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Many U.S. companies inspire the world with how they've achieved success in disrupting their industries. — Getty Images/metamorworks

While startups are taking off in all corners of the world, the United States still boasts many of the highest valued and sought-after young companies. American startups of all types — from those that bootstrapped their way to success to those that have taken millions in venture capital — continue to inspire the business world.

Here are ten companies that have attracted much attention by disrupting industries and are now valued at more than $1 billion.

Bright Health

Despite consistent uncertainty in the United States health insurance industry, several “insurance tech” startups have created strong businesses. One such startup is Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Bright Health, which sells individual, family and Medicare Advantage plans and currently has more than 60,000 members in 12 states. While its footprint might not be enormous yet, it has attracted more than $1 billion in funding based on its fundamentals and ability to expand during the next few years.

Checkr

In the growing gig economy in the United States, many companies who want to hire contractors quickly need to run fast background checks. San Francisco, California-based Checkr has focused on just that and has run more than 42 million background checks to thousands of customers to date. The company has raised more than $300 million in venture capital thus far, and it plans to continue expanding solutions for employers beyond background checks.

ClassPass

With the global fitness industry now valued at nearly $100 billion, it makes sense that several large U.S. startups have been able to capture some of that value. New York-based ClassPass, for example, has recently been valued at $1 billion. Its business allows people in 28 countries to buy credits that allow them to try various fitness and wellness classes. Recent growth stems from international expansion and signing up large corporate customers who provide ClassPass as a benefit.

Duolingo

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based startup Duolingo built its company on the simple premise that people needed better applications to learn languages. Through offering effective and engaging lessons on iPhones, Android phones and the web, Duolingo has become the most downloaded education app in the world and is now valued north of $1 billion. The company’s home city of Pittsburgh may have given the company a talent attraction advantage because the city’s cost of living is much lower than other tech hubs such as San Francisco, New York and Boston.

Grammarly

While spell-checking software has existed in some form since the 1970s, it took until recently for a company built around advanced spell check, grammar check, and writing assistance to be valued at more than $1 billion. San Francisco, California-based Grammarly provides free and paid writing tools to more than 20 million people daily, and the company claims more than 1,000 schools use its education product that helps students and faculty succeed.

American startups of all types continue to inspire the business world.

Guild Education

Founded in 2015, Denver, Colorado-based Guild Education has quickly grown into a unicorn with a positive mission — helping employees at large companies get connected to higher-education programs. These employees, who get tuition reimbursement from employers, are offered tailored online degrees that will help them grow core skills. Guild’s online program catalog now includes more than 1,600 options, and about 400,000 working adults have used Guild’s system to date.

Impossible Foods

When it comes to the growing “plant-based meat” industry, few startups have shown as much promise as Impossible Foods. The company’s famous Impossible Burger and a growing catalog of foods have helped attract investment at a valuation of more than $2 billion.

RigUp

Austin, Texas-based RigUp has built a $1 billion business on helping energy companies scale more quickly and operate faster. RigUp’s platform matches blue-collar contractors with energy companies of all types. The company says more than 5,000 contractors and 250 energy companies use the platform currently, with more contractors and companies signing up every month.

Rivian

As electric vehicles continue to gain more popularity in the U.S. and around the world, Plymouth, Michigan-based Rivian has made a name for itself by building electric pickup trucks and SUVs. While the company has not yet released its first model publicly, the company’s technology is so promising it’s now valued north of $1 billion and has attracted Ford and Amazon as investors.

Vacasa

Portland, Oregon-based Vacasa has built a $1 billion business on smart and effective management of vacation rental properties. The company now manages more than 23,000 vacation homes, and it believes it will be able to attract even more customers as more people buy vacation properties as investments. Vacasa takes a little less than half of the rent generated by each home in its portfolio.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published February 07, 2020