The Lead List: 4 High-Growth Companies to Sell to in March

The Lead List is a monthly series that analyzes key buy signals from companies on the Crunchbase Emerging Unicorn Board with fresh funding to help you fill your pipeline with new opportunities.

Recession or no recession? This question is still weighing on many economists as we head into the third month of 2023. While reports are saying that the European Union’s economy is set to narrowly avoid a recession this year, experts say the U.S. economy is still “in danger” of slipping into a recession in 2023. A Fed barometer that estimates the probability of a recession puts the chances at 57.1% over the next 12 months — the highest level since the early ‘80s. 

An uncertain economy can make a salesperson’s job tough. To be successful, you have to be smarter about who you’re targeting — and that’s where the Lead List comes in. In this edition, we’ll look at several companies that raised new funding in February and inched closer to becoming unicorns — what we call “emerging unicorns.” 

Why emerging unicorns should be on your radar: Emerging unicorns are fast-growing private companies valued between $500 million and $1 billion. Why should these companies matter to you? These not-yet unicorns (unicorns are private companies valued at $1 billion or above) represent a sweet spot for salespeople. They’re established, cash-rich, growing and solving a business problem that could make them the next billion-dollar unicorn. 

1. Moonfare

Crunchbase Rank: 101
Post-Money Valuation: $600M

Headquartered in Berlin, Moonfare is a digital platform that enables high-net-worth individuals to invest in private equity. With $15 million in new funding, which is an extension round of its $125 million and $35 million Series C rounds in November 2021 and March 2022, respectively, the company’s total funding raised to date is $175 million. 

Why Moonfare should be on your radar: The company is growing quickly, increasing its assets under management by almost 60% to more than $2.3 billion in 2022 and adding 200 new staff members. According to CEO Steffen Pauls, Moonfare expanded into Scandinavia, Israel, Singapore, New York and Paris last year.

Pauls said the new capital will go toward growth in new markets, potentially Australia and Canada, as well as increasing the company’s product range and the number of funds available on the platform. 

2. Octane

Crunchbase Rank: 113
Post-Money Valuation: $900M

Octane offers financing options for large recreational purchases such as motorcycles and ATVs. This New York City-based fintech just raised $407 million in its recent debt financing round, which increases its total funding to $1.2 billion over 14 rounds.

Why Octane should be on your radar: Despite an uncertain economy and rising inflation, Octane saw significant growth in 2022. The company surpassed $1 billion in year-to-date loan originations in October and entered five new markets last year — RVs, electric vehicles, tractors, trailers and go-karts.

“We are growing dramatically because we make transactions faster and simpler to close for consumers and dealerships,” CEO and co-founder Jason Guss told TechCrunch in 2021. “We are the only platform to offer end-to-end purchasing benefits in the markets we play in.”

Today, Octane has partnered with more than 4,000 dealers and nine manufacturers and is poised to continue growing.

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Crunchbase Rank: 114
Post-Money Valuation: $800M

LeafLink is a wholesale management platform that connects cannabis brands and retailers. After a $100 million Series D led by CPMG, L2 Ventures and Nosara Capital, this New York City-based company’s total funding raised to date is $479 million.

Why LeafLink should be on your radar: LeafLink says its marketplace processes approximately $5 billion in annual transactions — which represents about 50% of legal U.S. wholesale cannabis commerce. With some form of marijuana use legal in 37 U.S. states, the cannabis industry is poised for “significant growth in the years ahead,” according to Ryan Smith, executive chairman of LeafLink’s board of directors.  

The company also announced several new hires within the C Suite, including Artie Minson, who is taking over as CEO. Also of note is Karan Gupta, former CTO at Shift Technologies, who recently joined LeafLink as CTO.

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4. Stenn Technologies

Crunchbase Rank: 1,390
Post-Money Valuation: $900M

Headquartered in London, Stenn Technologies is an online platform that provides financing to small and medium-sized businesses engaged in international trade. With $200 million in the bank from its recent debt financing round led by Crayhill Capital Management, the company has raised north of $1 billion over six rounds.

Why Stenn Technologies should be on your radar: Stenn provides fast, innovative financing to fill in the funding gaps that arise in international supply chains, solving the working capital needs of suppliers, intermediaries and buyers of goods. The company has been around since 2015 and has financed some $6 billion in loans from 74 countries, with $1 billion of that loaned out in 2022 alone. 

Stenn’s founder and CEO Greg Karpovsky told TechCrunch that the company’s platform is bringing technology to a sector that had been largely untouched by lenders.

“Accenture estimates that the demand for finance in this business segment is $3.6 trillion and will grow to $6.1 trillion in the next four years,” he said. And yet, “the main source [of funding] for them right now is the traditional banking system. Banks in developed countries are focused on supply chain finance for large countries and banking systems in developing markets are still underdeveloped. So companies in this segment are just left unbanked. No one else is using technology to facilitate financing [for them].”

As more SMBs begin to emerge that are running operations that will eventually feed into bigger, international operations, Stenn is positioned to capitalize on the expanding market. 


This edition of The Lead List includes companies on Crunchbase’s Emerging Unicorn Board that raised new funding throughout February. The companies are ordered based on their Crunchbase rank score (a proprietary, dynamic ranking that uses intelligent algorithms to score and rank companies) as of Feb. 28, 2023. An entity’s Crunchbase rank is fluid and subject to rise and fall over time due to time-sensitive events such as product launches, funding events and leadership changes, so the current rank score may not reflect the listed rank scores.

The Emerging Unicorn Board is updated whenever a new company reaches a specific valuation range (between $500 million and less than $1 billion). Once a company reaches a valuation of $1 billion, it is classified as a “unicorn” and added to The Crunchbase Unicorn Board. Companies that exit through a public listing or acquisition are removed from the Emerging Unicorn Board and the Crunchbase Unicorn Board. 

If you have any questions about companies on the board or this list, please contact us at

  • Originally published March 6, 2023, updated March 9, 2023