Technology is rapidly changing everything we do.
Mary Meeker, a former Wall Street analyst who’s now a prominent Silicon Valley investor, highlighted a number of innovative companies in her recent presentation about the future of the Internet.
We pulled out the game-changing startups she mentioned and added few others. The following startups are re-inventing the way we share photos, make payments, develop ideas, get around, learn, and more.
Re-Inventing Photos: Snapchat is an app that lets users send photo messages to friends, but the images can't be viewed more than once. More photos are shared on Snapchat per day than Instagram.
What it is: A real-time photo messaging app where you decide how long your friends can view sent pictures before they're forever deleted. If they take a quick screenshot, you're notified.
When it was founded: May 2011
Who founded it: Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy
How much it has raised: $14 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners, SV Angel, and Benchmark.
Why it's important: More than 150 million pictures are shared on Snapchat per day -- that's more than Instagram. And about one-third the volume of Facebook.
Re-inventing Video: Dropcam is a home camera that lets you view the footage from multiple devices. More video is uploaded per minute on Dropcam than YouTube.
What it is: A home video monitoring camera and software that's easy to set up and that stores footage in the cloud. Users can drop in on their home cameras from mobile devices or the web, and save clips of the footage. It's used by parents to monitor babies, as a security camera, and more.
When it was founded: January 2009
Who founded it: Greg Duffy and Aamir Virani
How much it has raised: $17.8 million from Mitch Kapor, David Cowan, Ben Narasin, Salil Keshpande, Felicis Ventures, Accel Partners, Bradley Horowitz, Menlo Ventures, and Bay Partners.
Why it's important: Dropcam is making surveillance cameras affordable and available to everyone. It stores footage in the cloud, so the tapes are never lost or damaged. More video is uploaded per minute than YouTube. YouTube uploads 100 hours of video each minute.
Re-inventing Audio: SoundCloud lets people upload, collaborate on, or listen to sounds. It has 180 million monthly users and 11 hours of sound are uploaded per minute.
What it is: A platform that lets people upload, share, listen to, or collaborate on audio files. You'll find everything from strange noises to complete tracks on SoundCloud.
When it was founded: 2007
Who founded it: Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss
How much it has raised: $63.3 million
Why it's important: SoundCloud doesn't have quite the upload volume of YouTube or Dropcam, but it still has an impressive 11 hours of sound being uploaded to it each minute. As many as 180 million people use it each month (or 8% of the Internet).
*This is a KPCB company
Re-inventing Navigation: Waze is a crowdsourced GPS navigation app that shows you traffic and alerts in real-time based on other drivers in its network.
What it is: An app that tells you what traffic and road alerts are up ahead via other drivers. It's a crowdsourced, social GPS service with turn-by-turn directions and real-time updates.
When it was founded: 2008
Who founded it: Uri Levine, Ehud Shabtai, and Amir Shinar
How much it has raised: $67 million
Why it's important: Waze is a big acquisition target. Apple, Facebook and Google were all reportedly interested in purchasing the company for $1 billion. One billion miles are driven per month with the app open, and there are 48 million Waze users.
Re-inventing Health and Fitness: My Fitness Pal's API calls have grown from zero to 55 million per month over the past year. Others in the category include RunKeeper, Jawbone, Fitocracy, Nike, Fitbit
What it is: A free smartphone app and website that tracks diet and exercise to determine optimal nutrients and caloric intake for the users goals.
When it was founded: 2005
Who founded it: Mike and Albert Lee
How much it has raised: n/a
Why it's important: Fitness app and data tracking are on the rise and millions of people are using devices such as Nike Fuelband, Jawbone Up and Fitbit. They're also using apps like Run Keeper and My Fitness Pal. But My Fitness Pal is increasingly supplying other fitness companies with health and wellness data. In the past year its number of API calls have exploded from zero to 55 million per month.
Re-inventing social: Sina Weibo is a China-based copycat of Twitter and its annualized revenue run rate has soared from zero to $100 million over the past year.
What it is: a Chinese micro-blogging platform, similar to a Facebook-Twitter hybrid.
