The Lead List: 6 High-Growth Companies to Sell to in May

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.

Another month, another less-than-ideal prediction about the global economy: The International Monetary Fund released its World Economic Outlook report, which warns that the global economy is in for a “hard landing” — it’s expected to fall to 2.8% from 3.4% last year. Meanwhile in the U.S., authorities seized First Republic Bank and sold most of its assets to JPMorgan. The Federal Reserve hinted that the effects from the recent banking crisis could push the U.S. economy into a recession later this year.

Despite these challenges, it’s still possible to sell in this economy. Finding companies that are still growing is crucial — and that’s where the Lead List comes in. In this edition, we’ll look at several companies that raised new funding in April 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. Coro

Crunchbase Rank: 40
Post-Money Valuation: $575M

Coro is an AI-based cybersecurity platform that helps organizations defend against malware, ransomware, phishing, bots and account takeovers. This Tel Aviv-based company just raised $75 million in Series C led by Energy Impact Partners, which brings its total funding to $155 million over four rounds.

Why Coro should be on your radar: The company provides enterprise-grade security through a single platform that unifies, simplifies and automates workloads for more than 5,000 mid-market customers across multiple vertical industries. Over the past year, Coro has tripled its revenue, customer and employee base, and has signed more than 100 new channel partners, according to Globes.

There’s a definite need in the market for Coro’s technology — one report found mid-market companies to be 350% more likely to face a cyberattack than larger businesses. Coro projects that for the fifth consecutive year it will again grow 300% year over year in 2023.

Globes reported that Coro will use the new funding to support its rapidly growing customer base and grow its R&D, channel, sales and service teams. The new capital will also enable Coro to continue to expand its cybersecurity platform, both organically and through strategic acquisitions.

2. Sei Labs

Crunchbase Rank: 197
Post-Money Valuation: $800M

Headquartered in New York City, Sei Labs is one of the main contributors to Sei, a layer 1 blockchain optimized for trading. With $30 million in the bank from its recent Series A, the company’s total funding raised is now $35 million over two rounds.

Why Sei Labs should be on your radar: Sei is an open-source layer 1 blockchain that is designed to allow decentralized exchanges and trading apps to offer users a fast and easy way to trade assets. It has more than 120 projects building on its blockchain, and its latest public “testnet” attracted around 3.6 million unique users and processed more than 35 million transactions in less than a month in mid-March, according to TechCrunch.

Jayendra Jog, co-founder of Sei Labs, told TechCrunch that the company raised capital to gain the “right strategic partners.” The money will also be used to expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific region, he said.

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3. Ursa Major

Crunchbase Rank: 284
Post-Money Valuation: $500M

Ursa Major is a Berthuad, Colorado-based manufacturer of rocket engines for space launch, hypersonics and national security. With $100 million raised in its Series D, the company has now raised $234 million over nine rounds.

Why Ursa Major should be on your radar: Ursa is a unique player in its space because it focuses solely on building rocket engines, which are generally the trickiest parts of a rocket to develop. The company is building a 5,000-pound liquid oxygen and kerosene engine called Hadley, and a larger, much more powerful Ripley engine with a 50,000-pound thrust.

“We really like the notion that we are a technology development company, and the companies that are flying rockets today should not be flying the same engine that they architected for their rocket 10 years ago,” CEO Joe Laurienti told TechCrunch in an interview last year. “That’s the paradigm we see in vertical integration.”

Not much is known about Ursa Major’s Series D aside from the amount raised and the fact that BlackRock and Space Capital took part in the funding round. TechCrunch reports that Ursa’s public customer pool includes the small launch companies Astra, Phantom Space and Stratolaunch, as well as the U.S. Air Force.

4. Cosmose

Crunchbase Rank: 287
Post-Money Valuation: $500M

Cosmose is a Singapore-based company that uses AI analytics to track in-store traffic and engage with shoppers online. Cosmose’s recent venture round, led by Near Protocol, brings its total funding to $27 million over seven rounds.

Why Cosmose should be on your radar: This deal facilitates a collaboration between Cosmose and Near, a blockchain protocol competing with Ethereum. The pair plan to build a payment system that will allow users to shop with crypto at low transaction fees, ultimately saving money for both buyers and sellers.  

Exorbitant fees are among the biggest challenges facing mainstream crypto adoption. Cosmose’s KaiKai shopping app — which allows users to discover products and pay on the app — claims to reduce the transaction costs of an average person’s annual coffee consumption to just $4, which is 50 times less than other apps like Stripe or PayPal

“Imagine how much you could save if all payments are moved to blockchain,” said Cosmose founder Miron Mironiuk.

Without a centralized settlement system, cryptocurrencies rely on a distributed network of validators to verify on-chain transactions. That process on Ethereum is notoriously expensive, so alternatives like Near are working to make crypto cheaper and more scalable — and this new partnership with Cosmose is one more step toward making it a reality.

5. Pinecone

Crunchbase Rank: 520
Post-Money Valuation: $750M

Pinecone is a vector database startup based in New York City. With $100 million in the bank from its recent Series B led by Andreessen Horowitz, the company has raised north of $138 million over three rounds.

Why Pinecone should be on your radar: The company’s vector database allows engineers to work with data generated by large language models and other AI-related models. Vector databases are easily searchable and offer the flexibility engineers need when creating commercial AI applications. While generative AI startups like, Adept AI and Anthropic receive most of the attention, the underlying pipes needed to build those applications are now seeing some investments.

“Generative AI gave us a boost, but we were growing long before that,” Pinecone founder and CEO Edo Liberty told Jewish Business News. “We already have very significant revenue and the number of paying customers is growing at a dizzying pace. We released the product 15 months ago and have 1,500 paying customers, and it’s all been organic growth.”

With the rise of large language models in the public consciousness, companies and investors are beginning to see the value of vector databases even more.

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6. Raspberry Pi Foundation

Crunchbase Rank: 2,130
Post-Money Valuation: $544M

Headquartered in Cambridge, U.K., Raspberry Pi Foundation provides affordable, credit card-sized computers and software to promote computer science education. The extent of new funding from Sony Semiconductor was not revealed, but Raspberry Pi co-founder and CEO Eben Upton said the firm raised the cash at the same $500 million valuation it had in a 2021 funding round, when it brought in $45 million.

Why Raspberry Pi Foundation should be on your radar: Raspberry Pi’s tiny single-board computers have been used to build everything from high-altitude balloons to small radio-controlled submarines. According to CNBC, about 70% of its sales in a typical year come from commercial customers embedding its products into factories or consumer devices. Raspberry Pi has sold 50 million computers to date.

The deal extends an existing relationship between Sony and Raspberry Pi, but includes a new partnership along with the investment that will enable Raspberry Pi users to gain access to Sony’s Aitrios platform, allowing them to develop visual sensing applications using AI cameras equipped with its IMX500 imaging sensors.

Raspberry Pi is expecting shipments during the current quarter to be its largest ever, with Upton pushing his team to ship around 2.3 million units. The company declined to say whether the investment would lead to new hardware, but Upton gave some hints.

“I suspect … you’re going to see image sensor products with integrated machine learning acceleration,” Upton told EnterpriseAI.


This edition of The Lead List includes companies on Crunchbase’s Emerging Unicorn Board that raised new funding throughout April. 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 May 2, 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 May 5, 2023