FACTBOX-Silicon Valley's six hottest startups
SAN FRANCISCO |
SAN FRANCISCO Aug 19 (Reuters) - The Silicon Valley Six, made up of the hottest privately held companies with annual revenue of more than $100 million, were chosen based on informal polling by Reuters of venture capitalists and others. [ID:nN18444267]
Here are brief descriptions of the six companies on the list.
* LinkedIn, founded 2003: The most popular social networking site for professionals was valued by its investors last year at $1 billion and has annual revenue beyond $100 million. Subscribers provide their professional background on line as a way of meeting others in their field and as a way for companies to help hire.
The company has 43 million members, half outside the United States, and adds 1.5 to 2 million monthly. It turned profitable in 2008.
* Solyndra, founded 2005: This clean tech company makes solar electric installations for commercial rooftops. It has a unique system using tubes that make it more efficient than standard photovoltaic systems and cheaper to install.
The company's latest round of growth capital came from the U.S. Department of Energy, which gave it a $535 million loan guarantee in March. It will use the money to increase its annual production capacity to 610 megawatts (MW) from 110 MW.
* Zynga, established 2007: In less than two years, Zynga has grown to be the largest casual online gaming company in the world with 76 million users a month.
It was profitable almost from the beginning, advertising on Facebook and MySpace to tell users about how it works. Games are played between friends and there is no charge to play.
"We think this is going to be a major industry," said Chief Executive Mark Pincus. But he said he is "being careful" and "not rushing for the door" to sell the company.
* Silver Spring, founded 2002: A clean tech company that provisions "smart grid" utilities networks, Silver Spring sells smart electric and gas meters and software to conserve energy, minimize interruptions and cut carbon emissions.
The utilities that are the company's clients represent more than 20 percent of the U.S. population, and its staff of 300 employees is growing.
"We've added well over 100 people this year and are projected to add well over that," said CEO Scott Lang.
The company sees opportunities for growth in plug-in electric vehicles, which could create problems on the grid if they become widely used. It is also looking at acquisitions. Lang said a deal could come in less than two months.
* LiveOps, founded 2000: LiveOps operates call centers in the cloud, connecting them with than 20,000 people who work at home as private contractors.
Chief Executive Maynard Webb came to LiveOps after being chief operating officer of eBay. He said the company's revenues are accelerating in double digits this year, despite the recession, and its revenues are above $100 million for the third year running.
Webb said he will take the company public but only when it hits internal benchmarks, because his company has no need for money beyond what it generates.
* Guidewire, founded 2002: Guidewire writes the core software for property and casualty insurance companies, replacing decades-old installations that used the old COBOL language.
Guidewire does in insurance what Oracle and SAP do for enterprise software. Guidewire's applications run on the Web, both as an intranet for internal company use and as an Internet for consumers and claims adjusters. It is designed to handle underwriting, claims and billing.
"We've just had our best year ever by far," said CEO John Raguin. He said the company, whose 70 customers include Geico, AAA and Tokio Marine Nichido Fire, grew by over 40 percent in the latest fiscal year.
(Reporting by David Lawsky; Editing by Richard Chang)
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