The Hottest Silicon Valley Industries And Startups To Follow In 2020
Mar 279 min read
IT Marketing Strategist at Ideamotive. Travel addict and remote work advocate.
There’s no denying that the Silicon Valley is still at the leading edge of the tech industry.
Many places want to repeat the success story of the bay area and become the Silicon Valley of their part of the world. Let it be Tel Aviv in the Middle East or Stockholm in Northern Europe. What made Silicon Valley so fruitful?
The Bay Area’s mature infrastructure, access to talented professionals, and strong engineering tradition make it a prime spot for driving innovation. Despite the high operational costs, it’s also a great place for startups that want to make a name for themselves with unique technological solutions in areas such as web app development or mobile app development.
You better keep up with the local startup scene because what happens in Silicon Valley pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the world and tech hubs scenes like New York, Tel Aviv or Stockholm.
Among top tech companies in the bay area, there are quite a lot of startups. Here you will find the hottest of them grouped by industries.
We hear about blockchain mainly in the context of cryptocurrencies. Since the emergence of bitcoin over ten years ago, blockchain technology has been adapted as a solution to many more challenges. Blockchain is highly resistant to data manipulation (fraud) and it may help with security issues. Therefore, it's now researched and developed by financial institutions. However, it may alter other industries as well. For example with blockchain 'micro-metering' and 'micro-monetizing' are possible. In this case, it's important for creators who can now automatically earn their share from the work's distribution.
Ripe.io takes advantage of blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) to disrupt the area of digital food supply chain. Thanks to their technology, users get to learn more about the quality of their food, its origin, and many more things that help make an informed choice and become more aware as consumers. But that’s not the only benefit of the technology. Farmers can use it as well to automate internal processes and meet the current market demands for high-quality and sustainable produce. Ripe.io offers supply chain tracking and visibility, secure data aggregation and sharing, and a scaleable blockchain, sensor, and IoT integration.
Wyre wants to cause a revolution in the banking industry with its cutting-edge blockchain solutions. Founded in 2013, the startup uses proprietary blockchain technology to enable cross-border payments, reducing the time and expenses that usually come with banks and other financial institutions. Most of the time, banks take up to 3 days and charge 4-6% for international money transfers. Wyre allows completing transactions in less than six hours and charges less than 1%.
Value: $127 billion
Financial technology is a huge market. It's expected to become even twice as big by 2023. The reason why it's so big and important is that it deals with things we all do. Digital payments, personal finance, alternative financing, cryptocurrencies, and other digital cash alternatives.
Fintech companies often make use of blockchain technologies. It’s because of the amount of data they collect about users and their fraud vulnerability. Since their databases can be tempting for hackers, fintech companies need to focus on security issues. Fintech companies will change our lives very soon. Let’s take a look at top fintech startups:
Sparkling Logic helps organizations make smart business decisions using machine learning, business rules, and decision analytics. Companies can extract maximum value from customer interactions through dynamic pricing. The application also includes risk management and compliance in the financial services industry to manage flash fraud for daily transactions. Sparkling Logic also uses IoT in the energy and utility industries to monitor equipment remotely through sensors.
Securitize is a software platform companies can use to issue and manage digital securities (security tokens) such as distributions, dividends, and share buy-backs. The startup’s Digital Securities Protocol (DS Protocol) enables seamless and fully-compliant trading across multiple markets at the same time. Securitize is a leader in the security token space.
This is a free, text-based penguin that helps consumers manage their finances efficiently. The tool continuously monitors your transactions and sends you an alert when you need to have a closer look at something. Charlie offers quality financial advice that doesn’t scare users with details and complexities, instead offering simple and actionable tips.
AI & Machine Learning
Value: $20 billion
Artificial Intelligence is something people are both fascinated about and afraid of. On the one hand, it may make some roles in the economy useless, but at the same time, it should produce more jobs. Many top tech companies in the bay area make use of AI. As part of IoT or mobile applications AI will learn and make UX improving over time. For example, it can be incredibly helpful for predictions. It can and is often used to detect possible fraud transactions. AI experts are among the most wanted tech specialists on the market. Lack of them is probably the only thing that can stop AI tech companies' development.
