The Lead List: 6 High-Growth Companies to Sell to in December

The Lead List is a monthly series that analyzes key buy signalsfrom companies on theCrunchbase Emerging Unicorn Board with fresh funding to help you fill your pipeline with new opportunities.


A market downturn and the risk of global recession are causing companies to rein in their spending. While some companies are battening down the hatches to weather the storm, others are still raising new funding and expanding their teams with key leadership hires.

In this edition of The Lead List, we’ll look at several companies that raised new funding in November and inched closer to becoming unicorns — what we call “emerging unicorns.” For salespeople to be successful in the current economic climate, whether it’s an emerging unicorn or not, targeting companies that have buying power will be the most effective way to close deals.

Why emerging unicorns should be on your radar: Emerging unicorns are fast-growing private 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.


1. WEKA

Crunchbase Rank: 49
Post-Money Valuation: $750 million

WEKA is a global data management provider that helps companies move data between sources through a software-based data platform. The company’s recent $135 million Series D, led by Generation Investment Management, increases its total funding to $293.9 million over seven rounds.

Why WEKA should be on your radar: Whether it’s binging Netflix or interacting with mobile apps, we’re creating more data than ever before. There’s a growing need for tools that help manage this data, analyze it for insights, and move it efficiently between applications. For companies like WEKA, the increase in data being created globally is an opportunity to continue building its business. With $135 million in the bank, it has profitability in its sights and is looking to fuel global expansion, according to Crunchbase News.


2. Atom Bank

Crunchbase Rank: 217
Post-Money Valuation: $591 million

Atom Bank is a digital bank that offers a range of personal and business banking products, such as high-interest savings accounts and business loans. Its recent $34.6 million (USD) private equity round increases its total funding raised to $777.9 million over 11 rounds.

Why Atom Bank should be on your radar: Consumers want more from their banks. They want convenience and access to benefits, such as high-interest savings accounts, without hidden fees. Digital banks, like Atom Bank, are giving consumers what they want. Venture capitalists have taken notice and are placing bets on these companies to disrupt the traditional banking model. In addition to new funding, Atom Bank has expanded its leadership team, further signalling growth. Andrew Marshall, who has been with the company for six years, was appointed chief financial officer. Andy Sturrock, former head of customer and products digital at BP, joined as chief technology officer.

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3. Tül

Crunchbase Rank: 433
Post-Money Valuation: $800 million

Tül is an app with which users can use their phones to buy hardware and construction products directly from local merchants. Following a $181 million round back in January led by 8VC, the company has recently raised an additional $7.7 million in debt financing from Bancolombia.

Why Tül should be on your radar: According to Wenyi Cai, founder and CEO of Polymath Ventures, there’s a trend in venture funding where capital is flowing to tech platforms that serve small and independent Latin American businesses. But this isn’t the only type of business seeing venture dollars. In 2021, $19.5 billion in capital was poured into Latin America, sparking it to become the world’s fastest-growing region for venture funding, according to an analysis by Crunchbase News

Ultimately, the growth happening in Latin America bodes well for companies like Tül. If this growth continues, we’ll see a lot more venture dollars invested in companies in this region and potentially new emerging unicorns.


4. Novo

Crunchbase Rank: 2,067
Post-Money Valuation: $700 million

Novo provides a digital banking platform for small-business owners, entrepreneurs and freelancers. With $35 million in new funding, which is an extension round of its $90 million Series B in January, the company’s total funding raised to date is now $170.5 million. GGV Capital was the lead investor in this latest funding round.

Why Novo should be on your radar: Its bank account isn’t the only thing that’s seeing an increase. Novo has expanded its leadership team with the appointments of: 

In addition to these growth signals, Novo is part of a growing list of online banks that offer entrepreneurs and freelancers more favorable benefits than traditional banks. No fees or account minimums, for example. 

With layoffs climbing due to market declines, professionals will increasingly turn to alternative ways of generating income to weather the storm. Freelancing, side hustles and gig work are a few options that are on the table. According to Upwork, freelancing is on the rise. A report by Zapier highlights that 40% of Americans have a side hustle in 2022.

Bottom line: As people turn to freelancing and side hustles for income, they’ll look to online banks like Novo for more convenience and to avoid unnecessary fees. For Novo, this is an opportunity to increase its market share.

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5. Simplilearn

Crunchbase Rank: 5,249
Post-Money Valuation: $500 million

Simplilearn, which was acquired by Blackstone Group for $250 million in 2021, helps professionals around the world acquire the skills they need to succeed in today’s digital economy. Its recent $45 million Series E, led by GSV Ventures, brings its total funding to $76 million over five rounds.

Why Simplilearn should be on your radar: The world is increasingly turning digital. We can hail a ride with a mobile device, order food with the push of a button, and connect with others from virtually anywhere in the world. However, not everyone is equipped with the skills to take part in this digital economy and the professional opportunities it creates. 

Upskilling and reskilling platforms, like Simplilearn, are in a great position to make learning digital skills more accessible. As people get laid off or pivot their careers, they’re going to turn to these platforms to learn and get ahead. In addition to its funding and the overall direction of the market, Simplilearn has made key leadership hires. To support its overseas operations, the company hired Asem Rostom as its general manager and Vishal Shah as its senior director of enterprise sales in the U.S. Additional leadership hires include Mohit Yadav, VP of business, and Sujoy Ghosh, VP of product management.


6. Cover Genius

Crunchbase Rank: 5,249
Post-Money Valuation: $728 million

Cover Genius enables companies to embed insurance options into their products. Its recent $70 million Series D led by Dawn Capital, brings its total funding to $165.1 million over six rounds. 

Why Cover Genius should be on your radar: The insurtech industry is growing. As CEO and co-founder of insurtech company Breeze, Colin Nabity, mentions in this Crunchbase News article, “Insurance is an industry ripe for disruption and technological advancements.” Billions of dollars in venture capital has poured into the industry the past couple of years, including over $5.4 billion so far in 2022. This is a drastic increase from the $813 million raised in 2020.Insurtech companies like Cover Genius, which also hired Gloria Basem as its chief people officer earlier this year, are in a good position to capitalize on investors placing bets on companies that will disrupt the insurance industry.

Methodology

This issue of The Lead List includes companies on Crunchbase’s Emerging Unicorn Board that raised new funding throughout November. 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 Nov. 28, 2022. 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.

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 support@crunchbase.com.

  • Originally published December 15, 2022, updated December 20, 2022