The Wishlist

These are the Deal Breakers, the companies we'd "quit our jobs for" and "leave our 4-year vesting schedules early for".

Here at VC Guide our mission is to serve founders and to highlight incredible people doing even more incredible work. This is a resource intended to showcase the best startups (nominated by the best founders) to the most ambitious builders as they consider joining the startup world.

To make this list, these startups must be:
🚀 High-growth and/or high-momentum
❤️ Highly praised, nominated & voted on by founders
🔬 Researched thoroughly by our team

The Wishlist will be continually updated as a living resource for ambitious builders to refer to as they explore their next chapters. There are too many cool companies to keep track of, and we can't help but to brag about other founders.

The Best Startups To Join. These companies are on our Freebie List, the ones that we shamelessly dream about and the startups that were nominated by VC Guide's Founder Community (is there any higher praise than "I'd stop working on my own company for these companies"?). They should be on your Freebie List too.


Italic empowers consumers to shop quality goods straight from the same manufacturers as top brands.

You Should Join If...

• You're in it for the long haul. Italic is building a next generation supply chain from scratch — this doesn't happen overnight, and involves completely reinventing the way the retail has been done for decades.
• You are an owner. At Italic, we support and challenge each other, work hard, and believe that small, motivated teams of owners can overcome insurmountable odds.
• You believe in kaizen. You don't settle for the status quo and use your creativity and resourcefulness to come up with 1% changes that, in total, give us an edge in delivering value to our suppliers and customers.
• You serve the customer. We place the customer at the center of every business decision we make.

Funding: $13M


Mati's digital reputation API powers high-trust interactions online by making anonymous strangers trustworthy.

You Should Join If...

• You're deeply interested in removing anonymity online to make every interaction safe and simple.
• You're excited to move past the gig economy into the trust economy as the next evolution in online services. You want to lower barriers for builders of trust services and give users full agency on how their data is used and shared. If not for Mati, you'd be trying to solve this problem yourself.
• You're hungry to constantly learn and grow. Our space is complex, ever-evolving and more fascinating the deeper you dig in. At Mati, we truly mean when we say: "90% of what we know today is 10% of what we'll know next year".
• You combine the Silicon Valley DNA with the relentless work ethic and tenacity of up-and-coming ecosystems that have more to prove. Our culture mimics our geographic footprint: SF born, LatAm bred, and now growing roots in the most interesting regions world-over (India, Africa, SE Asia).

Funding: $18.5M


Streamloots monetizes the audience of Esports players and Live streamers

You Should Join If...

• You believe in designing a new approach to entrepreneurship and the way we envision jobs in the future, by helping content creators become small individual corporations.
• You want to join a Product-Led Growth company, growing 40% MoM, where your work will have a drastic impact on the company. A team recently backed by exceptional investors and founders like Bessemer, Tobi (CEO of Shopify), Jeremy (CEO of Yelp), or Li jin.
• You want to join a team whose primary focus is to build value for the user, and not just features.
• You love gaming and live streaming.
• You take humor seriously.

Funding: $7.2M


Faire is a curated marketplace for local retailers to discover the best makers and brands to stock their stores risk-free.

You Should Join If...

• You are mission-driven and believe the future is local. We are passionate about empowering entrepreneurs everywhere to chase their dreams, and believe in the power of data and machine learning to connect a community of brands and local retailers around the world.
• You are kind. At Faire, we are friendly, generous and considerate to each other and to all of our customers, who are at the core of everything we do.
• You are relentlessly resourceful. When something needs to get done, you find a way to make it happen. Even when the work is hard, you have the drive to power through it and execute.
• You seek the truth. People at Faire are insatiably curious. We use our curiosity to drive rigorous thinking when making decisions, reasoning from first principles and using data whenever possible.

Funding: $439M


MainStreet helps founders find & claim tax credits they're owed in twenty minutes.

You Should Join If...

• You want to work with a powerhouse team. This is the MainStreet's team's third company: the first sold to AOL, and the second to Google. Execs joined from Shrug Capital, Gusto, and Intuit.
• You want to build quickly and have a real impact. MainStreet's on track to save companies $60M+ this year alone (they launched in February).
• You love working, selling, and building for founders and early stage teams.
• You're excited about working remotely – the team is spread across the entire US – to help other distributed teams get back what they're owed.

Funding: $2.7M


The DoNotPay app is the home of the world's first robot lawyer. Fight corporations, beat bureaucracy and sue anyone at the press of a button.

You Should Join If...

