Why were there only two Midwest startups on LinkedIn’s recent list of the top 50 startups on the rise?
Cameo, based in Chicago (as well as remotely), and Seamless.AI, based in Columbus, are really awesome startups, and we were so happy to see them on the list. We just think LinkedIn missed a couple more major Midwest players.
There’s this myth that only the top startups come out of Silicon Valley or New York City. As a Midwest company built for Midwest startups, we know that’s just not true.
Top Midwest startups in Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Columbus have continued to crush the startup game—raising money, hiring top talent, and making some major news headlines.
So here’s who we would have added to LinkedIn’s list:
8 Midwest startups with a newsworthy 2020
1. Root Insurance, Columbus
One of the best startups in Columbus, Root Insurance is a powerhouse Midwest tech company with over 500 employees, and $527.5 million in total funding. According to Reuters, they’re looking at a $6 billion valuation in a potential IPO.
2. Rivian, Plymouth, Mich.
Rivian has been making a lot of headlines this year for new investments and partnerships with companies like Amazon. In July, they announced they raised $2.5 billion, bringing their total funding up to $5.6 billion. This top startup was also among the first five companies to get financing from the Amazon Climate Pledge Fund.
3. Olive, Columbus
Olive has had an outstanding year. They raised $51 million in March, and they just announced another funding round of $106 million this month. They’ve been attracting top talent with their financial growth as well as their unique “On The Grid” work model.
4. Argo AI, Pittsburg
With major investments from Ford ($1 billion) and Volkswagen ($2.6 billion), Argo AI has been making top headlines—and technology—this year. Back in July, TechCrunch reported that the company was valued at $7.5 billion.
5. StockX, Detroit
Since 2015, StockX has been a major tech player, not just in Detroit but in the Midwest and beyond. They’ve raised over $160 million, and recently, their gross merchandise value just passed $1 billion.
6. Tempus, Chicago
A top Chicago startup, Tempus was started by Detroit native and co-founder of Groupon Eric Lefkofsky to make data-driven precision medicine a reality. Since 2015, the company has been growing its team and getting some major investments. This year, they raised $100 million, bringing their total funding up to $620 million.
7. Lessonly, Indianapolis
Based in Indy, Lessonly is an online education platform for corporate training. Not only did they raise $15 million this year, bringing their total funding up to $29 million, but they also have a platform that is used by over 3 million learners.
8. Duolingo, Pittsburgh
Duolingo has been a steadfast startup, both in Pittsburgh and in the U.S The language-learning app has raised nearly $150 million. Its most recent round of $30 million brought the company’s valuation up to $1.5 billion.
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