11 Top San Francisco Startups to Watch in 2023
Last Updated: By TRUiC Team
The San Francisco Bay Area, nicknamed “Silicon Valley,” is a global technology hub that has been praised for its vibrant startup culture and opportunities for investment. Founders who decide to make the Bay Area their home find themselves close to dozens of well-heeled investors, world-class talent, and other founders who work tirelessly to bring their visions to reality.
We’re going to dive into some of the top San Francisco startups making waves in their respective industries, explore their products and services, and show you exactly why you should be keeping an eye on these innovators in the near future. Silicon Valley has been the primary driving force behind the region’s strong economy, and synergies between the private sector, government, and academia have supported startups and made business innovation possible for founders from all walks of life.
If a passionate startup founder has a vision and business goal they want to bring to their marketplace, there couldn’t be a better place to do so than in the city of San Francisco.
Learn how to launch your own company by reading our comprehensive guide on how to start a startup.
Best Startups in San Francisco to Follow
Every year, new startups pull to the forefront of their industry through exciting innovation and industry-disrupting business models. We’ve rounded up the most exciting San Francisco startups of 2023 that startup lovers, investors, and aspiring entrepreneurs should follow.
Disclaimer: With so many exciting Bay Area startups launching and growing worldwide, we aren’t able to cover them all. Furthermore, the startups listed below are not officially ranked and are listed in no particular order.
1. Mysten Labs
- Industry: Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Software, Web Apps
- Founders: Adeniyi Abiodun, Evan Cheng, George Danezis, Konstantinos Chalkias, Sam Blackshear
- Founded In: 2021
- Funding: Series B, $336 Million
- Investors Include: Coinbase Ventures, Jump Crypto, 9Yards Capital, Protofund
Mysten Labs is a cryptocurrency and blockchain startup working on accelerating the adoption of Web3 technology worldwide by creating tools and infrastructure for a decentralized future. Some of their current projects include Sui, a proof of stake fully decentralized blockchain with horizontal scalability capabilities in storage and throughput, and Move, an open-source programming language that allows developers to build Web3 smart contracts.
- Industry: Insurance, Cybersecurity, Insurance Technology
- Founders: Etai Hochman, Roman Itskovich, Rotem Iram, Tilli Kalisky-Bannett
- Founded In: 2016
- Funding: Series D, $295.7 Million
- Investors Include: ION Crossover Partners, M12 Microsoft Venture Fund, Icon Ventures
At-Bay is an innovative startup in the insurance technology or “InsurTech” space that’s bringing world-class, modern technology to the insurance industry. In our increasingly digital world, insurance doesn’t have to look the same way it did at the turn of the century – in fact, by rethinking how insurers interact with customers, gauge risk, and how customers submit claims, At-Bay can develop better solutions that are more applicable to today’s day and age. Their primary product and service offerings include better insurance coverages, modern risk-management innovations, instant quotes on their broker platform, and more.
- Industry: Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Developer Tools, Software
- Founders: Furqan Rydhan, Obabtc Wurld, Steven Bartlett, Tristan Gerhardt
- Founded In: 2020
- Funding: Series A, $29 Million
- Investors Include: Blockpay, Haun Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Polygon
thirdweb is a startup in the blockchain, cryptocurrency, and developer tools space, making it easier than ever for developers to build Web3 applications and smart contracts without the hassles of poor documentation and complex libraries. With thirdweb’s powerful software development kits (SDKs) and intuitive development tools, Web3 developers can ship their innovations on-chain faster than ever. Developers will find a secure, convenient, and optimized platform, as well as a number of starter templates, dashboards, and contract kits that allow them to rapidly build and prototype.
- Industry: Fintech, Payments, Sustainability, Transportation
- Founders: Harshita Arora, Tushar Misra, Vignan Velivela
- Founded In: 2019
- Funding: Series B, $257 Million
- Investors Include: General Catalyst, Contrary, Jetstream, Leadout Capital, Elad Gil
AtoB is a financial technology and transportation startup that allows transportation businesses with fleets of vehicles to spend less on fuel, instantly process payrolls and save money from an intuitive and easy-to-use platform. They partner with companies in public services, education, construction, delivery fleets, local services, trucking, electric vehicles, renewables, and supply chain to power vehicle fleets locally and nationwide.
Discover more top fintech startups.