When it was founded: 2009
Who founded it: Sina Corp
How much it has raised: $586 million
Why it's important: The Chinese social network has 580 million monthly users and its annual revenue run rate has skyrocketed from zero to $100 million over the past year. It's one of a few massive tech companies abroad that the U.S. should pay attention to. Another is JD.com (360Buy), a logistics company that delivers anything within hours.
Re-inventing payments for mobile: Square has processed $15 billion in gross payments in a little over three years and on-boarded more than 4 million merchants.
What it is: A mobile payments company that lets businesses accept payment via credit card with only an iPhone or iPad and lets customers pay with an app on their mobile device instead of having to carry their credit cards.
When it was founded: 2009
Who founded it: Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey
How much it has raised: $341 million
Why it's important: In just a few years, Square has processed $15 billion in gross payments and it has more than 4 million merchants using its technology. Its year-over-year growth is up 3X.
Re-inventing loans: Lending Club is prepping for an IPO and just took a big investment from Google. It's issued nearly $2 billion in loans since it was founded.
What it is: A place where credit-worthy people can get loans from peers. Google recently became a big investor in it.
When it was founded: 2006
Who founded it: Renaud Laplanche
How much it has raised: $95.2 million
Why it's important: Nearly $2 billion in loans have been issued on Lending Club to date and 137,000 have been funded.
Re-inventing bills and payments: Check (formerly Pageonce) is an app that helps make sure people pay bills on time. It oversees more than $500 million in bill payments per year.
What it is: An app that manages your bills so you don't forget to pay one and suffer late fees.
When it was founded: 2007
Who founded it: Guy Goldstein and Ahikam Kaufman
How much it has raised: $23 million
Why it's important: Check monitors more than $500 million in payments per year and has 8 million registered users.
Re-inventing design and development: Minted, Quirky and 99Designs are examples of sites that crowdsource design and produce products more cheaply. Here's information on Quirky*:
What it is: an industrial design firm that uses crowd-sourcing to let participants collaborate in every aspect of product creation -- from the formation of ideas to design, naming, manufacturing, marketing, right on through to sales.
When it was founded: 2009
Who founded it: Ben Kaufman
How much it has raised: $91.3 million
Why it's important: 87,000 designs have been submitted and it has 360,000 registered users. Its products are sold in stores nation-wide such as Bed Bath & Beyond.
*Quirky is a KPCB company.
Re-inventing education: There are a ton of players in this space but a few leaders include Chegg*, Knewton, 2Tor and Coursera*. Here's more information on them.
Chegg: A textbook renting service founded in 2005, so students don't have to buy costly new books each semester. It's raised nearly $200 million.
Knewton: Knewton helps students learn by personalizing education material to match the way each person studies best. The more a student uses Knewton, the better the experience becomes. It has helped students master LSATs, SATs, GMATs and more, and it has raised $54 million.
Coursera: Coursera lets people take online courses. It has more than 3 million users and nearly 400 courses to choose from, and has raised $22 million to date.
2Tor: Founded in 2008, 2Tor is bringing traditional universities and colleges online and making the curricula as challenging as it is for on-campus students. It's helping colleges admit more students, because they don't have to house people who access their courses via the Internet. It's also allowing colleges to make more money, because they can charge virtual students almost as much as physical ones.
Uber: Founded by Travis Kalanik and Garrett Camp in 2009, it has changed transportation laws in multiple cities, including Washington D.C. and New York. It has raised nearly $50 million and a wave of copycats have followed, including taxi-hailing app Hailo and ride-sharing services like Lyft.
Makerbot: Founded by Bre Pettis in 2009, Makerbot leads the 3D printing market. It has raised $10 million and it generated $10 million last year. It's on track to generate $50 million this year.
Kickstarter: Founded in 2009 by Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler, and Charles Adler, Kickstarter has helped 100,000 projects get successfully funded. It has helped them raise a combined $535 million and it has generated nearly $30 million to date. It has raised $10 million.
Airbnb: Airbnb was founded in 2007 and it lets people rent their homes to peers for a few days or weeks. It was founded by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk and it has raised $120 million and investors believe it is worth multiple billions.
*Coursera is a KPCB company
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