The Lead List: 11 Hot Companies To Sell To In August

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.

In July, some of the hottest emerging unicorn companies received new funding, which means new opportunities to add these fast-growing companies to your pipeline. In this edition of The Lead List, we’ll look at some of the up-and-coming companies from various industries, including meat alternatives, insurance, neobanking and gaming, and give you all the information you need to sell to them in August.

Why emerging unicorns should be on your radar: Emerging unicorns are private, up-and-coming 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. 


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This issue of The Lead List includes companies on Crunchbase’s Emerging Unicorn Board that raised new funding throughout July. 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 Aug. 1. 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 below.

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. 

If you have any questions about companies on the board or this list, please contact us at

1. Airbase

Airbase logo

Crunchbase Rank: 50
Post-Money Valuation: $600 million

Airbase serves as an all-in-one spend management platform that helps small, mid-size and early enterprise companies with their financial control and visibility. The company recently closed $150 million in debt financing led by Goldman Sachs. According to PYMNTS, the funding will allow Airbase to expand its charge card program to a growing customer base. “Demand for Airbase corporate cards—part of its award-winning spend management platform—has been surging as more companies seek visibility and control over employee spending,” the San Francisco-based company said.

Why Airbase should be on your radar: “Airbase has been hyper-focused on providing the deepest and best spend management platform available in the market today,” said Thejo Kote, founder and CEO at Airbase. “Our cards are an important component of that platform. This $150M facility, led by Goldman Sachs, paves the way for us to compete more aggressively for the business of companies that wish to extend repayment terms.” This announcement follows recent partnerships with American Express and Silicon Valley Bank. Airbase should be on your radar as the company continues to be recognized as an innovative spend management platform

2. Meati Foods

Meati Foods logo

Crunchbase Rank: 73
Post-Money Valuation: $650 million

Meati Foods is a consumer goods company that provides fungi-based meat alternatives. The food tech startup recently announced a $150 million Series C led by Revolution Growth with participation from Grosvenor Food & AgTech and Chipotle Mexican Grill’s venture fund Cultivate Next. This brings total funding for the startup to $278.6 million. According to Crunchbase News the world of alternative meat raised $2.6 million in 2021—a million-dollar bump from what the sector raised in 2020.

Why Meati Foods should be on your radar: Meati’s funding will go toward building its “Mega Ranch,” a 100,000-square-foot production facility in Colorado that will help scale up operations. According to TechCrunch, “once it [Meati Foods] ramps up, the facility will have the capability of producing over 45 million pounds of product. In addition, the company is also breaking ground on its first Giga Ranch, a facility it will replicate all over the world, with plans to produce hundreds of millions of pounds annually.” In other words, the company plans to use its funding to further product development and expand its presence. As the company continues to rapidly grow, Meati Foods could be your next big deal.

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3. YuLife

YuLife logo

Crunchbase Rank: 95
Post-Money Valuation: $800 million

YuLife is a tech-driven insurance company on a mission to change life insurance and turn financial products into a force for good. The company uses gamification and the latest behavioral science to deliver financial products that improve lives and reward well-being. YuLife closed on a $120 million Series C led by Dai-ichi Life Holdings with participation from Creandum, LocalGlobe, Target Global, Latitude, Anthemis Exponential Ventures, OurCrowd, Notion Capital, MMC Ventures and Eurazeo. According to PR Newswire, “YuLife will use the capital to broaden its reach into new global markets and scale its product range.”

Why YuLife should be on your radar: In YuLife’s Series C press release, the company said, “YuLife exists because of a belief that the $6 trillion insurance industry is not fit for the future due to low trust, low perceived value and low engagement. The global wellbeing crisis, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has meant that there is a huge gap to fill in the market.” The company looks to work toward fundamentally changing the nature of life insurance, and creating an innovative new “win-win” model which will benefit individuals, businesses and society. Keep YuLife on your radar as the company expands into U.S. markets and is already inching closer to unicorn status with a valuation of $800 million. 

4. AI21 Labs

A21 labs logo, up-and-coming companies

Crunchbase Rank: 199
Post-Money Valuation: $664 million

AI21 Labs specializes in developing AI systems to understand and generate natural language. The company recently announced the completion of a $64 million Series B, bringing the company’s valuation to $664 million. The round was led by Ahren Innovation Capital Fund with participation from AI21 Labs co-founder Amnon Shahua, and existing investors, including Walden Catalyst, Pitango Venture Capital, TPY Capital and Mark Leslie. According to Globes, “the new funding will be used to invest in R&D and recruit new employees.”

