StartupBlink Blog


This report expands on the findings of StartupBlink’s Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2022 and depicts the state of the Hardware & IoT startup industry. It is an in-depth look into the top 30 cities for Hardware & IoT startups in 2022, featuring unicorns, pantheons, exits, and notable startups in the global startup ecosystem scene. In 2022, Hardware & IoT was the 6th largest industry for startups by the number of entities. 

Energy and Environment Industry at a Glance: top insights

👉In 2022, 6.6% of the total sampled startups in StartupBlink’s database were from the Hardware & IoT industry. In addition, the Hardware & IoT Industry had 3.5% of the total unicorns.

👉There are 11 sub industries for Hardware & IoT, with the largest ones being Hardware (27.4%), Consumer Electronics (20%), and Manufacturing (18.7%).

👉 North American and Asian cities dominate the charts, with 10 cities from North America (including cities from the United States and Canada) and 8 cities from Asia (including cities from China, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea).

👉 Burlington joined the Hardware & IoT rankings in 2022 and ranked among the top 30 ecosystems.

Ranking the top 30 Cities for Hardware and Data

In the top-five ranked ecosystems, there are slight differences compared to 2021 industry rankings, but San Francisco maintains its position as the top ecosystem in 2022 as well. Among the top five, New York and Beijing moved one spot up, while Shenzhen and Shanghai moved one spot down.

Some ecosystems should be celebrated for their outstanding performance compared to 2021 industry rankings:

  • Atlanta showed the most noticeable jump from 50th place to 18th place. It is followed by Copenhagen and Denmark, two cities that increased their rank by 25 spots. 
  • Houston and Bangalore are cities with a rank increase of 19 and 17 spots. 

On the other hand, some ecosystems decreased in the industry rankings, such as:

  • San Diego dropping 12 spots, Helsinki and Paris dropping 8 spots.
  • Stockholm dropped 7 spots. 

Some ecosystems outperformed in Hardware & IoT rankings, in comparison to to their Global rankings, including:

  • Hsinchu from Taiwan ranks 173 spots better than the global. Likewise, Taipei ranks 40 spots higher than its global rank and is in the 7th position in this industry. 
  • Copenhagen, Houston, and Helsinki are three cities worth mentioning due to their overachievement in the industry by ranking more than 20 spots higher than their global rankings.

In contrast, some cities' rankings are not as high as their global rankings. Some examples include:

  • London that ranked 11th in the industry, 8 spots lower than its global ranking.
  • Bangalore that ranked 19th in the industry which is 11 spots lower than its global ranking.
  • San Diego that ranked 29th, 8 spots lower than its global ranking.
  • Stockholm ranked 30th, and Paris ranked 17th, which is 7 spots lower than their global rankings.

Hardware & IoT Pantheons in 2022

Pantheon member is a category coined by StartupBlink which includes companies or organizations that are no longer a startup or a unicorn but still have a substantial impact on their startup ecosystem and their brand. These Pantheons are categorized into three tiers depending on their impact and quality. Below are the pantheon members making a notable impact in the Hardware & IoT industry: 

FitbitSan FranciscoUnited StatesFitbit creates fitness products to help you monitor your activity.
XiaomiBeijingChinaXiaomi develops and produces smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets.
AtotechBerlinGermanyAtotech is a leading specialty chemicals technology company, delivering chemistry, equipment, service, and software
FujitsuTokyoJapanFujitsu Ltd. engages in information and communication technology.
Hewlett Packard EnterprisePalo AltoUnited StatesHewlett-Packard Co. provides products, technologies, software, solutions, and services to individual consumers, small and medium-sized businesses, and large enterprises, including customers in the government, health, and education sectors.
NvidiaSanta ClaraUnited StatesNVIDIA Corp. designs and manufactures computer graphics processors, chipsets, and multimedia software. It operates through the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) and Tegra Processor segments.
Applied MaterialsSanta ClaraUnited StatesApplied Materials, Inc. provides materials engineering solutions to produce new chips and advanced displays.
BroadcomSan JoseUnited StatesBroadcom, Inc. is a global technology company, which designs, develops, and supplies semiconductor and infrastructure software solutions.
ASUSTaipei CityTaiwanASUS is a tech company that produces computers, laptops, mobile phones, and hardware
TSMC TaiwanHsinchuTaiwanTSMC Taiwan is the world's largest semiconductor foundry.

Hardware & IoT Unicorns in 2022

Unicorns are startups that reach a valuation of one billion dollars or above. Below are the highest-ranked Hardware & IoT unicorns from the StartupBlink database:

Magic LeapFloridaUnited StatesMagicLeap is a wearable technology that helps users to interact with digital devices.
Royole CorporationShenzhenChinaRoyole Corporation manufactures advanced flexible displays, flexible sensors, and smart devices.
InfinidatHerzliyaIsraelInfinidat is a data storage platform designed to store and protect data as large as petabytes.
UBTECH RoboticsShenzhenChinaUBTECH is a company that works on AI and humanoid robots.
CambriconBeijingChinaCambricon Technologies builds core processor chips for intelligent cloud servers, terminals, and robots.
Horizon RoboticsBeijingChinaHorizon Robotics offers energy-efficient computing solutions for smart vehicles.
StarryBostonUnited StatesStarry creates easy-to-use Wi-Fi products and radical ways to get Internet service.
GroqPalo AltoUnited StatesGroq radically simplifies and speeds up workloads in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and high-performance computing.
Flock SafetyAtlantaUnited StatesFlock Safety is a public safety operating system developer, helping communities in 1200 cities to eliminate crime.
Zipline InternationalSan FranciscoUnited StatesZipline designs, manufactures, and operates drones to deliver vital medical products.

