Company Profile

No.23

SQZ Biotech

This young engineer landed $500 million to develop a new way to fight cancer

Industry
Health
Location
Boston, Massachusetts
Year Founded
2013
Company Size
11-50 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

When Armon Sharei was a chemical engineering PhD student at MIT in 2008, he joined a team toiling to transfer compounds into living cells. It was a difficult task, but one that could help scientists research diseases and discover new drugs. The team's initial mechanism for doing this didn't work, but in the process of trying it, Sharei stumbled upon a new one, for which he's been granted most of his 10 patents. That technology became the basis for SQZ Biotech, the company he co-founded with the pioneering professors he worked for: Klavs Jensen, the school's head of chemical engineering, and Robert Langer, a renowned bioengineer and serial entrepreneur. SQZ (pronounced "squeeze") raised $1 million in seed funding from angel investors in 2014, followed the next year by $5 million in venture money from Polaris Partners, 20/20 Healthcare Partners, and two private offices. In December, SQZ partnered with global pharmaceutical firm F. Hoffmann-La Roche in a deal that could be worth $500 million--including a large undisclosed upfront payment, and additional sums when SQZ meets certain milestones--to speed development of its technology to inject immune cells with a protein that would activate a killer-T-cell response to fight off cancer.
Note: All data as of 1/31/16

No.24

Swift Navigation

Swift Navigation is leading the GPS revolution

Industry
Consumer Products & Services
Location
San Francisco, California
Year Founded
2012
Company Size
11-50 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

The GPS devices available on the mass market today are accurate only to within a few yards--usually enough for people to find the nearest restaurant or coffee shop. But Swift Navigation realized that for many industries working toward a more automated future, a few yards is too much. The technology that allows for inch-level precision has been around for almost 20 years but only at a prohibitive cost for most consumer applications. So in 2012, Swift set out to create a high-precision GPS device that would go for less than $500, and by 2014 it had launched its first product, Piksi. The startup went on to raise a total of $13.6 million from venture capital firms in two rounds of funding to support it growth. The capital inflow has also helped Swift develop new products (two of which will be coming out later this year) that can facilitate a wide-range of applications. Swift's main focus is currently in the automated vehicle industry and in creating products that will help advance the goal of decreasing automotive-related deaths to zero.
Note: All data as of 1/31/16

No.25

TaskUs

Works with venture backed companies that are looking to grow at an exponential rate. Provides omni-channel customer care and back-office support.

3-Year Growth
356%
Industry
Business Products & Services
Location
Santa Monica, California
Leadership
Bryce Maddock
Year Founded
2008
Company Size
10,000+ employees
Inc. 5000 Rankings
No. 1260 (2020), No. 1115 (2019), No. 778 (2018), No. 370 (2017), No. 288 (2016), No. 752 (2015), No. 631 (2014), No. 211 (2013)
Inc. 5000 Series
No. 103, California (2020)
Twitter
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Verified profile

TaskUs provides next generation customer experience that powers the world's most disruptive companies through the partnership of amazing people and innovative technology. We provide Ridiculously Good strategy, business process optimization, revolutionary technology and the best talent to deliver transformational, digital scale. TaskUs has the best culture in the outsourcing industry because of our belief in always putting our teammates first. We are free from the burdens of on-premise legacy systems and old-fashion processes. The latest cloud technology makes the work we do seamless and our bottom-up management approach keeps us agile.

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No.26

Tilt

Debt collecting helped this founder launch Tilt's hot campus app

Industry
Consumer Products & Services
Location
San Francisco, California
Year Founded
2012
Company Size
51-200 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

Students use Tilt, a Kickstarter-meets-Venmo payments app, to organize frat parties and weekend trips, inviting all of their friends to chip in and spreading the app to new campuses. In the past year, the company has grown by 41 percent every month on college campuses, and 350 percent by the number of projects funded. The San Francisco-based startup is betting that this viral demand will help it graduate along with its fiercely loyal users, turning the platform into the next Facebook or Snapchat. Co-founder James Beshara, a Texan whose post-college nonprofit job turned into a stint as a South African debt collector, soon learned how to adapt to a changing market. He started Tilt in Austin as Crowdtilt, a charity-minded crowdfunding platform, but quickly saw the greater demand from young people looking for a better way to send and receive money. "It's meant to be bite-size, simplified, kind of like a Twitter for crowdfunding," he says. Investors are hooked: Tilt has raised some $67.1 million from high-profile backers including Sean Parker, Andreessen Horowitz, Goodwater Capital, and SV Angel.
Note: All data as of 1/31/16

No.27

Tradiv

The Amazon of legal marijuana is here

Industry
Consumer Products & Services
Location
Solana Beach, California
Year Founded
2015
Company Size
11-50 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

After a harvest, a marijuana grower has to find buyers quickly to move thousands of dollars' worth of fresh product. Most growers have built a network of relationships over the years or work with a pot broker who connects producers and dispensaries. But Tradiv, an online marketplace where growers and retailers can buy and sell legal marijuana on an Amazon-like platform, is replacing the old street-dealer aspects of the marijuana economy. With over 230 businesses using Tradiv in Colorado, about $1 million worth of product is sold each month on the platform, making it as easy for a dispensary owner to buy a pound of high-grade marijuana as it is for a liquor store to buy a case of Scotch. 
Note: All data as of 1/31/16