The 10 Hottest Mobile Startups Of 2021 (So Far)

Startups with new approaches to mobile messaging and collaboration, security, productivity and device management are included on our list of 2021’s most notable mobile tech startups so far.

Mobile Tech Startups

As one of the countless impacts of the pandemic, the demand for innovation in mobile technology has climbed higher than ever. And there’s been no shortage of startups seeking to meet that surging demand, with new solutions to enable better mobile-enabled living and working in 2021. For our list of the hottest mobile startups right now, we’ve been taking a look at innovators in areas including mobile messaging and collaboration, mobile security, mobile productivity and device management. Meanwhile, startups that are pursuing innovations in key enabling technologies for mobile computing—including 5G mobile networks and GPS—have also come onto our radar during the first six months of the year.

In the following slides, we’ve rounded up 10 of the hottest mobile startups of 2021 so far.

For more of the biggest startups, products and news stories of 2021 so far, click here.


CEO: Paul Davison

Perhaps the most talked-about mobile startup to emerge during the pandemic, Clubhouse—whose parent company is Alpha Exploration Co.—offers an audio-only conferencing app for iOS that lets anyone attend live group conversations. Anyone who has an invite, at least; for now, getting in to Clubhouse continues to require an invite from an existing user. The experience is somewhere in between a podcast, an audio conference call and social media, and there’s been no shortage of celebrities who have made appearances (both inside and outside of tech). At last check, Clubhouse ranked at No. 29 among social networking apps in the App Store—not bad for an app that isn’t yet openly available to the masses.

Deep Instinct

CEO: Guy Caspi

While not solely focused on mobile, Deep Instinct has emerged as a startup to watch in the realm of mobile security. Deep Instinct says it leverages deep learning AI technology for high-accuracy prediction and prevention of mobile threats across iOS and Android. The company also detects malicious behaviors at the device level and network level, then provides an automated response, with capabilities to address both known and unknown mobile threats.


CEO: Jason Citron

One of the fastest growing online communication platforms of the moment, Discord offers voice, video and chat communications—and has become popular both with digital communities and with friend groups. Along with chat rooms and instant messaging, Discord also offers video calls and VoIP audio calls. Based on the latest numbers released by Discord, the platform surged from 100 million monthly active users in June 2020 to 140 million by the end of the year.


CEO: Jared Shepard

Another emerging player in mobile security for businesses, Hypori aims to help enable bring-your-own-device programs for customers with a zero-trust approach to mobile security. The startup’s solutions can protect crucial business data across any device or operating system, with capabilities that include completely separating personal and corporate data on a device. Earlier this month, the company announced raising a $20 million Series A funding round led by GreatPoint Ventures.


CEO: Adam Pettit

Kandji offers an Apple device management solution that focuses on automating many of the time-consuming tasks involved with managing Apple devices, including iPhones and iPads. Kandji provides a library of more than 200 prebuilt automations that IT administrators can leverage—ranging from automations for security and compliance requirements to automations for mundane tasks such as renaming devices.


CEO: Ram Viswanathan

Among the most ambitious mobile technology startups right now is Omnispace, whose stated goal is nothing short of “reinventing mobile communications.” The startup is seeking to build a global 5G mobile network using a hybrid approach—that is, by leveraging both 2 GHz mobile satellites and complementary ground-based wireless technology. Omnispace aims to “power critical global communications, including 5G and mobile Internet of Things connectivity, directly from its satellites in space to mobile devices around the world,” the company said in a February news release, which announced the company had raised $60 million in funding led by Fortress Investment Group.


CEO: Steve Poizner

With the aim of advancing GPS technology, OneNav last month announced its new Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver that “provides the highest location accuracy with half the footprint of existing solutions,” according to the company. The receiver—the “world’s first pure L5 mobile GNSS receiver,” OneNav says—was actually one of three milestones announced by the company in May. The other two were a $21 million Series B round led by GV and the signing of a strategic partnership agreement with the CIA’s venture firm, In-Q-Tel Inc., “providing U.S. intelligence and defense agencies with a first-of-a-kind GNSS technology solution,” OneNav said.

CEO: Sam Liang

With its mobile app for iOS and Android devices, offers audio recording paired with automatic transcription. Users can also upload audio or video files to be transcribed. One of the most useful capabilities of the app is the ability to search for text within the transcript—and then be taken directly to that portion of the recording. Recently introduced features include the Otter Assistant, which can automatically join a Zoom meeting on a user’s behalf to record and take notes on the meeting for them. The company reports that its software has transcribed more than 150 million meetings since starting in 2016.


Founder: Sergey Toshin

While Oversecured is still very new to the mobile security space—having just launched in November with a $1 million self-funded investment round—the startup is already making a splash. Oversecured’s technology enables scanning for security flaws in mobile apps, offering risk ratings and recommendations as well as a listing of the problematic code found within the app. Earlier this month, the startup reported discovering seven security vulnerabilities inside of pre-installed apps on Samsung devices.


CEO: Pavel Durov

A hugely popular chat app, Telegram not only offers encrypted messaging—but it’s also “the fastest messaging app on the market,” the company says. In terms of security, Telegram says that all communications—whether it’s 1:1 messaging, group chats or media—is encrypted “using a combination of 256-bit symmetric AES encryption, 2048-bit RSA encryption, and Diffie–Hellman secure key exchange.” In other words, it’s highly secure. And users have taken notice, with Telegram now reporting more than 500 million active users and currently ranking No. 6 in the App Store among social networking apps.