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Why were there only two Midwest startups on LinkedIn’s list of the top 50 startups on the rise?
Cameo, based in Chicago (as well as remotely), and Seamless.AI, based in Columbus, are really awesome startups, and we were so happy to see them on the list. We just think LinkedIn missed a couple more major Midwest players.
There’s this myth that only the top startups come out of Silicon Valley or New York City. As a Midwest company built for Midwest startups, we know that’s just not true.
Top Midwest startups in Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Columbus have continued to crush the startup game—raising money, hiring top talent and making some major news headlines.
So, here’s who we would have added to LinkedIn’s list:
Top 8 Midwest startups with a newsworthy 2020
1. Root Insurance, Columbus, Ohio
One of the best startups in Columbus, Root Insurance is a powerhouse Midwest tech company with over 500 employees and $527.5 million in total funding. Last fall, Root went public, raising $724 million in their IPO. In 2019, the company was valued at over $3 billion. Now, after the IPO, which was the largest IPO in Ohio history, Root is valued at $6.7 billion.
2. Rivian, Plymouth, Michigan
Rivian made a lot of headlines in 2020 for new investments and partnerships with companies like Amazon. In July, they announced they raised $2.5 billion, bringing their total funding up to $5.6 billion. This top startup was also among the first five companies to get financing from the Amazon Climate Pledge Fund.
3. Olive, Columbus, Ohio
Olive had an outstanding year in 2020. They raised $51 million in March, then announced another funding round of $106 million in September. They’ve been attracting top talent with their financial growth, as well as their unique “On The Grid” work model.
4. Argo AI, Pittsburg
With major investments from Ford ($1 billion) and Volkswagen ($2.6 billion), Argo AI made top headlines—and technology—in 2020. Back in July, TechCrunch reported that the company was valued at $7.5 billion.
5. StockX, Detroit
6. Tempus, Chicago
A top Chicago startup, Tempus was started by Detroit native and co-founder of Groupon, Eric Lefkofsky, to make data-driven precision medicine a reality. Since 2015, the company has been growing its team and getting some major investments. In 2020, they raised $100 million, bringing their total funding up to $620 million.
7. Lessonly, Indianapolis
Based in Indy, Lessonly is an online education platform for corporate training. Not only did they raise $15 million in 2020, bringing their total funding up to $29 million, but they also have a platform that is used by over 3 million learners.
8. Duolingo, Pittsburgh
Duolingo has been a steadfast startup, both in Pittsburgh and in the U.S. The language-learning app has raised nearly $150 million. Its most recent round of $30 million brought the company’s valuation up to $1.5 billion.
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