expedia, Home Depot and more.

3. Tanium

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5-year search growth: 60%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2007

Location: Kirkland, Washington

Funding: $1B ( Private Equity Round)

What they do: Tanium is the SaaS answer to a comprehensive, real-time view of organizational security for large companies. Giving users and teams the ability to spot gaps in their IT security is an invaluable feature in a world of increasingly brazen cyberhacking and phishing.

5 branches of the U.S. Military trust Tanium to manage endpoint security and data protection of the highest sensitivity. The startup has raised an eye-catching $1B in funding since its inception in 2007.

4. HotJar

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5-year search growth: 58%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2014

Location: St Julian’s, Malta

Funding: N/A

What they do: Hailing from Malta, Hotjar has developed a suite of tools that allow companies to understand their web analytics at a deeper level than simply looking at Google Analytics or standard web traffic data.

Heatmaps, recordings, surveys, and real-time website feedback are just a few of the offerings HotJar provides to marketers and UX teams. HotJar Insights is the core SaaS product on show, giving insights and reporting capabilities. With a large customer base of over 200,000, HotJar’s model has captured much of the analytics market.

5. Tripactions

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5-year search growth: 1600%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2015

Location: Palo Alto, California

Funding: $1.3B (Series E)

What they do: Ever have trouble booking corporate business trips or managing travel expenses for countless employees? Tripactions is a software-based solution to troublesome travel management issues. They’ve created a cloud-based one-stop-shop for business travel that gives companies the ability to book hotels or flights in a jiffy.

TripActions supports their SaaS offering with 24/7 support and automated expense reimbursement through their proprietary TripActions Liquid technology. A massive fundraising amount of over $1B demonstrates the market’s appetite for a leader in the travel SaaS space.

6. Groove

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5-year search growth: 82%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $16M (Series A)

What they do: Groove is a sales engagement platform designed specifically for Salesforce. Campaign automation, call logging, revenue intelligence and more are all key components of Groove’s platform. Groove claims to have the only native integration with Salesforce (at least when it comes to engagement platforms.)

Their offering is used by leading enterprise brands like Google, Atlassian, Capital One and Uber.

7. Pigment

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5-year search growth: 22%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2019

Location: Paris, France

Funding: $25.9 (Venture Round)

What they do: Pigment’s goal is to do away with irritating and inflexible Excel sheets, and instead put the power of data visualization to work in tandem with powerful forecasting technologies.

The goal? Better business forecasting driven by visually pleasing models, simulations, and charts. Another aim from the Paris based startup is to replace the old model of rigid annual business planning with flexible, real-time analytics.

8. Shapr3D

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5-year search growth: 61%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2015

Location: Budapest, Hungary

Funding: $7.3M (Series A)

What they do: The CAD (computer-aided design) market is expected to grow over $200M in the next few years, and Shapr3D is trying to be at the forefront of the industry. Shapr3D’s product is simply an app that works on iPad or Mac and is compatible with the Apple Pencil.

The smooth UI and features like live feedback allow product teams to get quick answers and iterate rapidly on the design process.

9. Lokalise

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5-year search growth: 5000%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2017

Location: Dover, Delaware

Funding: $6M (Series A)

What they do: Translating applications into different languages can be a time-consuming process. Lokalise automates language translation for leading companies’ apps, including Starbucks, Hyundai, Mastercard and more.

Used by managers, translators, developers, and designers, Lokalise provides a cloud platform for managing the translation and localization process. A global study by CSA Research showed that 76% of people are more likely to buy goods or services online from a provider that communicates with them in their own language.

10. Miro

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5-year search growth: 229%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2011

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $76.3M (Series B)

What they do: Miro has constructed a SaaS business around their innovative collaborative whiteboard product. Allowing teams to set up everything from agile workflows to diagrams and even workshops that let everyone on the team draw or iterate, Miro’s flexible platform facilitates it all. Miro has 20 million users and counting.

11. Hopin

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5-year search growth: 247%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2019

Location: London, United Kingdom

Funding: $571.4M (Series C)

What they do: London-based Hopin has developed an all-in-one event management platform and virtual venue aimed at connecting people over a digital space. Attendees are able to move in and out of different rooms like one would at a live expo, on top of being able to host webinars, workshops, and online courses.

Hopin’s customizable rooms and user experience means that hosts can create a near unlimited amount of creative programming with a full suite of analytics to understand which events worked (and which didn’t.

12. Fieldwire

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5-year search growth: 2733%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $41.2M (Series C)

What they do: Construction is a notoriously old-fashioned industry. Fieldwire wants to disrupt that. Providing teams a full platform for checklists, inspections, real-time messaging and scheduling, construction crews now have a single source of truth for their data while on a project.