This is a SaaS product and machine learning API that helps developers in building machine learning models for all kinds of solutions, including web app development. Software engineers who need to develop a model for identifying objects from sets can benefit a lot from Nanonets technology. The tool helps to increase the adoption of machine learning technology among businesses.
This tool uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate and optimize the real estate industry. Among others, the company released an intelligent assistant for real estate transactions called Folio – it automatically organizes essential transaction details for real estate agents.
This award-winning platform is used by Fortune 500 companies and government organizations all over the world to solve problems around the discovery, curation, and recommendation of content across external, internal, and tacit knowledge sources. The solution includes a Learning Experience Platform (LXP), SalesU sales enablement suite, and GuideMe, a multi-language in-app content authoring tool.
Value: $56 billion
For many years people have known that there are sets of data that are way too large and/or too complex to analyze them the traditional way. We hope that there are answers hidden somewhere in our databases. Data engineers struggle to make the most sense of the data we have. However, without big data processing, the answers we seek are unavailable.
Take weather forecasting. An equation of variables in which one small change can completely alter the outcome. Thanks to the big data processing we finally can count on reliable long term forecasts.
A giant among the Bay area startups, this data warehouse virtualization platform connects Business Intelligence tools to data platforms to enable smooth data migration without disrupting business users. It also helps to accelerate business analysis and define business metrics in one place to deliver consistent operational reporting.
Value: $1,000 billion
As you can see the Medtech industry is among those with the highest valuation. No surprise you will find top tech companies in the bay area developing medical solutions. Medtech companies deal with the development of technological solutions for medicine and medical care. While Biotech is a broader industry, Medtech is focused mainly on medical products and services. These products and services are often very close to the end-user (beneficent) and directly influence a patient's life. However, there are also many improvements in medical care in general. Medtech startups may develop various medical devices, new ways of diagnostics, more personalized and patient-centered solutions. If you’re looking for investment opportunities, look at these healthcare startups from the bay area:
Biomarker offers its users with real-time, data-driven access to health supplements. It measures symptoms, health metrics, and other contextual information to match consumers with the right nutritional supplements. Biomarker also measures how users respond to supplements to produce meaningful insights about their quality.
This inspiring startup aims to improve women’s access to birth control via an easy-to-use application where they can order prescriptions and have it delivered right to their doorstep. Moreover, users can count on STI testing, herpes treatment, emergency contraception, HIV PREP and HPV screening. For users with health insurance, birth control is provided free of charge. Those without health insurance can benefit from plans that start at $15 per month.
Spring Discovery wants to discover new therapies for aging. By targeting the processes of aging itself, the startup aims to uncover new therapies for the diseases of old age such as cardiovascular to neurodegenerative disease. Their machine learning platform accelerates experimentation for discovering such therapies to have consumers live long and healthy.
Value: $490 billion
Biological technology aims at using molecular and cellular processes to improve people's lives. Biotech creates and develops technologies, services, and products that use biological systems or even living organisms. We, as people, need that because our habits are unhealthy, and we can use some help to make life better. Biotech includes branches like biopharmacy, bioinformatics, bioindustries so it can influence virtually all aspects of human life. Of course, we have a list of most interesting biotech startups in the bay area:
Biome Makers is a biotech startup that specializes in everything there is to know about the microbiome. They use DNA sequencing technologies and proprietary Intelligent Computing systems to help users improve agricultural production and the quality of their products, reducing their reliance on chemicals and the impact of diseases.
This startup aims to build a more transparent and secure global food system through with the help of hyperspectral technology that combines the power of digital imaging with ‘spectroscopy’, a chemical technique. Users take a picture of the food and can understand its composition like nutritional content, level of freshness, proteins, fats, sugar, and moisture levels. It’s a non-invasive mechanism for assessing food quality during the production process, in real-time.
Notable Labs is a drug testing service that aims to help oncologists identify the most appropriate treatment options for people with blood cancers. When De Silva’s father was diagnosed with brain cancer, he set out to revolutionize the way blood cancers are treated today with his venture. Doctors send collected a blood or bone marrow sample to Notable Labs which chooses a panel of FDA-approved drugs that have published anti-cancer effects, taking into account the patient’s diagnosis. The service then tests thousands of drug combinations on the sample and delivers a report of the results to the physician within just a few days.
