13 Companies That Could Be New York's Next Billion-Dollar Exit

Flickr/YodelanecdotalEtsy’s Chad Dickerson (on right) has a big business on his hands.Tumblr was New York City’s first $1 billion exit since DoubleClick sold to Google in 2007. But it won’t be the last.

A number of other startups in New York have become huge businesses, expected to exit for at least $1 billion. Others probably won’t get the billion-dollar acquisitions they’re hoping for, but they’ll still sell for boatloads of cash.

Then there are startups that aren’t worth $1 billion yet, but we bet they will be soon. They’re innovative and growing quickly, with high margins, and they’re tackling big markets.

10gen develops an open source database, MongoDB, that's used by Fortune 500 companies. It's valued at $550 million.

What it is: 10gen is the developer of MongoDB, an open source database used by many Fortune 500 companies. 10gen also offers support and training for MongoDB clients.

Estimated Value: $550 million

Total funding: $73.4 million

Location: New York, N.Y.

More Info: About 10gen

CEO: Dwight Merriman*

Investors: Union Square Ventures, Flybridge Capital Partners, Sequoia Capital, New Enterprise Associates

*Disclosure: Dwight Merriman is a co-founder of Business Insider

Everyday Health provides health solutions via a portfolio of websites and 20 mobile apps; it's been eying an IPO for a few years.

What it is: Everyday Health is a provider of online health solutions. It generates much of its revenue ($160-175 million as of March 2012) via subscriptions and advertising. Its CEO said generating $1 billion in revenue was in sight last year, and it has been eyeing an IPO for a few years.

Estimated Value: $650 Million

Total funding: $153 million

Location: New York, N.Y.

More Info: About Everyday Health

CEO: Benjamin Wolin

Investors: Foundation Capital, NeoCarta Ventures, Revolution, Rho Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, Village Ventures

Etsy is an e-commerce site for individuals selling homemade goods that doubled its valuation last year.

What it is: E-commerce site for homemade crafts and small businesses. It raised $40 million at an ~$700 million valuation in May 2012.

Estimated Value: $600-700 million

Total funding: $91.7 million

Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.

More Info: About Etsy

CEO: Chad Dickerson

Investors: Caterina Fake, Stewart Butterfield, Joshua Schachter, Albert Wenger, Union Square Ventures, Accel Partners, Hubert Burda Media, Index Ventures

Fab is an e-commerce site for design and decor; it's reportedly raising a round of financing at a $1 billion valuation.

What it is: Fab is an e-commerce site for design and home decor. And investors are flooding it with cash. It's reportedly raising between $250 and $300 million. But it's received a lot of hype, its burn rate is high, and sources say the unit economics aren't great, so a $1 billion exit could be lofty.

Estimated Value: Reportedly raising a round at a $1 billion valuation, up from $600 million last year.

Total funding: $171 million (but if it closes the $250 million round, it would jump to $421 million)

Location: New York, N.Y.

More Info: About Fab

CEO: Jason Goldberg

Investors: The Washington Post Company, Allen Morgan, Lars Hinrichs, Don Baer, Baroda Ventures, First Round Capital, Zelkova Ventures, SoftTech VC, SV Angel, Menlo Ventures, Jason Goldberg, Guy Oseary, Zelkova Ventures, Kevin Rose, Jon Anderson, Don Baer, Dave Morgan, Ben Ling, David Tisch, Joshua Kushner, A-Grade Investments, Andreessen Horowitz, VTB Capital Investment Management, Phenomen Ventures, Atomico, Mayfield Fund, DoCoMo Capital, Pinnacle Ventures, RTP Ventures

AppNexus is a real-time ad platform with an $800 million valuation.

What it is: AppNexus is an online advertising platform that lets brands bid for and buy placements in real-time. Last year it served more than 13 billion ads each day (or $700 million in ad spend according to Adweek), five times more than the year prior.

Estimated Value: ~$1 billion

Total funding: $141 million

Location: New York, N.Y.

