LinkedIn Top Companies: The 50 most sought-after startups

Uber, Airbnb, WeWork take top spots

Our new startups-focused edition of the LinkedIn Top Companies list maps the 50 most-wanted companies by workers and venture capitalists. 

The highest ranked companies include Uber (#1), Airbnb (#2), WeWork (#3), Lyft (#4) and Slack (#5). You can check out the complete U.S. Top Companies | Startups list here.

While startup culture reigns supreme at these top companies, complete with nap pods throughout Casper’s (#49) HQ, an on-site spa at Credit Karma (#48) and slippers as office attire at Houzz (#9), these major players are shaking up industries and Silicon Valley as we know it:

  • Beyond the Bay Area: Companies on the list hail from across the U.S., from Boston to Seattle, and Chattanooga to Ann Arbor. While San Francisco takes the top spot as the city with the most representation, a third of the companies on the list were founded outside of startupland, with New York and Chicago coming in second and third.

  • The Female Factor: Some 12 percent of the companies on the list have a woman at the helm, which is double the percentage of female CEOs on the Fortune 500 list. From cars (#6 NIO’s Padmasree Warrior) to cosmetics (#13 Glossier’s Emily Weiss), women are showing up in a bigger way.

  • The Rise of the (non)Unicorn: Proving that success can be achieved at any stage and size, honorees such as Glossier (#13), Convoy (#10) and Flexport (#14), along with a full two-thirds of the list, are each valued at under a billion dollars.

  • Outside Tech: And it’s not only tech startups on the list. More than half of the companies ranked are outside of the traditional tech space in industries including education (General Assembly #11, Udacity #19, etc.), retail (Stitch Fix #32, Moda Operandi #43, etc.), finance (Stripe #12, Affirm #27, etc.) and healthcare (GRAIL #17).

  • Big Runway: In total, the 50 companies have received $40 billion in funding with the average startup raising as much as $72 million. The valuation of companies on the list is over $80 billion total.

“LinkedIn has unique insight into where professionals want to work,” says Daniel Roth, editor in chief, LinkedIn. “For this startups edition of our Top Companies list, we looked at which companies were getting the most attention from job seekers, how engaged they were with the startups and how well those companies were attracting talent from the Top Companies. Some of the most intriguing companies right now — and many that have grown from garage to Goliath at an unbelievable speed — are startups, and professionals are taking notice. These are the companies to follow and watch now.”

LinkedIn Top Companies | Startups List Methodology

The Top Companies | Startups list is a part of the LinkedIn List franchise, an ongoing editorial series that celebrates professionals and companies making an impact in the professional world. Together with CB Insights, LinkedIn evaluated key factors for eligibility including independent and privately held companies no more than 10 years old, with more than 100 employees and at least one round of venture-backed funding. The list includes rankings for the U.S. and the United Kingdom. LinkedIn Lists are fueled by a combination of exclusive LinkedIn data mapping the professional landscape and an editorial lens from LinkedIn’s global editorial team. The lists deliver insightful introductions to the people and companies who are impacting the professional landscape.



Elizabeth Shaw