19 Top Startups in San Diego to Watch in 2024

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San Diego, California, has steadily grown as a hotspot for startups, benefiting from its strategic location, top-tier universities, and diverse talent pool. From biotech firms to emerging tech enterprises, the city’s entrepreneurial scene is thriving. Here's a look at some of the most promising startups in San Diego to keep an eye on.

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Best Startups in San Diego

Every year, new startups pull to the forefront of their industry through exciting innovation, tech, and industry-disrupting business models. We’ve rounded up the most exciting San Diego startups of 2024 that startup lovers, investors, and aspiring entrepreneurs should follow. 

Disclaimer: With so many exciting startups launching and growing worldwide, we aren’t able to cover them all. Furthermore, the startups that are listed below are not officially ranked and are listed in no particular order.

1. ClickUp

As a workplace productivity app and project management tool in one, ClickUp can replace a host of separate applications. You can customize tasks, build documents, manage teams, and monitor and manage your goals. The software integrates with multiple programs like Asana, Jira, and Airtable.

2. Drata

  • Industry: SaaS, Security
  • Founders: Adam Markowitz, Daniel Marashlian, Troy Markowitz
  • Founded In: 2020
  • Funding: Series C, $328.2 Million
  • Investors Include: GGV Capital, ICONIQ Growth

Drata helps companies achieve and maintain compliance through their user-friendly automation software. The startup streamlines audits and certifications like SOC 2, ISO 27001, and more with its robust cloud platform. Drata's mission is to make compliance accessible for organizations of all sizes. 

3. Gretel

  • Industry: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning
  • Founder(s): Alexander Watson, Ali Golshan, John Myers, Laszlo Bock
  • Founded In: 2020
  • Funding: Series B, $67.7 Million 
  • Investors Include: Moonshots Capital, Anthos Capital, Greylock

Gretel is an artificial intelligence startup that focuses on providing developers with synthetic data solutions. Their platform utilizes advanced generative AI techniques and privacy-enhancing technologies to create artificial datasets that closely resemble real data in terms of statistical properties and patterns, without compromising the privacy of the original data.

4. Kandji

  • Industry: Software, iOS, Information Technology
  • Founders: Adam Pettit, Mark Daughters, Wesley Pettit
  • Founded In: 2018
  • Funding: Series C, $188.4 Million
  • Investors Include: Tiger Global Management, Greycroft

Kandji’s platform ensures that Apple devices are enterprise-ready with optimal settings, apps, and security measures. By leveraging advanced automation, it enhances the workflow for IT, InfoSec, and Apple device users. It's a game-changer for businesses aiming for secure and efficient device management.

5. Blooma

  • Industry: Artificial Intelligence, Fintech, Software
  • Founders: Shayne Skaff, Shy Blick, Tal Almog
  • Founded In: 2018
  • Funding: Series A, $20.8 Million
  • Investors Include: Floodgate, Abstract Ventures

Blooma offers a transformative solution for commercial real estate (CRE) professionals. This platform streamlines origination, underwriting, and portfolio management, using innovative OCR technology to quickly extract and analyze deal information. Users benefit from real-time data updates, reducing manual processes and increasing transaction efficiency.

6. Element Biosciences

  • Industry: Biotech, Genetics
  • Founders: Matt Kellinger, Michael Previte, Molly He
  • Founded In: 2017
  • Funding: Series C, $401 Million
  • Investors Include: Venrock, Logos Capital 

Element Biosciences is an ambitious San Diego startup developing a new DNA sequencing platform to make genetic analysis more accessible and affordable. Their proprietary innovations in surface chemistry, instrumentation, and biochemistry aim to drastically cut costs while maintaining high data quality.

7. Trust & Will

  • Industry: Legal Tech, Fintech
  • Founders: Brian Lamb, Cody Barbo, Daniel Goldstein
  • Founded In: 2017
  • Funding: Series Unknown, $48 Million
  • Investors Include: UBS, Jackson Square

Trust & Will is an online platform that helps people create wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents. They offer a variety of plans to fit different needs and budgets, and their services are available in all 50 states. It’s a great option for people who want to create an estate plan without having to hire an attorney.

8. Equip Health

  • Industry: Healthcare, Wellness
  • Founders: Erin Parks, Kristina Saffran
  • Founded In: 2019
  • Funding: Series C, $109.7 Million
  • Investors Include: General Catalyst, Tiger Global Management

Equip Health is a virtual eating disorder treatment startup that aims to make evidence-based care accessible to anyone who needs it. Founded in 2019, the company offers personalized care delivered by a dedicated team of professionals that includes a therapist, dietitian, physician, and peer mentor. Equip Health's approach is rooted in family-based treatment (FBT), a model that empowers families to help their loved ones recover at home. By leveraging technology, Equip Health provides a secure platform for virtual sessions, meal logging, and ongoing support between appointments.

9. Plexium

  • Industry: Biotech, Medical
  • Founders: Andrew MacConnell, Joe Rokicki
  • Founded In: 2018
  • Funding: Series B, $165 Million
  • Investors Include: CRV, M Ventures

Plexium is a biotechnology company that is developing targeted protein degradation (TPD) drugs to treat cancer and other serious diseases. Their TPD platform uses a proprietary high-throughput cell-based screening (uHTS) technology to identify novel small molecules that can degrade disease-causing proteins. 

