CNBC unveils its annual list of 100 promising start-ups to watch

The Upstart 100 is CNBC's exclusive list of promising young start-ups, featuring a diverse group of companies that are building brands and breaking industry barriers on the path to becoming tomorrow's household names. Selected from more than 500 nominees, each one was scored on eight equally weighted quantitative metrics (read more about our methodology here).

While there's always focus on the billion-dollar-plus unicorns, there is now increasingly more investment activity taking place among younger start-ups. Venture capitalists poured a record $11.5 billion into early stage companies in the second quarter of 2018, according to PitchBook, while the average deal size reached a 10-year high of $18 million. Many companies that received some of that funding have made it onto this list.

The companies that made this year's Upstart 100 list represent nearly every sector of the economy, from enterprise software and finance to insurance, health care and retail. They come from nine different countries and 13 U.S. states, and 19 of the 100 are led by women. All of them are less than five years old, but 28 are less than three years old and six were founded just last year.

And all of the 100 companies on the list have quickly become entrepreneurial success stories worth keeping an eye on.

Company Description HQ YR FOUNDED
6 River
Systems
Autonomous warehouse robots that work alongside humansWaltham,
MA
2015
6Sense
Insights
Predictive analytics to help marketers generate new leadsSan Francisco2013
Aira
Tech
Smart glasses connected to human agents offering real-time help to the visually impairedSan Diego2015
ApptimizeTesting platform for iPhone and Android app developersSan Francisco2013
AREVO3-D printing process designed to speed productionSanta Clara,
CA
2013
ATTN:A new media company for younger generations, backed by Ryan SeacrestLos Angeles2014
AvidBotsCommercial-scale, self-driving, floor-cleaning robotsKitchener,
Ontario
2014
Axios*D.C.-based media company producing political, business and technology contentArlington,
VA
2017
BlockstackNew internet structure for decentralized appsNew York2013
BorderX
Lab
E-commerce platform that gives merchants direct access to Chinese shoppersSunnyvale,
CA
2014
BulletinA way for digital brands to get shelf space in physical storesNew York2015
Buoy
Health
A digital health app and AI-based diagnosis assistantBoston2014
CandidDirect-to-consumer orthodontic productsNew York2017
Carrot
Fertility
Fertility-benefits provider for employersSan Francisco2016
ClarifaiArtificial intelligence focused on visual recognitionNew York2013
ClearcoverMobile-app-based car insurance platformChicago2016
CloboticsBig data for the wind energy and retail sectorSeattle2016
CloudleafInternet of Things for global supply chainsMilpitas,
CA
2014
Commonsense RoboticsOn-demand delivery technology for grocery retailersIsrael2015
CoverWalletOnline small-business insurance platformNew York2015
CurologyPersonalized acne care delivered via online consultationsSan Francisco2014
data.worldAn enterprise platform for building, sharing and discussing data across teamsAustin2016
Descartes
Labs
A big-data mapping service for construction, agriculture and energySanta Fe,
NM
2014
DocSynkData analytics for health-care practicesIrving,
TX
2015
EarnUpPersonal finance tool for debt managementSan Francisco2014
ElectricOutsourced IT solution for small businessNew York2016
EthosA life insurance start-up with celebrity backers, including Jay Z's Roc NationSan Francisco2016
ExceleroIsraeli-founded data-storage companySan Jose,
CA
2014
FarmobileA marketplace for farmers to sell their dataLeawood, KS2014
Fetch
Robotics
On-demand autonomous mobile robots for warehousing and logisticsSan Jose,
CA
2014
FineryA digital organizer and curator for your closetNew York2016
FlowAn e-commerce platform for cross-border salesHoboken,
NJ
2015
FlytrexAutonomous last-mile drone deliveryIsrael2014
FreightWavesData analytics and risk management for the transportation and logistics industriesChattanooga,
TN
2016
GeltorSynthetic biology working towards a vegan gelatin replacementSan Leandro,
CA
2015
Glow
Recipe
Beauty products line based on South Korean skincare formulasNew York2014
HabitNuDigital program designed for diabetes managementChicago2014
HandshakeCareer recruiting platform for college students and universitiesSan Francisco2013
HavenlyOnline platform for interior design consultationDenver2014
HeadSpinCloud-based app developer management toolPalo Alto,
CA
2015
HeptioOpen-source enterprise platform serviceSeattle2016
HiveProductivity and collaboration platform for the workplaceNew York2016
HubHausShared-housing communities designed for professionalsSan Franciso2016
HypergiantCustomized artificial intelligence for corporate brands, backed by Tony RobbinsAustin2017
IguazioBig-data firm from Israel, backed by Dell and VerizonIsrael2014
Illusive
Networks
Cybersecurity firm that grew out of Israeli Defense Forces, backed by Cisco and MicrosoftNew York2014
