The Monthly Rundown: Startups to Watch from Shamus the Sales Guy – August

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.


Looking to end Q3 on a strong note? Look no further–here are five of the hottest startups that you should have on your radar and be thinking about for your next outreach. 

From quantum computing to phishing attack platforms, we have a healthy mix of companies across multiple industries and geographies that are growing like crazy.

Although our monthly funding and deal count graph shows a significant drop in overall funding in August, don’t panic just yet. We do tend to see a drop in August funding as people make the most of the dog days of summer and vacations take priority over closing new funding rounds. As we enter the last few months of the year, we’re likely to see another increase in venture funding.

global venture funding march to august 2020
Source: Crunchbase data

Here are five startups on the rise that managed to snatch funding in August despite the overall venture funding slowdown:


1. Rigetti Computing

HQ: San Francisco

Industry: Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Software

Funding: Raised a $79 million Series C on Aug. 4. Lead Investor: Bessemer Venture Partners

Web traffic: 395 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: Rigetti Computing is a full-stack quantum computing company that designs and manufactures integrated circuits. With the goal of delivering quantum advantage to the market, Rigetti is challenging industry titans like IBM and Microsoft. It’s now full steam ahead for Rigetti after an impressive $79 million Series C and an almost 400 percent month-over-month increase in website visits. Rigetti is the first company to develop a quantum computer in the U.K., and it’s predicted to benefit the pharmaceutical, aerospace and transportation industries. 


2. PayActiv

HQ: San Francisco

Industry: Fintech, Finance, Employee Benefits, Human Resources

Funding: Raised a $100 million Series C on Aug. 13. Lead Investor: Eldridge

Web traffic: 146 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: PayActiv offers a holistic financial wellness platform for employees. The company boasts that it can help companies save, on average, $50,000 per 100 enrolled employees per year. From avoiding overdraft fees to getting on-demand access to the money they have already earned, PayActiv gives its customers a full suite of services to access cash, pay bills and prepare for the future.


3. Socure

HQ: New York

Industry: FinTech, Identity Management, Machine Learning, SaaS

Funding: Raised a $35 million Series C on Aug. 25. Lead Investor: Sorenson Ventures

Web traffic: 72 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: Socure is a predictive analytics platform for digital identity verification of consumers. The company’s identity verification platform increases auto approval rates, reduces false positives and captures more fraud in real time by applying artificial intelligence and machine-learning techniques with trusted online/offline data intelligence from email, phone, address, IP, device, velocity and the broader internet. In an increasingly remote and digital world, identity verification continues to become crucial for every industry.


4. Mux

HQ: San Francisco

Industry: Analytics, Developer Tools, Developer APIs, Enterprise Software

Funding: Recently raised a $37 million Series C on Aug. 10. Lead Investor: Andreessen Horowitz

Web traffic: 68 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: Mux Video is an API that enables developers to build unique live and on-demand video experiences. Its claim to fame is one API for everything video. Notable customers of the service include Robinhood, Equinox and Soulcycle, just to name a few.


5. IronScales

HQ: Tel Aviv, Israel

Industry: Information Services, SaaS, Software, Training

Funding: Raised $8 million in Series B on Aug. 10. Lead Investor: Jump Capital

Web traffic: 53 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: Do you know where most phishing attacks occur? Your inbox. Through a self-learning platform that provides for fast, easy and seamless collaboration, IRONSCALES offers security professionals and end users an AI-driven, self-learning email security platform that provides a comprehensive solution to stop tomorrow’s phishing attacks today. Using a decentralized threat protection network, the IRONSCALES platform accelerates the prevention, detection and remediation of phishing attacks already inside your email with threat removal times in seconds, not minutes or hours. 

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

– Shamus

  • Originally published September 8, 2020, updated April 26, 2023