Value: $143 Billion
With more and more devices connected to the Internet every year and a growing number of online services, the market needs to invest in security. Anything (computer, smartphone, car, fridge) connected to the Internet is vulnerable to hacking and fraud. Therefore, businesses need to prepare for hazardous security incidents. Even more challenges come with the spread of the Internet of Things, Fintech and Medtech solutions. To face these problems Cybersecurity experts work on technologies and processes that will defend our networks, devices, and privacy. Most interesting cybersecurity startups in the bay area are:
Thanks to continuous predictive analysis and the use of AI, Balbix increases cybersecurity of companies and organizations. Balbix gives companies a chance to recognize and address security issues before the breach occurs. With user-friendly risk visualizations makes risk management easy to understand work with. Balbix offers ideas for improvement in an organization’s cybersecurity as well.
Description: This company takes the power of crowdsourcing and makes use of it to make companies more secure. What if you could hire hackers from all over the world to test your company's cybe security and help you improve it? This is something that Bugcrowd does for its customers. Now companies can avoid major data breaches and save awful lots of money with the help of international cybersecurity experts.
Internet of Things
Value: $161 billion
We can see the development of the Internet of Things on an everyday basis. Recently designed cars are connected to the Internet and are prepared to communicate with each other. Fridges of the future will order groceries online if you run out of favorite soda. Eventually, most of our devices will be connected in order to cooperate and improve our lives. People will get more personalized offers before they even know they need them. Thanks to technological development and almost unlimited human creativity, new IoT startups emerge on a regular basis.
This startup aims at the elimination of human labor from the production of electronics. Bright Machines deliver solutions to build microfactories based on robots, IoT sensors, data analysis, process engineering, and machine learning. Thanks to the withdrawal of human labor devices can be produced faster, with fewer breaks and higher and repetitive quality.
The aim of Ockam is to solve the problem of scalability and security of IoT systems. It offers a serverless platform for companies that build and develop distributed systems of interconnected devices. Security in IoT systems is crucial because only trusted applications and solutions will gain enough users to become profitable. All devices within a particular system built with Ockam can exchange secure messages ensuring the desired level of security.
Value: $10 billion
Drone technology is something more than just Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. There are Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicles and Unmanned Ground Vehicles as well. While the Drone Technology market is valued at about $10B, the global market for services may be worth 12 times more, according to PwC analysis. This is because drones can change almost every industry we know today. Starting from the construction industry, to defense and security, to emergency response and humanitarian aid, to healthcare. What's more, developing Drone Technology will bring also anti-drone technologies regarding security and privacy.
Swift Navigation started as a GPS company. Today it not only provides low-cost and high-accuracy GPS receiver that makes positioning more accurate and affordable but also offers an ecosystem of positioning solutions that can be applied to the development of autonomous vehicles. Their solutions can be used for aerial drones, automotive vehicles (also fully autonomous) and more.
Zipline combines advanced drone technology with Medtech. They secure people in need with on-demand delivery of vital medical supplies. Their technology works pretty much everywhere in the world complementing or even replacing traditional means of transport. The company ensures that their end-to-end storage and handling meets the highest medical standards. Battery-powered unmanned aerial vehicles are quick and small, therefore they can reach destinations directly. What's more, Zipline hires talents locally helping communities grow.
The tech scene of Silicon Valley is one with the most severe competition. Your tech solutions may be brilliant, but if they don’t solve any real problems or give other value to people, you lose. Just look at top tech companies in the bay area and how fierce is the competition.
If you think that you’re ready for this journey, we’ll keep our fingers crossed. However, we know that your startup might need something more than that. Maybe some highly specialized talents? IT experts? Business analysts? Project management specialists? They’re all pretty expensive, especially around the Silicon Valley, where so many companies compete every day. That’s where we can support your business with Ideamotive’s wide network of hundreds of technological and business specialists who will perfectly suit your startup needs.
Michał is a digital marketing veteran with a growth hacking mindset and 10+ years of experience. His goal is building high-quality technological content, with particular emphasis on React and Ruby on Rails. Traveler, climber, remote work advocate.