The 10 Hottest Tech Startups Of 2019

Here are the 10 hottest technology startups in 2019—from players in artificial intelligence and machine learning to SaaS and security—that are shaking up the market.


10 Technology Startups You Need To Know

Billions of dollars were invested this year in technology startups, with a large amount of new vendors focusing on artificial intelligence, Software as a Service and niche cybersecurity markets.

Global IT spending is expected to reach a whopping $3.7 trillion in 2019, according to IT research firm Gartner, as companies of all sizes are starting or are in the midst of digitally transforming themselves with a keen eye on leveraging technologies around data analytics, AI, the Internet of Things and intent-based networking to solve business outcomes. Cloud startups attracted a vast amount of capital funding this year as public cloud service revenue is expected to jump from $214 billion in 2019 to $331 billion by 2022, according to Gartner.

CRN rounds up the 10 hottest technology startups in 2019 that are changing the IT landscape.

Sponsored post


CEO: Mansour Karam

Intent-based networking pioneer Apstra has been enhancing its flagship Apstra Operating System (AOS) platform this year with new group-based policy automation and advanced VMware vSphere integration.

The company’s AOS platform differs from other intent-based networking offerings in that it works to automate data center operations across the network in large, enterprise data centers built on the equipment of vendors including Cisco Systems, Dell EMC, Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, and Arista. Apstra enables network operations teams to take command of their network and manage it as one system delivering operational simplicity, control and visibility. Astra’s API-driven software features advanced intent-based analytics and extensible telemetry that continuously monitors the network.

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Apstra this year hired a pair of industry veterans to drive engineering and global business development, including Extreme Networks co-founder Herb Schneider as its vice president of engineering and David Butler to handle the company’s global business development.

Cato Networks

CEO: Shlomo Kramer

Cloud networking and security startup Cato Networks provides a cloud-native enterprise network with built-in security, WAN optimization and SD-WAN. Cato Networks this year received $55 million in funding after growing its bookings by more than 350 percent in 2018 year over year, with its channel business increasing five-fold.

The Cato Cloud is a converged platform to connect, secure and manage customer networks. Its networking backbone is designed to deliver end-to-end route optimization for WAN and cloud traffic, and a self-healing architecture for maximum service uptime. Cato Networks can address global connectivity, security issues, data center access and mobile access optimization.

In November, the Tel Aviv, Israel-based company launched a global program for partners of all kinds, including master agents, subagents, VARs and MSPs. Cato Networks also launched a self-service partner portal that includes an education track, deal registration and support.


CEO: Matthew Prince

Cloudflare launched into the public market this year after a successful IPO in September, notching a massive $4.4 billion valuation. The San Francisco-based internet performance and security company’s valuation now sits at well over $5 billion.

Cloudflare landed a $150 million funding round in March to help support its growth, extend its product range, and continue its international expansion after reports last fall that it was planning an initial public offering. Its software platform, which enables websites to load faster with greater security without added hardware, software or changing lines of code, is used by more than 16 million domains, websites, application programming interfaces and mobile applications, up from 8 million in the prior year. Cloudflare has increased its network to 175 data centers in 75-plus countries globally and its network capacity to 30 TBps.

In June, the company revamped its partner program and named a new channel chief, Matthew Harrell, who was previously a top channel executive at Google Cloud.


CEO: Poojan Kumar

Technology guru Poojan Kumar launched Clumio this year to disrupt the Software-as-a-Service backup market through its platform, which was built from scratch by an all-star team of engineers hailing from VMware and Nutanix to reduce cloud complexity in the enterprise. Kumar is the former CEO and co-founder of PernixData and helped create Oracle’s popular Exadata database machine.

The SaaS backup offering allows enterprises to eliminate hardware and software for on-premises backup and avoid the complexity and cost of running third-party backup software in the cloud. The secure service built on the public cloud allows customers to back up both on-premises and public cloud workloads. Clumio consolidates the protection of enterprise data centers, remote sites, VMware Cloud on AWS and native AWS service workloads.

In November, Clumio received $135 million in a Series C funding round to accelerate its vision to build a globally consolidated data protection service by reinventing the backup experience with a heavier focus on security, predictable costs and simplicity.


CEO: Jeremy Achin

DataRobot provides an automated machine-learning platform that makes it easy for companies to build and deploy models for advanced artificial intelligence applications.

