The numbers: $104 Billion at IPO
Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook in 2004 at Harvard and since then, the social network has grown to over 1 billion monthly users. He is the world’s youngest billionaire with Facebook receiving a valuation of over $100 billion at it’s IPO. Zuckerberg has literally changed the way people interact and has broken down social walls faster than ever imagined. Time Magazine named Zuckerberg Person of the Year for 2010 and is the only young entrepreneur on this list with a public company.
Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger
Age: 29, 26
The numbers: $1.01 billion dollar exit
Instagram is a free photo sharing application that allows users to take a photo, apply a digital filter, then share it a variety of social networking services including Instagram’s own. A distinctive feature confines photos into a square shape, in homage to both the Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid cameras. The application had over 30 million users in April 2012, with hundreds of millions of photos uploaded. Facebook acquired Instagram in April 2012.
The numbers: $125 million in funding
David started Tumblr in 2007 with his own savings from previously held jobs in the software industry. By early 2010, Tumblr was reportedly getting 15,000 new users per day, with over 2 million daily posts being made. Tumblr now has over 92 million blogs, over 42 billion blog posts, and 150 employees. Tumblr made $13 million in revenue during 2012 and has a goal of over $100 million in 2013.
Aaron Levie & Dylan Smith
Age: 27 & 26
The numbers: $284 million in funding
What started as a college project for their business class exploded into a venture backed startup with millions of users. Box provides more than 8 million users with secure cloud content management and collaboration. They say their platform “allows personal and commercial content to be accessible, sharable, and storable in any format from anywhere.” The company employs over 225 people.
The numbers: ~ $500 million in revenues
Spotify has created a lightweight software application that allows instant listening to specific tracks or albums with virtually no buffering delay. Spotify was launched in the fall of 2008 and had approximately 10 million users by September 2010. It certainly helps that Spotify has landed Napster Co-founder Shawn Parker on their board. So far Spotify has landed 188 million in funding at valuations in the billions.
The numbers: $120 million in funding
Airbnb is an online service that matches people seeking vacation rentals and other short-term accommodations with those with rooms to rent who are generally not professional hoteliers. The site was founded in August 2008 by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk. Currently, the company has listings in 26,000 cities and 192 countries. Not bad for a few guys who started out by renting out an air mattress on their floor to help pay their rent. The CEO estimated AirBnB rented 12 million to 15 million room-nights in 2012.
Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi
Age: 29, 26
The numbers: $257 million in funding at $4 billion valuation
Dropbox was founded in 2007 by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi. Frustrated by working from multiple computers, Drew was inspired to create a service that would let people bring all their files anywhere, with no need to email attachments. Drew created a demo of Dropbox and showed it to fellow MIT student Arash Ferdowsi, who dropped out with only one semester left to make Dropbox a reality. Today, they have passed 100 million registered users and carry a valuation of over $4 billion.
The numbers: $138 million in funding
Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. Pinterest was founded by Ben Silbermann,Paul Sciarra, and Evan Sharp. For January 2012 comScore reported the site had 11.7 million unique U.S. visitors, making it the fastest site ever to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark. The site launched in closed beta in March 2010.
Jennifer Carter Fleiss
Company: Rent the Runway
The numbers: $50 million funding with over 3 million members
Rent the Runway is a membership-based website that rents high-end designer apparel and accessories on a 4- or 8-day basis. The company was founded by two Harvard Business School graduates, Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Carter Fleiss. Launched in November 2009, the website now offers over 35,000 dresses and accessories from over 170 designers such as Badgley Mischka, Vera Wang, and Calvin Klein.
The numbers: $61 million in funding at a $400 million valuation
Quora was co-founded by two former Facebook employees, Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever. D’Angelo quit his position at Facebook in January 2010 to create Quora and said he was inspired to create Quora because he thought: “Q+A is one of those areas on the internet where there are a lot of sites, but no one had come along and built something that was really good yet.” Quora’s base of users grew quickly and raised it’s recent funding at a $400 million valuation.