22 San Francisco Startups to Watch in 2022

Meet the young companies heating up the local tech market this year.
Written by Tyler Holmes
February 1, 2022Updated: February 2, 2022

While 2021 may have been a year of patching up pandemic-cracked foundations for many tech companies in order to find solid ground, ambitious startups in the Golden State’s tech hub of San Francisco took a different approach. Instead of patching up, why not build a launch pad to reach new heights?

In the face of Covid-19, many San Francisco tech teams decided to stop waiting for the world to “return to normal” and forged ahead to create a new normal — if not a better one. Consumer needs were changing, and the systems that served them needed to adapt along with them. Technology was no longer a glamorized accessory or simply a way to make processes easier: It was a necessity in a newly virtual world.

No stranger to revolutionary ideas and juggernaut organizations, the Silicon Valley area raised a staggering $105 billion in funding last year to make their innovations a reality, according to a report by CB Insights. Across fields like cryptocurrency, healthcare, construction and more, San Francisco’s tech industry found impressive ways to drive growth and initiate hiring sprees while keeping up with customer demands.

Tech hubs might be expanding to new locations as the world embraces remote and hybrid work, but 2021’s project results and groundbreaking funding rounds proved why San Francisco remains at the forefront of the pack. To provide a sense of the city’s vibrant scene and monumental impact, Built In rounded up 22 of the tech startups you should be watching in 2022.

 

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What they do: 1build is focused on helping construction companies make their operations more efficient by automating building cost estimates, managing scheduling and creating itemized material documents that can be given to suppliers. Through the power of AI and machine learning technology, the company is on a mission to create a data-driven approach for humans and algorithms to collaborate on building design and construction.

Year founded: 2019

Why we’re watching: In November of last year, 1build announced that they had secured a total of $19.5M in funding, including the closing of a $14M Series A led by Greycroft Capital. “By revolutionizing access to real-time materials data, 1build’s platform is bringing stability to a market that directly impacts which materials manufacturers should orient their supply chains around,” Greycroft Principal Brentt Baltimore said in a company press release.

 

 

 

What they do: Abacus.AI is a cloud-based AI platform that harnesses machine learning for repeatable use cases such as churn prediction, time-series forecasting and deep learning-based personalization. This allows the company to train and deploy an enterprise-class deep learning system into production in days.

Year founded: 2019

Why we’re watching: Abacus.AI ended 2021 with a bang. In October, the company announced it had snagged a $50 million Series C, and in December, they were placed on Gartner’s Cool Vendors in AI Core Technologies list. 

 

 

 

What they do: Afresh has built the first Fresh Operating System to analyze fresh inventory, forecasting, ordering and grocery store operations in order to help eliminate food waste.

Year founded: 2017

Why we’re watching: Afresh has an ambitious goal: Eliminating food waste and making fresh food accessible to everyone. A key component to transform that goal into a reality? Galvanizing teams around the company’s mission. “For us, our culture and mission are almost one and the same,” co-founder and CEO Matt Schwartz told Built In last August.

 

 

 

What they do: Berkeley-based company Anyscale aims to accelerate the development and productization of AI applications. The platform provides developers of all skill levels with a way to build and deploy applications at every scale.

Year founded: 2019

Why we’re watching: In December of last year, Anyscale announced that it raised $100 million in fresh financing. The Series C cements the company’s status as a unicorn. “No product is quite tackling the challenges of scaling and deploying AI holistically like we are,” CEO Robert Nishihara previously told Built In.

 

 

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What they do: Assembled’s workforce management platform offers one system for scheduling, forecasting and reporting to ensure faster response times for support teams. The company aims to make the customer experience smoother and more empathetic.

Year founded: 2018

Why we’re watching: Last December, Assembled unveiled a groundbreaking new partnership with cloud contact center provider UJET, aiming to provide customers with enhanced support team experiences at scale. “In pairing up with UJET, we’re able to offer intelligent workforce management capabilities to the most innovative support teams,” CEO Ryan Wang said in a press release reported by Business Wire.

 

 

 

What they do: Clumio is a SaaS, public and private cloud enterprise protection service all bundled into a single platform. The company manages scalability and costs of cloud-based applications while consistently maintaining security protocols, eliminating the complexity of traditional infrastructure management.

Year founded: 2017

Why we’re watching: Last fall, engineering teams launched Clumio into the AWS Marketplace — a curated collection of trusted software from which customers can discover new products — to introduce backup as a service to the masses. “While technical challenges made this project exciting, its impact on sales made it highly rewarding,” Director of Engineering Lawrence Change told Built In in October

 

 

 

What they do: FalconX is a cryptocurrency brokerage and digital asset trading platform for institutional traders and investors. The fintech company strives to exponentially grow the digital asset ecosystem with industry-leading prime brokerage solutions.

