Looking for the rankings? Scroll down to the bottom of this post to view the spreadsheet of companies in the current 500 Startups batch.
500 Startups ringleader Dave McClure offers his take on the batch, his international strategy, trends, and why they do a Demo Day in New York City. (Disclosure: 500 Startups is an investor in Mattermark.)
Why so many international startups? How does this strategy work?
Dave says: There’s a significant number of people who don’t live in the US… maybe about 6.7 *billion* of them, in fact. in addition, the vast majority of global GDP growth is happening in developing and emerging markets like China, India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Turkey, and Mexico. In our opinion, it’s not crazy to be investing in international startups — in fact, it might be “crazy” to be too focused on startups coming from US markets, where there may be higher valuations and a lot of competition. On the other hand, there are plenty of winning companies and founders that hail from outside the US, and we’ve invested in over 100 companies with international founders & presence (ex: 9GAG in Hong Kong, Gengo in Japan, VivaReal in Brazil, ZipDial in India, PicCollage in Taiwan, LinguaLeo in Russia, Udemy in Turkey, etc).
In most international markets, startups are still seeking access to investors & expertise in Silicon Valley, and access to the same back-end platform companies that provide search, social, and mobile distribution… that is: Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Android, YouTube, LinkedIn, and others. Because 500 Startups already has mentors, investors, and founders that are from these companies and work with them closely, we are a great partner for international startups looking to connect with the valley.
What are you most excited for in this batch? What new trends are emerging?
Although we are always on the lookout for new trends like photo- and video-enabled apps, social platforms, and mobile / tablet platforms, much of what we do is focused on UNsexy trends & businesses that just make money. Themes we are investing in that aren’t always on other investors’ radar include:
- “family-tech” and “edu-tech” businesses that deliver products & services for kids, parents, and seniors
- “food-tech” investments that are making the food ordering & delivery industry more efficient and competitive
- subscription ecommerce & SMB businesses which show regular & predictable monthly revenue
We also expect that the emergence and growth of local and SMB platforms will continue to fuel more investments in startups focused on productivity and distribution tools & services for small business and local merchants.
Internationally, we continue to see huge adoption of smartphones, broadening access to online payments, and improved physical delivery and distribution logistics which should fuel the growth of mobile & tablet apps, as well as global e-commerce businesses. we also expect more growth in cross-border and international businesses, as well as in english & other language translation & education businesses.
Why do you do a Demo Day in New York?
In short, to paraphrase Willie Sutton — for the same reason people rob banks: “because that’s where the money is!”
We think that in addition to our “ground-zero” presence in Silicon Valley & San Francisco, there is clearly a critical mass of investors (and *customers*) in the NYC area that are differentiated from the valley. It’s a good place for our companies to get access to more capital, as well as more sales. In addition to NYC, there is also interesting critical mass in Boston & DC on the east coast.
Ranking 500 Startups Spring 2013 Companies – by Mattermark Score
Curious how these scores are calculated? Scroll below the spreadsheet to read more about our methodology.
I have updated the spreadsheet to include more details on web traffic and Twitter followers, which are two signals (but not the only two) we use to calculate the scores. All time periods are 3 months from May 18th, 2013.
Some say if you wait until Demo Day you’re already too late. Want to dig into the data behind these rankings, with detailed traffic graphs, app store ranking, inbound links, social media stats and more? Try a FREE 30 Day Trial of Mattermark Pro
About Our Methodology
Each week we record metrics for each company and compare them to the week before. Each signal we track is rewarded points based on % growth, meaning even tiny companies can compete with huge web properties if they’re growing fast enough. The one week change gives us a “Momentum Score” for that week. We average together all of the company’s momentum scores to arrive at the Mattermark Score, which is a 90-day moving average. This is important because it helps smooth out the big spikes in momentum and attention that can come from press launches, as well as the big dips immediately following them. Overall, we’re working to identify who is consistently growing week over week and a higher Mattermark Score reflects a higher rate of ongoing growth.