On Wednesday, the Sunnyvale, California-based networking platform released its fifth annual list of 50 U.S. companies on the rise. The list tracks growth in employee count, interest from people looking for jobs, and how people interact with the online presence of the company and its employees. It also measures the startups' ability to bring in employees from LinkedIn's Top Companies list, which includes more established businesses like Amazon and Alphabet.
All startups on the list are less than seven years old, headquartered in the U.S., and have at least 50 employees. LinkedIn used data from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. The ranking features some of the year's breakout companies, like Clubhouse, and others that flourished in the pandemic, like Discord. Several of them have succeeded through their use of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics. Here are six of the most innovative from LinkedIn's list.
Coming in at No. 2 on LinkedIn's list, Gong uses artificial intelligence to analyze all of a company's interactions with customers -- calls, meetings, and emails -- to improve their sales and marketing. The San Francisco-based company boasts clients including LinkedIn and Pinterest and was a 2021 Inc. 5000 honoree, ranking No. 99 with over $37 million in 2020 revenue.
The Seattle-based sales management platform, an Inc. Best Workplaces company in 2021, uses machine learning to optimize customer communications, from social media to text to email. It ranked No. 9 on LinkedIn's list and counts customers including Zoom and Adobe.
ScaleAI helps clients process data faster via what it calls scaled artificial intelligence. The goal is to manage the swath of data that A.I. can generate, founder Alexandr Wang told Inc. The San Francisco-based company's products can track visual data for AR companies or autonomous driving and provide complex models and results displays. Ranked No. 29 on LinkedIn's list, the startup has a $7 billion valuation.
Elon Musk co-founded this startup, and its mission, predictably, is futuristic: It's developing technology to connect the human brain to devices that can translate thoughts into speech or text, which could have wide applications for people who are paralyzed, for example. Neuralink is based in Fremont, California and ranked No. 33 on LinkedIn's list. Its eventual goal is to merge mankind with computers, Musk said in 2017.
Nuro sells self-driving cars, but not ones meant to ferry humans around. Nuro cars just deliver goods -- and are programmed to avoid loss of life. The Mountain View, California-based startup, which became a unicorn in 2019, now delivers for the likes of Walmart, FedEx, and CVS Pharmacy. Nuro says it is the first self-driving, driverless car to get permission to operate from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The number of cars is still limited, but they are now available in San Jose, California; Houston; Silicon Valley; and Phoenix.
Relativity Space builds rockets. In the future, it hopes to establish a society on Mars. The Long Beach, California-based company produces a 3-D printed, reusable rocket called Terran 1, using robotics and artificial intelligence for its development. Mark Cuban was an early investor, as was Y Combinator. LinkedIn ranked the company No. 45 on its list.