19 Public Tech Companies in San Francisco You Should Know

Written by Olivia McClure
Published on May. 10, 2024
19 Public Tech Companies in San Francisco You Should Know
​ Photo: Shutterstock ​

For companies in the tech space, the promises of going public are plentiful. Historically, getting to an IPO is exciting news for organizations that wish to establish greater prominence within their industries and attract the attention of eager investors. Once a company gives the public the opportunity to invest in the product they’ve created, it raises the bar in numerous ways. For instance, when Facebook went public in 2012, the company was subsequently held to a higher standard, prompting the social media kingpin to make the monumental transition to mobile. In this sense, going public is often a sign that a company is projected to do well and has the financial stability to succeed. 

San Francisco has always had a significant impact on the national economy, boasting a large community of public tech companies valued at billions of dollars. Just last year, many of the city’s brightest tech darlings reached IPO status including fast-growing startups such as Fastly and Casper, as well as not-so-new names like Uber and Pinterest. Like those that came before them, these previously private organizations are stepping into the throes of the stock market frenzy, and they're ready to prove themselves. For those eager to profit off of a piece of tech history, look no further than these public tech companies in San Francisco. 


Public Tech Companies in San Francisco To Know

  • Upwork
  • Fastly
  • Casper
  • DocuSign
  • Dropbox
  • Lending Club
  • Lyft


Founded: 2015

What they do: Samsara works with companies across a variety of industries to equip them with technology that cuts down on inefficiencies and helps their operations run smoothly. Its hardware and software products enable vehicle telematics, for example, allowing businesses to stay on top of important real-time data such as location and fuel usage for their fleet vehicles.


Founded: 2006

What they do: Adyen’s fintech solutions support operations for a vast range of business types, including chain restaurants, bars, apparel stores, grocery stores, transportation services, hotels and event venues. The company offers products for managing everything from accepting payments and accessing insights about customer behavior to issuing physical and virtual payment cards.


Founded: 2011

What they do: Toast’s restaurant industry tech solutions have features that benefit thousands of food trucks, breweries, pizzerias, fast casual spots and other food and drink businesses. Its products include a point-of-sale platform, self-service kiosks, a tip management system, email marketing tools and a solution for staying on top of reservations and table availability.


Founded: 2010

What they do: Udemy is an online learning platform with thousands of courses across subjects like project management, business law, music software, fashion design, arts and crafts and social media marketing. In addition to serving individual learners, Udemy also partners with businesses to provide their employees with access to courses and certifications in multiple languages that can help them upskill and further their career.


Founded: 2009

What they do: Upon going in May of 2019, ridesharing behemoth Uber became the highest valued tech IPO since Facebook. Valued at roughly $75 billion, the transportation tech company has come a long way since its inception, currently operating in more than 700 cities worldwide. In addition to its popular ride-hailing and food delivery services, Uber offers other types of transportation assistance including Uber Freight, Uber Business and Uber Work. The company even boasts an electric bike and scooter service called JUMP, which enables people to reserve nearby electric vehicles through the Uber app. 


Founded: 2007

What they do: Founded by Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston, file-sharing platform Dropbox made its IPO debut in 2018. Since its establishment, the smart workspace has garnered over 600 million registered users from 180 countries. Dropbox is dedicated to designing a more enlightened way of working, providing its users with secure file sharing, collaboration and storage solutions. 


Founded: 2012

What they do: Not to be outdone by its biggest competitor, ridesharing leader Lyft went public in 2019, securing an IPO valued at about $24 billion. Established by Logan Green and John Zimmer, Lyft provides services in most of America and in select cities in Canada. The company has partnered with self-driving technology companies across the country in an effort to offer passengers autonomous ride-hailing services. Lyft also gives users access to bikes and electric scooters, which can be discovered through the company’s app. 


Founded: 2014

What they do: Established by Odysseas Tsatalos, freelancing website Upwork went public in 2018, hitting a market value of over $1 billion. Using its matching technology, the company gives organizations access to a global pool of proven professionals, so that they can scale their teams dynamically to meet business needs. Serving both startups and major corporations, Upwork enables clients to find, hire, work with, and pay freelancers in a way that is simple, quick and cost-effective. 


