178 of the most promising startups in 2021 in tech, finance, retail, healthcare, consumer, and more, according to VCs

·3 min read
4 business people lined up on a purple background
From left: Li Jin, Hans Tung, Gabby Cazeau, and Mike Duboe Courtesy of Li Jin; GGV Capital; Harlem Capital; Greylock Partners; Shayanne Gal/Insider
  • We asked hundreds of top venture capitalists to name the most promising startups of 2021.

  • VCs were asked to name companies inside and outside of their portfolios.

  • They delivered an exciting list across industries like fintech, healthcare, adtech and beyond.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

These 46 companies are some of the most promising startups overall, according to VCs

Our first list of startups included those named by multiple VCs as being the top ones, overall, to watch.

Read More: 46 of the most promising startups of 2021, according to top VCs

These fintech startups are revamping how companies manage, borrow and use money, and are challenging old-school finance.

5 vcs on a blue background lined up left to right talking about business fintech
From left: Karim Atiyeh and Eric Glyman, founders of Ramp; Shuo Wang, cofounder and CRO of Deel; Stephany Kirkpatrick, founder and CEO of Orum; and Richie Serna, founder and CEO of Finix. Ramp; Deel; Orum; Finix; Samantha Lee/Insider

Advancements in e-commerce and business management were especially high priorities to these founders.

Read More: 57 promising fintechs building the behind the scenes tech revolutionizing Wall Street

These fintech startups are changing how consumers interact with everything from banking to stock investing.

four vcs on a green backgorund with orange dollar signs fintech consumers
From left: Billie Simmons, cofounder and COO of Daylight; Donald Hawkins and Asya Bradley, cofounders of First Boulevard; Rob Curtis, cofounder and CEO of Daylight. Daylight; First Boulevard; Marianne Ayala/Insider

These startups are working to make the average consumer take control of their finances, from managing their investments to keeping track of their daily finances.

Read More: 13 promising consumer fintechs aiming to be the next household names like Robinhood, Chime, and Coinbase

These healthcare startups are bringing especially important new technologies to a world ravaged by the pandemic.

Elektra Health co-founders Alessandra Henderson and Jannine Versi.
Elektra Health co-founders Alessandra Henderson and Jannine Versi. Elektra Health

The pandemic showed us that some parts of our healthcare systems need major upgrades.

Read More: 23 of the most promising healthcare startups of 2021, according to top VCs

These retail startups have the best potential to grow in a new hybrid environment where online and physical shopping are both here to stay.

4 retail startup vc investors on a yellow background
Eric Bahn of Hustle Fund, Josh Stein of Threshold Ventures, Anu Duggal of Female Founders Fund, and Candice Matthews Brackeen of Lightship Capital. Hustle Fund; Courtesy of Josh Stein; Female Founders Fund; Lightship Capital; Shayanne Gal/Insider

From helping shoppers with grocery delivery to providing climate friendly products, retail innovations are increasing fast.

Read More: 19 of the most promising retail startups of 2021, according to top VCs

These startups are overhauling the consumer experience in areas like education and mental health.

4 vcs on a blue background
Grace Chou, principal of Felicis Ventures; Annelies Gamble, partner of Scribble Ventures; Ilan Abehassera, cofounder of Diaspora Ventures; Scott Belsky, founder of Angel. Courtesy of Grace Chou; Courtesy of Diaspora Ventures; Courtesy of Scribble Ventures; Courtesy of Eric Einwiller; Shayanne Gal/Insider

These startups run the gambit, from online college learning to mental healthcare outreach, all aimed at consumers.

Read More: 23 of the most promising startups aimed at consumers of 2021, according to top VCs

These media and adtech startups are revolutionizing how media companies serve and understand their audiences.

Sarah Fay, Glasswing Ventures
Sarah Fay, Glasswing Ventures Glasswing Ventures

Media and adtech startups are helping publications and companies target information better.

Read more: 15 of the most promising digital advertising and media startups of 2021, according to top VCs

These cryptocurrency startups have capitalized on the crypto's explosion in value and popularity this year.

Sorare cofounders Nicolas Julia and Adrien Montfort
Sorare cofounders Nicolas Julia and Adrien Montfort Courtesy of Sorare

These are the hottest startups building more efficient blockchain networks, assists crypto/blockchain developers, or helping buyers with their NFTs.

Read More: 10 of the most promising crypto startups of 2021, according to top VCs

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