It was a good year to be a startup.
VC’s were scrambling to invest in a few big ideas, and money was (relatively) easy to come by.
Here’s a look at the startups that had investors scrambling to write them big fat checks.
Our valley source says there was a 'frenzy' to get into Pinterest's funding round and the company quickly became 'the toast of the town.'
We first caught wind of the massive round and the valuation Pinterest was pinning down in September. A source told us the valuation was at least $75 million.
It turns out $75 million was way on the low side. In October we learned Andreessen Horowitz had cut Pinterest a $27 million check at an estimated $200 million valuation.
Fab began the year as a Groupon clone that targeted gays.
Midway through the year, Fab realised the idea wasn't working and changed directions. It relaunched as a flash sales site selling unique home decor and design products. You can find everything from funky rugs to ceramic 'rubber' ducks on Fab, and the startup is now pulling in about $200,000* per day in sales.
Founder Jason Goldberg told us Fab's annual revenue run rate is about $50 million, and it only took his company six months to reach 1.2 million registered users.
With growth like that, it's not hard to see why investors were scrambling to cut Goldberg a check. After raising a $7 million round this summer, Fab announced a new $40 million financing led by Andreessen Horowitz last week.
*We originally wrote a type and said that Fab was pulling in $20,000. It is actually pulling in way more than that at $200,000 per day.
Lot18 will generate revenue of about $25 million in its first year. That probably helped it raise $43 million from investors.
Lot18 was founded last November and it has spent its first year growing like a weed. It raised a $3 million seed round and was able to generate $1 million in monthly sales after its first six months.
In May, Lot18 raised $10 million more from NEA Ventures and FirstMark Capital.
In October we wrote that Lot18 was on track to generate revenue of $25 million this year. That probably helped it raise the whopping $30 million Series C round led by Accel partners, which was announced in November.
A few months back we wrote about four startups that were undoubtedly raising big piles of dough. One of those companies was personal car driver service and app, Uber.
Uber has launched in a few cities including San Francisco, Seattle and New York. It's very well-received throughout. Cofounder Travis Kalanick told us a few months back that the top Uber user in New York City spends $6,000 per month on the service.
Kalanick also told us that in order to expand internationally, he was probably going need a lot of cash. And when your startup is doing well, investors aren't hard to come by.
Last week Uber announced a $32 million round of financing and up to $39 million through a second tranche.
After proving it wasn't just another Facebook feature, Foursquare raised a $50 million round at a $600 million valuation
When Facebook offered to acquire Foursquare, got denied and launched Places, many called the death of the check-in app.
It turns out Dennis Crowley made the right decision. This year Foursquare has grown its users from 5 million to 15 million and users have generated 1 billion check-ins.
Foursquare was rewarded for its efforts with a $50 million round of financing at a $600 million valuation this summer.
Ah, colour. The startup may go down in history as the start of Bubble 2.0.
Bill Nguyen's photo app raised $41 million pre launch, quickly lost a cofounder, failed and pivoted. Earlier this month it released colour 2.0, which looks nothing like its first app. Now it's like a video-focused Twitter. Meh.
Lytro got a lot of excitement this summer because it's working on an extremely cool photography innovation. Instead of focusing your camera then taking a picture, Lytro lets you take a picture then decide how to focus it later. It's the first ever 'light field camera.'
Lytro was founded by Dr. Ren Ng; it raised $50 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, NEA and K9 Ventures, and other angels. If you're not sure what the big deal is, try playing with some of these Lytro-produced images.
In September it raised $85 million at an estimated $800 million valuation from a slew of investors including Greylock Partners, Insight Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Union Square Ventures, Sequoia Capital, CherninGroup and Richard Branson.
Klout hasn't officially announced how much it's raised yet, but when it does you'll be stunned by the amount
We've been hearing Klout, a startup that gives everyone an online social influence score, is raising a big round.
While we've spoken to tons of people who are involved, none of them are gabbing about the specifics. One source told us with '90% certainty' to expect a ~ $30 million round at a $200 million valuation in October. It sounds like a lot of the original Klout investors are involved again too.
The news should come out in the following weeks.
Spotify has made a pretty big splash in the US since its launch a few months back. It's received a lot of support from Sean Parker and even Mark Zuckerberg through a big Facebook partnership.
The music company raised $100 million in June from Kleiner Perkins, Accel and DST, giving it a $1 billion valuation.
Turntable.fm had bloggers and investors alike in a frenzy this summer. After pivoting from a failed idea called Stickybits, founders Billy Chasen and Seth Goldstein struck, well, gold.
They created a group listening startup that lets users enjoy music with friends and battle it out to become the room's DJ. Before long celebrities were caught trying out the site. Kleiner Perkins, Accel Partners and Union Square Ventures all wanted to invest.
At the end of the day, Chasen and Goldstein chose Fred Wilson's firm and raised a $7 million round.
Rovio Mobile is nearly a decade old but most people had no idea what it was until it launched Angry Birds. The mobile app which lets users hurl birds at green pigs has taken the world by storm, launching TV shows and trinkets along with multiple versions of the game.
Dwolla is trying to kill credit card companies and ATMs. It's already moving ~ $350 million per year. The founder has a 700-name spreadsheet of all the investors that have reached out.
Dwolla was created two years ago by Ben Milne. Back then it took Milne 12 months to raise $1 million for his big idea.
Milne wanted to create a payment network that would side-step credit card companies and link directly to users' bank accounts. That way his users would be able to avoid credit card fees and just pay Dwolla $.25 cents per transaction.
Milne's crazy idea worked and his payment network is on track to move about $350 million annually. When we asked him if he was bombarded by investors Milne told us he has a 700-name spreadsheet to keep track of all the inbound requests.
Dwolla hasn't announced a new round of financing yet, but we bet they will in January.
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