• You're mission oriented. Four words: Power to the people.
• You like shipping lots of products really quickly. Team is known to have an unheard of product-shipping cadence, delivering new (great) products to users consistently.
• You enjoy high momentum & impact. This small company is showing massive growth as it is helping consumers navigate the upside-down world due to COVID-19, with no signs of slowing down any time soon.
• You believe in a future of legal automation & AI for consumers.

Funding: $16.6M


Ramp is a technology company building the spend management platform and corporate card of the future.

You Should Join If...

• You're looking for an experienced founding team. Ramp was founded by the same team who built, scaled, and sold Paribus to Capital One, spearheading Capital One's push into saving technologies.
• You want to work on a product that is *loved* among founders.
• You're looking for a company that helps businesses in all circumstances. Ramp's focus is on cost-control & saving money rather than rewards (increasing spend), which has contributed to its continued growth during COVID-19 as startups aim to reduce burn.
• You believe in the financial stack of the future being rooted in sustainable financial management.

Funding: $25M


Our goal is to create a single AI training and inference chip that will outperform the world's largest supercomputer.

You Should Join If...

• You want to work at a Moonshot startup, building at the cutting edge of AI and unblocking the bottlenecks of current computing hardware.
• You're looking for an extremely technically competent team. The architecture of the company's core chip is based off of one of the founder's research, who built photonic integrated circuits for computing and became a founding researcher in the field of neuromorphic photonics.
• You like an even more impressive & name-drop worthy investor base. Although Bill Gates (who's been involved since the beginning) doesn’t yet have a review on VCGuide, we're confident he knows a thing or two about computer chips.
• You believe that photonics is not only the future of AI, but the future of compute in general.

Funding: $9M


Pipe is the new way for SaaS companies to finance growth without equity dilution or venture debt.

You Should Join If...

• You're looking for an experienced founding team. Pipe was founded by the same team who built, scaled, and sold Skurt to Fair.
• You love building to support other founders & businesses. At Pipe, you'll be working to give founders more options to build sustainable businesses & fuel their growth through non-dilutive financing as SaaS revenue becomes increasingly more predictable.
• You like working with a small team, that accomplishes *big* things very quickly from anywhere in the world.
• You want to receive actual shares in the company, not just options.
• You believe in recurring revenue becoming a brand new asset class.

Funding: $66M


Bolt is a developer of an online payment platform used to drive e-commerce businesses with newfound revenue.

You Should Join If...

• You want to work in a field that's changing fast, as ecommerce is exploding while everyone is staying at home. Bolt is not just changing retail, but is building the future of commerce.
• You believe that great things take time, and solving complex problems like building a robust checkout system can't be rushed (*cough cough*).
• You believe in ecommerce and that the internet needs a better checkout experience.

Funding: $140M


Gowalla is a worldwide augmented reality social game that inspires you to go all the places, and do all the things.

You Should Join If...

• You're looking for an experienced consumer founding team. Seriously, the *first* Gowalla was started by Josh Williams (CEO) and sold to Facebook, where he led product for their Pages, Location and Events teams. Not to mention that the company is incubated at Form Capital, an extremely exciting new early stage fund.
• You love all things design, social, and consumer. Very hard to find a more design-focused consumer company currently.
• You're looking for a relatively new field. Consumer AR is still extremely young.
• You want to join a really cool company. Seriously, it's Gowalla 2.0!!! We have no idea what this product looks like yet, but we couldn't be more excited.
• You believe in building awesome social experiences for humans and AR for consumers.

Funding: N/A


Republic is an investment crowdfunding platform that allows users to easily invest in private companies.

You Should Join If...

• You're mission-oriented. You believe that anyone should be able to participate in the upside of the private markets and don't believe in the antiquated accredited investor definitions that have reserved these assets solely for the "elite" & wealthy.
• You want to work in a field that is evolving quickly. With accredited investor definitions opening up, venture capital experiencing massive changes, and companies staying private for longer, it is a very exciting time to be building products so anyone can invest in these asset classes.
• You believe in democratizing alternative assets.

Funding: 28M


Stir build products to enable creators to run their business.

You Should Join If...

• You want to join a team that moves quickly and ships frequently. This team's view on "product" is unique and remarkable. They are sharply attuned to what content creators need to build and grow their businesses, and aren't afraid to experiment relentlessly with products (see their awesome "product drops" like OnlyTweets and Presubscribe).
• You love all things content & consumer, and you want to build out the nascent infrastructure supporting the future of content creators & influencers with a keen focus on impacting the people behind those businesses.
• You're looking to build in an ecosystem that is growing rapidly, especially with the explosion of content consumption during COVID-19.
• You believe in the Passion Economy.

