The Upstart 100 is CNBC's exclusive list of promising young start-ups, featuring a diverse group of companies that are building brands and breaking industry barriers on the path to becoming tomorrow's household names. Selected from more than 500 nominees, each one was scored on eight equally weighted quantitative metrics (read more about our methodology here).

While there's always focus on the billion-dollar-plus unicorns, there is now increasingly more investment activity taking place among younger start-ups. Venture capitalists poured a record $11.5 billion into early stage companies in the second quarter of 2018, according to PitchBook, while the average deal size reached a 10-year high of $18 million. Many companies that received some of that funding have made it onto this list.

The companies that made this year's Upstart 100 list represent nearly every sector of the economy, from enterprise software and finance to insurance, health care and retail. They come from nine different countries and 13 U.S. states, and 19 of the 100 are led by women. All of them are less than five years old, but 28 are less than three years old and six were founded just last year.

And all of the 100 companies on the list have quickly become entrepreneurial success stories worth keeping an eye on.

Company | Description | HQ | YR FOUNDED

6 River Systems | Autonomous warehouse robots that work alongside humans | Waltham,MA | 2015

6Sense Insights | Predictive analytics to help marketers generate new leads | San Francisco | 2013

Aira Tech | Smart glasses connected to human agents offering real-time help to the visually impaired | San Diego | 2015

Apptimize  | Testing platform for iPhone and Android app developers | San Francisco | 2013

AREVO | 3-D printing process designed to speed production | Santa Clara, CA | 2013

ATTN: | A new media company for younger generations, backed by Ryan Seacrest | Los Angeles | 2014

AvidBots | Commercial-scale, self-driving, floor-cleaning robots | Kitchener, Ontario | 2014

Axios* | D.C.-based media company producing political, business and technology content | Arlington, VA | 2017

Blockstack | New internet structure for decentralized apps | New York | 2013

BorderXLab | E-commerce platform that gives merchants direct access to Chinese shoppers | Sunnyvale, CA | 2014

Bulletin | A way for digital brands to get shelf space in physical stores | New York | 2015

Buoy Health | A digital health app and AI-based diagnosis assistant | Boston | 2014

Candid | Direct-to-consumer orthodontic products | New York | 2017

Carrot Fertility | Fertility-benefits provider for employers | San Francisco | 2016

Clarifai | Artificial intelligence focused on visual recognition | New York | 2013

Clearcover | Mobile-app-based car insurance platform | Chicago | 2016

Clobotics | Big data for the wind energy and retail sector | Seattle | 2016

Cloudleaf | Internet of Things for global supply chains | Milpitas, CA | 2014

Commonsense Robotics | On-demand delivery technology for grocery retailers | Israel | 2015

CoverWallet | Online small-business insurance platform | New York | 2015

Curology | Personalized acne care delivered via online consultations | San Francisco | 2014

data.world | An enterprise platform for building, sharing and discussing data across teams | Austin | 2016

Descartes Labs | A big-data mapping service for construction, agriculture and energy | Santa Fe, NM | 2014

DocSynk | Data analytics for health-care practices | Irving, TX | 2015

EarnUp | Personal finance tool for debt management | San Francisco | 2014

Electric | Outsourced IT solution for small business | New York | 2016

Ethos | A life insurance start-up with celebrity backers, including Jay Z's Roc Nation | San Francisco | 2016

Excelero | Israeli-founded data-storage company | San Jose, CA | 2014

Farmobile | A marketplace for farmers to sell their data | Leawood, KS | 2014

Fetch Robotics | On-demand autonomous mobile robots for warehousing and logistics | San Jose, CA | 2014

Finery | A digital organizer and curator for your closet | New York | 2016

Flow | An e-commerce platform for cross-border sales | Hoboken, NJ | 2015

Flytrex | Autonomous last-mile drone delivery | Israel | 2014

FreightWaves | Data analytics and risk management for the transportation and logistics industries | Chattanooga, TN | 2016

Geltor | Synthetic biology working towards a vegan gelatin replacement | San Leandro, CA | 2015

Glow Recipe | Beauty products line based on South Korean skincare formulas | New York | 2014

HabitNu | Digital program designed for diabetes management | Chicago | 2014

Handshake | Career recruiting platform for college students and universities | San Francisco | 2013

Havenly | Online platform for interior design consultation | Denver | 2014

HeadSpin | Cloud-based app developer management tool | Palo Alto, CA | 2015

Heptio | Open-source enterprise platform service | Seattle | 2016

Hive | Productivity and collaboration platform for the workplace | New York | 2016

HubHaus | Shared-housing communities designed for professionals | San Franciso | 2016

Hypergiant | Customized artificial intelligence for corporate brands, backed by Tony Robbins | Austin | 2017

Iguazio | Big-data firm from Israel, backed by Dell and Verizon | Israel | 2014

Illusive Networks | Cybersecurity firm that grew out of Israeli Defense Forces, backed by Cisco and Microsoft | New York | 2014

Immuta | Management platform for big data | College Park, MD | 2014

Inspire | Renewable-energy tech company focused on the smart home market, backed by Shell | Santa Monica, CA | 2014

iUNU | Data management and analysis for commercial-scale greenhouses | Seattle | 2013

