The Monthly Rundown, Anniversary Edition: Hot Startups from February

In “The Monthly Rundown” series, I dive into a few up-and-coming startups from the past month, filtering by recent funding rounds and significant influxes of new website visitors. Stay tuned for an updated list each month and get a jump on the competition.


We’re quickly approaching my favorite holiday: St. Patrick’s Day! Lucky for you, you don’t have to wait until March 17th to find your pot of gold (and by pot of gold, I mean the hottest startups from last month). 

investment deals and total funding in September 2020 through February 2021 chart

The big theme from February’s 1,647 deals and $34.8 billion in funding? Crypto and stock trading are here to stay. Oh, and commercial space travel is (almost) here if you have an extra $55 million for a ticket to the International Space Station.

P.S. This month’s edition marks 1 year of my “Monthly Rundown” Series. I’ve featured over 70 up-and-coming companies since the start of the series, and many of them have gone on to raise additional funding and make strides toward unicorn status

Thank you to everyone who has joined me on this quest to find the next batch of unicorns and made this one of the most successful Crunchbase series to date! If you’ve been here since the very first edition, you might recognize the companies on this list, but if you’re a newcomer, catch up on all the companies we’ve featured in the series thus far here

And, don’t forget to tweet at me and let me know what you think! This series is designed to help you find your next big opportunity, and if there’s anything I can do to improve on it I want to know about it!

Without further ado, here’s this month’s list of five startups that caught my eye.

– Shamus


1. Axiom Space

HQ: Houston

Industry: Aerospace, Space Travel

Funding: Recently raised $130 million Series B on Feb. 16. Lead Investor: C5 Capital

Web traffic: 258 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: Axiom is developing the first international commercial space station. You read that right — commercial, meaning they are selling private tickets to individuals who are willing to fork up $55 million (reportedly) for an eight-day excursion on the space station coordinated by Axiom. Houston, that’s one expensive trip.

 

2. Axoni

HQ: New York

Industry: Financial Services, Blockchain, Analytics

Funding: Recently raised $31 million Series B on Feb. 1.

Web traffic: 183 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: Axoni specializes in multiparty workflows and financial market infrastructure, helping solving complex capital markets infrastructure challenges across multiple asset classes with its distributed ledger technology (a blockchain-based technology). The company’s new $31 million in funding will be used for the expansion of its networks across asset classes and regions worldwide.

 

3. Anchorage

HQ: San Francisco

Industry: Cryptocurrency, Financial Services, Blockchain 

Funding: Recently raised $80 million Series C on Feb. 25. Lead Investor: GIC

Web traffic: 125 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: Anchorage is a digital asset platform for institutions, helping organizations safely secure and manage all of their digital assets. It’s also the first OCC-Approved National Crypto bank, making it the first “digital asset bank” in the U.S., which is a big deal. The company’s new $80 million in funding will help accelerate its rollout of a host of new offerings in the coming months, including support for new protocols and emerging corporate use cases. Heads up, big banks.

 

4. Weights & Biases

HQ: San Francisco

Industry: Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Software

Funding: Recently raised $45 million Series B on Feb. 1. Lead Investor: Insight Partners

Web traffic: 117 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: Weights & Biases offers developer tools for machine learning. After growing its user base by 60X in the last two years, Weights & Biases says it now has more than 70,000 users at more than 200 enterprises. Its latest $45 million Series B will help the company continue to hire across engineering, growth, sales and customer success.

 

5. Public.com

HQ: New York

Industry: Trading Platform, Stock Exchange, Financial Services

Funding: Recently raised $220 million Series D on Feb. 17.

Web traffic: 115 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: Robinhood rival Public.com has benefited from the social media-driven trading frenzy seen on WallStreetBets, with heavily shorted shares of companies like GameStop and AMC by raising an astonishing $310 million. Public.com operates a zero-fee trading app that doubles as a social media investment community, allowing customers to own fractional shares of stocks and ETFs. Unlike Robinhood, the company decided to abandon the controversial payment for order flow (PFOF) practice. Public.com’s new funding will help add features such as pre- and post-market trading, recurring investment options, and more soon-to-be-announced features.