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Move Over, Uber and Airbnb. These Are the Hottest Companies in San Francisco

You might not have heard of these thriving businesses, but they should be on your radar.

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BY Michelle Cheng - 16 Aug 2018

Move Over, Uber and Airbnb. These Are the Hottest Companies in San Francisco

CREDIT: Chris Leipelt/Unsplash

Many of the Inc. 5000 companies that landed on this year's ranking of fastest-growing businesses in San Francisco are first-timers. They come from industries as diverse as advertising and health care. While these companies may not garner as much attention as the Ubers and Twitters of the tech-centric city, their growth rates suggest they're ones to watch.

Hero Digital is an agency that builds personalized experiences for brands. CREDIT: Courtesy Hero Digital

10. Hero Digital

2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 242 Three-year growth 1,995% 2017 revenue $29.1M

Founded in 2014, the consulting firm provides services like user experience design and digital marketing for companies including Salesforce and Belkin. The company has locations in Burbank, California, and Beverly, Massachusetts.

Gametime founder and CEO Brad Griffith (left) and CRO Colin Evans. CREDIT: Courtesy Gametime

9. Gametime

2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 199 Three-year growth 2,243% 2017 revenue $89.7M

Claiming to have the best last-minute ticket deals, the mobile-only ticketing app allows users to buy and sell digital tickets for live events, primarily sports and music, in more than 50 U.S. cities.

RealtyShares has created a marketplace that connects individual investors with real estate projects across the U.S. Average investment size is .1 million. CREDIT: Courtesy RealityShares

8. RealtyShares

2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 166 Three-year growth 2,592% 2017 revenue $13.1M

The online marketplace connects investors with vetted real estate operators to raise debt and equity capital for commercial and residential projects. To date, RealtyShares has invested more than $700 million in over 1,000 deals.

Apptimize has developed a mobile A/B testing tool for iOS and Android apps. CREDIT: Courtesy Apptimize

7. Apptimize

2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 156 Three-year growth 2,684% 2017 revenue $3.2M

How does a company know what new features to roll out on its app? Enter Apptimize. Backed by Google Ventures and Y Combinator, Apptimize helps companies such as Expedia and Trulia run A/B tests and other analytics to deliver better user experiences.

UBiome has two different product linesone for consumers to learn about their gut, and another for doctors to help diagnose patients. CREDIT: Courtesy uBiome

6. uBiome

2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 50 Three-year growth 5,423% 2017 revenue $32.08M

Founded by former scientists, the biotechnology company, partnering with institutions such as Harvard and Stanford as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, develops microbial genomic testing kits. The tests include a gut-screening test and a health-screening test for women.

GitLab is an open source project that is used by more than 100,000 organizations and 2,000 individuals who contribute code. CREDIT: Courtesy GitLab

5. GitLab

2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 44 Three-year growth 6,213% 2017 revenue $10.46M

The 150-person company makes open-source software used by companies such as IBM and Sony to help them develop and run their applications. It also provides a platform for programmers to collaborate on their code.

Grove Collaborative is a subscription service of all-natural home and personal care products. Shipping is .99 or free for VIP members. CREDIT: Courtesy Grove Collaborative

4. Grove Collaborative

2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 37 Three-year growth 7,036% 2017 revenue $45.53M

There's a subscription service for everything. Grove Collaborative specializes in delivering eco-friendly, natural home and personal care products straight to your door. The company boasts that it offers around 1,300 cruelty-free, natural products on its site.

Mesosphere co-founders CEO Florian Liebert (left), CTO Tobias Knaup, and chief architect Benjamin Hindman. CREDIT: Courtesy Mesosphere

3. Mesophere

2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 32 Three-year growth 7,507% 2017 revenue $28.8M

The software startup, which runs cloud-backed data centers, helps power well-known companies such as Apple, Uber, Airbnb, Netflix, and PayPal. Its technology is used to fuel tools for artificial intelligence, internet of things devices, and autonomous vehicles. co-founders Alex Tew (left) and Michael Acton Smith. CREDIT: Courtesy


2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 19 Three-year growth 10,549% 2017 revenue $22.3M

Wellness is a $3 trillion business. Founded in 2012, has carved out a niche with tools and content for meditation, mental wellness, and sleep. The startup's app was named Apple's App of the Year in 2017.

Flexport founder and CEO Ryan Petersen. CREDIT: Katie Thompson

1. Flexport*

2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 08 Three-year growth 15,911% 2017 revenue $224.7M

Paul Graham, president of startup accelerator Y Combinator, has said that "Flexport is one of that small handful of startups that are going to change the world." The company develops software to make freight forwarding more efficient and gives clients real-time analytics on their shipments.

* Flexport tied with GForce Life Sciences for No. 8 on the 2018 Inc. 5000. It was listed incorrectly in the print edition.

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