April 08, 2022

The Rocket Ship Startup List - 2022 Edition

As many of you know, each spring I provide a comprehensive list of exciting, fast-growing, rapidly hiring startups that are promising places to start or continue a career in Startupland.

This year has been another boom year for tech startups, to say the least. As a result, it’s been the hardest list ever in my eight years of doing this. Graduating students and mid-career professionals have an abundance of opportunities to launch their careers. Leveraging insider knowledge and input from VC and entrepreneur friends regarding who has real momentum, I mix subjective and objective criteria in assembling the list. The objective criteria include:

  • Growth / momentum: typically growing users and/or revenue > 100% year over year
  • Fundraising: typically has raised > $40 million in the most recent round, which closed in the last 18 months (note: independent, private companies only! 10% of last year’s list went public and 3% were acquired)
  • Scale: typically > 100 employees
  • Hiring: typically growing headcount > 50%/year, including a number of entry-level positions that would be a fit for recent college or business school graduates
  • Young: founded in 2011 or later

With the help of numerous VC friends in startup hubs throughout Europe, India, Israel, and LatAm, I try to cover international startups each year. Pitchbook is less reliable outside the US and so I am particularly grateful to the dozens of folks who shared their local market insight. I left out China this year. That was a tough decision but because of the government’s anti-tech policies this year, it was hard for me to ascertain winners and losers with confidence. This year, I include nearly 500 companies: 350 US companies and 140 non-US. Read rest here to learn more about the companies listed including Axle Payments