7 Hottest Unacquired Web Startups

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Back in April last year, we did a list titled the “10 Most Successful Startups to Date.” The list outlined what were, at the time, the most successful startups by perseverance. When we looked to doing a version 2.0, we noticed a funny thing: most of those startups — at least the ones that haven’t been sold yet, and a bunch of new ones — now had actual estimated valuations surrounding them.

Call it thin-air, call it bubble, call it hype — here are the current 7 hottest unacquired web startups, as ranked by the thin-air that surrounds them.

1. Facebook

ESTIMATED VALUATION: $15 billion

REASONING: $240 million investment from Microsoft at $15 billion valuation (see our coverage)

Launched: February 2004

Founded by: Mark Zuckerberg

Type: Social Network

Traffic: 15 billion pageviews/month

Funding: $338 million

2. Slide

ESTIMATED VALUATION: $550 million

REASONING: Rumored valuation of last funding round (see VentureBeat).

Launched: August 2005

Founded by: Max Levchin

Type: Widgets

Traffic: 200 million+ widget installations, 20 million+ uniques/month (QuantCast)

Funding: $58 million

3. RockYou

ESTIMATED VALUATION: $400 million

REASONING: Rumoured valuation of rumoured Morgan Stanley investment (see BoomTown).

Launched: 2006

Founded by: Jia Chien & Lance Tokuda

Type: Widgets

Traffic: 180 million widget views, 7.5 million+ uniques/month (QuantCast)

Funding: $16.5 million

4. Digg

ESTIMATED VALUATION: $300 million

REASONING: Rumoured “asking” price (see our post, TechCrunch, and Valleywag)

Launched: December 2004

Founded by: Kevin Rose

Type: Social Bookmarking/Content Discovery

Traffic: 208 million pageviews/month (September 2007, Compete)

Funding: $11.3 million (Series A + Series B)

5. Twitter

ESTIMATED VALUATION: $100 million

REASONING: $20 million pre-money as of July 2007, inflating with market valuations and Twitter’s growth spurts since April 2007.

Launched: July 2006

Founded by: Obvious Inc.

Type: Micro-blogging/Social Network

Approximate Traffic: 1.2 million uniques/month (Comscore)

Funding: $4.8 million (Series B)

6. Mahalo

ESTIMATED VALUATION: $100 million

REASONING: Rumoured pre-valuation of last funding round (see PaidContent).

Launched: March 2007

Founded by: Jason Calacanis

Type: Search Engine

Traffic: 4.1 million uniques/month

Funding: $16 million

7. Technorati

ESTIMATED VALUATION: < $100 million

REASONING: Market position, traffic, growth, future prospects — and the fact that no blog player has yet exceeded a $100 million valuation.

Launched: January 2005

Founded by: Dave Sifry

Type: Blog Search Engine/Content Discovery

Traffic: 2.8 million unique visitors/month (Comscore)

Funding: $21.6 million (Series A, B, & C)


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