View the full list of unicorns with StartupBlink Pro

Hardware & IoT Exits in 2022

An Exit event occurs when a startup goes public through an IPO or gets acquired. Here are the top exits in 2022 for Hardware & IoT industry according to the StartupBlink database:

CompanyCity CountryDescription
AcquiaBostonUnited StatesAcquia provides cloud-based digital experience management solutions.
Affirmed NetworksActonUnited StatesAffirmed Networks develops mobile network solutions with gateway functionality, application, and content delivery services.
ZymergenEmeryvilleUnited StatesZymergen is a biotechnology company specialized in machine learning, big data, and artificial intelligence.
NexperiaNijmegenThe NetherlandsNexperia is the producer of discrete, logic, and MOSFET devices.
XiaomiBeijingChinaXiaomi develops and produces smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets.
AtotechBerlinGermanyAtotech is a leading specialty chemicals technology company, delivering chemistry, equipment, service, and software.
Abaco SystemsHuntsvilleUnited StatesAbaco Systems is a global leader in open architecture rugged embedded systems.
AcaciaMaynardUnited StatesAcacia develops, manufactures, and sells high-speed coherent optical interconnect products.
ARLANXEOMaastrichtThe NetherlandsARLANXEO operates as a synthetic rubber company.
AscentySao PauloBrazilAscenty is a data center and telecom company specializing in colocation, connectivity, hosting, cloud computing, and managed services.

Hardware & IoT Top Startups in 2022

StartupBlink ranks startups according to a proprietary formula that considers traction of the startup, number of employees and funding received. Below, we show the top startups in the Hardware & IoT industry for 2022:

MNTNCulver CityUnited StatesMNTN provides advertising software for direct marketers, agencies, and brands of all sizes.
UnsplashMontrealCanadaUnsplash is a platform dedicated to sharing copyright-free photography under the Unsplash license.
1QAtlantaUnited States1Q is a consumer engagement platform.
SketchfabNew YorkUnited StatesEnter new dimensions: Sketchfab is the largest platform to publish and find 3D models online.
TwilioSan FranciscoUnited StatesTwilio is a web-service API that lets you use your existing web languages and skills to build voice and SMS applications. We focus on building a simple, powerful, pay-as-you-go communications platform so that you can focus on what you do best.
TetraVueVistaUnited StatesTetraVue is the leading innovator of 4D LiDAR video cameras that capture the richness & depth of our fast-paced world in high definition.
Fitix Visualization Ltd- HexaTel Aviv-YafoIsraelHexa is disrupting the way its retail partners communicate their products by converting their existing product information into 3D models.
All3DP is a 3D printing magazine with more than 2 million users per month. All3DP operates Craftcloud.
RingCentralSan MateoUnited StatesAll the functionality you need, no clunky PBX, set up in minutes, and all-inclusive pricing.
PetnetLos AngelesUnited StatesPetnet is a connected pet device company that offers a pet analytics platform to find solutions for fundamental problems of petcare.

For more insights get a StartupBlink Pro Account


To ensure that the rankings are as accurate as possible, we have based our algorithm on objective, quantifiable data that can be comparatively measured across regions, countries, and cities. We refrained from using subjective tools such as surveys and interviews, and instead utilized data that was either accumulated directly from the StartupBlink map or has arrived from integration with a reliable global data partner. We allow as few assumptions as possible regarding cause and effect and focus on one thing: measuring results. We avoid relying on any theoretical models assuming the causes of success for startup ecosystems. 

Every year our algorithm is more accurate, and it should be noted that the momentum change of each ecosystem is not only influenced by its achievements over the last year, but also by these algorithm improvements. We have been sampling startup ecosystem data on the curated and interactive StartupBlink Global Map, which enables us to test and perfect our algorithm based on vast sets of data. We estimate that the core map dataset has a representative sample covering 10-15% of total relevant entities in global startup ecosystems. In addition, hundreds of thousands of entities and data integrations are taken into account via our global data partners. Each location’s final score is based on the exact same algorithm. However, we are aware that our sample size fluctuates depending on location and data sourcing. Our only intervention in the score is discounting locations where we determined that the sample size of the entities is higher than average. In order to solve issues with lower than average sample size, we have partnered with approximately 100 Ecosystem Partners, most of which are Government agencies, many of them in locations where our data is limited. We offer all governments administrative access to curate the dataset of their ecosystems, at no cost, granting them complimentary access. On our rankings with Unicorns and Exits, we consider each startup's valuation and add some special filters to exclude government entities and corporate spin-offs.

The Methodology used in the 11 industry rankings, including Hardware & IoT and is identical to the algorithm of the global rankings, while taking into account the startup database of each industry. However, the fintech Industry rankings are built on an official Fintech Ecosystem Portal: Findexable’s Global Fintech Map, which includes deeper algorithm changes customized according to the specific characteristics of the fintech industry. 

Our Data Partners:

startupblink data partners