Poets&Quants’ Top 100 MBA Startups Of 2023

Ludwig Schoenack, MBA ’19, at left, is the founder of Kyte which has raised $299 million to date. Here, he poses for a photo with Caroline Winnett in the SkyDeck at UC-Berkeley Haas School of Business. Photo by Jim Block


In 2022, the 100 top MBA-founded startups raised a record-breaking $7 billion, rebounding after a pandemic fueled slump in venture investing.

This year, startups raised even more: $9.2 billion. That amount blows past all previous years.
Of course, INSEAD’s two top-funded startups have a lot to do with that. Together, Gorillas and Capchase make up almost a quarter of the total raised by the other 98 startups on the list.


Our list compiled in 2021 was the first in which the pandemic had impacted the economy for more than a year. That list tracked companies founded between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2020. The 2022 list took into account funding raised in 2021 as investing bounced back, but just as we entered a new period of global uncertainty.

Evidence of 2023’s strong investment environment comes from the astounding amount of money raised in the top 20 startups on our list. Those companies raised $6.52 billion, the third highest amount of all other years when all top 100 startup funding was calculated.

In 2021, Divvy Homes’ $299.04 million in funding put it at the very top of the list. That wouldn’t even break the top five in 2023. In all, 24 companies topped $100 million (including 10 startups that raised over $200 million). Compare that to 2022 when 19 startups cracked the $100 million milestone.

The funding cutoff to make our top 100 this year was $8.7 million, a milestone raised by Aavrani founded by Wharton MBAs Rooshy Roy and Justin Silver. Last year’s cutoff was $9.04 million, raised by Solytic and founded by ESADE MBA Johannes Burgard.


Following Gorillas is an impressive list of diverse startups across a wide array of industries.

  • No. 2 Capchase ($949.6 million), headquartered in New York City, helps SaaS companies grow their operations with their financial tools.
  • No. 3 Xepelin ($567 million), headquartered in Mexico City, was founded by Sebastien Kreis, an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Xepelin is a B2B financial service provider expanding across Latin America.
  • No. 4 Steady Technologies ($509.5 million) is one of 13 startups founded by MBAs from Columbia Business School. Founded by Viken Sarkissian, the tech platform provides insurance and financial products that help reduce risk for property managers and single family landlords.
  • No. 5 Merama ($445 million), headquartered in Mexico City, is an e-commerce aggregator serving digital brands in Latin America, one of the fastest-growing e-commerce regions in the world. It was founded by Harvard Business School MBA Sujay Tyle who told TechCrunch that he believes several multi-billion dollar brands will be created in LatAm in the next five years.

It takes some doing to knock Stanford Graduate School of Business out of the top spot for the highest-funded MBA startup. Since we started the list in 2014, the top MBA founders have come from Stanford every year except three (and a half).

In 2018, Harvard Business School MBAs Charles Baron and Amol Deshpande ranked No. 1 with their company, Farmers Business Network, which raised $193.9 million. The Wharton School MBAs William Shu and Greg Orlowski topped the list in 2017 with Deliveroo, raising $474.6 million. And in 2014, the top spot was shared by the Harvard and Stanford MBA founders of Wildfire.

INSEAD’s Gorillas has now knocked Stanford out of the top spot twice. It is the only company to appear at the top of the list two years in a row, and it ranks with Sofi as one of the billion-dollar babies.


Two schools consistently turn out more MBA startups on our annual list than any other: Stanford GSB and Harvard Business School. This year, they account for half of the top 100 all by themselves.

Of the 100 startups that attracted the most funding from angel investors and venture capitalists over the last five years, Stanford claims 30 – down from 43 in 2022 and 39 in 2021.

Harvard Business School had the second most startups from MBA founders at 22. That’s down a smidge from 23 last year, but up from 19 in 2021 which was the lowest number the school had had in the list’s history. In 2016, Harvard had 42 startups, but its numbers have fluctuated since, claiming between 21 and 26 per year.

Columbia Business School had the third largest number of startups on the list at 13. That’s a sharp rise from the four CBS startups in 2022. INSEAD follows with 10, UC-Berkeley Haas with 8, and UCLA Anderson with 4.

INSEAD’s 10 startups raised $2.57 billion, the highest amount of any other school. Most of that comes from the two startups that topped our list – Gorillas and Capchase – which earned $2.28 billion between them.

Stanford’s 30 startups on this year’s list raised $1.67 billion, down more than a billion from the $2.795 billion raised in 2022. Harvard’s 22 startups raised $1.22 billion, while Columbia Business School’s 13 raised $1.86 billion. UC Berkeley Haas rounds out the top five this year with $998 million across its eight startups, up significantly from the $329 million raised by its four startups last year.


Over the past nine graduating classes (2014 to 2022), Harvard has had 696 MBA graduates report that they’re starting their own companies within three months of graduation, according to the school’s employment reports. That’s more than any other school that we’ve been tracking.

It’s also a leader among the M7s: Stanford has 618 MBA founders, University of Pennsylvania’s The Wharton School has 375, and MIT Sloan School of Management has 218.

However, on a percentage basis, Stanford comes out on top. Some 19% of Stanford’s 462 graduating MBAs in 2022 reported that they were starting their own ventures on the school’s employment report compared to 13% of Harvard’s 732 MBA grads. Meanwhile, at MIT Sloan, 10.3% of MBAs started their own thing.

By location, the San Francisco Bay Area continues to be the most popular home base for top MBA startups. Of course, this is largely influenced by the number of Stanford MBAs on the list. Of the 100 top MBA startups this year, 23 are based around San Francisco.

New York City is the next most popular base for our top MBA startups at 21 while the Boston area claims 4. This was the most international group of startups we’ve had on our list with 34 startups based outside of the U.S., up from 33 last year. Europe had 7, and Mexico City and Brazil had 6 apiece.

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