Their names echo in the pages of tech media publications and are constantly on the lips of famous investors. Among entrepreneurs they’re often met with a chuckle, a shrug, and occasionally a sneer. This issue examines how some of the startups with the most hyped media coverage are really doing, ranked by Mattermark Score.
Twitter - realtime communication platform
The Hype: IPO chatter
Reality Check: Growing across every signal other than Facebook followers and mentions – which are flat.
Silver Linings: Growth across employee count, unique website visitors, mobile downloads, resurgence of App Store rankings for Twitter #music app, #5 in Social Networking category, #31 in all free applications, growing 1% week/week in Twitter and LinkedIn followers
Funding: August 2011 $400M round from DST Global and DFJ Growth. $1.16B total raised to date.
Snapchat - disappearing photo chat
The Hype: It’s what the kids are using (so is it next Facebook?)
Reality Check: Recently dropped to the #3 spot in the Photo & Video category of the iTunes App Store (from #1), Twitter and Facebook likes growing ~1% week over week on average.
Silver Linings: Has remained in the top 20 free iOS applications (currently #11, has been as high as #6 in early July). iOS downloads continue to climb, estimated at ~530,000 per week as of last week.
Funding: June 2013 $60M Series B from IVP, General Catalyst, Benchmark, Lightspeed and SV Angel
Pinterest - image bookmarking & sharing
The Hype: Hailed as the future of e-commerce
Reality Check: Unique web traffic hit a plateau for the past 18 months, Twitter and Facebook followers growth < 1% week over week
Silver Linings: Uniques began to climb again in mid July 2013 admist PR push, in same period mobile downloads doubled to ~200,000 weekly U.S. iOS downloads
Funding: February 2013 $200M Series D from Valiant Capital Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer and FirstMark. $338M raised to date.
Daily Mentions of Pinterest on Twitter
Uber - P2P Transportation
The Hype: rumored to be raising at a $3.5B valuation
Reality Check: iTunes downloads have leveled out at ~75,000 per week for the moment,
Silver Linings: unique website visitors grew 10% last week alone, daily Twitter mentions hit an all time high in mid July, added nearly 30 employees on LinkedIn over the past month.
Funding: December 2011 $37M Series B from Menlo Ventures, Jeff Bezos, Goldman Sachs, Benchmark, CrunchFund, and Troy Carter $57M total raised to date.
Square - ubiquitous payment tools
The Hype: Jack Dorsey pitching at $4B valuation
Reality Check: Hanging onto a ranking among top free applications on iOS (#397 of 400 spots), dropped from #88 to #148 in top free Lifestyle applications on iTunes in past 6 weeks, Twitter following flat
Silver Linings: averaging +3% Facebook following growth week over week, averaging 5% week over week growth in LinkedIn followers, added 19 new employees on LinkedIn in the past month
Funding: September 2012 $200M round from Citi Ventures and CrunchFund, $341M raised to date.
Path - private social network
The Hype: The latest rumors have them raising $50M at a $500M valuation, previously rumored at a $1B valuation
Reality Check: Dropped out of top free applications rankings in iTunes in July 2013, estimated ~1,500 weekly U.S. iOS downloads, web traffic and Facebook followers growth < 1% week over week, ~450 talking about it on Facebook
Silver Linings: Averaging +3% Twitter followers week/week, employee count holding steady
Funding: April 2012 $30M Series B from Kleiner Perkins, Index, Redpoint, Greylock, Allen & Co, Yuri Milner, Mark Pincus and Jerry Murdock. $41M raised to date.
Quora - question & answer site
The Hype: Valued at $400M in April 2012, Ashton Kutcher is answering questions about his role in the Jobs movie, partnered with Slate & HuffPo
Reality Check: Not in top free applications rankings in iTunes, estimated ~840 weekly U.S. iOS downloads, ~1050 talking about it on Facebook
Silver Linings: Web traffic had been in slow decline, but began to rebound in mid July 2013, Twitter and Facebook followers growing ~1% week over week.
Funding: May 2012 $50M Series B from founder Adam D’Angelo, Peter Thiel and Matrix Partners
Foursquare - geographical social network
The Hype: Latest press push on August 6th asks “could he get it right?”, revenue could hit $20M this year, tips growing faster than Yelp reviews
Reality Check: Web traffic is down 3% over past 4 months, Twitter and Facebook followers growth < 1% week over week
Silver Linings: Averaging ~45,000 weekly iOS downloads in the U.S.
Funding: April 2013 $41M Series D from Silver Lake Partners. $112M raised total to date from Andeessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, Spark Capital, O’Reilly Alpha Tech, CrunchFund, SV Angel, Chris Dixon, Rick Webb, Kevin Rose, Joshua Schachter, etc.
Klout - social influencer platform
The Hype: Seems to have died down this past year
Reality Check: Not ranked in top free iOS applications, estimated ~700 weekly U.S. iOS downloads, Twitter & Facebook following and inbound links growing < 1% week over week
Silver Linings: LinkedIn followers growing +3% week over week, Twitter mentions holding steady ~5,000 per week
Funding: strategic investment from Microsoft in September 2012, January 2012 $30M series C from Kleiner Perkins, Venrock, IVP, Paige Craig, Crunch Fund, Greycroft, Mayfield etc. ~$40M raised to date.
Fab - curated e-commerce
The Hype: Negative press around recent layoffs in Berlin, criticism of the CEO for allegedly not taking feedback well
Reality Check: Shed 25% of their unique visitors in the past 4 months, estimated ~1,200 weekly U.S. iOS downloads, daily Twitter mentions down 50%
Silver Linings: Traffic losses have stabilized with a 1% increase last week, 39 new employees in past month, open job listings have tripled in past 3 weeks.
Funding: $10M strategic investment from SingTel in July 2013, June 2013 $150M Series D from Atomico, Andreessen Horowitz, Menlo Ventures, RTP, Pinnacle and DoCoMo
Think only pre-exit startups or companies in the earliest stages can have high scores? Think again. Instagram currently scores 2488 while Vine scores 3048 (and would be the highest scoring company in our entire database, and the only one with a Mattermark Score over 3000 right now). See scores for the top exited startups in Mattermark Pro.
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