Silicon Valley is home to rockstars like Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
But over the last year, many new faces made a name for themselves in Silicon Valley.
Some of these unfamiliar faces are trying to tackle HIV, whereas others are tasked with leading major divisions at Apple.
Head of Retail; Head of Human Resources, Apple
In October 2013, Apple announced the hiring of former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts as the company's new head of retail.
Then, in February 2014, Apple appointed Denise Young Smith to lead its worldwide human resources division. The pair are in charge of the future of two of Apple's most important assets: its chain of stores and its talent.
(It's also great to see Apple shaking up its previously male-dominated top ranks.)
Mike Del Ponte is the genius behind Soma, a sort of Warby Parker of water filters. In July 2013, it closed a $US3.7 million round of seed funding led by Baseline Ventures and Forerunner Ventures.
Soma is targeting people who are tired of ugly Brita water filters and are passionate about sustainability. For every biodegradable water filter it sells, Soma donates money to charity.
CEO; director of business development, AnyPerk
After being told he had the worst startup in his Y Combinator batch, Taro Fukuyama had to figure out how to turn the company around. Six pivots later, he landed on AnyPerk. AnyPerk helps put startups on par with Google and Facebook when it comes to perks, offering discounts on things like movie tickets, lift tickets, cell phone plans, Lyft car-sharing rides, and car rentals.
Today, AnyPerk has 28 employees. Last March, the startup raised a $US1.4 million seed round from Digital Garage, Ben Lewis, Michael Liou, CyberAgent and Shogo Kawada.
This year, Watsi became the first charitable company to raise over $US1 million in funding from traditional angel investors in Silicon Valley.
It is also the first Y Combinator company to nab investor Paul Graham for its board of directors. Watsi allows anyone to give as little as $US5 to fund someone's medical care, and 100% of the money is donated. The mission of this startup is so beautiful, you just have to root for its success.
Director of product management, Yahoo
Erin Teague worked as the growth product manager for the mobile-only social network Path for two years and is responsible for the company's astounding user growth in 2013. In the spring, the app was growing by 1 million new users per week. It hit the 10-million-user mark in April. She worked on the product team at Twitter for two years before joining the Path team.
Last fall, she joined Yahoo as director of product management.
Venture capitalist, SoftTech VC
Charles Hudson is a well-known face in the Silicon Valley startup ecosystem because he has his hands in both sides of the business, both as a founder at Bionic Panda Games and now an investor at SoftTech Ventures.
Previously, Hudson founded Social Gaming Summit, one of the leading conferences in the free-to-play games space. He was also the VP of Business Development for Serious Business, a company that Zynga later acquired in 2010.
HandUp is proof that the tech industry does care about the homeless. Rose Broome and Zac Witte launched their crowdfunding platform for the homeless back in August.
In its pilot stage, there are about 100 homeless people who receive cash donations via text or email. Within the last couple of months, the pair landed a seed investment from serial entrepreneur and angel investor Jason Calacanis. To date, HandUp has raised $US200,000.
HandUp is also part of startup accelerator Tumml, which gives entrepreneurs $US20,000 to help them solve urban issues.
Founder, (unnamed stealth startup)
The co-founder and former CEO of VMware, Diane Greene, has something new up her sleeve this year that looks like it will challenge the company that ousted her in 2008.
Greene's stealth startup is focused on virtual storage and will target cloud and service providers as customers. So far, we've heard it's lured at least three VMware employees away from their jobs.
She also just finished her first year on Google's board of directors.
Founder, Walker and Company
Early Foursquare employee Tristan Walker launched his own startup, Walker and Company, in December 2013 to better serve the African-American community.
The first brand, Bevel, sells premium razors and shaving cream geared toward black men. Walker has already snagged $US2.4 million from Upfront Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, SV Angel, Collaborative Fund, Sherpa Ventures, and the William Morris agency's Charles King.
Partner, Andreessen Horowitz
Balaji Srinivasan is the one of the newest partners at VC firm Andreessen Horowitz.
He's also the founder of a stealth bitcoin-mining hardware company called 21E6, which is believed to be backed by some of the richest people in Silicon Valley. Bitcoin mining is a way to acquire the digital currency without paying for it.
Srinivasan had previously co-founded genetic testing company Counsyl. As of December 2013, the company was testing somewhere around 3% to 4% of all births in the U.S. Given that it charges around $US500 to $US600 per test, the company is on an annual revenue run-rate of about $US60 million to $US80 million per year.