Why AI21 should be on your radar: CEO Ori Goshen said in a recent statement, “We completed this round during a period of market uncertainty, which highlights the confidence our investors have in AI21’s vision to change the way people consume and produce information. The funding will allow us to accelerate the company’s global growth while continuing to develop advanced technology in the field of natural language processing. We are looking forward to growing our team and our offerings.” The company is currently hiring for 14 positions across its product, marketing and engineering team, signaling a focus on growth and expansion as it continues to scale. 

5. Fi.Money

Fi logo

Crunchbase Rank: 294
Post-Money Valuation: $519 million

Fi is an India-based neobanking platform that provides a financial app with a zero-balance savings account, has raised $45 million in its Series C funding round led by Alpha Wave Global. The funding round comes nine months after Fi raised a $50 million Series B from Quiet Capital, B Capital Group and Alpha Wave Global, among others. The current funding round brings the company’s total funding amount to over $120 million. Fi plans to use its fresh funding to scale and launch new investment products for its customers. 

Why Fi should be on your radar: According to VC Circle, Fi will soon launch services for its customers to connect every single bank account to the Fi app, which will help them access the same insights that Fi provides for its bank accounts. In addition, Fi co-founder Sumit Gwalani stated, “The $50 million helps us grow in multiple ways. Of course, one is scale. We will also focus on multiple different areas and will launch investment products for our customers.” The company currently has 36 open roles, mainly in marketing and engineering, indicating a focus on company and product growth.

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6. Brightline

Brightline logo, up-and-coming companies

Crunchbase Rank: 401
Post-Money Valuation: $705 million

Brightline is a medical-tech company that provides behavioral health care services for children and their families. Considered a category leader in virtual behavioral health care for children, adolescents and families, the company announced a $10M extended Series C investment, led by New York’s largest health care provider, Northwell Health, bringing its total Series C funding to $115 million

Why Brightline should be on your radar: According to Brightline, this strategic investment and partnership between Brightline and Northwell Health are set to create greater access to innovative pediatric mental health services across the New York Metro area at a critical time for families. The company plans to use the extended Series C to “continue expanding access to high-quality and affordable care, which includes exploring coordination with ecosystem partners for specialized care, innovating its care model with interactive content interventions and expanded care modalities.” With its impressive list of backers from high-growth companies, it would be smart to keep Brightline on your radar.

7. Flip

Flip logo

Crunchbase Rank: 731
Post-Money Valuation: $510 million

Flip is a social shopping app that connects customers to beauty products through video reviews. Flip allows shoppers to discover and learn about products through 60-second videos of user-generated content that are instantly shoppable. The company recently closed on a $60 million Series B led by WestCap with participation from previous investors Streamlined Ventures and Mubadala Capital Ventures. According to Fashion Network, “Flip said it plans to use the funding to expand the team, deepen its brand partnerships, and launch its own third-party social commerce marketplace this summer.” 

Why Flip should be on your radar: According to Pymnts, WestCap Vice President of Investments Tina Yuan will join Flip’s board of directors, and WestCap Partner Brian Reinken will serve as a board observer. As the lead investor, WestCap will also offer its expertise in scaling and operating leading technology marketplaces. “Flip has thoughtfully stitched together complex technologies to redefine and elevate the way we discover products and shop online,” said Laurence Tosi, founder and managing partner at WestCap. Tosi went on to acknowledge that Flip’s, “cutting-edge social commerce model is here to stay and ready to scale. The beauty industry is a first-mover, but that’s just the beginning and we could see other industries follow suit.” As the company continues rapidly grow, Flip could be your next big deal.

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If you are a Crunchbase Pro or Enterprise user, your recommendations page will automatically surface relevant up-and-coming companies to help you find your next opportunity. These recommendations are powered by machine learning and include context about why we are suggesting each company specifically for you. Learn more about Crunchbase’s company recommendation engine to automate account discovery and qualification. 

