The 15 Startups Everyone Is Talking About In Silicon Valley Right Now

Bastian Lehmann

For the last week we’ve been asking everyone we talk to in Silicon Valley which startups are working on cool stuff.

What follows is a round of what the companies that people are most excited about.

Crowdtilt is helping friends pay for things more easily.

Year Founded: 2011

Space: Group-buying

Why it's buzzing: Here's a situation everyone has probably been in: you're at a restaurant with a big group of friends and the check comes around. Then 17 credit cards hit the table.

Well, with Crowdtilt, a startup that lets friends pool money together for an experience, that won't be around much longer.

Crowdtilt often gets lumped in with the rest of the 'crowdsourced funding' batches. But the reality is that Crowdtilt is attacking something else -- making it easier to pay for experiences or meals among a big group of friends.

Exec handles all the nitty-gritty odd jobs of a startup.

Year founded: 2012

Space: Crowdsourced task completion

Why it's trending: Instead of hiring a brand new office manager -- and having to fork out the costs for benefits and salary -- you can just hire someone through Exec instead. It's rapidly becoming a go-to replacement for companies that need to complete around-the-office tasks.

This is the third company started by Justin Kan, who previously founded Instead of using an auction system to find someone to complete a task, you hire one of Exec's specially-picked professionals.

Vayable is going to change the way you travel.

Year Founded: 2011

Space: Travel

Why it's buzzing: It still takes far too long to organise a trip. The process can usually take around 30 hours, Jamie Wong of Vayable says.

With Vayable, that process is shortened to about 5 minutes. You can buy an 'experience' that handles all the nitty gritty details of having a good time while travelling.

Stripe is the go-to payment provider for businesses.

Year Founded: 2010

Space: Payments

Why it's buzzing: Instead of having to deal with a ton of credit card companies or payments providers, you can add a way to accept payments on your website with a few lines of code with Stripe.

It's very hard to underestimate how ridiculously important this small change is. The process of accepting payments is one of the most difficult problems a startup faces, and Stripe makes the process simple and streamlined.

Postmates is making same-day delivery a reality.

Year founded: 2011

Space: Delivery

Why it's trending: Postmates taps into an existing big network of couriers that, before it came out, just used Craigslist and makes it way more efficient.

Now Postmates has a new app called 'Get It Now,' which ensures that you'll get your delivery within an hour. A lot of companies are talking about jumping into same-day delivery, but Postmates is one of the few that is, well, delivering.

Getaround just raised a huge pile of cash.

Year founded: 2009

Space: Car sharing

Why it's trending: No one thought people would be willing to rent out their cars. Then Getaround happened.

Now Getaround just finished off its first round of funding and raised a whopping $13.9 million. It's a company that's not only attacking a fundamental problem, but building their own hardware in-house too.

Co-founder Jessica Scorpio hopes to keep a billion cars from hitting the road.

Parse is making it easy to build a new app.

Year Founded: 2011

Space: App Development

Why it's buzzing: Building an app is a very, very difficult process. Imagine what could happen if that process were just a little easier?

Well, that's where Parse comes in. Parse is a startup that's giving developers access to the most popular nuts and bolts of apps -- like connecting to Facebook or enabling push notifications. The founders don't have to develop those bits themselves, so they can spend more time on the product.

People are still checking out their Klout scores.

Year founded: 2008

Space: Online reputation scoring

Why it's trending: Love it or hate it, everyone checks their Klout scores in the San Francisco Bay Area. Klout also just completed a big redesign of the site that's gearing it more toward being a 'social resume.'

Yardsale is making local selling fun again.

Year Founded: 2012

Space: E-commerce

Why it's buzzing: When eBay first came out, it had a very vibrant community of people exchanging and selling goods.

But as eBay began to scale up, it had to focus on larger retailers and sellers, leaving the community behind.

Yardsale is trying to bring that back -- you can buy and sell things locally through the mobile-only app.

Path keeps Mark Zuckerberg awake at night.

Year Founded: 2010

Space: Social Networking

Why it's buzzing: If you have thousands of friends of Facebook and are feeling overloaded, Path is the app for you.

It's more of a personal diary that you use to keep track of your closest friends. Path is one of the best-looking apps on the iPhone and Android devices, and it's a great replacement for Facebook.

Square is making payments sexy.

Year Founded: 2009

Space: Payments

Why it's buzzing: Square just unveiled a new pricing scheme that will handle all the payments of a company without a per-swipe percentage cut. Instead, you just pay a flat monthly fee.

This is a big, big change from the way things have always been done.

Led by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, Square is very quickly becoming the go-to payments provider for small businesses.

Kixeye proves Facebook games aren't completely dead.

Year Founded: 2007

Space: Social Games

Why it's buzzing: Facebook games are in deep, deep trouble. Unless you're Kixeye, that is.

Kixeye is a company that focuses on a smaller segment of players called 'hardcore' gamers. They are fewer in number than, say, the tens of millions of players of Zynga's games -- but they typically pay more.

As a result, you end up with a fully functional business while still making good games that don't involve clicking on cows. Not too shabby.

Twitch.TV is growing like gang-busters after a small pivot.

Year Founded: 2006

Space: Video streaming

Why it's buzzing: It used to be called -- a startup that was handling live-streaming of video. Then the company decided to focus more on live-streaming video game matches.

Now it's growing like absolute bonkers, and had more than 16 million unique visitors as of February -- though we've heard that it is much higher now.

Box is the next superstar enterprise startup.

Year Founded: 2006

Space: Cloud Storage

Why it's buzzing: Box just wrapped up a big funding round, raising $125 million -- which values it at more than $1 billion.

And it's probably one of the least-sexy ideas you could ever imagine.

Still, Box has proven (along with several other enterprise startups) that you can build an enterprise startup and grow it to a billion-dollar company -- instead of just another Instagram clone.

Uber has an even bigger fleet.

Year Founded: 2009

Space: Car Service

Why it's buzzing: Uber just unveiled Uberx, which increases the size of its fleet. The cars also cost only a little more than what you might pay for a typical taxi, which makes them even more competitive.

That's good news for Uber, which has become the go-to method for getting around San Francisco. Uber is still expanding to more and more cities.

Big fan of those companies?

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