5. Unstoppable Domains
- Industry: Internet, Domain Registrar, Blockchain
- Founders: Bogdan Gusiev, Brad Kam, Braden Pezeshki, Matthew Gould
- Founded In: 2018
- Funding: Series A, $72 Million
- Investors Include: Pantera Capital, Alt Tab Capital, Boost VC, Mayfield Fund
Unstoppable Domains is a blockchain and domain registrar startup that allows Web3 and NFT enthusiasts to own their own identity in the digital world through what they term “NFT domains.” An NFT domain is a website domain that anyone can create, with endings such as: .crypto, .nft, .x, .wallet, .bitcoin, .dao, .888, .zil, or .blockchain. Rather than typing a long address of random letters and numbers, users can easily log in across Web3 using an NFT domain.
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- Industry: Last Mile Transportation, Ride Sharing, Mobile Apps
- Founders: Adam Zhang, Brad Bao, Caen Contee, Charlie Gao, Kazuma Furuki, Toby Sun
- Founded In: 2017
- Funding: Series D, Debt Financing, Convertible Note, $1.5 Billion
- Investors Include: Apple, UBS O’Connor, Uber, True Capital Management
Lime is an e-scooter and e-bike-sharing startup that aims to help its customers “ride green” through the use of electric bikes and electric scooters. To use Lime, all customers have to do is download the Lime app, find an available vehicle, scan the QR code on the vehicle to unlock it, and then ride while following all traffic rules and sticking to bike lanes and legal streets.
- Industry: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Enterprise Software, Customer Service, Machine Learning
- Founders: Colm Doyle, Deon Nicholas, Sami Ghoche
- Founded In: 2017
- Funding: Series C, $92 Million
- Investors Include: Cleo Capital, Steadfast Financial, K9 Ventures
Forethought is a startup aiming to transform the customer service experience with human-centered artificial intelligence. With their technology, businesses can instantly resolve customer service cases, predict and prioritize tickets, and help support agents by providing them with relevant knowledge on the fly.
Explore more top AI startups.
- Industry: Financial Services, Developer APIs, Fintech, Identity Management
- Founders: Ethan Winchell, Ryan Sandler, Victor Kabdebon
- Founded In: 2017
- Funding: Series C, $94.9 Million
- Investors Include: G Squared, American Express Ventures, Activant Capital
Truework is an employment and income verification startup company that’s helping its clients close mortgages, candidates, rentals, and loans faster than ever. With the services Truework provides, users can quickly verify employment and income on one single platform, with data being returned instantly on over 35 million employees within the United States.
- Industry: Health Care, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning
- Founders: Andy Atwal, Benjamin Beadle-Ryby, Malinka Walaliyadde, Varun Ganapathi
- Founded In: 2018
- Funding: Series B, $85 Million
- Investors Include: Andreessen Horowitz, Bond, Costanoa Ventures
AKASA is an artificial intelligence startup built for healthcare and revenue cycle operations that is building the future of healthcare through AI. By using AI technology, AKASA is able to reduce operating costs within the healthcare industry and help medical professionals, providers, and centers allocate resources optimally.
10. Incredible Health
- Industry: Health Care, Hospital, Human Resources (HR), Medical, Recruiting
- Founders: Iman Abuzeid, Rome Portlock
- Founded In: 2017
- Funding: Series B, $97.3 Million
- Investors Include: Stardust Equity, Base10 Partners, Andreessen Horowitz
Incredible Health is a startup transforming the way nurses are hired. Rather than nurses applying for job opportunities on their own, employers actually apply to nurses in order to hire them for their specific skills and expertise! Hospitals love the speed at which this innovative system from Incredible Health operates, and it is an excellent way to pair the best hospitals with the best clinicians.
Discover more top healthcare startups.
- Industry: Developer Platforms, Developer APIs, Content Creators, Developer Tools
- Founders: Achintya Gupta, Akhil Bhiwal, Mohit Kumar
- Founded In: 2021
- Funding: Series A, $17.8 Million
- Investors Include: Nexus Venture Partners, RTP Global, iSeed, Better Capital
Phyllo is a startup focused on helping developers by providing a universal application programming interface (API) for creator data. Using Phyllo, developers can get continuous access to various creator-permissioned, verified data sets across hundreds of different platforms.
Is San Francisco good for startups?
Yes, San Francisco is great for startups due to its vibrant startup ecosystem, the plethora of investors willing to invest in brand-new startup companies, and the number of other founders who reside in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area.
How many startups are there in San Francisco?
There are currently estimated to be approximately 4,000+ startups who are based in San Francisco and based their operations in the San Francisco Bay Area.
What are some successful San Francisco companies?
Some of the most successful San Francisco companies that came out of the Bay Area are Apple, Wells Fargo, Google, Gilead Sciences, OpenAI, HackerOne, GrubMarket, AtoB, Alchemy, Instacart, and Chime.
Recommended: Check out our full list of the top startups to watch!