10. Turquoise Health

  • Industry: Healthcare, Software
  • Founders: Adam Geitgey, Chris Severn
  • Founded In: 2020
  • Funding: Series B, $55.3 Million
  • Investors Include: Andreessen Horowitz, Tiger Global Management

Turquoise Health aims to simplify healthcare payments, addressing the challenges in current billing systems that lead to high costs. They offer software solutions to enhance pricing transparency, helping providers give clear, upfront costs despite existing complexities.

11. CultureBee

  • Industry: Software
  • Founders: Alex Nozdrin, Alexey Skutin
  • Founded In: 2022
  • Funding: Pre-Seed, $260,000
  • Investors Include: Nomad Capital Partners

CultureBee introduces the pioneering Culture Activation Platform, empowering companies to boost employee engagement. By gamifying company programs, the platform ensures sustained participation while promoting health, wellness, and purpose-driven cultural initiatives. 

12. Biocanic

  • Industry: Health and Wellness, Software
  • Founders: Andy Sullivan, Jeremy Malecha
  • Founded In: 2018
  • Funding: Seed, $1.76 Million
  • Investors Include: Ideaship, Potter Ventures

Biocanic is on a mission to revolutionize how people manage their wellness, aiming for optimal vitality throughout life. They collect comprehensive health data and align it with individual desires and motivations, crafting a platform that enables users to be proactive in their unique journeys. 

13. The Good Face Project

  • Industry: B2B, Beauty, Software
  • Founders: Iva Teixeira, Lena Skliarova-Mordvinova
  • Founded In: 2018
  • Funding: Seed, $7.3 Million
  • Investors Include: Spark Growth Ventures, VMG Partners

The Good Face Project offers a cutting-edge software solution utilized by leading brands for creating safe, compliant, and transparent products. Harnessing a vast database encompassing INCI listings and global regulatory standards, their cloud platform aids cosmetic innovators in developing products that meet global safety and sustainability standards. 

14. Kahoona

  • Industry: Information Technology, Internet
  • Founders: Alon Ashkenasi, Gal Rapoport, Ohad Tzur
  • Founded In: 2021
  • Funding: Seed, $4.5 Million
  • Investors Include: Intel Ignite, Global Founders Capital

Kahoona is pioneering a new era of privacy-preserving user understanding to enable effective digital marketing and funnel optimization. By analyzing first-party data and user interactions, Kahoona generates high-value user profiles and segments for real-time targeting without relying on third-party cookies. 

15. Lively Root

  • Industry: Ecommerce, Internet
  • Founders: Jon Ewing
  • Founded In: 2020
  • Funding: Seed, $5.1 Million
  • Investors Include: Ken Cook, CJ Stos

With roots in San Diego and over 200 years of collective horticultural expertise, Lively Root delivers hand-selected plants from their nursery directly to your doorstep, ensuring a farm-to-tabletop experience. Beyond this, they also connect users to plant care tips and design ideas, aiming to continually grow a community of plant enthusiasts.

16. ChargeNet Stations

  • Industry: Cleantech, SaaS
  • Founders: Amardeep Jenkins, Ashutosh Dutt, Rebecca Wolkoff
  • Founded In: 2019
  • Funding: Seed, $7 Million
  • Investors Include: Aligned Climate Capital, San Diego Angel Conference 

ChargeNet is revolutionizing EV charging by integrating it with daily routines, focusing on convenience and accessibility for all drivers. Their comprehensive network is strategically positioned at quick-serve restaurants near major highways, allowing drivers to recharge their vehicles during meal times. 

17. Sportidia

  • Industry: Sports, Wellness
  • Founders: Chris Kittler, Nico Torteli
  • Founded In: 2021
  • Funding: Pre-Seed, $500,000
  • Investors Include: MSSantini

Sportidia is the go-to app designed to foster real-world sports activities and connections. The platform emphasizes user control, offering personalized feeds based on chosen sports and locations and enabling direct interactions with other "Sportidians" for planning and discussing activities.

18. Debut

  • Industry: Biotech, Beauty and Wellness
  • Founder: Joshua Britton
  • Founded In: 2019
  • Funding: Series B, $66.2 Million 
  • Investors Include: Fine Structure Venture, Material Impact 

Debut is a trailblazing biotech beauty startup that is revolutionizing the wellness industry through cutting-edge biotechnology and innovative brand creation. By leveraging proprietary screening, testing, and cell-free biomanufacturing technology, Debut identifies and unlocks novel ingredients to develop sustainable personal care and health brands that cater to the growing demand for eco-friendly and effective products. The company's mission is to redefine the standards of big business by adopting a dynamic intrapreneurial model and creating purposeful brands that drive positive change in the industry. 

19. Improvado

  • Industry: Marketing, Analytics 
  • Founders: Daniel Kravtsov, Anamika Sethi, Ali Quigley
  • Founded In: 2015
  • Funding: Series A, $30 Million 
  • Investors Include: Updata Partners, Nimble Ventures 

Improvado is a pioneering marketing tech startup that empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions by providing a comprehensive and user-friendly platform for marketing data aggregation, analysis, and visualization. By seamlessly integrating more than 500 marketing platforms and tools, Improvado enables marketers to consolidate their data from various sources into a single, centralized location. This eliminates the need for manual data collection and allows teams to focus on extracting valuable insights to optimize their marketing strategies. 

Recommended: Check out our full list of the top startups to watch!