Year founded: 2018

Why we’re watching: 2021 was a year stacked with funding for FalconX. The company announced a whopping $50 million investment from Tiger Global and B Capital Group, achieving 46 times their net revenue growth in March of last year. Then, in August, FalconX revealed an additional $210 million in a Series C financing round, valuing the company at $3.75 billion. “Serving the world’s leading investors, we are at the forefront of a megatrend which will fundamentally change financial services,” CEO and co-founder Raghu Yarlagadda said in a press release reported by Business Wire.

 

 

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What they do: Indigov is a next-generation constituent experience management platform designed to make contacting the government easier. The service not only reduces the average response time from representatives and government officials, but also provides data insights into how to better structure their work processes.

Year founded: 2019

Why we’re watching: July of 2021 was a busy month for Indigov. The platform not only received $13.2 million in new equity investment according to intelligence360.io, but also locked in a partnership with the Michigan Legislature to modernize constituent services offered by each legislative office. In January, Indigov was also featured on Built In’s 100 Best Remote-First Companies.

 

 

 

What they do: Isometric Technologies is a collaborative SaaS and analytics solution that streamlines the data reconciliation process between large manufacturers, transportation providers and other third party stakeholders in the supply chain. By associating costs from chargebacks and service level failures to the responsible parties, the company is able to deliver insights that help optimize complex business relationships.

Year founded: 2020

Why we’re watching: Teams at Isometric Technologies are experiencing milestone-worthy growth. Over the summer last year, the company announced that it was hiring across all functions to support its rapid expansion. Then, in November, ISO revealed on Twitter that it had processed over one million shipments on its platform since launching in 2020.

 

 

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What they do: Lendtable helps individuals make the maximum contribution their employer allows — and will match — for 401k or employee stock purchase plans through various lending programs. This allows employees to contribute to the future without leaving money on the table.

Year founded: 2020

Why we’re watching: Lendtable announced in November that it had received $18 million in Series A funding. “Over the next year, we will build out services that both support and supplement Lendtable Cash and our user’s overarching investment experience,” co-founder Mitchell Jones highlighted in a company-issued press release.

 

 

 

What they do: Merge is an integrations platform for product development. Merge handles the full integrations lifecycle — from initial build to end-user onboarding — to fully manage the maintenance of all integrations once developers have integrated with the company’s API.

Year founded: 2020

Why we’re watching: Despite being less than two years old, Merge is growing at a rapid pace. In May of last year, the company announced that it had raised $4.5 million in a seed round led by NEA. In September, Merge revealed it had forged a partnership with Ultimate Kronos Group (UKG). But wait, there’s more: In November, the company announced a  $15 million Series A led by Addition. “With this round, we’re continuing on our mission to revolutionize how every B2B company approaches its integrations strategy,” co-founder Gil Feig said in a press release.

 

 

 

What they do: Modern Treasury enables its clients to marry bank statements with the company’s business logic to provide an enriched history of all financial transactions. This allows finance teams to focus on solving the mission-critical problems of the business quickly and confidently.

Year founded: 2018

Why we’re watching: Modern Treasury had an impressive streak of achievements in 2021. First, the company reported that it had raised $85 million in a Series C funding round led by Altimeter Capital in October, boosting the company’s value over $2 billion. Then, in December, co-founders Sam Aarons and Matt Marcus ‍were honored as winners on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Entering the new year, the company plans to grow with even more hiring plans on the horizon.

 

 

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 What they do: Noyo is building the digital infrastructure to bring health insurance enrollment into the modern era. Noyo replaces today’s manual data entry and legacy systems with a powerful API platform that enables a faster, more accurate data exchange between health insurance platforms and their carrier partners.

Year founded: 2017

Why we’re watching: Noyo formed not one but two impressive partnerships in May of last year. First, Business Wire reported that the API platform joined forces with Unum to provide expanded employee benefits for customers through more digital platforms. Then, days later, Noyo and Workforce Junction came together to integrate API solutions for fast, accurate data exchange to activate premium connectivity with leading insurance carriers across the industry.

 

 

 

What they do: Orbit helps clients grow and measure their community reach across any platform by acting as “mission control.” This community experience software allows users to deliver a positive experience, understand its impact and put community members first.

Year founded: 2019

Why we’re watching: In May 2021, Orbit announced it had become community mission control for more than 2,900 users from more than 1,500 organizations. Co-founder and CEO Patrick Woods then revealed that the company had raised $15 million in Series A funding. “Together we can drive the strategic role of community to help drive growth,” Woods said in a company press release.

 

 

 

What they do: PointCard is focused on building a balanced financial future that aligns incentives between people and their payment cards. PointCard and the Point App work together to give users better options for everyday spending.

