Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Digital 100: The World’s Most Valuable Startups

Welcome to the Digital 100: The World’s Most Valuable Internet Startups!
In this year’s list, we’ve looked at and evaluated more than 300 startups and ranked the top 100.
We’re looking at common stock value here–the price the public market might put on the company (not the valuations achieved using sweetheart terms in some preferred stock deals).
So what are the 100 most valuable digital startups in the world?
Facebook tops our list again, with a valuation of $25 billion, up radically from $6.5 billion last year.  Facebook continues to grow at a tremendous clip and now has more than 500 million users worldwide. The company will generate revenue of over $1 billion in 2010 and become cash flow positive.
Rounding out the top five: Zynga, the social game developer; Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia we think could be worth $5 billion if it tried to make money; Skype, which might go for $5 billion in an open market; and Craigslist, the wildly popular listings site that could coin money if it ever decided to do so.
About The List
Last year, we expanded our original list, the SAI 25, into the SAI 50+. We valued and ranked some of the world’s leading private online companies'

This year we expanded our search and analysis yet again. We found a ton more companies that are earning a lot of money and / or growing their businesses rapidly. The result is this year’s new and improved “Digital 100″ — 100 of the world’s most valuable private digital startups.
Notable companies not included on last year’s list include Groupon, the beloved daily deal site.
What’s New
A lot has happened in the past year: The economy crept back from the beating it took the last two years, venture funding trickled in for category winners, and online advertising staged a comeback (of sorts).  E-commerce and virtual goods sales, meanwhile, continued to hold up relatively well.
As a result, there are some changes to last year’s rankings. Most notably, LinkedIn, the professional networking site, doubled in value, perhaps reflecting the shift in job-hunting strategies with the rebounding economy.
We used the same valuation methodology as have the last two years, which you can read about in detail here. Obviously, our valuations are only as good as the information we have, so please feel free to comment in the post or send an email to afusfeld@businessinsider.com.
The Digital 100 Top Ten:
1. Facebook
2. Zynga
3. Wikipedia
4. Skype
5. Craigslist
6. Twitter
7. Vente-Privee
8. Yandex
9. Betfair
10. LinkedIn

Here’s the complete Digital 100:

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