There’s no question that we’re now in the age of the billion-dollar tech startup. Unicorns like Airbnb and Uber are filling the ranks of companies reaching unprecedented valuations well north of a billion dollars. Aside from the in-house foosball tables and catered lunches, there’s a lot to gain from working at these great “startups.” We at EquityZen have compiled a list of the top ten tech companies to work for, taking into consideration factors like company culture, growth, and market opportunity.
What it does – Enterprise software company that provides Apache Hadoop-based software and training to data-driven enterprises
Where it’s based – Palo Alto, California
Why it’s a great place to work – Cloudera offers the perks of a startup but the stability of a large company. Given that the firm is a market leader in the booming big data space, employees have the opportunity to work with the latest technology and deliver a transformative service to an array of different industries. Culture-wise, Cloudera’s employees are highly valued and respected. Upper management is easily accessible and promotes a flat organization. Bonus: Cloudera hosts monthly happy hours, team outings, hackathons and annual training trips.
Financing history – Cloudera has raised a whopping $1.2 billion with a valuation of $4.1 billion as of March 2014. The company expected to go public in 2015.
Why it’s a great place to work –Dataminr helps finance and government companies dissect data from social media platforms to extract value. Dataminr provides a very niche yet highly valued product that employees are excited to build. Given the uncharted territory it is forging, developers are encouraged to innovate on a daily basis. The firm is flocked with highly intelligent and passionate coworkers making for a collegial and motivating environment. Employees maintain that Dataminr’s upper management strives for an open door policy and is highly receptive to new ideas and suggestions.
Financing history – In March 2015, Dataminr raised a $130 million Series D led by Fidelity, pegging its valuation at $700 million.
What it does -Electronic signature technology and Digital Transaction Management services
Where it’s based - San Francisco, CA and Seattle, WA
Why it’s a great place to work - DocuSign has simplified the process of completing contracts and signed documents by enabling companies to get legally binding signatures online rathering than relying on fax or mail. To date, DocuSign has over $5 million users, including large corporations such as Sony, Expedia, and Yamaha. Employees say the environment at DocuSign is infectious with it enthusiasm for transforming the digital world. Young professionals also appreciate the structured mentoring program with management. Moreover, given the sales-centric focus of the company, sales team members frequently have access to trainings, webinars, speakers and elite conferences across the country.
Financing history - Docusign’s valuation is $1.6 billion after raising a total of $230.1 million. It is backed by top tier venture capital firms such as Accel Partners, Google Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
What it does - Organization and personal management applications
Where it’s based - Redwood City, CA
Why it's a great place to work - Evernote guarantees that your digital lifestyle is archived and easily accessible on its platform. Founded in 2008, the company has ascended to 100 million users, including 16,000 paying business users. Similar to its booming startup peers, its perks are many: internal classes (Evernote Academy), fitness and wellness programs, house cleaning services and an electric car subsidy. The company is also known for its transparent culture with weekly all-hands meetings held by the CEO. Engineers praise the highly collaborative work environment and common goal for excellence.
Financing history - To date, Evernote has raised over $240 million from notable investors such as Morgenthaler Ventures, Sequoia Capital and T. Rowe Price. In November 2014, it raised $20 million in new capital from Japanese media conglomerate Nikkei.
What it does - Web ticketing and event organizing service
Where it’s based - San Francisco, CA
Why it’s a great place to work - Eventbrite has processed 190 million tickets for organizers, totaling more than $2 billion in gross ticket sales in 189 countries. The premier ticketing service is known for its transparent culture, open vacation policy and collaborative work environment. The co-founders host a weekly Q&A and monthly all-hands meeting to keep employees up to date on company decisions and directives. Other perks include daily-catered meals, smoothie bars, yoga classes and free massages.
Financing history - The company is valued at over $1 billion, having raised a total of $190 million.
What it does - A same-day grocery delivery startup offering delivery in as little as one hour.
