30 Top Startups, 5 Main Trends

By Marwan Elfitesse, Head of Startup Programs at STATION F

June is performance review month at STATION F. Similar to the way that students get evaluated in universities around this time of the year, we also like to assess the performance of our startups over the last year during this time. Despite the many months in slowdown due to COVID-19, we are lucky at STATION F to be surrounded by amazing goal scorers that are going as fast as they can.

There are 1000 startups at STATION F, all of which have been carefully selected by the 30+ startup programs on-site and all of which we are very proud. However, every year, we want to highlight the 30 highest performing startups that have achieved the biggest milestones in the last year — whether it be the biggest monthly recurring revenue with high growth, the biggest fundraisings, a combination of both, or an acquisition! This year’s TOP 30 list includes startups that come from a large variety of industries and that represent 17 programs on campus.

 

Who are they?

 

First let’s have a look at the TOP 30 landscape, which includes:

Some experienced founders…

👩‍🔬 23% of the Top 30 startups have researchers in their founding team

🤝 37% of the founders are serial entrepreneurs (with both successes and failures in their previous ventures)

💸 3 of the founders have done exits in the past

Fast-growing startups…

👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 +100% of team growth in one year (average growth from 10 to 21 employees)

💰 +60% of revenue growth from December 2019 to March 2020

💎 3 startup exits

 

30 startups, 5 main trends

 

The 2020 5 trends we spot are natural extensions of last year’s TOP 30: data-driven businesses along with digital transformation companies still occupy an important position. In the B2B space, we’re seeing an evolution in business empowerment solutions with an increased automation aspect. This year’s community-driven businesses are also more centered on creating impact and on offering more purposeful human experiences. From this trend, we’re also seeing the appearance of a new category: Ethical Tech.

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Ethical Technology

 

“When new technologies come along, it’s hard to figure out what kind of impact they’re going to have in the world” 

There’s a growing concern that new technologies can become dangerous tools in the hands of States and Big Tech. The concern is understandable but the truth is that many companies are building technologies to be used in good faith. You can now track the origin and all of the production steps of a product you consume, in a transparent and secure way, with just the use of QR codes and the help of blockchain (Connecting Food). In addition to showing the whole production process, brands are challenged by consumers who are looking for authenticity. How do you make sure that the wine or the luxury good you buy are not counterfeit? How do you certify an item’s condition? Well, a simple picture from your smartphone could avoid deceptive experiences (Monk.ai, Cypheme). Finally, the best way to showcase your authenticity as a brand is to enable a collaborative creation process with your community and your fans: trust and transparency will be the first outcome (Adalong)

 

Hegemony of Data 

 

“Technologists know how to handle code, but dealing with data is intrinsically more challenging  (…) The toolsets for working with data are completely different than those for working with code.”

Leveraging structured and unstructured data will give any company a key competitive advantage. That includes having the most qualified contacts (DropContact), managing deal flow and portfolio for investors (Kushim), handing real estate building data with a single source of truth (Data Soluce). 

Data in healthcare is changing the game drastically by providing healthcare professionals with immediate answers to their medical questions (Posos), following and monitoring patients (Ad Scientiam), and allowing cancer scientists to optimize their valuable time (Epigene Labs).

Having labeled datasets can be expensive and time-consuming: you can now reduce the amount of data required to train and deploy neural networks (Upstride).

 

Automation

 

“Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence,” according to one of the greatest minds of the 20th century (Isaac Asimov), trying to foresee what will emerge in the 21st century. Asimov goes as far as to predict that “robots for gardening work will also have made their appearance.” We’ve come quite close at STATION F with a startup that builds pizza-making robots that make pizza (Pazzi)

In 2020, robots have not replaced humans (yet). However, we do see greater collaboration between online machines and humans. Automation is the perfect illustration: removing manual and repetitive tasks for IT deployment (Gatling Corp, WeWeb) for better efficiency with productivity tools (Actiondesk, Stonly, Fairjungle)

 

Improved e-commerce

 

To stay ahead and relevant (#Covid19), businesses need to be online, have the best understanding of their online presence (Ayolab), monitor and optimize their payment performance (ProcessOut), handle and harmonize their products data (Scalia), offer to the best digital experience to their users, make every customer loyal (Joko), and provide the safest product purchase experience (Cypheme).

 

Purposeful human experiences

 

Many STATION F Top 30 startups provide experiences around individuals: their life milestones (Memorizer), the building of their careers (My Job Glasses), their new inspirations (Chance.co, Clind), their skills (Crafty.im), and their first and last days in their companies (Workelo). Human experiences also introduce a new relationship with your customers (Viibe). Outside of professional considerations, ecological concerns are also addressed with high-tech anti-pollution masks (R-Pur) or bioengineered plants that purify the air (Neoplants).

 

More to come…

 

I personally can’t wait to see how this year’s TOP30 startups will sustain their growth with key milestones ahead (hiring, foreign expansion, etc.). 

At STATION F, we release two lists every year: the TOP 30 in June and the Future 40 in November. TOP 30 gathers the highest performing startups at STATION F during last year and includes many names that you may already know.

Future 40, in contrast, will feature the names of 40 young startups that most of us (myself included) will most likely have never heard of but will go on to be the top startups of tomorrow. Stay tuned as we announced the next edition of Future40, the 40 most promising startups at STATION F in 2020.