Photo app Frontback caught fire last year, amassing 200,000 downloads in just one month. The app has users take two pictures (one of what they're seeing in front of them, and the other with their phone's front-facing camera) and it stitches them together.
In October, Frontback reportedly turned down an acquisition offer from Twitter and instead raised $US3 million.
The app was built in just four weeks.
Secret is the latest social app to go viral, and it's filled with a boatload of Silicon Valley insights and rumours.
The app, which launched last month, was founded by ex-Googlers David Mark Byttow and Chrys Bader.
The idea behind Secret is to let you share anonymously with your friends. It's kind of like secret-sharing app Whisper, but the difference is that all of the secrets are from your friends, or a friend of a friend.
Secret has raised $US1.4 million from investors including Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures, Alexis Ohanian and Garry Tan through Initialized Capital, Index Ventures, Matrix Partners, SV Angel, and Fuel Capital.
Since unveiling the world's first real-money gaming platform in 2012, Chris Griffin has secured $US23 million in venture funding.
In November of last year, Betable raised an $US18.5 million round of funding led by Venture51, valuing the company somewhere between $US80 million and $US100 million.
After Intel's Paul Otellini retired, Brian Krzanich got the tough job of making Intel relevant in mobile, growing its cloud businesses and tackling the wearable tech space.
By the end of this year, Kraznich aims to sell 40 million tablets with Intel processors, up from 10 million in 2013. Based on Krzanich's performance at CES, it sounds like Intel has quite a lot up its sleeve this year.
Engineering manager, Pinterest
Makinde Adeagbo is something of an engineering superstar, bouncing between major tech companies. He spent 3.5 years at Facebook, and became one of the go-to engineers to improve the site speed and overall performance.
Next, he got snapped up by Dropbox, where he helped improve sharing on the Dropbox platform with things like Dropbox Links, which lets anyone share and preview any file in someone's Dropbox from the Web. In July 2013, he left the huge cloud storage company to become Pinterest's engineering manager.
Founder, The Information
Former Wall Street Journal tech reporter and editor Jessica Lessin officially launched her own tech news site in December called The Information. To read all of its articles, you have to shell out $US399 a year or $US39 a month.
Already, The Information has broken news regarding Apple's iWatch, YouTube's new CEO, Square's latest funding round, and Google's EnergySense project.
Co-founding partner, Floodgate
As co-founding managing partner at venture capital firm Floodgate, Ann Miura-Ko has led seed investments in TaskRabbit, Lyft, Modcloth, Refinery29, Boxbee, and NewsCred.
She also lectures at Stanford University, where she recently started a new class to teach highly technical graduate students how to be successful entrepreneurs in the field of big data.
Two of her portfolio companies, Lyft and Refinery29, both had years of note. Refinery29 raised a total of $US25 million last year, and Lyft raised a total of $US75 million.
Captain of Moonshots, Google X
Astro Teller is one of the people responsible for trying to decide which world-changing ideas Google will pursue.
He works for Google X, the lab that works on hush-hush, long-term projects that try to tackle big problems. This year, Google X has revealed plans for smart contacts for diabetics and flying wind turbines that generate power.
Teller has called his team at Google X 'Peter Pans with PhDs' and likens the forward-thinking arm of Google to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.
VP of product management for Chromebooks, Google
In 2013, Chromebooks started to become a serious threat to PCs as PC vendors fled their partner-turned-competitor Microsoft. It was also the year when Googlers themselves started to embrace the Chromebook, especially the Pixel.
Sengupta was one of the engineers responsible for creating Chrome OS and the Chromebooks. He leads the project internally today at Google.
Co-CEO, Revere Digital; co-executive editor, Re/code
When Dow Jones and AllThingsD split, Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg decided to start their own tech site called Re/code.
Mossberg is one of the best news breakers in the tech industry, but it's particularly impressive that every single person from the D team decided to join them at their new venture.
Re/code has about 20 people on its editorial staff and is backed by NBC Universal and Windsor Media. Swisher and Mossberg are the majority stakeholders.
The Internet of Things is all the rage lately, so it's no wonder startup August was able to snag $US8 million for its smart locks from Maveron Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, Industry Ventures, Rho Ventures, and SoftTech VC.
With August, you'll never have to worry about getting locked out of your house because the system is entirely keyless. August also gives you total control of who can enter your home and when. August will start shipping its locks later this year.
Head of corporate development and partnerships, Facebook
Remember that time Beyoncé announced her new album out of the blue on Instagram?
