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

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.

Hello, Q4. We’ve been waiting for you.

From silicon chip manufacturers to virtual assistants, we’re West Coast heavy with three out of the five picks coming out of California this month. Oh, and two of these companies raised over $100 million so don’t miss this batch.

Despite a quiet August, September global funding looked lively. September recorded $28.7 billion in global venture funding, the highest month on record in 2020 so far. While the beginning of the pandemic left us with market and funding slowdowns, companies with digital-first solutions like Conversica and Papaya Global have capitalized on the “remote-first” lifestyle. Let’s see if this uptick in funding continues into Q4.

Source: Crunchbase data


Here are five startups to watch. Happy selling.


1. Nuvia

HQ: Santa Clara, California

Industry: Data Center, Semiconductor

Funding: Raised a $240 million Series B on Sept. 24. Lead Investor: Mithril Capital Management

Web traffic: 650 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: There are not many Series B funding rounds over $100 million, let alone over $200 million. Founded by ex-Apple and Google chip designers in 2019, Nuvia develops processors intended to create high-performance silicon design for a compute-intensive world. Silicon has been a hot investment within enterprise and data VCs, and this is a company to watch as it matures.

2. Beyond Limits

HQ: Glendale, California

Industry: Artificial Intelligence, Energy, Health Care

Funding: Raised a $133 million Series C on Sept. 22. Lead Investors: BP Ventures, Group 42.

Web traffic: 641 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: Beyond Limits is an industrial and enterprise-grade AI technology company that focuses on energy, utilities and health care. Its proprietary AI software is designed to mimic human inference and logic to solve problems. In an interview with Crunchbase News, CEO AJ Abdallat described how the funds will help the company expand globally and go after big global brands, a prime opportunity to scale quickly. He also mentioned that despite the pandemic, the company is expecting more than $50 million in booking business in 2020, and is hoping to double that in 2021.

3. Conversica

HQ: Foster City, California

Industry: Enterprise Software, Virtual Assistant, Artificial Intelligence 

Funding: Raised a $20 million Series D on Sept. 2. Lead Investor: Hollyport Capital

Web traffic: 77 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: Conversica creates intelligent virtual assistants to serve as virtual team members. This Series D comes after a strong Q2, and 40 percent year-over-year growth, with companies rushing to adopt digital-first strategies for autonomous conversations. The new funds will be used to help fuel growth across sales, marketing and its partner ecosystem.

4. Devo

HQ: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Industry: Cloud Data Services, Machine Learning, Enterprise Software

Funding: Raised a $60 million Series D on Sept. 15. Lead Investor: Georgian

Web traffic: 41 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: Devo is a cloud-native platform developed to support new machine-learning technology for data. With 80 percent year-over-year growth in the first half of 2020, Devo will be using its latest funding round to expand virtually all parts of its business. Along with the funding announcement, Devo announced Marc Van Zadelhoff, former IBM Security GM, as its new CEO.

5. Papaya Global

HQ: New York

Industry: Human Resources, Management Information Systems, SaaS

Funding: Raised a $40 million Series B on Sept. 29. Lead Investor: Scale Venture Partners

Web traffic: 41 percent monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching: Papaya Global provides a cloud-based HR and payroll platform for global workforce management. With workforces going global and employees working in different locations at all times, Papaya looks to help companies provision services and manage global employees effectively. Their Series B raise comes less than a year after raising a $45 million Series A.

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

– Shamus

  • Originally published October 8, 2020