Consumer tech brands may get all the love, but there are actually millions of business software that’s behind some of your favourite apps and sites.
When you use Uber, for example, a number of different solutions, from payments to text messaging, work behind-the-scenes to make the app work.
In any case, the end users are usually not aware that they’re using these software.
Twilio is a communications software that allows apps to embed call, voice, and text messaging features within the app. For instance, the text messages you receive on Airbnb or the call number you see from your Uber driver are all pushed through Twilio. Companies like eHarmony, Home Depot, and eBay use Twilio too.
Twilio has raised over $US103 million from Bessemer Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, and Union Square Venture Partners, and is valued at around $US500 million. It says it has a $US100 million revenue run rate and is expected to go public soon.
Braintree is a solution that makes payments easy for mobile and online businesses.
For example, it's what allows users to pay Uber drivers without having to take out their wallets every time they take a ride. Other clients include Hotel Tonight, OpenTable, and TaskRabbit.
Braintree was acquired by PayPal for $US800 million in 2013.
CloudFlare's software is like a cloud firewall in front of your favourite websites/apps that protects them from cyber attacks. It also offers networking services to improve performance and traffic.
It claims it handles more than 5% of the world's web traffic, with more than 2 million websites using its software, including Reddit, Gilt Groupe, and Yelp.
CloudFlare has raised a little over $US72 million so far, and is reported to have a $US1 billion valuation.
Ooyala offers a comprehensive video platform that can play and distribute videos on all kinds of devices, while providing data analytics and monetisation features to its customers.
It's used by some of the biggest sports sites including ESPN, Sky Sports and Fox Sports, as well as general news sites like Vice and The Washington Post.
Ooyala was acquired by Australian telco Telstra in 2014.
Jasper provides a platform to connect physical objects like a car or refrigerator to the web.
For example, GM and Ford are working with Jasper to allow automatic updates to its cars. Heineken uses Jasper to monitor its beer kegs, to keep them always filled and fresh.
Jasper has raised over $US200 million so far, from VCs including Sequoia and Benchmark. It's reported to be worth over $US1.4 billion.
Disqus provides an online and mobile commenting system that's used by over 3 million websites worldwide.
Some of the leading tech publications like Wired, ReadWrite, and the NextWeb also use it. Disqus says its commenting service sees over 2 billion unique visitors a month.
Disqus launched out of Y Combinator in 2007 and has raised a little over $US10 million so far.
Stripe, also a Y Combinator alum, is another payment processing solution used by thousands of businesses around the world. If you use Lyft, Kickstarter, or Instacart, chances are you've been using its solution.
Stripe just raised another $US70 million in December, raising its total valuation to roughly $US3.5 billion.
The Google Maps API is what powers millions of sites and apps to provide location and maps through their own service.
Expedia, for example, is able to show where the hotels are located, while Airbnb can let the users find the host closest to their travel destination.
Other companies that use Google Maps API include 7/11, National Geographic, and WhatsApp.
Foursquare may be best-known for its stand-alone app that lets users show where they are, but its API is actually used by tons of developers and apps.
Apps like Uber and Foodspotting use Foursquare's location data, with more than 40,000 developers using its API.
Founded by Dennis Crowly, Foursquare has raised over $US160 million so far.
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