I recently asked 25 venture capitalists and angel investors which companies they are most excited by based on their operational performance (not based on what they've raised to date).
Some common names showed up, and here they are.
Looker -- Every business is becoming more data-driven and quantitative. And sure, there are quite a few companies attempting to make data analysis easier for growing businesses (Tableau, Mixpanel, etc.). Looker is, according to its investors, on a torrid pace and is executing extremely well.
LendingHome -- The process of getting a mortgage is known to be both painful and massive. LendingHome is well on its way to solving this problem using technology. The company has raised $98 million of capital to date from some of the top investors in the Valley, and recently announced that it funds over $550 million in mortgage loans.
Finrise -- San Mateo-based Finrise is operating in the massive and rapidly growing fintech market with a unique angle. Finrise helps patients handle out of pocket health care costs using great software. Patients and practices are reportedly thrilled with the product and the company is growing rapidly.
Datastax -- It's often the stuff that happens in the deep, dark area of devops that companies don't think about (but every company feels the pain). Datastax is effectively the commercial side of the open source Cassandra database management system. Datastax has raised $190 million to date and is reportedly growing fast.
August -- With all of the press surrounding the Google acquisition of Nest and the subsequent drama, people have taken their eye off of high-flyer August. August has amazing traction and a huge opportunity to take the smart home market in major way. The company is the gem of the portfolio of multiple investors I spoke to.
Postmates -- Uber, DoorDash, and Instacart get a lof of the press and attention around last-mile delivery of goods. But Postmates is reportedly growing insanely fast, as validated by leaked financials that came out recently. This was validated by a few of the investors I spoke to, who claim Postmates has the opportunity to win the delivery wars outright.
Intercom - San Francisco-based Intercom is tackling the widely known customer-communication problem that many web-based businesses face. This is already known to be a gigantic market, with the recent Zendesk IPO. Intercom is moving extremely rapidly on product and on sales, garnering praise from a few of its investors.
Turo -- It turns out not everyone uses Uber and Lyft, and self-driving cars are still a long way away from adoption. Enter Turo, which allows people to make money off of a massively depreciating fixed asset. Turo and its well-covered competitor Getaround are reportedly flying under the radar and growing very fast.
Nuzzel -- Nuzzel is one of the darlings of the Silicon Valley that everyone uses, and is on the verge of a tipping point. Nuzzel allows users to create individual newsletter subscriptions, which they can share with their friends (among other nifty features). Jonathan Abrams (formerly the founder of Friendster) has built an amazing product, and the user numbers are growing rapidly according to investors.
Flexport -- They say that the biggest opportunities often exist in the "unsexy" markets. Flexport is a young company that creates software to streamline shipping and logistics for all businesses. The traction on Flexport is reportedly "ridiculous" and the company is on track for amazing things.
Enigma -- With the movement toward cities publishing open data, there is now more need than ever to create tools to analyze that data. Enter Enigma, a New York City company that makes it easy for people to make sense of all of the new information. The company has raised $34.6 million to date, and multiple investors love its traction.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the dollar amount raised to date by Datastax. The sum was $190 million.