JASK | AI-driven automation for security operations, protecting companies against cyberattacks | Austin | 2015

Kano | A DIY computer-building and coding company backed by Sesame Street's venture fund | London | 2013

Keeps | Health-care company focused on male pattern baldness prevention and treatment | New York | 2017

KIDBOX | Curated clothing subscription service for children | New York | 2016

Lovepop | 3-D pop-up greeting cards manufacturer backed by Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary | Boston | 2014

Mammoth Media | Mobile media company behind social polling, trivia and microstorytelling apps | Santa Monica, CA | 2015

Mapillary | Computer-vision technology for street-level digital mapping | Malmš, Sweden 2013

MealPal | Subscription lunch plan that works with local restaurants | New York | 2016

Modsy* | Online interior design service with 3-D visualization | San Francisco | 2015

Namogoo | AdTech helping e-commerce brands block competitor promotions | Boston | 2014

Narrativ | Works with publishers of product review sites to drive sales | New York | 2015

Neptune Flood | An insurance company rivaling the federal flood insurance program | St Petersburg, FL | 2016

Nova Credit | Cross-border credit-reporting agency for immigrant consumers | San Francisco | 2016

Nurx | Telemedicine platform focused on birth control and HIV prevention | San Francisco | 2015

OhmConnect | Energy-sharing platform that incentivizes users to reduce electricity consumption | San Francisco | 2013

Opkix | Compact, wearable smart cameras with companion editing and sharing app | Costa Mesa, CA | 2016

Optibus | Artificial intelligence to improve mass transit, used by more than 300 cities | Israel | 2014

Otonomo | Automotive data platform that delivers apps and services to drivers | Israel | 2015

PayStand | Blockchain-based B2B billing and payments service | Scotts Valley, CA | 2013

PerimeterX | Cybersecurity firm that detects difference between human users and malicious bot attacks | San Mateo, CA | 2014

Primer | AI and natural-language processing technology that can analyze data across languages | San Francisco | 2015

prooV  | Testing platform for companies to try new enterprise software solutions | Israel | 2015

quip | Electric toothbrush and dental-care service provider | New York | 2014

RDMD | R&D service analyzing patient medical records to help drug companies develop rare-disease treatments | San Francisco | 2017

Relola | Location-based social media app used in real estate, political and nonprofit sector | Emeryville, CA | 2015

RigUp | Oil and gas industry platform for sourcing contractors and service providers | Austin | 2014

Rubikloud | Machine-learning platform focused on retailer pricing, promotion and loyalty | Toronto | 2013

SafeBreach | Cybersecurity firm that uses hacker techniques inside a network to detect flaws | Sunnyvale, CA | 2014

Scale | Provider of data tools for companies working on AI solutions, including self-driving efforts at Lyft and Cruise | San Francisco | 2016

SciBac | Microbe drugs that treat and prevent antibiotic-resistant diseases | Burlingame, CA | 2015

ShapeShift AG | Blockchain technology firm that offers marketplace where users can buy and sell digital assets | Zug, Switzerland | 2014

Shift Technology | Fraud-detection technology designed for insurance industry | Paris | 2014

SigOpt | Workflow optimization technology | San Francisco | 2014

Solv | Mobile app for booking same-day doctor appointments | San Francisco | 2016

SPORTLOGiQ | Sports analytics firm selling data to teams and the media | Montreal | 2015

Starcity | Firm that converts commerical property into co-living residential buildings | San Francisco | 2016

Strivr | VR training technology for workforces and athletes, backed by the NFL and BMW | Menlo Park, CA | 2015

SURE | Digital insurance platform covering a variety of policies, from renters to travel, pets and jewelry | New York | 2014

Tamara Mellon | Direct-to-consumer women's luxury footwear | Los Angeles | 2016

Textio | Analytics technology used by employers to improve job posts and recruiting emails | Seattle | 2014

TheGuarantors | Insurance products for the residential real estate rental market | New York | 2014

ThirdLove | E-commerce lingerie brand focused on personalized sizing | San Francisco | 2013

tilr | Job market search tool matching employers and candidates | Cincinnati | 2015

TVision Insights | Television advertising technology tool to monitor viewer attention span | New York | 2015

Unravel Data | Application performance management for AI, Internet of Things and other data-heavy apps | Palo Alto, CA | 2013

VAYAVISION  | Aggregated system of sensoring technologies for autonomous vehicles | Israel | 2016

Veem | B2B cross-border wire-transfer and payment system based on the blockchain | San Francisco | 2014

Veo Robotics | Factory robots designed to minimize risk of working alongside humans | Waltham, MA | 2016

Verifly | On-demand job insurance for contractors and freelancers | New York | 2015

Viome | Genetic sequencing and analysis of the microbiome targeting chronic-disease prevention | Bellevue, WA | 2016

Xendit | Payments technology for e-commerce and peer-to-peer lending in Southeast Asian market | Jakarta, Indonesia | 2015

*Disclosure: NBCUniversal is an investor in Axios. CNBC parent Comcast is an investor in Modsy.

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