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In the latest analysis of StartupBlink, Software and Data is the largest startup industry with 31.95% of all our sampled startups. In this article, we showcased the top 10 cities for Software and Data that are hosting these startups around the world, yet there are 608 cities ranked for the Software & Data industry. For those seeking a deeper exploration, an analysis of 100 cities and regional insights awaits StartupBlink PRO users, diving into the ecosystem trends in the Software and Data industry.

Hardware & IoT

What's inside the full report?​

The Full report is only available to StartupBlink PRO.

Key Insights

Enterprise Technologies captures 27% of all mapped Software and Data Startups

Enterprise Technologies is the largest subindustry within the Software and Data industry with 27% of all mapped startups in the industry, followed by Apps and Artificial Intelligence, each representing 14% of the industry’s startups. In total, the industry has 12 subindustries with the rest including Software, SaaS, Cybersecurity, Comtech, Web Development, Cloud, VR/AR, Data Analytics, and others. On the PRO version of this report, you can see the complete distribution of startups across subindustries.

After a peak in 2021, the funding to the Software & Data industry is declining for the two consecutive years.

By analyzing the data provided by Crunchbase, we observed a substantial surge in funding during 2021, marked by more than double the funding of the previous year. This remarkable growth can largely be credited to the rapid acceleration of digitization driven by the pandemic. However, this upward trend was short-lived. In 2022, funding levels decreased to US$ 81.5B, and as of December 2023, our data shows that funding in the industry has almost halved compared to 2022. You can unlock the funding trend from 2013 to 2023 on the PRO version of this report.

Five of the top 10 cities in the Software and Data industry are dominated by the US

US cities maintain their stronghold in Software and Data rankings, with five out of the top 10 cities in this sector being American. San Francisco ranks first, New York second, Boston fourth, Los Angeles sixth, and Seattle eighth. All other cities in the top 10 are sole representatives of their respective nations.

Medellin records the largest jump in the Latin America & Caribbean region with 9 spots.

As we did a regional analysis on the Latin America & Caribbean region, Medellin deserves a special mention with its 9 spots in the region to rank 7th in the region. This is the largest jump among the region’s top 10. The regional analysis of five different regions is available in the PRO version of this report.

Top 10 Cities for Software & Data Startups

The list below showcases the top 10 cities for Software & Data Startups. If you are looking for deeper analysis, StartupBlink PRO users can reach to the list of Top 100 cities for the industry, make analysis on regional and national level, as well as go deeper into sub industry level rankings.

1. San Francisco, United States:

San Francisco remains the undisputed leader of the Software & Data industry, as its rankings have not changed compared to 2022, and it also maintains the same position in the global ranking, making it the leader of startup ecosystems. The achievements of San Francisco’s startup ecosystem are better displayed with success stories such as OpenAI, Quora, and Discord.

2. New York, United States:

At its own league, New York maintains the second place for Software & Data rankings as well, with no change from 2022 and its global position. Among the successful startups building the narrative of New York’s Software & Data industry are Vice Media, Grafana Labs, and Hugging Face, which have achieved Unicorn status.

3. Beijing, China:

Beijing is home to the world’s most valuable unicorn, ByteDance, which is the creator of TikTok and operates in the Software & Data industry. This explains why the city ranks third in the world for this industry, with a two-spot climb since last year.

4. Boston, United States:

Although Boston has decreased by one spot in the Software & Data industry rankings since last year, it still maintains its position among the industry’s top five, which is slightly better compared to its global rank. Software & Data is the industry that hosts the most unicorns in Boston. Among some of the notable Software & Data startups in Boston are Klaviyo, DataRobot, and Formlabs, which have exceeded a valuation of US$1 billion.

5. London, United Kingdom:

London climbs two spots in the Software & Data rankings this year; however, this position is still lower than its global rank of third place. For this industry, it is surpassed by cities such as Beijing and Boston. Some notable startups from London are Beamery, Snyk, and Paddle, which have achieved unicorn status.

6. Los Angeles, United States:

Los Angeles falls from the top five as the result of its two-spot decline in the industry rankings, which is also two spots lower than its global rank. This highlights the city’s need to strengthen its position in this industry, with few notable success stories such as FloQast, Service Titan, and Anduril.

7. Tel Aviv, Israel:

Tel Aviv’s position at seventh is three spots higher than its global rank of 10th, however the city has experienced a slight decline of one spot since last year for the industry. Software & Data is the industry that hosts the most unicorns in Tel Aviv, including Wiz and Cato Networks.

8. Seattle, United States:

Seattle maintains its position as of last year for the industry at eighth place, and this position is four spots better than its global rank, showcasing the city’s excellence in the Software & Data sector. Among its nine unicorns in the industry, Zenoti and Highspot emerge as the most notable ones.

9. Paris, France:

Paris’ position at ninth perfectly matches with its global and 2022 Software & Data rankings, with 10 unicorns from the industry such as Voodoo, Dataiku, and Swile.

10. Bangalore, India:

Bangalore joins the ranks of the top 10 cities for Software & Data startups with a two-spot climb, however this position is still two spots below its global rank. Among the notable entities contributing to the growth of the industry in Bangalore are ShareChat, NoBroker, and Vedantu.

Software & Data Success Stories

Top Software & Data Startups 

The following table presents a curated selection of innovative Software & Data startups from around the world. We select these countries based on criteria such as the funding raised, number of employees and traction measured by website traffic. You can browse more startups on our database.

Top Software & Data Exits

A mark of success for startups is when they experience an “exit” event, in which the company is sold, either through an initial public offering, acquisition or merger. This transition is a pivotal point in a company’s lifecycle and often serves as a testament to its value and impact on the industry. This list highlights the top exits in the Software & Data industry. You can browse more startup exits on our database.

Top Software & Data Unicorns

In the Software & Data industry, certain enterprises stand out for their exceptional growth and innovative solutions. These ‘unicorns’—privately held startups valued at over one billion dollars. Our spotlight shines on the top unicorns in the Software & Data industry, based on their valuation, number of employees and traction measured by the website traffic. You can browse more unicorns on our database.

Top Software & Data Pantheon Members

Pantheon is a term coined by StartupBlink to categorize a group of organizations and startup ecosystem stakeholders that have had a massive impact on startup ecosystems globally.This spotlight features the top Pantheon Members from the Software & Data industry. Some of them were viewed in the notable exit lists, whereas others were in the unicorns list as well. You can browse the pantheon members on our database.

How we rank top cities for Software & Data Startups?

We ensure accuracy in our rankings by relying on objective, quantifiable data instead of subjective tools like surveys. Our algorithm, based on data from the StartupBlink map and global data partners, minimizes assumptions and focuses on measurable results. Yearly improvements enhance algorithm accuracy, with momentum changes influenced not only by ecosystem achievements but also by these enhancements. 

The algorithm is refined using data from the StartupBlink Global Map, covering 10-15% of global startup entities. Scores are determined uniformly, but sample sizes vary by location and data source. To address low sample size issues, we collaborate with 100 Ecosystem Partners, offering government agencies complimentary administrative access to curate datasets. Rankings involving Unicorns and Exits consider startup valuations, applying filters to exclude government entities and corporate spin-offs.

The Methodology used in the 11 industry rankings, including Software & Data, is identical to the algorithm of the global rankings while taking into account the startup database of each industry.

OUR DATA PARTNERS: