Best Tech Companies in San Francisco
Hailed as one of the most prosperous tech cities in the world, San Francisco is the beating heart of the American tech industry. Some of the top tech companies in San Francisco are also the top tech companies in the industry and the world. The city and surrounding areas make up the famous Silicon Valley tech hub of the West.
With so many businesses in the region, how do we even begin to determine which tech companies are the best? Better yet, what defines a good company in the first place? This article breaks down these questions and more as we share the best tech companies in the San Francisco area. You’ll also gain insights into the best startups among San Francisco tech companies, so read on.
Silicon Valley Tech Companies: Overview
Technology growth in the Silicon Valley area isn’t anything new. Before the first modern-day tech company ever opened its doors in the San Francisco area, the city was a hub for radio innovation. Radio technology evolved in Silicon Valley starting in the 1960s. These innovations were only the beginning of great things in the Silicon Valley area.
Today, some of the biggest players in the industry call Silicon Valley home, and the city of San Francisco also acts as an incubator for some of the world’s most promising startups.
With major companies and startups so close together, innovation is happening across the board, with acquisitions taking place almost daily. Below, we go into greater detail about the big tech companies in San Francisco and list the tech companies in the Bay Area that are currently the most exciting startups.
Top Tech Companies in San Francisco: Major Corporations
The best tech companies in San Francisco are common household names these days. Some of these major corporations started out as just an app before becoming, within just a few short years, major parts of everyday life for billions of people. Businesses from all industries use these companies’ products to conduct their own business day-to-day.
Salesforce – $178.09 billion
Salesforce is today’s industry leader in customer relationship management (CRM) software and one of the top tech companies in San Francisco. Since 2009, its value increased by over 1500 percent due to the global business demand for cloud-based technologies and services. Salesforce’s value further increased with the acquisitions of major software companies Tableau, Slack, and MuleSoft.
Uber – $63.92 billion
Uber is the top ride-hailing company in the world and the model for all ride-sharing companies in the industry. The company now offers a diverse range of services besides ride-hailing, including food delivery, electric scooters and bicycles, and freight transportation. In its first nine years, from 2010 to 2019, Uber’s valuation rose to $11 billion, and today has a market cap of $63.92 billion.
Stripe – $55 billion
Stripe is a highly innovative payment processing platform that makes it easy for businesses to accept and manage online payments. The company’s partnerships with Google and Shopify have helped it expand its market reach. In 2021, the company was valued at $95 billion after a Series H funding round but has since cut its internal valuation multiple times to today’s $55 billion.
Twitter – $41.09 billion
Founded in 2006, Twitter’s corporate headquarters are in San Francisco. The social media site currently has around 330 million users and is especially popular among young people, journalists, and celebrities. The company was previously a publicly traded company but has since become a privately held company after an acquisition by Elon Musk in 2022.
Splunk – $15.15 billion
Splunk is one of the top San Francisco tech companies today, offering a platform and services that help businesses with their data analytics needs. The company is highly valued for its ability to help businesses of all sizes analyze their data to make more strategic business decisions. With a loyal customer base and a strong reputation in the market, Splunk also offers software that focuses on security, IT operations management, and IoT solutions.
Dropbox – $6.98 billion
Dropbox is well known in the tech industry as one of the first companies to offer cloud-based file storage and sharing. The company now has over 600 million users worldwide and has a strong reputation for its high-quality software and excellent customer service. Dropbox’s partnerships with Microsoft and Adobe helped grow its market cap, making it one of the biggest tech companies in San Francisco.
Riverbed Holdings – $4.31 billion
Riverbed Holdings offers services to help businesses manage their networks, cloud environments, and applications. Launched in 2002, it’s now worth over $4.3 billion. The company currently employs more than 2,300 people across its nine US locations.
Yelp – $2.02 billion
Yelp is an incredibly popular platform known for helping people find local businesses and rate their service and experience there. It uses data analytics and machine learning to keep its software competitive and remain an industry leader. As of 2021, it hosts over 200 million reviews.
Upwork – $1.45 billion
Upwork is a global freelancing marketplace that connects freelancers from over 180 countries with projects. It has a very user-friendly platform both on the web and for mobile devices, which catapulted its popularity among freelancers and the companies that use it to find professionals for project-based work. Today, Upwork is worth $1.45 billion.
Top Tech Companies in San Francisco: Startups
With such major talent next door, startups also thrive in San Francisco. Below are some of the top tech startups in San Francisco today, including some that are already so popular and beloved that they may not be San Francisco tech startups for long.