Founded: 2011

What they do: Founded by Julie Wainwright, e-commerce startup The RealReal went public in 2019 with a $300 million IPO. The online marketplace was designed specifically for authenticated, consigned luxury goods, serving as a safe and reliable platform for consumers to buy and sell their items. With a team of in-house gemologists, horologists and brand authenticators, The RealReal offers free in-home pickup, drop-off service and direct shipping for individual consignors and estates. 


Founded: 2009

What they do: Operations performance platform PagerDuty went public last April, snagging $1.8 billion in valuation. The company is designed to serve as the central nervous system for a company’s digital operations. Pager Duty enables companies to identify issues and opportunities in real-time, help people respond to problems faster, and prevent issues in the future. PagerDuty serves over 100,000 small, medium-sized and enterprise-scale clients from across the globe, helping them increase business response and efficiency. 


Founded: 2009

What they do: Established by Jim McKelvey and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, Square went public in 2015, with a market value of roughly $2.9 billion. The mobile payment company serves as a full point-of-sale system with tools for every part of running a business including accepting credit cards and tracking sales and inventory. Square is dedicated to helping sellers of all sizes start, run and grow their businesses. 


Founded: 2011

What they do: Established by Artur Bergman, Fastly went public last year after securing a $180 million IPO. The company’s edge cloud platform helps digital businesses keep pace with customer expectations through fast, secure and scalable online experiences. Fastly is dedicated to helping companies accelerate the pace of technical innovation, scale on demand, and mitigate evolving threats. 


Founded: 2014

What they do: With a valuation of roughly $1 billion, mattress manufacturer Casper went public in 2019. The sleep tech startup sells its highly popular mattress directly to consumers, therefore getting rid of commission-driven, inflated prices. Since its launch, the company has expanded its product line to include other sleep-related items such as weighted blankets, glow lights, pillows and dog mattresses. In 2015, Casper’s mattress was named one of TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions. 


Founded: 2003

What they do: Established by Thomas Gonsner, DocuSign went public in 2018, valued at about $4.4 billion. The company’s cloud-based e-signature platform helps businesses, enterprises, and individuals collect information, automate data workflows, and sign on various devices. Boasting millions of users in over 180 countries, DocuSign serves clients from a wide range of industries including IT, finance, marketing, product management and insurance. 


Founded: 2006

What they do: Launched by John Donovan and Renaud Laplanche, Lending Club entered the stock market race in 2014, scoring a valuation of $5.4 billion. Connecting borrowers and investors, the online marketplace facilitates personal loans, business loans and financing for elective medical procedures as well as education and tutoring. Lending Club enables borrowers to access lower interest rate loans through a fast and easy interface, transforming the banking system into a transparent, frictionless and highly efficient online marketplace. 


Founded: 2010

What they do: Founded by Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp and Paul Sicarra, Pinterest went public last April, landing a valuation of more than $12 billion. The self-named “visual discovery engine” gives people the tools to dream about, plan and prepare for things they want to do in life. With over 250 million users worldwide, Pinterest has positioned itself to become a major advertising platform for brands to share their products and acquire new customers. 


Founded: 1999

What they do: With over $65 million in total funding, customer success platform Salesforce went public in 2004. Since then, the cloud computing company has broadened its global reach, boasting several offices across the globe. Known for its on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, Salesforce also offers the Sales Cloud, which enables users to track customer information and interactions in one place through its contact management, opportunity management, sales collaboration and sales performance management services. 


Founded: 2009

What they do: The popular collaboration tool creator Slack Technologies went public in 2019, opting for a direct public offering (DPO) rather than an IPO. Valued at nearly $16 billion, the business technology company is dedicated to enabling organizations to effectively work together, find important information and access thousands of critical applications and services. Boasting 14 offices worldwide and a user base that spans 150 countries, Slack provides both large corporations and small teams a shared view of progress and purpose. 


Founded: 2006

Location: SoMa

What they do: Launched by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass, social media giant Twitter went public in 2013, when it scored a valuation of $24 billion. With a commitment to serving the public conversation, the platform enables the world to connect, debate, learn and solve problems together. Since its inception, Twitter has amassed more than 400 million monthly visitors and 255 million monthly active users. 

This article was originally published in 2020. Rose Velazquez contributed reporting to this story.

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