The list is out for 2024 — check out the Top Detroit Startups to Watch in 2024
Michigan is now the state with the highest growth in VC investment. Now many Detroit startups are on the fast track to growth. Whether it’s new funding, expansions or IPOs, it’s been an eventful year in Detroit startups. Next year is looking even better.
Here are the top Detroit startups and tech companies to watch in 2022.
Small Detroit Startups to Watch in 2022
Autobooks is the first fully integrated payments and accounting platform for business, delivered through online banking. Based in Detroit, Autobooks offers a number of wellness benefits, plus great financial and educational benefits. This year, Autobooks raised $25 million in Series B funding and are continuing to grow their team, hiring in Detroit.
2. Our Next Energy
Our Next Energy, or ONE, is a next-gen battery tech startup in Detroit that is creating better, safer, more efficient batteries for the future of electric vehicles. Our Next Energy recently raised $25 million and is backed by BMW, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos.
3. Signal Advisors
Signal Advisors creates technology that supports financial advisors in scaling their business in ways previously not possible. From coaching to software to partnerships, it’s a new way for financial advisors to grow their business that seems pretty logical and crucial in hindsight. Signal Advisors recently raised a Series B round.
Floyd is a furniture company based in Detroit that is concerned with longevity, sustainability, and modern design. They are committed to equitable and diverse hiring, and will even pay for relocation costs or allow remote work when appropriate. The company raised $15 million in Series B funding this year.
Robotire is an automation startup that uses robots to replace tires in under 15 minutes during vehicle service appointments, in order to reduce wait times. In late 2021 RoboTire raised $7.5 million in Series A funding led by The Reinalt-Thomas Corporation, a tire retail company behind Discount Tire and America’s Tire.
InvestNext is a Detroit fintech startup that has created a platform to streamline how real estate investment firms raise and manage capital. They recently closed a $4.3 million seed round, led by Hyde Park Venture Partners with participation from Whitecap Venture Partners, DVP, Grand Ventures and ID Ventures.
Waymark is a digital creative marketing company with offices in Detroit. With $4.6 million in funding under their belt, Waymark is helping transform small business marketing. The team is growing and hiring in Detroit and remotely.
Trustpage provides software teams a single, connected hub for building trust with prospects and customers, assisted by AI. It’s a product that’s all about visibility and transparency in an era of increased cyber attacks and mistrust. Founded by Detroit tech veteran Chase Lee, Trustpage is a part of the entrepreneurial ripple effect happening in Detroit and just raised $5 million in seed funding.
Top Detroit startup Guardhat raised nearly $42 million in funding in early 2021 to create innovative safety solutions for industrial IoT. In 2020, TIME listed Guardhat’s smart hat as one of the best inventions of the year. Revenue has tripled year over year since the company’s 2014 founding.
DeepHow uses natural language processing, AI, computer vision and knowledge mapping to revolutionize how knowledge is captured, digitized and organized. DeepHow is using this technology to bridge the skilled labor gap in the manufacturing, construction and service industries. They recently closed a $9 million pre-Series A funding round led by Sierra Ventures, and are using the $41 million raised so far to expand their workforce in Asia and other markets.
Detroit startup Sift is a people directory for modern organizations. Sift functions as a search bar to help employees find the right people in their organization to collaborate with quickly and easily. The product also integrates with Skype, MS Teams, and more.
Qodex is a Detroit-based startup that offers web-based, AI-leveraged automated tools and solutions to the healthcare industry to accomplish tasks more efficiently. They hire locally and remotely and have a close-knit culture built on authentic connections between team members. Qodex uses agile methodologies and is all about team collaboration. The company is rapidly growing and we're excited to see what 2022 has in store.
13. Airspace Link
Detroit’s Airspace Link is one of the hottest startups out of Michigan the last few years, focused on creating a world where the safe integration of drones fuels human progress, advancing social equity, the environment, and the economy. Now hiring for more openings, they are expanding quickly. This year, they raised $10 million in Series A funding and launched some strategic partnerships. Not only is Airspace Link one of the best Detroit startups, but it’s also a great place to work. Everyone on the team truly has a say and can make an impact on the company and the industry.
14. Grand Circus
Grand Circus is a remote coding bootcamp founded in Detroit that believes anyone can have a career in tech. They are committed to diversity and invest in the education of their employees. Grand Circus continues to be one of the central players in the Detroit startup ecosystem, empowering people to enter the field of tech who might not otherwise have the opportunity.
Pocketnest is an award-winning fintech startup in Detroit that aims to bring financial wellness coaching to the masses, aimed at millennials and younger audiences. Software can be licensed to corporations to benefit employees and uses behavioral science to understand the reasoning behind financial decisions people make and to help democratize financial advice for the masses. Pocketnest was founded by a woman, Jessica Willis, who is a fantastic mentor to local founders.
ToDoolie is a Detroit-based startup whose app allows homeowners to hire in local young people for help around the house. They’ve partnered with TechStars, ID Ventures, Lofty Ventures, Wayne State University, and Precursor Ventures, which gives them the mentorship and funding to scale.