More Info: About AppNexus

CEO: Brian O'Kelley

Investors: First Round Capital, Khosla Ventures, Marc Andreessen, Ron Conway, Ben Horowitz, Coriolis Ventures, Kodiak Venture Partners, Venrock, Microsoft, Technology Crossover Ventures, Tribeca Venture Partners

ZocDoc is an easy way to book same-day doctor appointments via its online network and mobile app and it's used by more than 2.5 million people per month.

What it is: Reservation tool for doctor appointments of all kinds -- from dentists to dermatologists. It is used by more than 2.5 million patients each month. Practices pay about $250 to be listed on ZocDoc each month.

Estimated Value: $750 million

Total funding: $95 million

Location: New York, N.Y.

More Info: About ZocDoc

CEO: Cyrus Massoumi

Investors: Jeff Bezos, DST Global, Goldman Sachs, Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures, Mark Benioff, and SV Angel

Gilt Groupe is a luxury e-commerce network that's working toward an IPO.

What it is: Gilt Groupe is an e-commerce site for luxury brands in fashion, food, and travel industries. Flash sales companies are taking a hit, and it's taken longer for Gilt to get to profitability than the company initially thought, but it's positioned to IPO.

Estimated Value: $700 million

Total funding: $221 million

Location: New York, N.Y.

More Info: About Gilt Groupe

CEO: Kevin Ryan*

Investors: Matrix Partners, General Atlantic, Goldman Sachs, New Enterprise Associates, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Pinnacle Ventures, TriplePoint Capital, Eastward Capital Partners, SoftBank Capital, GSV Capital

*Disclosure: Kevin Ryan is co-founder and chairman of Business Insider

Makerbot has a long way to go before it's a billion-dollar company, but it's one of the most innovative companies in New York and it's leading the 3D printing revolution.

What it is: Makerbot creates affordable, open-source 3D printers. While reaching a $1 billion exit would take it more time than some of the other New York companies, it's one of the most game-changing startups out there, and it's leading the charge. As of mid-last year, Makerbot had sold 8,000 printers which range in price from $1,100 to $2,000. That means the company had generated $10-15 million over its three-year history.

Estimated Value: N/A

Total funding: $10 million

Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.

More Info: About Makerbot

CEO: Bre Pettis

Investors: Foundry Group, Bezos Expeditions*, True Ventures, RRE Ventures*, Sam Lessin

*RRE Ventures and Bezos Expeditions are also invested in Business Insider

Kickstarter is the biggest crowdfunding platform, and it has helped numerous projects get over $1 million in funding in 30-60 days.

What it is: Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform where people can post ideas and people who like the projects can give money toward the campaign. At least 100,000 projects have been successfully funded on Kickstarter and they've raised a total of $535 million. Kickstarter keeps 5% of each successfully-funded campaign, so it has generated ~$26,750,00 since 2009. There's a ways to go before it's a billion-dollar company, but it's an industry leader that's growing incredibly fast.

Estimated Value: ~$150 million

Total funding: $10 million

Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.

More Info: About Kickstarter

CEO: Perry Chen

Investors: Union Square Ventures, Scott Heiferman, Zach Klein, Caterina Fake, Joshua Stylman, Peter Herschberg, Chris Sacca, Jack Dorsey, Joi Ito, Joshua Schachter, Jared Kushner, Matt Haughey, Chris Kaskie, Chris Dixon, Dan Rosensweig, Craig Shapiro, Thrive Capital, Betaworks.

Warby Parker makes and sells stylish glasses and it's starting to get attention outside the tech world.

What it is: Warby Parker is a vertically integrated maker of stylish glasses that's starting to go mainstream. There isn't much competition in the glasses space; Luxottica (the force behind LensCrafters and Sunglass Hut) has owned the market almost entirely. Warby Parker is also starting to gain valuable partnerships. It's rumoured to be working with Google to improve the design of Google Glass, and J.Crew's chief executive is an investor in it.

Estimated Value: More than $200 million. Investors value it as a lifestyle company, not an e-commerce company, which gives it a higher multiple.

Total funding: More than $50 million.

Location: New York, N.Y.

More Info: About Warby Parker

CEOs: David Gilboa and Neil Blumenthal

Investors: First Round Capital, SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, MentorTech Ventures, Tiger Global Management, Menlo Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, American Express, chief executive of J. Crew.