Markups and edits of building layouts can all be done digitally on iPads or mobile devices, and typical construction documents all organized cleanly within Fieldwire’s cloud platform.

13. Vidyard

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5-year search growth: 275%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2011

Location: Ontario, Canada

Funding: $75.7M (Debt Financing)

What they do: Vidyard has built an enterprise-grade video platform on a SaaS model that lets sales teams create and send personalized videos to prospects and clients. Rich analytics allows sales professionals to understand what content resonated with prospects and how to effectively follow-up. The result is more closed deals and stronger, more personal relationships with clients.

Between 2015 and 2018, Vidyard’s revenue grew by 442%.

14. Recorded Future

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5-year search growth: 150%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2009

Location: Somerville, Massachusetts

Funding: $57.9M (Series E)

What they do: Recorded Future is a complete intelligence platform designed to provide active recommendations around security. International clients including Dupont, McAfee, Raytheon, and Accenture are all users of Recorded Future’s SaaS intelligence platform.

Companies can easily add different intelligence modules to their platform based on the current needs of the business and teams within it. In 2020, Recorded Future achieved an ARR of over $140M.

15. BambooHR

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5-year search growth: 304%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2008

Location: Lindon, Utah

Funding: $N/A (Unknown )

What they do: BambooHR is one of the leaders in the HR startup space, providing SMB HR teams a platform with capabilities that range from hiring to payroll to performance reviews. Full-service implementation and award-winning customer service make it likely that BambooHR will continue to grow.

16. Intercom

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5-year search growth: -36%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2011

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $291.8M (Secondary Market)

What they do: When customers go to a website they often have questions as soon as they hit the page. Questions about products and services always exist, and so Intercom was born. Intercom does everything from live chat, intelligent chatbots, product tours and beyond. Its goal is to be the number one conversational SaaS platform. With over 17,000 users and $50M in ARR, making it the second fastest-growing SaaS company of all time (behind Slack).

Intercom has managed to build a staggering stable of clients that include AWS, Shopify, Sotheby’s and Facebook.

17. Contently

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5-year search growth: -31%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2010

Location: New York, New York

Funding: $19.4M (Series C)

What they do: Contently’s cloud content management platform provides companies like Marriot, American Express, and Dell the ability to access a global talent network of over 160,000 writers, designers, and editors. Customers also get smart content recommendations that are all managed inside of Contently.

With the ever-expanding nature of digital content, Contently aims to be the leader in enterprise content creation at scale.

18. Canva

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5-year search growth: 1328%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2012

Location: Sydney, Australia

Funding: $372.6M (Venture-Series Unknown)

What they do: Canva is an online SaaS platform that provides design and publishing tools that can be used by the everyday person. They’ve designed their tools with simplicity as a top priority. The goal is to allow anyone to create incredible Instagram posts, colorful and exciting presentations, print marketing products, and more.

Canva has expanded from being a free-to-use platform to offering a variety of licenses ranging from enterprise to education to pro-individual users.

19. Klaviyo

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5-year search growth: 3900%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2012

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Funding: $678.5M (Series D)

What they do: Marketing automation and personalized email at scale are the name of the game for Klaviyo, one of the fastest-growing marketing SaaS startups today. Klaviyo aims to deliver customer-centric email that incorporates data that companies have about their customers, allowing them to deliver customized curated experiences across email and text (commonly called “owned channels”).

Instead of relying on third parties like Google or Facebook for advertising and marketing, Klaviyo’s owned channels give companies the power to control their customer data and channels. Klaviyo’s promise has led to the latest funding round of $320 million for continued growth and enterprise user adoption

20. LeadIQ

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5-year search growth: -100%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2015

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $10M (Series A)

What they do: LeadIQ is a sales SaaS product with one simple product at the heart of their business: a browser plug-in that’s integrated with Google, Salesforce, Hubspot, and Marketo among others. On average, customers see lead database growth of around 325%. Sales professionals can simply scroll on a prospect’s Linkedin and LeadIQ will serve up comprehensive data that can be pulled into most CRM platforms.

Conclusion

As one of the hottest industries worldwide and one of the few that withstood the onslaught brought on by the COVID pandemic, SaaS startups continue to push technology further and deeper into our daily lives.

The startups on this list are disrupting industries like finance, marketing, sales, IT, and more. And like all software companies, continue to accelerate the pace of innovation worldwide. Be sure to keep an eye on these explosive startups as they continue to scale and expand.

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