10 Hot Startups You’ve Never Heard Of (But Can Model Your Biz On)

10 Hot Startups You’ve Never Heard Of (But Can Model Your Biz On)

While startups like Airbnb, Dollar Shave Club, Snapchat, Uber and Dropbox get all the attention, there are thousands of other startups that deserve to be placed in the spotlight. Whether you’re a business owner or a consumer wanting to stay on top of the latest trends, here are 10 hot startups you may not have heard of but definitely should get your attention.

Here Come the Hot Startups


Although founded in 2006, Adyen is primarily only known by so-called “payment nerds.” The payments company, which has its headquarters in Amsterdam, has gone from accepting Visa and MasterCard for eCommerce sites in Europe to incorporating more than 250 international payment methods in total, including bitcoin, Apple Pay and Alibaba’s Alipay. The company is also used by brick-and-mortar retailers that could push services such as “buy online” and “pick up in store.”

Over the last year, Adyen has attracted investors like General Atlantic and Iconiq Capital, and it is valued at above $2 billion.


Cybersecurity is a major concern for business owners. That explains why companies like J.P. Morgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citibank are more than willing to spend $1.5 billion to battle cyber crime.

But what if you don’t have a large IT department or millions of dollars to spend? Crowdstrike aims to fill that niche.

10 Hot Startups - CrowdStrike

The Irvine, California-based company was founded in 2011 and has made a name for itself by being able to thwart threats from happening in the first place. This is achieved using cloud-based software that looks for weak points and any signs of intrusion.


Did you know that employees who are ill cost employers $160 billion per year (PDF) because they aren’t as productive? But what if you could prevent that bug from spreading into the entire workplace by having a doctor visit your employees at home or even in the office?

That’s exactly what Heal is accomplishing. It’s an on-demand service where qualified doctors come to you anytime between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. The app is only available in several California markets, but hopefully it will become more widespread in the near future.


One of the worst parts about the hiring process is that oftentimes the company and candidate feel like they’ve wasted each other’s time. Hired handles this problem by creating a marketplace where companies offer applicants a job after completing a selective process.

In other words, instead of applying for a job for a company, it’s the other way around. Companies interested in an individual after reviewing their profile can request an interview and submit salary and equity information before the interview even takes place.


Founded in 2004, InsideSales.com started with a $20,000 investment from founder Dave Elkington’s mother-in-law. Today the company has more than $1 billion in sales each month. As one of the first companies to use predictive analytics software, InsideSales.com asists salespeople in becoming more effective. The technology is so powerful that the company claims customers can experience revenue growth up to 30 percent in as little as 90 days.

The Utah-based company is also a strategic partner with Salesforce and Microsoft.


Are you tired of searching for a WiFi signal? Karma takes care of this issue through a pocket-sized device that converts your mobile connection into a personal WiFi signal that has upload speeds of 6 to 8 Mbps. Coverage is currently available in more than 460 cities, and when you share your signal with others in proximity, you’ll earn rewards.

Don’t worry; Karma is secure and other users will use their data, not yours.


“(Internet of Things) isn’t a new thing, it’s a new thing and an old thing, and the challenge is bringing them together,” says LitBit Founder Scott Noteboom. With the startup’s flagship RhythmOS, LitBit can connect all your smart systems together no matter when they were made. This will make managing smart devices more convenient for everyone from homeowners to office managers.

LitBit was able to successfully raise $7 million in 2015, and with IoT incredibly hot right now, LitBit should definitely be on your radar.


Speaking of smart devices, Ooma is a smartphone that provides crystal clear phone calls through the Internet, the ability to make free calls in the U.S., and the option to block calls from solicitors and telemarketers. You can even use the service on your smartphone via the mobile app and connect to devices like Amazon Echo, Nest and Philips Hue.

There’s also a business version that comes equipped with robust features like a virtual receptionist, conferencing and music on hold. If you’re out of the office, Ooma Office allows you to receive or make calls through your smartphone or send incoming calls directly to your voicemail.  


If you run an online business, then you’re aware of the high costs and headaches involved with shipping. Thanks to ShipStation, however, those days are long gone.

The Austin-based company integrates with all the most popular shopping carts and marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon, and then finds you the best deals on shipping costs. You can then generate shipping labels for leading carriers like USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL and OnTrac. You can even ship products from your phone and automate all your future shipping tasks.


Slidebean is an innovative presentation tool that makes creating slides as painless as possible. All you have to do is enter the content and the software converts the information into beautifully designed slides that are perfect for investor meetings, demo day pitches and sales presentations.

Other features include built-in stock photos, cloud storage, remote presenting and the power to collaborate with team members.

Ten Photo via Shutterstock

Loren Baker Loren Baker is the founder of Search Engine Journal, hosts the podcast Search & Deploy on Rainmaker.FM and is a VP at Foundation Digital, a digital marketing agency. A long time digital entrepreneur, Loren has been in digital marketing since 1998 and over the past decade he has built & executed Search & Social strategies for leading companies in car insurance, retail shopping, professional sports and the movie & television industry.

4 Reactions
  1. I usually feel pretty in touch with the startup world, but I admit I’ve only heard of Hired, Ooma and InsideSales (actually did some work for them a couple years back; great company). Thanks for the heads up.

  2. I notice that most of them have this unique idea. Although it may have been thought before, the market is completely different and that’s what makes it special.

  3. Nice to see some new startups. I like presentation tools, so I have to check out Slidebean.

  4. Interesting information for someone who is hooked on technology.

    I prefer the face to face business transactions, free of cost and intruders.