Ever heard of Jingdong, Nutanix or Zalando? No nor me, and Dennis K Berman, the business editor of the Wall Street Journal hasn’t either. In a recent blog Dennis posed the same question and then revealed that they are members of the exclusive ‘Billion Dollar Startup Club’.
A colleague of Dennis’, Scott Austin has ranked these starts up using data from Dow Jones VentureSource, which uses values assigned by venture capitalists.
In the top ten are six companies that I’ve never heard of. Of course, I’m not saying that I know everything there is know about startups, but during my time in technology PR I’ve come across a few. Of the names that I have heard of – Square, Spotify, Pinterest and Dropbox – only one, Dropbox, is in the top five (number two) and the others occupy number ten, seven and eight respectively.
Since most of them are low profile, this raises the question whether their business models are able to generate revenues to support their venture capital valuations. For those old enough to remember this is what caused the first dotcom boom and bust.
According to Berman the list contains more US companies valued at billion dollars than during the last dotcom bubble. The good news however is that many of these billion dollar companies are in much better financial shape than their peers back in 1999/2000 and some are even generating sizeable revenues. Take Dropbox, according to Berman its making $200 million in annual sales.
Since the list is no longer exclusive and with new and ‘unheard’ off companies being added all the time, it looks like the interest in startups is back to dotcom days. Let’s hope that this time there is no bubble, only startups that grow up.