8. Kerecis

Kerecis logo, up-and-coming companies

Crunchbase Rank: 908
Post-Money Valuation: $620 million

Kerecis, headquartered in the small town of Ísafjörður, Iceland, makes use of fish skin and fatty acids in the globally expanding cellular therapy and infection control markets. The company recently raised a $60 million venture round, led by KIRKBI A/S, a Danish investment firm best known for being the owner of the LEGO brand, with participation from LSV, Emerson Collective and Brú Pension Fund

Why Kerecis should be on your radar: According to Northstack, “Recently, Kerecis has been considering listing the company on the stock market in Sweden or the United States. The board of Kerecis has decided to abandon those plans, at least for now, in light of the current economic landscape. Therefore, the board will have to look for other ways to fund the company’s growth. For example by securing funding from strong investors like KIRKBI.” Even without the possible IPO, Kerecis is still a company to keep on your radar as it is expected to double its gross income this year.

9. IQM Quantum Computers

IQM logo

Crunchbase Rank: 1,165
Post-Money Valuation: $900 million

IQM is the European leader in building quantum computers. The company delivers on-premises quantum computers for supercomputing data centers and research labs, and offers full access to its hardware. IQM recently raised a $128 million Series A2 led by World Fund with participation from Bayern Kapital, EIC Fund, OurCrowd, QCI, Tofino Capital, Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Co., and other investors. The funding follows the company’s $39 million Series A1 in 2020 and includes a $35 million venture loan from European Investment Bank, a lending, borrowing and treasury service, from earlier this year. 

Why IQM Quantum Computers should be on your radar: Since launching in 2018, IQM has become one of the fastest-growing quantum computer companies in Europe. According to BCG, “the technology could create up to $850 billion in value globally over the next 15-30 years as it scales up and improves accuracy and stability.” IQM will use the funding to expand international business and accelerate product development, with a focus on developing quantum processors to help tackle the climate crisis. According to IQM, the World Fund only invests in technologies with a Climate Performance Potential of removing 100 million tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere annually by 2040; IQM’s technology exceeds this threshold. 

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10. Shiftup

Shiftup logo, up-and-coming companies

Crunchbase Rank: 7,015
Post-Money Valuation: $772 million

Shiftup is an all-in-one game design and development studio that crosses a wide range of fields from game production to promotional video and music production, based on original illustration and solid planning and programming skills. According to the Digital Daily, “​​Shiftup CEO, Kim Hyung-tae, announced it received investment from IMM Investment and Smilegate Investment through a stock transaction and was recognized for its corporate value of 1 trillion won.”

Why Shiftup should be on your radar: According to Digital Today, “Shiftup has joined the ranks of Unicorns [in Korea]. According to the industry, Shiftup attracted investment from IMM Investment and Smilegate Investment through old stock trading. Although the size of the investment was not disclosed, the company value of more than 1 trillion won [$772 million USD] was recognized in the process.” In addition, Kim Hyung-tae opened up the possibility of an initial public offering, “I plan to take a serious approach to the IPO before and after the Nike [a new work ‘Nike: Goddess of Victory’ that will be released in the second half of the year] release.”

11. TNG Digital

TNG Digital logo, up-and-companies

Crunchbase Rank: 10,737
Post-Money Valuation: $710 million

TNG Digital is an e-wallet operator of digital wallets and online payment platform for urban mobility. The company has raised $168.3 million in its new funding round led by Lazada Group and Touch’ n Go, its parent company. According to e27, “We feel this collaboration will bring next-level value propositions to users and merchant bases across the Lazada and Touch’ n Go ecosystem. I look forward to seeing the teams roll out these exciting collaboration opportunities to our users,” said Effendy Shahul Hamid, group CEO of Touch’ n Go Group. “We will continue expanding in all digital financial services areas.”

Why TNG Digital should be on your radar: Proceeds of the new funding round will be used to expand the company’s capabilities in all areas of fintech. Lazada Malaysia CEO, Alan Chan said, “We see digital payment services as a critical bolt-on to bring the best customer experience on Lazada.” In other words, TNG Digital should be on your radar as it continues to expand and continues to build its customer experience.

Join us next month as we continue to keep an eye out for up-and-coming companies to invest in. You can use this list to track the cohort of new companies being added to the Emerging Unicorn Board throughout the month.

  • Originally published August 5, 2022, updated April 26, 2023