BILLION-DOLLAR EXITS: 12 Tech Companies That Struck It Rich In 2013

David Karp J CrewJ.CrewTumblr founder David Karp

As 2013 draws to a close we remember the biggest tech deals of the year.

These were startups (and, older, more established companies) who had billion-dollar buyouts and huge IPOs.

All told, we’ve highlighted 12 deals from 2013 that were valued at over $US1 billion.

Tumblr: Bought by Yahoo! in May for $US1.1 billion

Tumblr founder David Karp

Yahoo's $US1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr was Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's signature deal in 2013.

It also put $US81 million in cash and stocks into Tumblr founder David Karp's pocket, if he sticks at Yahoo for four years.

Remember when: It's Official: Yahoo Announces $US1.1 billion Tumbler Buy

Waze: Bought by Google in June for $US1.1 billion

After weeks of rumour, Google announced it bought Waze in June.

According to reports, Google swooped in after Facebook's rumoured $US1 billion deal to buy the company, which makes a popular mapping app, fell apart.

Remember when: Google Buys Navigation App Waze For ~ $US1 Billion

Cvent: An August IPO led to a first-day market cap of $US1.39 billion

Reggie Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Cvent

Cvent is an event planning platform that was founded in 1999, just before the Internet bubble burst in 2000, putting it on the verge of bankruptcy.

But its founder, Reggie Aggarwal, who had given up a career as a lawyer and had to move back in with his parents, scraped and clawed for a decade until his company was successful again.

For its August IPO shares opened at $US21, popped 57% giving it a market cap of $US1.39 billion.

Remember when: Cvent CEO: From A 33-Year-Old Living With His Parents To A Multimillionaire

Marketo: A May IPO led to a first-day market cap of $US1.17 billion

Marketo makes software that helps companies plan marketing plans.

It competes with ExactTarget, the company acquired this year for for $US2.5 billion. There was even some talk that might buy Marketo before it went public.

But investors are happy enough with Marketo's choice. Shares opened at $US13, popped 77% giving it a first-day market cap of $US1.17 billion.

Remember when: Fresh Off A Hot IPO, Marketo's Biggest Partner,, Is Now Its Biggest Threat

Elpida Memory: Bought by Micron Technology in July for $US2 billion

Mark Durcan, CEO Micron Technology

When US memory chip vendor Micron Technology closed its $US2.5 billion deal to acquire bankrupt Japanese memory chip vendor Elpida Memory, that ended a year-long quest to buy its former rival.

Both companies are known for making computer memory chips known as DRAM. With this buy, Micron became one of the largest supplier of mobile memory chips for Apple and others, powering devices like the iPad, iPhone, and Nexus 7.

Remember when: Micron completes $US2 billion buy of chip supplier to Apple

Rocket Fuel: A September IPO led to a first-day market cap of $US2.03 billion

Rocket Fuel CEO George John

At the time of its IPO, Rocket Fuel, a real-time bidding adtech company, was one of only 20 companies allowed to buy ads inside FBX, Facebook's ad exchange.

Investors loved it. Shares were priced at $US29 and jumped 93% the first day, leading to a first-day market cap of $US2.03 billion.

Remember when: Rocket Fuel IPO Offers Glimpse Of Actual Dollars Being Spent In Facebook's Ad Exchange

ExactTarget: Bought by Salesforce in June for $US2.5 billion

ExactTarget was's largest-ever acquisition.'s CEO Marc Benioff believes that by 2017, the Chief Marketing Officer will buy more IT than the Chief Information Officer. So he's been ramping up a service called Salesforce's Marketing Cloud (created by buying and combining Radian6 and Buddy Media). And he acquired ExactTarget to help.

ExactTarget makes tech for email and mobile marketing campaigns.

Remember when: Here's Why Salesforce Spent A Whopping $US2.5 Billion On ExactTarget

Sourcefire: Bought by Cisco in July for $US2.7 billion

Martin Roesch, founder, Sourcefire

Cisco is best known for making hardware for corporate networks. But it's been trying to transform itself into more of an all-around enterprise IT company, like an HP or IBM and it needs to find new growth areas.

Sourcefire, which offers security software, should help it grow its computer security business.

Remember when: Cisco Is About To Buy A Cybersecurity Company For $US2.7 Billion

Tableau Software: A May IPO led to a first-day market cap of $US4.17 billion

Pat Hanrahan, cofounder, Tableau Software

Tableau makes big data software that turns massive amounts of data into charts, graphs, and interactive dashboards. It's been called an 'Excel killer.'

Investors love it because its lets them cash in on the 'big data' trend, something that's sure to be huge in the decade to come.

Tableau was cofounded by one of the most famous data scientists in tech circles, Pat Hanrahan, a professor at Stanford University who won two Oscars when he worked at Pixar.

Remember when: Tableau Software's IPO Pops Big: Shares Skyrocket Up ~60%

FireEye: A September IPO led to a first-day market cap of $US4.69 billion

Dave DeWalt, CEO, FireEye

FireEye became a startup to watch after it nabbed a bigwig as its CEO, Dave DeWalt, former CEO of antivirus software maker McAfee.

It offers a computer security product for enterprises, an area that's ripe for growth.

Investors ate it up. The stock was priced at $US20 and jumped 80%, giving it a first-day market cap of $US4.69 billion.

Remember when: Now Worth $US1.25 Billion, FireEye Is The Next Hot Enterprise Startup To Watch

Nokia: Microsoft agreed to buy its device business for $US7 billion

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer with Nokia CEO Stephen Elop

In September, Microsoft announced a deal to buy Nokia's smartphone business for $US7 billion. The deal hasn't closed yet, but regulatory approval is moving along, so what the heck, we added it to this list anyway.

This deal sets Microsoft firmly on a path where it will build its own smartphones and tablets, as well as its own PCs.

Microsoft is currently looking for a new CEO to help the company find a winning strategy in the new mobile device world and this purchase of Nokia is something the new CEO will have to include in the plans.

Remember when: Here's Microsoft's Case For Buying Nokia.

Twitter: A November IPO led to a first-day valuation of $US24 billion

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo

Twitter's debut as a public company in November was nothing short of a spectacle.

It priced its shares at $US26 a share and the very first trade was for $45.10. Shares quickly jumped to 50.09, up 93%.

It had celebrities like Patrick Stewart ring the opening bell and roam the trading floor professing love for Twitter. And, on its very first day of trading, one analyst downgraded it to sell.

With an opening day valuation of $US24 billion, it created some 1,600 new millionaires and billionaires and a $US2.2 billion tax bill.

Remember when: Twitter's IPO Will Make All These People Millionaires And Billionaires

Now check out the big things coming in 2014

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