Where it’s based - San Francisco, CA
Why it’s a great place to work - Instacart is currently one of the frontrunners of the crowdsourcing industry with revenues growing by more than a factor of ten in 2014. Its rapid growth provides meaningful big data, logistics and product based learning opportunities. Employees love working at Instacart due to highly driven and smart team members, the great deal of autonomy and responsibility and the flat hierarchy of the company. It’s also known for its “try it and apologize later” mentality which encourages employees to embrace an entrepreneurial spirit.
Financing history - Instacart has raised a total of $275 million valued at a $2 billion valuation. The company last raised $220 million from venture capital investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, among others.
What it does –Enterprise virtualization and storage
Where it’s based – San Jose, CA
Why it’s a great place to work – Nutanix currently holds an impressive 52% market share in the enterprise data space. The company provides lavish perks to its employees such as 100% healthcare coverage, free weekly massages, biweekly beer bashes and unlimited food. True to most young companies that prioritize its corporate values as much as the bottom line, Nutanix promotes a transparent culture unfettered by politics. Employees are challenged on a daily basis while working on the latest cutting edge technology in its industry.
Financing history - Since emerging from stealth mode in April 2011, Nutanix has raised over $300 million in multiple funding rounds from top tier VCs that include Kholsa Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Goldman Sachs, Battery Ventures and Blumberg Capital. Nutanix has been named to Gigaom's Top 50 Cloud Innovators list and won a 2011 Best of VMworld Gold award.
Why it’s a great place to work - Shopify is shaping the future of retail by diminishing the line between on and offline shopping experiences. The company has seen remarkable revenue growth, conducting $3.7 billion in sales in 2014. Considered the Silicon Valley of Canada, Shopify team members rave about its workplace autonomy, dynamic projects and steady supply of gourmet food in the office.Shopify’s culture is considered “first-class” with numerous company-wide events through the year, weekly town hall meetings and monthly AMAs (ask me anything) with the CEO.
Financing history - Shopify last raised a $100 million series C from OMERS Ventures and Insight Venture Partners, along with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, Georgian Partners, and Felicis Ventures. It is reportedly preparing to go public in 2015 by raising $100 million at a $1 billion valuation.
What it does - Web and mobile payments, built for developers.
Where it’s based - San Francisco, CA
Why it’s a great place to work - Stripe processes billions of dollars a year in transactions for thousands of businesses from startups to fortune 500 companies. The company’s latest product, Stripe Connect, targets the needs of burgeoning online marketplaces looking to scale internationally such as Lyft, Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Employees boast a mission-driven culture and thoughtful upper management. Stripe is also helmed by an exceedingly bright group of people who are driven to put forth their best work.
Financing history: Stripe doubled its valuation to $3.5 billion after raising a Series C totaling $70 million. In total it has raised $190 million. Prominent investors include Thrive Capital, Sequoia, General Catalyst, Founders Fund, and Khosla Ventures.
Why it’s a great place to work - Zenefits allows companies to manage all of their HR needs in one simple dashboard. As of last year, Zenefits surpassed $20 million in annually recurring revenue after less than two years in business. The company expects to grow to $100 million in the next twelve months, making it one of the fastest growing SaaS business to date. Although Zenefits is no longer the size of a traditional startup, it manages to retain the same unique challenges of a startup except on a larger scale. Team members are excited by the company’s shared conviction for success and empowering environment. The Zenefits office is also home to a number of resident dogs (instagram.com/dogsofzenefits).
Financing history - Zenefits has raised $85 million from investors including Maverick Capital, Aaron Levie, Andreessen Horowitz, SV Angel and Institutional Venture Partners. The company is most recently valued at $500 million.
These tech companies are the breakout leaders in their industry and considered trailblazers in emerging markets such as the crowdsourcing and cloud economies. They’re also backed by the most elite venture capital firms with strong track records on picking only the crème de la crème. In fact, it’s reported that the top 20 firms (out of approximately 1,000 total VC firms) generate approximately 95% of the industry’s returns. If you’re already working for a startup or looking to move over soon, we’ve also tackled how to evaluate your equity compensation:
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