Which Technologies Do Startups Use? An Exploration of AngelList Data

There's a lot of hype surrounding new programming languages, databases, and the like. I've always been curious about which technologies are actually in use, and whether great startups use different technologies than not-so-great startups.

Fortunately, AngelList offers some self-reported data about technology usage. For example, you can see that Robinhood uses Python, Django, and iOS while Secret uses Java, Go, Python, JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, iOS, and Android.

Additionally, AngelList calculates a Signal score for each startup. While it's not 100% clear what this represents, it seems to be some combination of company quality and popularity. For example, these are all of the startups in the Transportation sector, sorted by their Signal scores.

In the interest of openness, there are lots of caveats for this dataset:

Limitations aside, I calculated the number of startups with low, medium, and high Signal scores using each of ~75 different technologies, and this post summarizes the results. Whenever I refer to okay/good/great companies, the intended interpretation is companies with low/medium/high AngelList Signal scores.

(Note: you can click on each chart to see a higher resolution version.)

Interpreting the Charts

In each chart, blue represents 'okay' startups, red represents 'good' startups, and orange represents 'great' startups. Within each color, the bars show relative frequencies of technology mentions. For example, let's say we're looking at technologies A and B. If 'okay' companies use B 3x as often as A, 'good' companies use A and B equally often, and 'great' companies use A twice as often as B, then the chart would look like this:

Example

(Note: the ratios of the lengths of blue/orange/red bars are 1:3, 1:1, and 2:1.)

Programming Languages

Programming Languages

Observations:

Front-end Tech

Front-end Tech

This chart shows a combination of web frameworks (Rails, Django), Javascript Libraries, and HTML/CSS.

Observations:

Databases/Storage/Caching

DBs

Observations:

Mobile

Mobile

Observations:

Infrastructure/Hosting

Infrastructure

Observations:

DevOps Tools

DevOps

(Note: the sample size here was small because DevOps tools were rarely mentioned on AngelList profiles)

Search

Search

Observations:

API Integrations

APIs

(Note: the sample size here was small because APIs were rarely mentioned on AngelList profiles -- especially for good/great companies.)

Advanced Tech

Advanced Tech

Observations:

Big Data Software

Big Data

(Note: small sample size)

Tags: Data Analysis

Share this post