- Instacart. This popular online grocery platform connects users with local grocers for online shopping, pickup, and delivery services. As of this writing, there are more than 70,000 stores partnered with Instacart across 5,500 North American cities.
- Chime. As one of the fastest-growing tech companies in the US, Chime offers banking solutions for consumers without typical banking conditions such as overdraft fees or minimum balances.
- Faire. This startup was founded as a wholesale marketplace for independent retailers and has grown to be home to 2 million retailers doing trillions of dollars in revenue on the platform.
- Lime. Headquartered in San Francisco, this company spent the past two years in a period of tremendous growth. Lime offers app-accessible dockless bikes and scooters in over 100 US cities. The company also has an international presence in several cities across the globe.
- Airtable. Airtable works with 300,000 companies and their teams to provide data services to connect people with the company’s goals. This software is trusted by many Fortune 100 companies.
Silicon Valley Tech Jobs: Demand and Job Outlook
Demand for tech professionals in Silicon Valley remains high, with over 200,000 tech job vacancies as of February 2023, according to the CompTIA tech report. As for the state of the industry as a whole, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shares that computer and information technology jobs are projected to increase by 15 percent through 2031.
Silicon Valley is not only a hub of job opportunities but a place for strong salary potential. The average salary for a tech worker in the area is $144,962 per year, according to a report from Dice. To give some perspective, the average tech salary across all parts of the US in 2022 was $111,348. Tech isn’t just a profitable field, but Silicon Valley tech jobs in San Francisco prove to be especially valuable.
Reasons to Work for the Top Tech Companies in San Francisco
If you have your sights set on employment at the best tech companies to work for in San Francisco, it’s important to diversify your skills. Having a wide range of skills will also help you contribute to a startup, which often requires flexible, multi-talented professionals. Below are some of the reasons you should consider working for top tech companies in San Francisco.
- Extensive benefits. Tech companies are some of the most progressive when it comes to the benefits it offers their employees. Some benefits include paid parental leave, stock options, 401(k) with matching, healthcare, education reimbursement, and flexible time off.
- High salaries. Tech salaries in San Francisco are known to be higher than the industry average. For most roles, tech companies in San Francisco offer more-than-competitive salaries to attract the best talent in the state and the country.
- Career growth. Tech companies, including major ones and startups, offer a range of opportunities to advance your skillset and move up in your career. Many companies offer in-house cross-training opportunities or education reimbursement for people looking to upskill.
- Innovative projects. The best tech companies in San Francisco are tackling some of the most innovative challenges of our time, continually pushing the limits of what technology is capable of. By working for San Francisco tech companies, you can be a part of this innovation.
- Tech hub opportunities. Working in the greatest tech hub in the US, professionals at Silicon Valley tech companies have access to a local culture that is very tech-focused. With so many tech workers working in such a small area, meetups, communities, and opportunities for networking are endless.
Considering Tech Jobs at San Francisco Tech Companies
The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most influential technology centers in the world. Tens of thousands of professionals work in each of the top tech companies in San Francisco. However, the demand for skilled tech professionals continues to rise, so considering jobs at San Francisco tech companies is worth further thought.
Best Tech Companies in San Francisco FAQ
It can be quite hard to get a tech job in San Francisco because the competition for roles in the city is tough. Many of the top tech companies in the industry are based there, and many tech professionals who were educated in the city or moved there to be immersed in the epicenter of the tech world will compete for limited positions. You can improve your chances by signing up for one of the best San Francisco coding bootcamps.
The first San Francisco tech boom started in the 1990s when Internet-based companies began to grow, leading to a surge in investments in business in the city and surrounding Bay Area.
The region experienced a second boom in the mid-2000s with the founding of major local companies such as Twitter, Dropbox, and Yelp. As innovation in cloud computing, social media, and mobile devices grew, these companies and others expanded and attracted talent from around the US, who went on to found their own companies in the area, creating a tech hub.
Major gaming companies based in San Francisco include Zynga, Jam City, Roblox Corporation, and Pocket Gems, which all focus on developing mobile games. Other prominent gaming companies based in San Francisco include the video game streaming platform Twitch and the game development platform Unity Technologies.
The number of tech companies based in San Francisco fluctuates regularly, so it’s difficult to provide a precise number. Some sources claim the city is home to 298 tech companies, while others claim the city and surrounding Bay Area are home to over 9,900 tech companies.