The company focuses on bringing machine learning into enterprises to boost customers’ ability to perform predictive analytics such as predicting customer churn or how a product change will affect sales. DataRobot aims to offer predictive analytics for a fraction of the cost and time compared with competitors, without the need for data scientists.

The Boston-based startup went on an acquisition spree this year with the purchase of data collaboration platform Cursor as well as machine-learning operations platform ParallelM to expand its platform offerings. DataRobot raised $206 million in a Series E funding round in September, generating a valuation of more than $1 billion. DataRobot’s total capital funding hit more than $430 million this year.

Immersive Labs

CEO: James Hadley

Cybersecurity startup Immersive Labs closed a $40 million Series B round in November to support expansion initiatives in North America.

The Bristol, England-based company offers a cyberskills development platform designed to enable security specialists and business users to step into cybersecurity situations based on real-world attack techniques and emerging or zero-day threats. The simulations aim to strengthen skill levels across the board, from identifying phishing attacks to reverse-engineering malware. Immersive Labs also applies game mechanics to cyberskills development to keep teams motivated and engaged, including live leaderboards for healthy competition.

Immersive Labs has experienced rapid growth since its launch, with a 750 percent year-over-year increase in annual recurring revenue and an employee base that is now more than 100 strong. The company, which already boasts over 100 enterprise customers, plans to build on its momentum from its new North American headquarters in Boston.


CEO: Sanjit Biswas

Created by the former founders of Meraki, Samsara is tackling the transportation and industrial markets with a sensor data platform for connected operations that combines advanced cameras and sensors with software.

The San Francisco-based startup raised a $300 million funding round with a valuation of around $6.3 billion. Samsara said its customer base has more than doubled to 10,000 this year and includes Simco Logistics and Collins Earthworks, while its revenue increased 200 percent from the previous year.

The company positions itself as a leader in industrial IoT and fleet management. Samsara’s growing suite of offerings include vehicle telematics, driver safety, mobile workflow and compliance, asset tracking, and industrial process controls—all in an integrated, open, real-time platform. With Samsara's enterprise platform, the startup aims to help companies improve the efficiency of their operations using real-time GPS tracking, wireless sensors, video and mobile applications.


CEO: Chris Nicholson

Skymind generated $11.5 million in a Series A funding round this year as the startup focuses on creating an artificial intelligence framework aimed at sustaining companies for years. Symind provides offerings around everything from data pipelines to algorithm training to model life-cycle management.

The San Francisco-based startup develops AI and machine-learning technology for use in simulation and predictive analysis applications in logistics, manufacturing, government, finance and call center operations. The $11.5 million in new financing will be used to build out its sales teams in North America and Asia.

Skymind’s technology helps enterprises build high-performance predictive AI stacks, create more intelligent products and automate business processes. It brings machine learning to a company’s big data stack and computing resources across on-premises, cloud and hybrid environments or on edge devices including mobile phones, drones, autonomous vehicles and health-care sensors. The company’s Pathmind service, for example, applies AI to simulations running in the cloud.


CEO: Frank Slootman

Snowflake’s cloud-native data warehouse enables seamless and secure data integration throughout organizations and across platforms. Its software has been running on Amazon Web Services’ cloud platform since 2015 and Microsoft Azure for the past year. Snowflake on Google Cloud launched in preview this fall and will be generally available in early 2020.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based company has raised a whopping $929 million since it was founded in 2012, including $450 million in 2018. Snowflake combines the power of data warehousing, the flexibility of big data platforms and the elasticity of the cloud at a fraction of the cost of traditional offerings.

Frank Slootman became the company’s new CEO in May to lead it through its next phase of growth. Slootman was previously CEO of ServiceNow from 2011 and 2017, taking the company from under $100 million in revenue, through a successful IPO, to $1.4 billion in sales.


CEO: Amir Husain

SparkCognition develops artificial intelligence technology that spans applications for predictive maintenance, endpoint security, natural language processing and machine-learning model development. The Austin, Texas-based startup raised a $100 million Series C funding round in October that included participation from former longtime Cisco CEO John Chambers and former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

SparkCognition’s machine-learning-based endpoint protection product, DeepArmor, detects advanced threats without performance impact. Other key products in the company’s AI product portfolio include its Darwin automated model building software, SparkPredict predictive analytics offering and the DeepNLP natural language processing offering.

The company launched its partner program for MSPs in 2019 in a move to provide partners with sales enablement resources, staff support, sales incentives, and integration with tools for remote monitoring and management and professional services automation.