Unicorns are real: San Diego startups to watch

Read the original post on the San Diego: Life. Changing. blog.

A little-known secret about San Diego: We’re not a one-trick town. We’ve got surf and science, breweries and biotech. And whether we’re racking in record research dollars, raising VC, or making waves, our rapidly-growing club of San Diego unicorns across all industries means our secret is out.

What’s a unicorn? A privately-held startup valued at more than $1 billion. And now, unlike its namesake, unicorn sightings are increasingly common…especially as San Diego’s life sciences and tech startups reach new heights.

So who are some of San Diego’s coolest unicorns in 2021?


The app to replace them all, ClickUp helps you organize everything from workload to goals. After moving to San Diego from Silicon Valley, ClickUp raised $100 million, then another $400 million, making it a $4 billion tech unicorn.

Flock Freight

Want more efficient shipping while reducing your carbon footprint? Look to Flock Freight, a logistics provider that enables shared shipments. As a certified B Corporation, Flock Freight has also signed The Climate Pledge, committing to net-zero carbon by 2040.

Shield AI

Developing cutting-edge AI technology with decades worth of research and industry-leading talent, it’s no wonder Shield AI is now a unicorn. As one of the rare unicorns in the defense industry, Shield AI is revolutionizing how tech is used to protect service members and civilians.


As an industry-leading sales enablement platform, Seismic recently raised another $170 million round after acquiring Lessonly, bringing its total amount raised to $440 million. Valued at $3 billion, Seismic now has 1,300 employees and 13 offices around the world.


Started by a former Dolce and Gabbana model, Vuori is now valued at $4 billion after a $400 million investment by Softbank, one of the largest investments in a private apparel company. Vuori plans to expand internationally next year throughout Western Europe and Asia Pacific.


Following a $96 million Series G, Tealium joined the herd as one of San Diego’s newest tech unicorns. Tealium helps organizations leverage real-time data for creating insight and building personalized digital experiences across every team, technology, and customer touchpoint.


Biosplice restores health by delivering first-in-class therapies that harness alternative splicing, targeting kinases that govern the selection of tissue-specific and disease-selective RNA splice-sites. Its clinical pipeline focuses on osteoarthritis and oncology, with early-stage programs in neurology and other areas of significant unmet medical need in progress.


With a $160 million growth investment round, Kyriba is one of San Diego’s startup stars. Kyriba helps CFOs, corporate treasurers, and finance teams to make better strategic investment decisions, protect against fraud and financial risk, and unlock trapped cash through cash and liquidity management.