If the tech world has a heart, it’s located right here in San Francisco. This is the city where you can’t walk two blocks without seeing meandering groups of people wearing matching t-shirts with smart slogans about SaaS. Whether it’s SoMa, the Mission or the ever-evolving Tenderloin district, SF has become to casually clad techies what Wall Street has always been to pinstripe suit-wearing bankers.
Gliffy has been part of the startup playground for 10 years, and with our prime SoMa view of the action, we love watching what the new guys come up with. This list could change tomorrow (that’s the name of the game), but as of this moment, here are our picks for the top 10 hottest SF startups right now:
1. Product Hunt
Founded in 2013, Product Hunt is proof that the simplest ideas can be world changing if executed right. This community to discover “new products” has witnessed massive growth over the last couple of years. Founded by Ryan Hoover, Product Hunt manages this by obsessively focusing on community and helping passionate users discover revolutionary products. Plus, it’s a whole lot of fun to use!
Instacart, founded in 2012, is revolutionizing the often-tedious process of grocery shopping by having a personal shopper do it for you. Now you can have your groceries delivered from your favorite local store in as little as an hour without the hassle of parking, packing or waiting in line. And from the rumbles on the street, in the near future, groceries won’t be the only thing Instacart will be delivering.
Shyp is taking on a great, big nuisance: shipping. Instead of hauling a heavy package to UPS and then waiting in line, now you can use Shyp’s app to request a pick-up. Shyp will show up at your place, pack your stuff and take it to their warehouse where they’ll take care of the rest. It makes the shipping process about a million times easier (think holidays), which makes it one of the startups to watch.
These days Slack seems to be everywhere. This simple group chat app has turned into one of the fastest growing startups in the world, with millions of users and a valuation that puts it in the “Unicorn Club.” Along the way, this startup, founded by Stewart Butterfield in 2009, is changing the way we communicate.
Luxevalet is solving a problem anyone who has ever driven a car in San Francisco is all too familiar with: parking. For a small fee you can contact a Luxevalet associate who will circle that impossible North Beach block 100 times for you while you make your dinner reservations on time. And unless the SF parking situations gets significantly better soon (it won’t) Luxevalet has a great shot at becoming a big player.
What good is a startup if it doesn’t promise to change the world? Gogoro is doing exactly that with an ambitious, plug-free electric scooter. Instead of searching for a charging point, all you need to do is drop by a Gogoro battery station and plug in a new battery. That the scooter also looks like something straight from the future makes it all the more exciting.
Have you ever dreamed of becoming a t-shirt designer or had a flash of inspiration for a t-shirt slogan or image you knew all your friends would love? Teespring gives anyone a chance to try their hand at tee shirt design without the risk of creating tons of stock that no one will buy. This “kickstarter for tees” only prints tees only after they meet a certain demand threshold so you can gage interest for your idea without putting a lot of money upfront.
Docker is the tool developers have been dreaming about in the midst of coding nightmares. It’s turning the way engineers build and deploy apps on its head. Docker takes on the entire infrastructure on the back end so that developers can focus on shipping. Think of it as AWS on steroids (without the nasty side effects).
Postmates makes a big promise: Get anything delivered within an hour. It manages to deliver on that promise (pun intended) thanks to a small army of messengers who’ll go anywhere in the city to pick up anything you want anytime day or night. Whether it’s takeout from a hot, new restaurant at the impossible-to-park end of the city or an urgent package that needs to reach your client ASAP, Postmates will make your delivery wish their command.
The 2012 startup Segment is helping usher in the Big Data revolution by making it easy to collect and analyze customer data from a single platform. It integrates with everything from Google Analytics to Optimizely and gives you all the data you need to make smarter decisions. In a world where data is growing exponentially, any platform that promises to reign it in is worth watching.
From where we sit, the SF startup spirit is alive and as voracious as ever. It’s not going away anytime soon. Startups are ticking the small (and sometimes huge) nuisances off our lists, giving us our time back, and allowing us to do more of what we love, perhaps even come up with an idea for the next big startup.