FutureBank aims to change banking for millennials. From not understanding their needs to not offering technology and customer service that fits with their lifestyle, banks are falling behind on serving today’s young professionals. FutureBank offers virtual banking and subscription-based services, completely changing the way people connect with financial services. This year, the company raised a seed funding round and has been focused on growth.
Rivet creates digital workforce and job management software for field teams. Based in Detroit, Rivet offers software that’s accessible to distributed teams, powering scheduling, workforce and job management, and more. They were founded in 2020 and have solid VC backing, recently raising $2 million, raising their total funding to $4.4 million.
Inpathy is a new social media app that allows users to share their emotions. As soon as you log in, the app asks how you’re feeling. “The down moments are beautiful,” said founder Ziarekenya Smith, who wanted to create a social media platform that did more for people than focus on the highs we share. Why is it different? Because with Inpathy, you have to interact with other people’s page and them with yours in order to bring people into your circle. The startup is crowdfunding to raise a round for its upcoming launch.
Formerly PrivacyCheck, Hush is a VC-backed digital privacy startup founded by Detroit boomerang Mykolas Rambus. Mykolas is a Detroit native who lived in Boston, D.C., New York, and Atlanta, before coming back to be part of Detroit’s resurgence. Hush identifies digital items that put people at risk financially, physically and reputationally that they might want removed from the internet. Using a combination of AI and team expertise, Hush works to clean up digital presence online to ensure privacy and security.
Aadya is an AI-powered cybersecurity startup in Detroit founded by Duo Security alum Raffaele Mautone. Focused on democratizing security for businesses who don’t have in-house security expertise, Aadya is a more accessible option for business security, which means they have their pick of the customers in an age of accelerating online security concerns.
Onboard is a Detroit startup founded by a successful alum from another tech company started here: Ambassador Software. Onboard solves the solution of customer churn by creating an onboarding system for new customers to better retain them. Onboard is part of the growing Detroit tech ecosystem that is native born and sticking around to bring more success to the ecosystem.
PlainSight is a new networking app. The idea is to help people make connections at in-person events, or list a shared space or event people can connect with. It’s a unique take on the networking problem we all face finding the right partners at events and in business.
Quikly is a marketing technology company in Detroit that already has over $5 million in funding. The team works out of downtown Detroit and is a top place to work with great benefits and perks. The Quikly team gets to work with some of the largest brands in the world.
25. Boon Health
Boon Health is a health-tech startup on a mission to give employees access to mental wellness and coaching. Founded in 2019, Boon is filling a gap in the employee benefits and helping build resilience among employees.
Need a software solution for solar design and permitting? GreenLancer has created an all-in-one solution. They also offer consulting services to help companies acquire commercial sites, manage projects, and handle solar integrations. This green tech company is only growing in demand as the world switches to cleaner energy.
27. Perigon Health
A digital health platform that supports medication adherence and provides real-time data is the main product of Perigon Health. They’re used by Tufts, Houston Methodist, Henry Ford Health System, and many more health systems for their patients.
A unique company out of Detroit is Regrid, a nationwide location intelligence and property data company that provides standardized high-quality parcel & matched building footprints data and also helps you locate property parcels across the U.S via their GIS solutions. The company was formerly known as Loveland Technologies, and continues to evolve significantly.
TiiCKER helps you find shareholder perks you get for ownership in various companies. You can also explore brands you might not know are publicly traded. They’re starting in Detroit and Seattle and expanding from there. This year, they raised $2 million in a pre-seed funding round.
30. Healthy Roots Dolls
Healthy Roots is a doll company, but there’s something extra special about their dolls: not only are they designed to reflect the beauty of young black girls and encourage them to embrace their curly hair — Healthy Roots dolls have hair that can be styled just like real hair. The company raised $1 million in seed funding this year.
Another AI startup in Detroit, Rebound has created a chatbot that helps employees and executives interact with their business data to make informed decisions. Rebound can send messages to your phone that alert you to incoming revenue, track reporting on sales and advertising results, and respond via text to questions about business stats. Rebound was founded in 2020 and just getting started.
Integral is a Detroit software consultancy that works with cloud-native agile engineering practices, human-centered design, lean product management strategies, and other gold-standard software development practices. They must be doing something right: first partners include Ford, Bosch, May Mobility, and Autonomic.
33. Nextek Power Systems
Nextek is all about low-voltage power networking systems, including lighting and controls for efficient building lighting. Their system is basically a micro-grid that saves energy, and is easier to install, which means Nextek saves labor costs, energy, and materials.
Real estate tech is finally entering the modern age with startups like Revela, who created all-in-one solutions for real estate agents to manage bookkeeping, listings, financial reporting, tenant communication, and financial reporting in one place. We like the combo of bookkeeping and listing tracking, which until now have been handled by very different software.
35. Bollinger Motors
If you love Jeep or Rivian, you have to check out Bollinger Motors, an electric truck company that’s still rolling after early years pioneering the all-electric adventure vehicle market. Bollinger has been in the news since CleanTechnica picked up their story in 2017. We’re happy to see they’re making a success of it as electric trucks have been a market almost too early and underdeveloped to succeed in until this year.