ImmutaManagement platform for big dataCollege Park, MD2014
InspireRenewable-energy tech company focused on the smart home market, backed by ShellSanta Monica, CA2014
iUNUData management and analysis for commercial-scale greenhousesSeattle2013
JASKAI-driven automation for security operations, protecting companies against cyberattacksAustin2015
KanoA DIY computer-building and coding company backed by Sesame Street's venture fundLondon2013
KeepsHealth-care company focused on male pattern baldness prevention and treatmentNew York2017
KIDBOXCurated clothing subscription service for childrenNew York2016
Lovepop3-D pop-up greeting cards manufacturer backed by Shark Tank's Kevin O'LearyBoston2014
Mammoth
Media
Mobile media company behind social polling, trivia and microstorytelling appsSanta Monica, CA2015
MapillaryComputer-vision technology for street-level digital mappingMalmš,
Sweden
2013
MealPalSubscription lunch plan that works with local restaurantsNew York2016
Modsy*Online interior design service with 3-D visualizationSan Francisco2015
NamogooAdTech helping e-commerce brands block competitor promotionsBoston2014
NarrativWorks with publishers of product review sites to drive salesNew York2015
Neptune
Flood
An insurance company rivaling the federal flood insurance programSt Petersburg,
FL
2016
Nova
Credit
Cross-border credit-reporting agency for immigrant consumersSan Francisco2016
NurxTelemedicine platform focused on birth control and HIV preventionSan Francisco2015
OhmConnectEnergy-sharing platform that incentivizes users to reduce electricity consumptionSan Francisco2013
OpkixCompact, wearable smart cameras with companion editing and sharing appCosta Mesa,
CA
2016
OptibusArtificial intelligence to improve mass transit, used by more than 300 citiesIsrael2014
OtonomoAutomotive data platform that delivers apps and services to driversIsrael2015
PayStandBlockchain-based B2B billing and payments serviceScotts Valley,
CA
2013
PerimeterXCybersecurity firm that detects difference between human users and malicious bot attacksSan Mateo,
CA
2014
PrimerAI and natural-language processing technology that can analyze data across languagesSan Francisco2015
prooVTesting platform for companies to try new enterprise software solutionsIsrael2015
quipElectric toothbrush and dental-care service providerNew York2014
RDMDR&D service analyzing patient medical records to help drug companies develop rare-disease treatmentsSan Francisco2017
RelolaLocation-based social media app used in real estate, political and nonprofit sectorEmeryville,
CA
2015
RigUpOil and gas industry platform for sourcing contractors and service providersAustin2014
RubikloudMachine-learning platform focused on retailer pricing, promotion and loyaltyToronto2013
SafeBreachCybersecurity firm that uses hacker techniques inside a network to detect flawsSunnyvale,
CA
2014
ScaleProvider of data tools for companies working on AI solutions, including self-driving efforts at Lyft and CruiseSan Francisco2016
SciBacMicrobe drugs that treat and prevent antibiotic-resistant diseasesBurlingame,
CA
2015
ShapeShift
AG
Blockchain technology firm that offers marketplace where users can buy and sell digital assetsZug,
Switzerland
2014
Shift
Technology
Fraud-detection technology designed for insurance industryParis2014
SigOptWorkflow optimization technologySan Francisco2014
SolvMobile app for booking same-day doctor appointmentsSan Francisco2016
SPORTLOGiQSports analytics firm selling data to teams and the mediaMontreal2015
StarcityFirm that converts commerical property into co-living residential buildingsSan Francisco2016
StrivrVR training technology for workforces and athletes, backed by the NFL and BMWMenlo Park,
CA
2015
SUREDigital insurance platform covering a variety of policies, from renters to travel, pets and jewelryNew York2014
Tamara
Mellon
Direct-to-consumer women's luxury footwearLos Angeles2016
TextioAnalytics technology used by employers to improve job posts and recruiting emailsSeattle2014
TheGuarantorsInsurance products for the residential real estate rental marketNew York2014
ThirdLoveE-commerce lingerie brand focused on personalized sizingSan Francisco2013
tilrJob market search tool matching employers and candidatesCincinnati2015
TVision
Insights
Television advertising technology tool to monitor viewer attention spanNew York2015
Unravel
Data
Application performance management for AI, Internet of Things and other data-heavy appsPalo Alto,
CA
2013
VAYAVISIONAggregated system of sensoring technologies for autonomous vehiclesIsrael2016
VeemB2B cross-border wire-transfer and payment system based on the blockchainSan Francisco2014
Veo
Robotics
Factory robots designed to minimize risk of working alongside humansWaltham,
MA
2016
VeriflyOn-demand job insurance for contractors and freelancersNew York2015
ViomeGenetic sequencing and analysis of the microbiome targeting chronic-disease preventionBellevue,
WA
2016
XenditPayments technology for e-commerce and peer-to-peer lending in Southeast Asian marketJakarta,
Indonesia
2015