Well, that's all thanks to Dan Rose, Facebook's head of corporate development and partnerships. Rose and his team had been in talks with Beyoncé for months, and reportedly leaped at the opportunity to announce the album on Instagram, a Facebook-owned photo-sharing app.
2013 was full of ups and downs for Anne Wojcicki, CEO of the health and ancestry startup 23andMe. The company kicked off the year by discounting its DNA kits to an affordable $US99. It built a genetic research community of more than 10,000 people with Parkinson's disease -- the largest Parkinson's community in the world. But in November 2013, the FDA ordered 23andMe to stop marketing its health-related genetic tests.
Despite the FDA's cease-and-desist, Wojcicki stands behind the data 23andMe gives its customers. She wrote in November she remains committed to working with the FDA to ensure 23andMe is a trusted consumer product. She also admitted that the company had fallen behind schedule in responding to FDA feedback.
23andMe has raised $188 million to date from investors including Mohr Davidow Ventures, Sergey Brin, Google Ventures, and Genentech.
Co-founder and CEO, Coinbase
It was a hot year for Bitcoin, and for startups dealing with them.
Brian Armstrong and his Bitcoin startup, Coinbase, were the recipients of high-profile VC Fred Wilson's first investment in nearly two years. In December, Coinbase raised a $US25 million Series B round from Andreessen Horowitz and added partner Chris Dixon to its board.
Just last month, popular budgeting app Mint added Bitcoin support with Coinbase.
Co-founders, Immunity Project
A team of scientists and entrepreneurs are trying to cure HIV/AIDS. Immunity Project, which is in the current Y Combinator class, has already developed a prototype and completed preliminary lab testing.
The Immunity Project is currently trying to raise $US482,000 to fund its final experiment before beginning its Phase I clinical study. So far, more than 1,000 people have pledged over $US200,000 to the project.
Aarthi Ramamurthy is one of the most notable female entrepreneurs out there today. She spent six years at Microsoft working on its popular Visual Studio software development tool and on Xbox Live.
Before founding Y Combinator-backed Lumoid, a startup for letting people test-drive electronics before buying them, she co-founded a bra-fitting company called True&Co.
Co-founder and CEO; co-founder and COO, Dropcam
As of June 2013, red-hot startup Dropcam's cloud storage service has more video uploaded to it per minute than YouTube does. (Of course, Dropcam users are recording continuously unlike YouTube users, but the growth is still impressive.)
Back in July, Dropcam raised a $US30 million Series C round led by Institutional Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, bringing its total funding to $US47.8 million.
Co-founder and CTO, Jelly
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone launched a social Q&A startup with Ben Finkel earlier this year called Jelly. In May, Jelly raised a Series A round from Spark Capital, SV Angel, Bono, Al Gore, Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Reid Hoffman, Greg Yaitanes, Steven Johnson, Jason Goldman, and Roya Mahboob.
Brian McAndrews, an ad veteran who formerly held roles at Madrona Venture Group, Microsoft, and aQuantive, took over Joe Kennedy's role as chief executive at Pandora in September.
On the first day of trading following the announcement of McAndrews' new position, Pandora's stock went up by $US2.50 a share -- a nearly 12% jump.
Despite increased competition from iTunes Radio, Pandora just had its most profitable quarter since its IPO.
It's very rare to reach great success before you're an adult, but that's exactly what 17-year-old Nick D'Aloisio has achieved. Last March, Yahoo bought D'Aloisio's news aggregation app Summly for $US33 million.
At CES this year, D'Aloisio unveiled a brand new mobile app called Yahoo News Digest.
Executive producers, HBO's 'Silicon Valley'
We got word earlier this year that producers Mike Judge and Alec Berg will be launching an Entourage-esque comedy show called 'Silicon Valley' on HBO that will poke fun at SV and help pop its arrogance bubble.
The show follows a group of close-knit friends working at a company trying to develop a new search algorithm, and will include cameos from real-life Silicon Valley figures. It airs April 6 on HBO.
As an education tech founder, it's not always easy to get schools and institutions on board, mostly due to a bunch of bureaucracy. That's why Pathbrite founder Heather Hiles is so impressive. Last year, Pathbrite raised an additional $US4 million led by testing behemoth ACT, with participation from Rethink Education for its e-portfolio product for students. Pathbrite has raised $US8 million in total to date.