Year founded: 2018

Why we’re watching: According to Business and Growth Recruiter Cara Fishman, 2022 is all about massive remote scaling at PointCard. “We are in a hypergrowth phase and looking for talented people from across the nation,” Fishman told Built In in January. “As we continue to scale, we are expanding into different tech hubs. We will continue to prioritize hiring for engineers and designers as we keep building out our product team in an effort to deliver the best possible customer experience.”

 

 

 

What they do: Render allows users to host anything from simple static sites to complex applications with dozens of microservices online using their cloud platform. The startup aims to help smaller businesses leverage the latest in cloud technology.

Year founded: 2018

Why we’re watching: When it comes to the Render employee experience and company culture, intimate is better. Since joining the team in 2020, VP of Engineering Uma Chingunde says the company has doubled in size but still remains smaller than many other companies. “One thing that won’t change is our scrappiness when it comes to hiring,” Chingunde told Built In last November. “Both CEO Anurag Goel and I continue to reach out to people daily and take as many initial candidate calls as possible. We help each other grow as individuals and as a collective.”

 

 

 

What they do: RudderStack is an open-source customer data platform equipped to handle collecting, storing and routing customer event data. This allows for easy syncing between data sources and every tool in a client’s tech stack.

Year founded: 2019

Why we’re watching: In June of last year, RudderStack announced that it had raised $21 million in Series A funding led by Kleiner Perkins. That same day, the company also announced that it would be launching a new customer data platform. “RSDX, the latest release of RudderStack, is the culmination of all we’ve learned from our customers about how they want to build and manage their customer data platforms,” founder and CEO Soumyadeb Mitra said in a press release on the company’s website.

 

 

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What they do: Every day, thousands of brain images and brain signals are captured during clinical trials and in the course of routine patient care. Rune Labs’ software platform helps partners in med-tech and pharma ingest, organize and analyze large amounts of brain data on a secure cloud infrastructure.

Year founded: 2018

Why we’re watching: In September of last year, Rune Labs revealed it had acquired an impressive $22.8 million in Series A funding led by Eclipse Ventures. “This financing will enable us to expand the number of patients, clinicians and researchers using our platform to inform precision therapy development and delivery for patients with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and depression,” founder and CEO Brian Pepin said in a company-issued press release.

 

 

 

What they do: THE YES is an AI-powered next generation shopping platform striving to rewrite the architecture of e-commerce. The company works with a wide array of brands, big and small, who share a passion for revolutionizing online retail.

Year founded: 2018

Why we’re watching: THE YES has had no shortage of recognition since launching. The company has been acknowledged in publications like Forbes, Vogue, TechCrunch, Bloomberg, Glamour and more for its innovative AI approach to e-commerce. In 2021, this led THE YES to take part in Adweek’s Elevate AI event and the Google Cloud Startup Summit for leaders to discuss their methods of finding success.

 

 

 

What they do: Self-proclaimed “fake data company” Tonic mimics a client’s production databases to create safe, high-quality synthetic data to be used by developers in their local environments. Developers use data generated with Tonic to accelerate their CI/CD pipelines in industries like healthcare, financial services, logistics, education and e-commerce.

Year founded: 2018

Why we’re watching: Besides being featured in Built In’s coverage about integration testing, Tonic had many impressive feats in 2021. First, in September, the data company announced it had raised $35 million in Series B financing. In November, the data company was named the leading data synthesis player in Fast Company's Inaugural Next Big Things in Tech for AI and Data. The company has now raised a total of $45 million in funding.

 

 

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What they do: Unstoppable Domains is on a mission to return the power of the internet to people by creating NFT domains that put users back in control of their data. An Unstoppable domain acts as a cryptocurrency address, login to the decentralized web and universal username.

Year founded: 2018

Why we’re watching: After first bringing blockchain domain access to the mainstream in February, Unstoppable Domains announced that it had joined forces with dollar-based stablecoin USDC creator Circle to offer easily readable usernames for stablecoin payments in August. Then in December, PR Newswire reported that Unstoppable forged another partnership with Alchemy to launch an API for domain name integrations, making it easy for any wallet, exchange, marketplace or app to support NFT domains.

 

 

 

What they do: Upland is a blockchain-based game in which users can buy, sell and trade virtual properties mapped to the real world. By becoming a “digital landowner,” users can build properties to earn UPX coins, and the project utilizes blockchain to tie each property within the Upland platform to an NFT.

Year founded: 2018

Why we’re watching: In November of last year, Upland announced it had raised $18 million at a $300 million valuation for its nonfungible token (NFT) virtual real estate game. This comes after the company reached a record-breaking milestone in June by surpassing over one million NFT properties minted in just 18 months since its inception, according to Bitcoin.com. Upland also happened to score a feature on CBS/Paramount Plus’ “60 Minutes+” TV show that same month.

 

 

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