Yext updates business listings across the web in real-time. It took a major risk selling off the profitable portion of its business to IAC last year and it has paid off.

What it is: A software company that helps businesses update multiple listings across the web in real-time. Last year, Yext sold the profitable portion of its business, PowerListings, to help fund a new business that CEO Howard Lerman wanted to try. Since then, Yext has grown quickly. It has more than 160,000 paying locations and it charges $500/year and it's just begun to scratch the surface of the market. There are 20 million local listings in the United States alone.

Estimated Value: $250 million when the $27 million was raised last year.

Total funding: $65.8 million (but only $27 million of that is for Yext, the rest was for PowerListings)

Location: New York, N.Y.

More Info: About Yext

CEO: Howard Lerman

Investors: Howard Lerman, Brian Distelburger, Brent Metz, Sutter Hill Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners, Michael Walrath, SV Angel, Marker, CrunchFund, WGI Group

Yodle helps small businesses gain more customers and it has eyed a 2014 IPO.

What it is: Yodle helps local businesses get new customers by spending their pre-selected marketing budgets wisely across the web. The company has grown quickly and there's a good chance it will IPO in 2014 as it generated $130 million last year and is trending toward $160 million this year.

Estimated Value: $600 million

Total funding: $40 million

Location: New York, N.Y.

More Info: About Yodle

CEO: Court Cunningham

Investors: Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Bessemer Venture Partners, Jafco Ventures,

Outbrain is a large content recommendation engine that reaches 80% of the U.S. online population.

What it is: Outbrain is a leading content recommendation platform. It powers 'see also' articles that show up on web pages below content. It is free if a website wants to circulate its own articles on its own pages, or websites can pay for traffic and show their articles on other sites. Outbrain splits the cost with the receiving publication. Its U.S. Chief Executive Yaron Galai says it reaches 80% of people in the U.S. online.

Estimated Value: N/A

Total funding: $64 million

Location: New York, N.Y. with another office in Israel

More Info: About Outbrain

CEO: Yaron Galai

Investors: LGiLab, Gemini Israel Funds, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Leon Recanati, Glenbook Partners, Rhodium, Zohar Gilon, Carmel Ventures, Index Ventures

Other valuable startups growing in New York that are positioned for 9-figure+ valuations:

  • Smartling - Smartling translates websites into other languages and it's the leader of a $30 billion market. It has raised $14.1 million to date.
  • Foursquare is a location-based social networking mobile service. While it's still struggling to generate revenue and it just raised a debt round of financing, the location and personal data it has on users is valuable. It powers location data for more than 40,000 apps including Instagram, and answering the question 'Where?' is a big market. There are at least three $50-billion companies that would be smart to buy it.
  • Quirky - Quirky makes and sells products conceived by the community. Its distribution partners include major retailers such as Bed Bath & Beyond. Unfortunately, the margins aren't great. Quirky splits a percentage of sales with the community. It also makes and holds the inventory. So while it's off to a great start and it has raised nearly $100 million from investors, it's hard to tell if it will be able to scale and become a giant, long-standing company.
  • Gawker - Bootstrapped by Nick Denton, Gawker is still on a tear with more than 35 million monthly uniques. Its revenue is on the rise; last year it booked $2 million in revenue in a single day and now it's trying to generate revenue from e-commerce as well.
  • BuzzFeed - Investors have given the social content company more than $40 million at a $200 million valuation, and some of their investors think BuzzFeed will be the first billion-dollar media company.
  • Business Insider - We're biased, but Business Insider has grown to 25 million monthly uniques, traffic that rivals Bloomberg and other business news sites. Prior to its $5 million investment from Amazon's Jeff Bezos a few months ago, investors valued Business Insider in the $40-50 million range.
  • Refinery29 - Refinery29 is another media company that's on track to generate more than $20 million this year and is expected to exit for more than $100 million.
  • Knewton - a leading edu-tech company based in NYC that's raised more than $50 million. It helps customise learning material for each student using data.

Now check out the people who are investing in all the big New York companies:

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