11 Billion-Dollar Startups You've Never Heard Of

Bruce wayne the dark knight risesWarner Bros. / The Dark Knight RisesThe film studio behind the recent Batman trilogy made the list.

The Wall Street Journal released a report of 30 startups from the U.S., China and Europe that are valued at $US1 billion or more.

These companies range from familiar firms like Pinterest and Uber which occupy the top 10 with valuations at $US3.8 billion to film financiers like Legendary Entertainment who is responsible for the recent success of the The Dark Knight trilogy.

However, the rest of the entrants on this list have incredible valuations but little recognition. We compiled 11 startups that are worth billions but you’ve never heard of.

11. Coupons.com: Valued At $US1.0 Billion

Location: Mountain View, California

Founded: 1998

What is it: Coupons.com recently filed for an IPO so expect that valuation to go up. The company lets users fnd a bunch of offerings and print them out before shopping. This simple concept caused Coupons.com to make $US115 million during the first nine months of 2013.

10. Sogou: Valued At $US1.2 Billion

Location: Beijing, China

Founded: 2004

What is it: Sogou is a search engine that can find text, images, music and maps. According to Crunchbase, people in China have searched over 10 billion pages and has a daily update of 500 million pages. One cool aspect of the service is that it can identify malicious software on websites and provide users with the cleanest results on search pages.

9. Fanatics: Valued At $US1.5 Billion

Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Founded: 1995

What is it: Fanatics Inc.is an important for major sports leagues to sell merchandise. Fanatics contains official licensed jerseys and other memorabilia for sports fans to buy. Sports apparel is a lucrative market and Fanatics Inc should grow even more in the new year.

8. Jawbone: Valued At $US1.5 Billion

Location: San Francisco, California

Founded: 1999

What is it: Originally, Jawbones were intended as noise-cancelling headphones for the military. Now, these wireless speakers and Bluetooth headsets that sync with mobile devices are used by music lovers and exercise enthusiasts all over the world.

7. Legendary Entertainment: Valued At $US1.5 Billion

Legendary Entertainment co-produced The Dark Knight trilogy with Warner Bros.

Location: Burbank, California

Founded: 2005

What is it: Legendary Entertainment is a production company that achieved considerable success co-financing and co-producing the Dark Knight trilogy with Warner Brothers studios. It's one of the first companies to partner film production with hedge fund investors. While Legendary's partnership with Warner Bros was lucrative, that deal expired in 2013. Universal Studios will be Legendary's new home in 2014.

6. Stripe: Valued At $US1.8 Billion

Location: San Francisco, California

Founded: 2010

What is it: Stripe's software helps companies take credit-card payments on apps and websites. Recently, they raised another $US80 million dollar investment and could be in talks with Twitter about a possible program where people can buy stuff from tweets. Mobile payments could be a big trend this year and Stripe may become one of its leaders.

5. Woodman Labs: Valued At $US2.3 Billion

These guys made the GoPro camera

Location:San Mateo, California


What is it: Woodman Labs is responsible for the GoPro camera, the small waterproof cameras that have become quite popular surfers and other extreme athletes. The founder, Nicholas Woodman, joined the billionaire ranks after he sold 8.9 per cent of his company to Foxconn Technology Group. Now, the petite wearable gadget could be sold in Taiwan opening up another market for Woodman Labs to rake in more cash.

4. Bloom Energy: Valued At $US2.9 Billion

Bloom Energy CEO K.R. Sridhar

Location: Sunnyvale, California

Founded: 2001

What is it: Bloom Energy creates fuel cells called Bloom Boxes that produce clean energy. The first customers for these devices included Walmart, Federal Express and Coca Cola according to The Guardian. The cost of these boxes are $US750,000 but Sridhar hopes to cut that down $US3,000 within a decade. That may be sooner rather than later. In order to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, Fast Company writes that eBay purchased five boxes and saved $US100,000 in under a year.

3. Zalando: Valued At $US4.9 Billion

This is one of Zalando's holiday magazines.

Location: Berlin, Germany

Founded: 2008

What is it: Zalando is an online retailer that sells clothing and other fashion products for 14 different countries in Europe. Originally, CEO Robert Gentz was inspired by Zappos and created the site to sell a luxury line of shoes before he expanded it. Subscribers receive magazines of special holiday sales which has helped Zalando become the king of e-commerce overseas.

2. Palantir: Valued At $US9 Billion

Palantir CEO Alexander Karp

Location: Palo Alto, California

Founded: 2004

What is it: Founded by Alexander Karp, Palantir is a software company used by government agencies and financial firms like banks and hedge funds to help sort through large amounts of information. Forbes writes that U.S. marines have deployed this technology to anticipate insurgent attacks as well as forensic analysis of roadside bombs. In this day and age, tools like this would drive any privacy advocate nuts but Palantir has potential to revolutionise our security.

1. Xiaomi: Valued At $US10 Billion

These cheap phones, the MI-One, are Xiaomi's most popular product.

Location: Beijing, China

Founded: 2010

What is it Xiaomi is a technology company that creates and produces smartphones, apps and other consumer electronics. The company's low priced smartphones have been a big hit in China since it sold 18.7 million smartphones last year which makes it a serious threat to Apple in a lucrative market. Former Android exec Hugo Barra is helping Xiaomi with an international expansion so this company has big plans ahead.

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