A closer look at San Francisco-headquartered companies across technology, software infrastructure and collaboration.
The past month brought three interesting technology roundups my way:
The 2019 Data & AI Landscape by Matt Turck at FirstMark Capital
The Enterprise Tech 30 by Rajeev Chand and Peter Wagner at Wing Venture Capital
The Silicon Valley 150 (SV150) from Lonergan Partners
As a longtime enterprise and data fan, initially living in Mountain View and now living in San Francisco, these roundups provided inspiration for my own take.
I started with the SV150 but narrowed down to companies headquartered in San Francisco. Initially the list was 30, until I realized it needed recent IPO additions for Slack ($WORK), PagerDuty ($PD) and Medallia ($MDLA). Given potential IPOs throughout 2019 this list will be fluid.
For now, we have the The SF Tech 33 > Public Technology Companies Headquartered in San Francisco.
The SF Tech 33
Of course, even though San Francisco gets a lot of talk about technology, none of the world’s largest technology companies have headquarters here. The undisputed geographic winner of technology value generation is a tie between Seattle (Microsoft and Amazon) and the traditional Silicon Valley areas of Cupertino (Apple), Mountain View (Google) and Palo Alto/Menlo Park (Facebook).
It does beg the question whether San Francisco proper at just 46.87 square miles has the mix of people, housing, and cost of living needed for a company to get to the scale of the top 5. The total market capitalization of the entire SF Tech 33 is approximately $450 billion, still far from any one of the top 5 largest technology companies.
For the time being, Salesforce is the leading candidate, Uber has a unique position to generate more value, and both Square and Twitter deserve credit for a respectable spot 3 and 4 on the San Francisco HQ list.
And with Salesforce currently sitting at the top, it should be no surprise to see companies like Zendesk, originally in collaborative support software, directly targeting Salesforce with a new CRM solution.
SF Tech Closeups
Two areas of particular interest are software infrastructure and collaboration.
The Software Infrastructure segment caught my attention in 2010 when cloud computing was ramping. New companies emerged to help other companies with infrastructure needs delivered through software.
At the time I called these companies “infrastructure apps” and two I initially tracked were Twilio and New Relic. Other companies that fit as infrastructure apps are Okta, PagerDuty and Fastly.
San Francisco has a number of public companies focused on software infrastructure, and many interesting mid-to-late stage private companies, including data-centric companies such as Databricks, MemSQL and Segment. The rest of the private group is focused on developers with Companies like Cloudflare, Docker, GitLab, HashiCorp, Mesosphere, and Stripe.
Here’s the SF Tech > Software Infrastructure Closeup
The collaboration sector is hot, ranging from the recent Slack IPO to the $10 million angel round for Notion at an $800 million valuation! And San Francisco has its fair share of collaboration companies.
Both for the Software Infrastructure list, but more applicable to this Collaboration list, Github (acquired by Microsoft in 2018 for $7.5 billion) and Atlasssian (Sydney HQ but large San Francisco office) are included.
Here’s the SF Tech > Collaboration Closeup
Keeping Track of SF Tech
I’m sure the SF Tech 33 will not last long until it inches to 34, 35 or more.
Further, the definitions of Software Infrastructure and Collaboration are mine and open to interpretation.
If you have suggested additions or comments you can find me on Twitter @garyorenstein.
The 2019 Data & AI Landscape by Matt Turck at FirstMark Capital — link
The Enterprise Tech 30 by Rajeev Chand and Peter Wagner at Wing Venture Capital — link
The Silicon Valley 150 (SV150) from Lonergan Partners — link
2010 Blog Post — The New World of Infrastructure Apps
Companies mentioned: Twilio, New Relic