Snapchat, Yelp, Square: How much are the most popular tech startups worth?

Daniel Bean, Yahoo News
Yahoo News

Wait 6 seconds: Snapchat is worth how much?

After reports surfaced that Facebook attempted to buy the popular picture and video messaging app Snapchat last week, we all learned that the ephemeral messaging service is apparently worth billions (and at least $3 billion - the amount that Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel turned down).

It’s no longer uncommon for tech startups to reach this level of valuation in mere years, and, in some cases, doing so without any real source of revenue. Instagram, the make-your-picture-look-like-a-Polaroid photo sharing service, was purchased last year by Facebook for approximately $1 billion. Instagram has only just begun rolling out its ad revenue program, something the big blue social network, no doubt, had in thought during the time of acquisition. Facebook itself is publicly listed on the Nasdaq trade and is currently valued at $111.5 billion.

Here are some other tech startups that are now worth a shockingly large amount.

Twitter

Microblogging service Twitter has hogged the largest portion of the last several weeks in finance and tech news coverage with its venture into IPO. Though some pundits are not completely sold on the idea that the 7-year-old company will prove to be profitable in the long term, as a privately invested venture, Twitter was believed to be worth about $10 billion and is now valued at $23.8 billion on the NYSE.

 

Dropbox

News surfaced this Monday that cloud storage service Dropbox is again seeking private funding. The five year old company will reportedly be telling prospective investors that it's seeking an $8 billion valuation. That's big money, but when you have half of the band U2 as business partners, no one should expect any less.



Foursquare

Foursquare hasn’t “checked in” to the publicly traded market yet, but the location-centered social network was said to be worth around $760 million at the close of last year. Recent figures have also put the company in position to pull in about $20 million in revenues this year, ten times more than its income in 2012. Foursquare opened up shop in 2009.



Yelp

Did you miss the Yelp IPO? Sure, it didn’t garner the same headlines that Facebook or Twitter did when they filed for IPOs, but the publicly powered “business review” service did go to public funding last March, and it’s currently valued at $4.5 billion. Though you can hardly compare the two companies, Facebook and Yelp launched in the same year, and even though Zuckerberg and pals have built a company worth far more than Yelp in the last 9 years - about 25 times as much - Yelp does sit above that billion dollar valuation level (it’s even more than Snapchat!). Fun fact: Yelp has a three star Yelp rating on Yelp.


Pinterest

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Virtual pinboard network Pinterest has yet to even try to make any money, according to a report by AllThingsD. But that doesn’t mean that the site isn’t worth a ton. Last month’s large-scale funding snag of $225 million has put the three and a half year old company at a $3.8 billion valuation. Pin that to your board. No word on how much the “male version” of Pinterest, Manteresting.com, is worth these days.

 




WhatsApp

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What’s up with WhatsApp? The multi-OS messaging app was recently valued at $11 billion, that’s what. Though rumors earlier this year that Google was eyeing to buy the service for around $1 billion were flattering, the privately funded company still remains in charge of its own destiny, and evidently, it's doing just fine. Let’s see: $11 billion. That’s almost four Snapchats, right?


Zynga

Zynga is the company responsible for most of the games we’ve wasted half of our 2009 through 2013 playing. The game makers kicked things off in 2007 and launched FarmVille, its real claim to fame, on Facebook in 2009. Zynga went public in 2011 and now the creator of Words with Friends, Hanging with Friends, Scramble with Friends and Chess with Friends is valued at $2.1 billion. Just so you know, they made a lot of those friends before the big money came in.

 

Uber

Yes, people in cities like New York, Los Angeles and Toronto can use the Uber app to make no-sweat car service arrangements, but not much compares to the type of joy ride this company has taken its private investors on. Founded in 2009, Uber was valued at $3.5 billion this past summer, and now even Google has thrown a quarter of a billion into the company. Fun fact: you can Uber a helicopter ride to the Hamptons from NYC for only $3000.




King

Most of us know King as the company who gave birth to Candy Crush Saga, the galactic hit of a puzzle game that has now been downloaded by more than half a billion users. And all those downloads must account for something, because, as the UK company reportedly aims toward IPO here in the states, finance experts are saying that a valuation of $5 to 7 billion is likely. King began creating games in 2003, but has mostly kept wraps on its finances for the last 8 years.


Square

In other Jack Dorsey startup news, the Twitter co-founder’s second company, Square, was valued at $3.25 billion last year. The mobile payment company, founded in 2009, may also be looking into an IPO of its own, according to reports, though it will at least wait until next year. Mr. Dorsey needs sleep just like the rest of us.



AirBNB

The company that helps you easily find a place to crash or party has done a very good job at avoiding the former, giving it a decent reason to partake in the latter. AirBNB began in 2008 and lets users (or “hosts”) rent out their unused living spaces for short-term periods. The privately funded company was valued at $2.5 billion last year and, better news yet, AirBNB’s nomadic CEO believes in the service so much that, instead of buying or renting a home, he uses it exclusively to find his own living space. That’s commitment, right?







Evernote

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Write this down: Evernote is worth $1 billion. That’s according to a valuation of the company last year when Evernote was taking on additional private funding. The note, document and media cloud-syncing service launched in 2008 and CEO Phil Libin has talked a lot about going public, though most comments have been something along the lines of “not yet.” We’ll take for granted the fact that it’s something he’s jotted down on his Evernote “to do” list.