As of March 2013, Pathbrite was in more than 100 universities and school districts. Stanford, for example, purchased 1,000 licenses for students in its design, education, and engineering schools. And as of September 2013, more than 400 schools have used Pathbrite's new learning platform.
Founder and CEO, One Medical Group
Going to the doctor shouldn't have to be a pain. That's why One Medical Group makes it dead simple to set up same-day appointments with top-notch doctors. For $US199 a year, you can make appointments online, chat with your doctor via email, and avoid hanging out in waiting rooms.
In March, One Medical raised a $US30 million Series F round led by Google Ventures, with participation from Benchmark, Duff Ackerman & Goodrich, Maverick Capital, and Oak Investment Partners.
One Medical has doctors' offices in San Francisco, New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Brit Morin, widely referred to as the Martha Stewart of Silicon Valley, raised $US6.3 million last year from prominent Silicon Valley elites like Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Index Ventures, Lerer Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, and Aileen Lee and Oak Investment Partners, for her domestic lifestyle brand Brit & Co. As part of the investment, Tina Sharkey and Oak Investment Partners' Fred Harman joined the board of directors.
That's a huge win for Morin given that Harman coached Arianna Huffington and Bleacher Report to exits worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Founder and CEO, GoPro
Nicholas Woodman and GoPro have come a long way since the camera startup's inception in 2002. More than a decade later, GoPro is gearing up to go public.
Last year, GoPro made nearly $US1 billion in sales. In 2012, GoPro made $US521 million in sales with a valuation of $US2.3 billion.
GoPro is expected to publicly file its initial public offering in May or June.
When Google shut down its beloved Reader product, a lot of people flocked to Feedly. A month after Reader disappeared, Feedly emerged as the top RSS traffic referrer.
In August, Feedly kicked off a paid version of its RSS service, adding custom sharing, power search, a speed boost, integration with other apps, and more. It limited the release to 5,000 people, and it only took eight hours for 5,000 $US99 lifetime-subscriptions to get snatched up. Around that same time, Feedly was touting more than 13 million users.
Partner, Benchmark Capital
When Twitter went public, its largest outside investors hit the jackpot.
Benchmark Capital cashed a very pretty check from the IPO.
Because of the growth of a number of his portfolio companies throughout 2013, Fenton will likely see a significant number of other companies go public this year.
Co-founder and head of engineering, Quip
Bret Taylor was Facebook's CTO for about three years before leaving in summer 2012 to launch a new startup with ex-Googler Kevin Gibbs.
Last summer, Gibbs and former Facebook CTO Bret Taylor launched Quip, a company focused on reinventing document creation and editing. Taylor and Gibbs raised $US15 million from Benchmark Capital for their startup.
Ramona Pierson has survived worse things than most people can imagine. In 1984, Pierson got hit by a drunk driver and fell into an 18-month coma. After recovering, Pierson eventually launched her first startup, SynapticMash, an education software company that sold to Promethean World for $US10 million in 2010.
Now, Pierson is running social learning startup Declara. The aim is to help people sift through tons of content when they're not exactly sure what they're looking for. Last September, Declara raised a $US5 million seed round from Founders Fund, Peter Thiel, and Data Collective.
Founder and CEO, Clinkle
Lucas Duplan started mobile payments startup Clinkle while studying computer science at Stanford. Last year, Clinkle raised a $US25 million seed round -- what is said to be the largest in Silicon Valley history.
When he was 19, Duplan started gathering up a group of Stanford undergraduate and graduate students to work on the company. Some have since taken leaves of absence, but Duplan was able to graduate a year early so he could work on Clinkle full time.
But 2013 didn't come without its downs. Toward the end of the year, Clinkle laid off about a quarter of its staff.
When Google Maps and commerce boss Jeff Huber stepped down in March, longtime Google executive Susan Wojcicki took over commerce. At the same time, she was also running Google's ad business, overseeing Payments, Wallet, Offers, Shopping, Local Search, Maps & Earth, and Travel.
And, just this month, we got some more huge news about Wojcicki: She was tapped to become head of YouTube. By appointing Wojcicki as the new YouTube CEO, Google could be hinting that it's interested in revamping the video platform's advertising business.
Co-founder; co-founder and CEO, WhatsApp
After selling WhatsApp to Facebook in a deal worth $US19 billion, Brian Acton and Jan Koum officially became billionaires. Koum is worth about $US6.8 billion and Acton is worth $US3 billion, according to Forbes.
At last count, WhatsApp had 465 million active users.
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