Photo: Business Insider
Inside this year’s Digital 100, we found a number of companies that are ripe for an acquisition. Content distribution, sports blogs, and e-commerce are all areas where the big guys could use their hefty balance sheets to snatch up some smaller companies.
These private tech companies could be the next Zagat.
What it is: Online video service that offers a selection of TV shows, clips and movies
What it's worth: Despite initial reports that Hulu would IPO, the video content site will likely be acquired. Last year, it generated roughly $250 million in gross revenue. This year it's on track to double that. .
Potential Buyers: Google and Dish Network
Why: Google is already spending hundreds of millions of dollars to turn YouTube into an alternative to cable. It's also willing to spend $4 billion to do it, we reported. Dish Network, which is already an alternative to cable, wants a better Web presence. It's willing to pay $1.9 billion.
What it is: Blog hosting platform
What it's worth: Tumblr's traffic exploded this year, and so did their valuation. New York-based blogging platform Tumblr is talking to fancy venture capital firms about raising another huge pile of cash at a very generous valuation.
Possible Buyer: Yahoo
Why: Right now, Yahoo is a media company built on top of an email product and a portal. But that email product keeps losing engagement as people check their email on mobile more. And the portal is losing ground to Facebook. Tumblr has explosive engagement growth over the past year. It gets 13 billion pageviews per month!
What it is: Social media management platform
What it's worth: It's estimated Buddy Media is on pace to double yearly revenue this year, reaching an estimated $20 million. An August funding round valued the company at about $500 million.
Potential Buyer: Google
Why: Google is desperately trying to get into the display advertising business. Right now, the leader in that space is Yahoo, but it'll be Facebook soon. A lot of that business starts with Buddy Media, though.
What it is: Media conglomerate targeting women
What it's worth: The company generates revenue from ads, lead-gen, and e-commerce. We estimate that Sugar will do about $70 million of revenue this year.
Potential Buyer: Yahoo
Why: Yahoo calls itself the premiere digital media company. If it can't reel in Hulu, maybe it could tack on a new media powerhouse like Sugar.
What it is: Online Newsletter Service
What it's worth: The company has recently seen a lot of success with a daily deals feature, which has been rapidly generating revenue for the startup. We estimate that the company is on track to generate about $40 million of revenue this year, up from $10-15 million last year.
Potential Buyer: Comcast
Why: Comcast bought Thrillist-for-girls, Daily Candy, a couple years back. Assuming that business is going well, why wouldn't Comcast come back for more?
What it is: Photo sharing for iPhone
What it's worth: Instagram is a photo sharing application that is receiving an immense amount of traffic. It is growing shockingly fast. In less than a year, it has amassed 9 million users. However, there is no revenue model in place yet.
Potential Buyer: Facebook
Why: Twitter wants to own the entire Twitter user experience. Instagram is by far the best photo-sharing app for Twitter.
What it is: A sports news and opinion website written entirely by unpaid, outside contributors
What it's worth: The sports website, founded in 2008, has over 20 million monthly unique readers and is among the top web-based sports properties. The company received $22 million in August 2011 funding, bringing its total funding to $40 million dollars
Potential Buyer: AOL
Why: Bleacher Report would also be a smarter investment then Patch, the local network of 840 blogs AOL is investing $160 million into this year. AOL is currently outsourcing its sports reporting to the Sporting News.
What it is: Online private sales of luxury and fashion brands
Why: It's only a matter of time until Amazon sees Gilt as a threat that is cheaper to buy than to fight.