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LinkedIn Unveils 2021 U.S. Top Startups List

50 Innovators Embracing Flexibility and the Future of Work, Offering Remote and Hybrid Roles, Work from Home Stipends, Unique Mental Health Benefits, Upskilling and More

SUNNYVALE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#LinkedInTopStartupsLinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, announced today the 2021 LinkedIn Top Startups list, identifying the top 50 emerging startups in the U.S. Based on unique LinkedIn data, this year’s Top Startups are responding to the increasing demand for self-care, offering new ways to connect, making financial management more accessible, exploring new frontiers in technology and accelerating business growth and success.

Homeownership startup Better (#1) tops the U.S. list for the second year in a row, joined by newcomer revenue intelligence platform Gong (#2), beauty innovator Glossier (#3), communication app Discord (#4) and financial services company Brex (#5).

“We’re witnessing the Great Reshuffle – a moment where everyone is rethinking not just how we work, but why we work,” said Jessi Hempel, senior editor at large at LinkedIn. “The Top Startups on this year’s list are at the forefront of what’s next, keeping employees productive and engaged, giving them flexibility in where, when and how they work, and offering mental health and wellness benefits to help prevent burnout and protect work-life balance. The pandemic has forever shifted how we think about our careers and lives, and these companies are leading the way with innovative plans for how we approach the future of work – and the majority are hiring right now.”

Key trends from this year’s Top Startups list include:

  • SELF-CARE SOARS FOR BODY AND MIND: Many of this year’s honorees help people find new ways to support their physical and emotional well-being. Offering easy-to-use skincare and makeup, Glossier (#3) returns to the list and is joined by superfood-based skincare startup Youth To The People (#8). Daily Harvest (#14) makes healthy food delivery easier than ever, newcomer Therabody (#18) offers tech-based wellness and massage products, Ritual (#26) delivers clean vitamins and Papa & Barkley (#43) launched a cannabis-themed spa, dispensary and consumption space. Digital health services continue to be in demand with telehealth platform Ro (#27), physical therapy provider Hinge Health (#31) and virtual mental health platform Lyra Health (#37), all appearing on the list for the first time. This year’s Top Startups are also prioritizing the well-being of their employees as they navigate the future of work – Glossier (#3) offers employees “mental escape days,” Getaway (#38) provides monthly floating holidays and mandatory vacation days and Catalyst Software (#39) covers 100% of the health care plan for all employees and their dependents.
  • CONSUMERS CRAVE MORE CONTENT AND CONNECTION: With many people spending so much more time on screens, demand for digital content keeps growing and many startups on this year’s list are rising to the occasion with cutting-edge content. Overtime (#24) delivers original sports content, Songtradr (#13) helps get music licensed and MasterClass (#21) provides educational offerings across topics. Communication app Discord (#4), audio-based social app Clubhouse (#6) and celebrity-based Cameo (#17) give people new ways to keep in touch virtually.
  • MONEY TALKS: From corporate credit cards that earn you crypto to lending companies that put consumers in charge, startups addressing the financial needs of consumers and businesses make their mark on this year’s list. Returning to the Top Startups list in the top spot, Better (#1) continues to grow as the housing market keeps booming. Brex (#5), now offering crypto rewards, also returns to the list. Payment recovery startup Gravy (#12), credit card company Ramp (#19), bitcoin rewards credit card BlockFi (#28) and cryptocurrency exchange platform Gemini (#41) all make their debut.
  • FUTURISTIC TECH TESTS THE LIMITS OF POSSIBILITY: From startups printing 3D supersonic jets to microchip technology that allows a monkey to play video games with its mind, this year’s innovators are taking us places we haven’t gone before. Nuro (#34) returns to the list with its self-driving vehicles, now used by companies like Dominos and Walmart, and neurotechnology company Neuralink (#33) is testing implantable brain-machine interfaces to treat neurological diseases and other ailments. Aviation startup Boom Supersonic (#35) is developing a net-zero carbon supersonic airliner, and aerospace manufacturer Relativity Space (#45) is 3D printing reusable rockets.
  • BETTER BUSINESS TOOLS FOR THE FUTURE OF WORK: One-third of the startups on this year’s list are making businesses work better and more efficiently. Four of these companies appear in the top ten, including sales management platform Gong (#2), text-centric startup Attentive (#7), sales engagement platform Outreach (#9) and e-commerce accelerator MikMak (#10). Cannabis technology platform Dutchie (#36) returns to the list, joined by newcomers designed to simplify and speed up business operations – software writing platform GitLab (#20), task management platform ClickUp (#42), email app Superhuman (#44) and health care SaaS startup Innovaccer (#46).

Below are the top 10 companies on this year’s Top Startups list:

  1. Better
  2. Gong
  3. Glossier
  4. Discord
  5. Brex
  6. Clubhouse
  7. Attentive
  8. Youth to the People
  9. Outreach
  10. MikMak

Top Startups is based on billions of actions taken by the 774+ million members on LinkedIn and a four-pillar methodology measuring employment growth, engagement, job interest and talent attraction. The complete 2021 U.S. Top Startups list, along with additional lists in global markets, interviews and special features, can be found here. To join the conversation on social media, search @LinkedIn and #LinkedInTopStartups.

LinkedIn Top Startups List Methodology

The Top Startups list is part of the LinkedIn List franchise, an ongoing editorial series that celebrates professionals and companies making an impact in the professional world. To be eligible for the U.S. Top Startups list, a company must be independent and privately held, have at least 50 employees, be no more than seven years old, be headquartered in the U.S. and have a minimum of 15% employee growth over the time period. The ranking is determined by four pillars based on LinkedIn data: employment growth, engagement with the company and its employees, job interest and ability to attract talent from companies on the LinkedIn Top Companies list. The timeline measured was July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. Top Startups is a global list that includes rankings for Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, the U.K. and the U.S. LinkedIn Lists are fueled by exclusive LinkedIn data mapping the professional landscape from LinkedIn’s global News team.

About LinkedIn

LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful, and transforms the way companies hire, market, sell and learn. Our vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. LinkedIn has 774+ million members and has offices around the globe.


Press Contact
Katherine O’Hara, LinkedIn, [email protected]


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