The Monthly Rundown: Hot Startups from January

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.

While a majority of the focus in January was on the public markets (/wallstreetbets frenzy), Crunchbase recorded $40.1 billion in global dollar volume for private companies in January, a 27.3 percent increase from December 2020. Several giant funding rounds dominated in January, with Rivian, Cruise, Lalamove and Robinhood all raising $1 billion+. 

global funding totals graph crunchbase

This month’s batch of hot startups range from a fintech company, a shared mobility platform, and what could be the next big social network.

🎙 Enjoy!


1. Clubhouse

HQ: San Francisco, California

Industry: Mobile Apps, Messaging, Social

Funding: Raised a $100 million Series B on Jan. 4. Lead Investor: Andreessen Horowitz

Web traffic: 520 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: Clubhouse, the audio-based social app that allows users to spontaneously join group chats, took the world by storm in January, with people like Elon Musk dropping in to chat about Mars, the future of Tesla, Bitcoin and more. The company is due for a public release and plan to use the funds to scale internationally and continue hiring across a variety of roles.


2. Vulog

HQ: Nice, Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, France

Industry: Automotive, Car Sharing, Ride Sharing, SaaS

Funding: Raised a 26 million euro Series C on Jan. 20. Lead Investor: European Investment Bank

Web traffic: 350 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: Vulog builds the technology solutions that power the most successful shared mobility businesses in the world. It developed a SaaS solution for managing and connecting fleets (think cars, bicycles, scooters, etc.) and are launching shared services for the public. As the shift to electric and autonomous cars and shared ride services continues, Vulog is primed for immense growth in the coming years.


3. Sitetracker

HQ: Palo Alto, California

Industry: SaaS, Project Management

Funding: Raised a $42 million Series C on Jan. 27. Lead Investors: Energize Ventures, H.I.G. Growth Partners

Web traffic: 250 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: Sitetracker is a SaaS platform for deploying, operating and servicing critical infrastructure and technology, helping enterprises around the world tackle business and operational challenges. The platform helps companies in the telecommunications, alternative energy and utility industries manage millions of sites and projects. Sitetracker will use this latest round of investment to accelerate its product roadmap, solution delivery capabilities and global expansion.


4. Unnax

HQ: Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Industry: FinTech, Payments, Identity Management

Funding: Raised a 7 million euro Series B on Jan 6. Lead Investor: Grupo Salinas

Web traffic: 99 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: Spain-based fintech Unnax offers a multiproduct banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform that enables businesses to access financial-related data from customers in a simple and secure way. The company provides payment solutions and money movement, financial data and risk measurement tools, and develops products for the management of customer validation processes, including identity verification instruments and fraud prevention. The fintech industry continues to rise in popularity and investment, and is expected to reach a $305 billion market value by 2025. Unnax is certainly a company to watch as the industry continues to grow. 


5. Jumbotail

HQ: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Industry: Grocery, Marketplace, Retail

Funding: Raised a $14.2 million Series B on Jan. 8. Lead Investor: VII Ventures

Web traffic: 89 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: Jumbotail, an online wholesale marketplace for grocery and food items based out of India, boasts 30,000 neighborhood stores (popularly known as “kiranas” in India) and has seen explosive growth in the last few years. In addition to its core marketplace, the company also provides working capital to neighborhood stores through partnerships with financial institutions, helping the community benefit from services and connections.

What did I miss? Send me your thoughts on Twitter @shamu5noonan.

– Shamus

  • Originally published February 8, 2021