Top tech start-ups to work for in 2012
You are a high calibrate graduate, a brilliant programmer and have been been dreaming to work for either Facebook, Google, Apple or other tech giant? Yeah, even though these companies do their best to hire talented engineers, still very few have got the opportunity to be employed. But well, the 2011 year was especially successful for tech start-up! In 2010 tech start ups received $17.67 billion of VC, and in 2011 this number increased to $21.24 billion, and 2012 is also promising year! If you consider yourself lacking entrepreneurial spirit, essential skills to start your business or just don’t feel ready for it now, have a look at the list of promising start ups to work for.
1. Square (San Francisco, Calif.) makes portable credit card reader needed to accept credit card payments anywhere in the world. Company is run by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and Keith Rabois, ex-executive of LinkedIn and PayPal. Investors already have poured $168 million into this venture and thanks to prominent executives will do more.
2. Ooyala Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.) produces a Web video platform that is used to analyze user behavior in real time and consequently helps customers to adjust their monetization efforts based on results. On the board of directors sit two ex-Google executives, Sean Knapp and Bismarck Lepe, as well as technology veteran Jay Fulcher who co-founded Agile Software and PeopleSoft. The biggest part of received $44 million investment came from Sierra Ventures.
3. Evolv on Demand (San Francisco, Calif.) product is a software platform for high-turnover industries (e.g. call centers) to make hiring decisions. Platform’s key feature is advanced algorithm that helps to determine either applicant is suitable for the position and if he/she is willing to stay with a company for a long time. Evolv on Demand is founded by Max Simkoff, former payment technology executive and private equity fund founder, Dan Enthoven, former vice president at Monster.com, and Laszlo Bock who is Google’s senior vice president. The seed funds of $27.5 million were received from GGV Capital and Khoshla Ventures.
4. Simple (formerly BankSimple, Portland, Ore) launched personal banking platform that helps to eliminate user interface related issues of traditional online banking services. The platform itself is not a bank, but it does imitate bank services and assist users in conducting such operations as saving, spending and bill payment. Platform’s co-founder Alex Payne is one of Twitter’s earliest guru who helped to develop its API. Companies investors are Turntable FM and UberMedia, as well as IA Ventures and Shasta Ventures.
5. LiveIntent (New York, N.Y.) enables marketers to personalize their email advertisements based on the recipient’s location, device and the time of day they are opening it. For example, if you have a restaurant coupon and open it in the morning you will be offered 40% off lunch whereas if you open the same coupon in the afternoon you will see 40% off dinner. This technology is used already by such prominent American publishers as MSNBC and Daily Beast. The company is founded and run by Matt Keiser who worked for Datram Media and Traffix Inc. before. Shasta Ventures (also an investor in Simple) and First Round Capital had invested about $12.6 million.
To sum up, a small remark should be made since all above listed tech companies are US based (but well US has always been more entrepreneurial than for example old Europe). Just if you are not willing to re-locate to US but rather move to Europe read the Start-up 100 list.
Spotify, the music streaming service, tops the list of European Start-ups. The other companies that got award are Struq in the advertising and marketing category and ‘GroupSpaces’ in the social networking and collaboration category.