Funding: 4M

Nova Credit

Nova Credit helps you access credit in the U.S. by translating your international credit score into a U.S.-equivalent credit score.

You Should Join If...

• You're mission-oriented. Nova Credit is democratizing access to credit globally.
• You love building complex financial products.
• You believe in a future where everyone has a "global financial passport" and that you don't need to rebuild your financial history when you move.

Funding: 69.4M


Playco is a developer of instant-play games across a variety of platforms.

You Should Join If...

• You're looking for an experienced founding team who *knows* gaming, with Michael Carter (CEO) having co-founded GameClosure and Justin Waldron (President) having co-founded Zynga.
• You want to work in a field that's changing quickly, with gaming, streaming & esports consumption exploding given the pandemic.
• You love all things gaming and consumer.
• You're looking to work at the cutting-edge of gaming, starting with instant social games.
• You believe in gaming.

Funding: 100M


Retool is a radically new way to build software.

You Should Join If...

• You love no-code, low-code, and SaaS products.
• You want to work on a product that is developer focused, built for and by engineers.
• You love to build products for founders & startups.
• You believe in giving engineers superpowers, and you have a deep appreciation for developer tools and want to help companies (and people) get back to what they need to be focusing on: their business.

Funding: 75M


Stripe is a global technology company that builds economic infrastructure for the internet.

You Should Join If...

• You want to build the economic infrastructure for the internet.
• You're looking to join a large company that is still growing really quickly with a huge surge of businesses coming online due to the pandemic.
• You love fintech.
• Stripes corporate development (go Paystack!) and venture arms are incredible and the Collisons are geniuses.
• You believe in payments and the internet.

Seriously? You're still looking for reasons? It's Stripe.

Funding: 1.6B

Snorkel AI

Snorkel AI is focused on making AI practical through Snorkel Flow: the data-first platform for enterprise AI.

You Should Join If...

• You want to work on one of the biggest bottlenecks in AI right now: data labeling & automating the processes behind it.
• You're looking for an *extremely* technical founding team, two of whom are computer science professors at Stanford and University of Washington. And their engineering team, just, wow. No words.
• You love AI a lot and want to work at the cutting edge of the field. (Seriously, it's unsupervised learning to label training datasets which is fairly meta in & of itself).
• You believe in making AI practical and available to the masses.

Funding: 15.3M


We are using machine learning and big data to solve challenging and fun problems in gaming.

You Should Join If...

• You're looking for an experienced founding team who *knows* consumer. This founding team consists of founders who have started incredible companies (Crunchyroll) and have also witnessed amazing exits (Raptr to Take-Two Interactive, Cyence to Guidewire, etc.). World class to say the least.
• You're mission-oriented and want to tackle toxicity in online communities.
• You want to work in a field that's changing quickly, with gaming, streaming & esports consumption exploding given the pandemic.
• You love all things gaming, esports, and consumer.
• You believe in safer and more welcoming gaming cultures.

Funding: N/A


Figma is a collaborative interface design tool that enables the entire team’s design process to happen in one online tool.

You Should Join If...

• You're looking to join The Design Company.
• You want to work on a product that is *loved* among founders, engineers, and designers everywhere.
• You love building products and creating the future ecosystem for designers.
• You believe in software design and design in general. Seriously.

Funding: 132.9M


Mercury is a bank for startups, engineered in Silicon Valley for tech companies.

You Should Join If...

• You're looking for an experienced founding team. Mercury was founded by the same team who built, scaled, and sold Heyzap to Fyber.
• You want to build products for founders & startups.
• You love fintech, like a lot.
• You believe that there is a lot of innovation in banking that is needed, and you want to start by tackling startups.

Funding: 26M


Webflow allows the user to design, build, and launch responsive websites visually, while writing clean, semantic code.

You Should Join If...

• You want to work on a product that is *loved* among founders.
• You're looking to build products for founders & startups.
• You love no-code and SaaS products (we love low operational cost, high margin, full-software businesses!).
• You believe in democratized software development for everyone, not just engineers.

Funding: 74.9M


Discord is a voice, video, and text chat app designed specifically for gamers.

You Should Join If...

• You want to work in a field that's changing quickly, with gaming, streaming & esports consumption exploding given the pandemic.
• You're looking to build products at the fastest growing communications company, with the company re-branding its positioning to be welcoming and inclusive to all (not just gamers) considering how quickly its user base is growing.
• You love building products in communication and content. You also love building tools for community admins and enabling their communities to thrive.
• You believe in online communities. We don't see Discord as a chat app, but rather the next big online community platform in a world that sorely needs more community support right now.