36. Code Blue Health
Code Blue is an app designed specifically for urgent care. It’s a cool idea, to make urgent care support easier to connect with. Code Blue allows users to compare wait times, sign up for an urgent care appointment from their phone, and send information to their doctor. It’s a good step up from urgent care online signups at each urgent care website, and we hope they find a way to make accessibility fair.
37. Petram Data
Petram uses predictive modeling and analytics to help coach you to a better marketing program. As they are based in Detroit, automotive is a specialty. They help users navigate away from assumptions or use of out-moded data to drive their marketing strategy.
DietID is a dietary assessment tool that can be used by employers, health coaches, and medical providers to support clients. The idea behind DietID was to create a diet support and nutrition assessment tool that was highly visual, interactive, and easy to use, and also makes use of years of behavioral science to engage users in modifying their diets in healthy ways.
How do pharmacies manage, buy, and sell unexpired overstock prescriptions? That’s the problem MatchRX set out to solve. MatchRX has created a marketplace solution to minimize drug waste and reduce drug shortages.
Alchemie creates organic chemistry apps for higher education. Their intuitive learning tools are interactive and offer instant feedback and assessment. They have been featured in Crain’s Detroit Business, Next Reality, and Campus Technology.
Mid-Sized Detroit Tech Companies and Startups to Watch in 2022
A super fast growing startup out of Detroit is Benzinga, a crypto and financial advice media outlet who are hiring everything from developers to journalists to build their team. Love crypto? This is a unique opportunity. They were just acquired for $300 million by Beringer Capital, and are growing fast.
2. OneStream Software
Corporate management software for enterprise is the focus of Detroit’s OneStream, who focus on manufacturing, life sciences, the public sector, and financial services companies. The company raised $200 million in Series B funding back in April 2021, and are looking toward an IPO with a valuation of $6 billion.
Formerly known as AutoPets, Whisker is the creator of the robotic litter box for cats. The company has raised $31 million to expand from its original product offerings. They now offer a robotic automatic pet feeder and a suite of related products to make pet care easier for pet parents.
Vectorform works with brands to create advanced multimedia experiences of their products, from in-vehicle digital interaction to holographic medical models. Clients include Adidas, Microsoft, Google, and DTE Energy.
5. Plex Systems
Plex is a Detroit-based startup focused on smart manufacturing systems. Products from Plex range from quality management to resource planning, analytics for IoT and supply chain management. In 2020, Plex raised $100 million in funding, and this year, Plex was acquired by Rockwell Automation and is continuing to grow.
6. Bluewater Tech
Bluewater Tech is a woman-owned Detroit startup specializing in storytelling campaigns for retail, events, exhibits, and online and physical canvases. They work with Ford, GMC, Buffalo Wild Wings, Buick, and Carhartt.
Credibly is a Detroit fintech startup helping small businesses receive loans and financing by leveraging data and technology. Business owners can qualify for up to $400,000 in working capital loans or cash advance, $250,000 for a business loan, or up to $5 million in other financing terms to support their small business.
Large Detroit Startups & Publicly-Traded Tech Companies to Watch in 2022
Dynatrace simplifies the complexity of the cloud with software intelligence. Using AI, automation, and advanced observability, the Dynatrace platform provides enterprise customers with answers about infrastructure and customer experience. Dynatrace is a close-knit, global tech company that just celebrated its 3,000th employee, but it’s just the beginning.
StockX created the world’s first luxury goods trading exchange — a stock market for high-end goods. Known for their high-end sneaker exchange that started it all, StockX has exploded from startup to unicorn status to household name in just a few years. StockX was founded in 2016 and already boasts over 1,000 employees. The company raised $60 million this year, raising their total to $690 million.
Automotive e-commerce startup Vroom is disrupting the entire automotive sales industry. In 2020, the company went public, raising over $588 million. This early-stage publicly-traded company has spent 2021 continuing to scale, and we’re excited to see what they do in 2022.
San Francisco’s SpotOn has offices in Detroit and Chicago, and recently announced an acquisition of rival Appetize that will allow the startup to expand as one of the fastest growing payment solution companies for the retail and restaurant industry. In September, SpotOn announced $300 million in Series E funding led by Andreesen Horowitz, raising the company’s valuation to $3.15 billion.
5. Red Ventures
Red Ventures is a global tech company behind some of the biggest media brands: Bankrate, Best Colleges, Healthline, Lonely Planet and more. They help people find the trusted, expert advice they need to help them through some of the biggest decisions in life.
Founded in Detroit, though now headquartered in California, Rivian is a leader in the electric truck market that has consistently been making headlines since its founding in 2009. They have raised $10.7 billion and recently went public in November 2021. Rivian has made strategic partnerships along the way: with Amazon, which now claims a 20% stake, and Ford, which it has recently broken ties with. We’re curious to see what this EV startup does in 2022!
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