The city of San Francisco is known for its creative and passionate artists and entrepreneurs. Both groups have helped shape the Bay Area into a powerhouse of ideas, innovation and ingenuity. With an undiminishing drive and a culture of ethical responsibility, many renowned companies have emerged from San Francisco to become world leaders in their field, challenging the market to push harder and think bigger. Similarly, an electric entrepreneurial spirit pulses through the many budding startups based in the city, which are focused on bringing exciting new ideas to the forefront of modern life.
One of the hottest startups out of San Francisco in the last five years, Slack has quickly become a titan in the realms of workplace interconnectivity and team building. Working as a chatroom for coworkers, Slack has bolstered productivity in countless companies by allowing teams to coordinate and communicate fluidly and efficiently. With the ability to speak through channels, create private channels and direct message, as well as on-the-go functionality through the use of mobile apps, Slack allows teams to stay connected and work smarter.
The red-hot service has raised nearly $340M in funding.
The greatest ideas are those that have a real impact on the lives of those in need. Guardant Health is a startup that aims to simplify and streamline the cancer diagnosis and treatment process. Using its patented Guardant360 technology, the company uses blood tests to track tumor genomics in an unprecedentedly efficient, in-depth and effective manner. Working closely with top oncology professionals from around the world, Guardant Health is changing the way cancer is handled, and is paving the way to greater understanding in the field.
The company has raised $90M in funding thus far.
Developers have always done their best to keep up with the evolving hardware and software platforms for which they create. Docker, an open source development platform working to make the process of building, shipping and running programs across various applications simpler than ever before has taken the market by storm. Providing devs with a ‘common toolbox’ to work in, Docker has made waves in the industry and garnered a whole lot of attention. Its open platform business strategy has given the San Francisco based startup an edge on the competition.
To date, Docker has raised $180M.
Shopping online has become a norm in the digital era, as more consumers turn to their computers, cell phones and tablets to purchase goods than ever before. Affirm is a service that not only encourages you to shop online, but also loans you the money to do so. An innovative way to borrow money without hidden fees, Affirm lets you plan out how to pay off the loan based on your budget. Working with dozens of retailers as a safe and secure payment method, the SF based service offers a smarter way to shop.
Affirm has received $320M in funding since its 2012 launch.
Success in modern business hinges on understanding consumer habits and user interests. Mixpanel provides analytics, statistics and data management for businesses to help them better understand their strengths and weaknesses. Mixpanel highlights user actions rather than simply page views, to make the most out of user data and give businesses a plan to expand and capitilize on their audience’s interests. Mixpanel is used by some of the biggest companies today, including Uber and Autodesk.
Over $77M in funding has been received by Mixpanel.
As technology evolves to better fit our wants, our need to do certain things seems to lessen. Instacart proves that there truly is an app for just about everything. The same-day (or supposedly 1 hour) grocery service allows its users to select over 500,000 items from local stores and have them delivered to their door seamlessly. With many such services popping up in different cities, Instacart is one of the leaders in its field, and has garnered huge popularity among SF natives who don’t see a reason to go out for groceries when someone else can do it for them!
The grocery-delivery service has gotten almost $275M in funding.
It would be treasonous to talk about SF-based startups without mentioning the friendly, community-driven transportation service Lyft. Much like industry giant Uber, Lyft connects users with drivers in their area to get them from point A to point B. The two differ in their mission statement and overall vibe, as Uber is about professional interactions and top tier service. Lyft, while still offering great service, is more about driver-passenger interaction and the creation of a friendly environment for both patron and provider.
The transportation titan has raised over $1 billion in funding to date.
In the spirit of ‘letting somebody else do it’, Shyp is a service for those that hate, or simply don’t have the time, to pack and ship items. Focused on making this process easier, Shyp sends a driver to your home or business and whisks away your items. They then take charge of packing, shipping and providing you with tracking information for your package. The company strives to provide professional service and aims to make mailing items as efficient as possible.
Shyp has drummed up over $62M in funding.
When transportation meets innovation, beautiful things come about. In the same vein as automobile colossus Tesla, Gogoro is a company aimed at manufacturing powerful vehicles that are environmentally responsible. Having unveiled its first product, an electric ‘smartscooter’ that is plug-free, Gogoro has quickly become a hot topic in the startup world. Perhaps the biggest draw to Gogoro’s scooter is its cloud-sync functionality that provides diagnostics via a mobile application. The SF-based company has been slowly rolling out its smartscooters to select cities worldwide. With exciting things on the horizon, Gogoro is definitely one of San Francisco’s most electrifying new companies.
Shaping up to be the next big thing, Gogoro has obtained over $150M so far.
While business analytics tools and shiny new toys often take up the most airtime in the startup world, education is and will remain one of the most important facets of modern society. A list of the top startups based in San Francisco would simply be incomplete without Altschool. Providing customized, forward-thinking curricula to groups of students around the nation, Altschool seeks to better prepare children for the evolving world than traditional school. A powerful initiative that feeds off of individual student’s talents and passions through the concept of ‘micro-school communities’, Altschool is one of the most compelling startups in recent memory.
Altschool has garnered $133M in funding to date.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.