Funding: 373.9M

Devoted Health

Devoted Health is a healthcare company serving seniors and giving them a health care plan with personal guides and world-class technology.

You Should Join If...

• You're looking for an amazing founding team, and one who *really* understands healthcare. Devoted's founding team consists of Jeremy Delinsky (former CTO of athenahealth and Wayfair), Ed Park (former President of athenahealth), and Todd Park (founder of athenahealth & Castlight Health and former CTO of U.S. Department of Health & Human Services). Not to mention the addition of DJ Patil (former U.S. Chief Data Scientist).
• You're mission-oriented. You want to work for a company that is changing healthcare's broken incentives (value-based rather than procedure-based).
• You're interested in a field that is changing quickly, with Devoted growing massively through the telemedicine boom that is happening and the acceleration of it given COVID-19.
• You believe that there's a lot of innovation to be had in healthcare's broken incentive systems, starting with older Americans.

Funding: 362M


We are on a mission to build a better internet. Using the latest NLP and AI technology, we’re experimenting with radically new ways to help our users confidently make better decisions.

You Should Join If...

• You're mission-oriented. There's a lot of hate & misinformation on the internet and SuSea wants to make it better.
• You're looking for an extremely experienced & technical team. Richard Socher (CEO) previously founded MetaMind which sold to Salesforce where he became Chief Scientist. Bryan McCann (CTO) previously led NLP teams at Salesforce.
• You love AI & Natural Language Processing.
• You believe that there should be a better & safer internet.

Funding: N/A


Patreon operates an online platform that lets artists get paid directly by fans for content subscriptions.

You Should Join If...

• You love building for content creators.
• You want to work on one of the most interesting payments products currently.
• You're looking join a massively growing mid-stage company as content consumption and creation explodes during COVID-19.
• You believe in the Passion Economy.

Funding: 255.9M


Ike is a self driving truck startup, focused on building automation technology to help improve the trucking industry.

You Should Join If...

• You're looking for a team that *knows* autonomous vehicles. The founding team led and built self driving trucks at Uber's Advanced Technologies Group.
• You love deeply technical problems, from re-imagining a truck's infrastructure to self-driving AI.
• You want to work at the forefront of self-driving. Self-driving trucks are likely the applications to be first to market in autonomous vehicles (the technical challenges are simpler).
• You're looking to change an entire industry (trucking is a 700B+ market and accounts for 80% of all freight related costs). They are already working with some of the biggest trucking fleets in the country—in September they announced DHL, Ryder, and NFI as their first users!
• You believe that AI & automation has a large part to play in the future of transportation & logistics.

Funding: 52M


Ro is a telehealth startup that operates digital health clinics for men’s and women’s health, along with smoking cessation.

You Should Join If...

• You're interested in a field that is changing quickly, with Ro growing massively through the telemedicine boom that is happening and the acceleration of it given COVID-19.
• You're looking for an experienced team with the founding team having started and sold other companies previously (Shout and Managed by Q).
• You want to work on a company that is working on all parts of the patient-care stack, from online diagnosis to the delivery of medication.
• You believe in the future of digital healthcare.

Funding: 376.1M


We're Balsa. We're building tools for builders.

You Should Join If...

• You’re looking for an experienced SaaS team, with roots in consumer. The founding team is an incredible squad from Slack and Twitter (same with their investors).
• You want to build tools for builders—engineers, designers, product managers, researchers, and everyone else who builds software.
• You believe there is a ton of room for improvement in today’s tools, and want to be an early part of a company dedicated to making life better for builders. (Balsa bills itself as a “Nike for builders.“)
• You’re looking for a team that honors and celebrates the joys of building software.
• You want to join a founding team that values teamwork and operates as more than the sum of their parts when they work together.

Funding: N/A

*Shameless Plug*: VCG

VCG is a research firm that build products for founders.

You Should Join If...

• You love, like *love*, building for founders. You love everything about the startup and venture ecosystem, but especially helping the people who are crazy (and awesome) enough to think that they can change the world.
• You're interested in building software products in an ironically non-digitized(?) and very opaque services industry.
• You're looking to ship lots of products really quickly.
• You believe in making the private markets more transparent and accessible.

Of course, how could we not plug ourselves?

Funding: N/A


“For engineers, founders, and investors, VC Guide has been the best resource to find incredible high-growth startups to join & invest in.”
Joshua Browder, Founder of DoNotPay

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Party On

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