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.
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
ESTIMATED VALUATION: $550 million
REASONING: Rumored valuation of last funding round (see VentureBeat).
Launched: August 2005
Founded by: Max Levchin
Traffic: 200 million+ widget installations, 20 million+ uniques/month (QuantCast)
Funding: $58 million
REASONING: Rumoured valuation of rumoured Morgan Stanley investment (see BoomTown).
Founded by: Jia Chien & Lance Tokuda
Traffic: 180 million widget views, 7.5 million+ uniques/month (QuantCast)
Funding: $16.5 million
Launched: December 2004
Founded by: Kevin Rose
Type: Social Bookmarking/Content Discovery
Traffic: 208 million pageviews/month (September 2007, Compete)
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)
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
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)