Impressive Feat by SAI
I'm very busy earning my three-day-a-week keep at Yahoo this way-too-early Monday morning, but I hope to carve out some time to go through Silicon Alley Insider's SAI 25 index today. It's a list of the 25 most valuable private digital companies. Folks, these things are hard to produce. For one thing, getting the real numbers can be an Oceans 11-heist-style feat of reporting. Plus, a private company is typically valued on its potential not its revenues-- or even more subjective, it's valued on what it's worth for others to put money in the company. (i.e. Facebook, Microsoft and that $15 billion valuation)
While Facebook is no. 1 on the list-- at $9 billion, not $15 billion-- there are some surprises.
I, for one, wonder how you rank Federated Media above Yelp. As I wrote
about here, local is one of the single hardest things to build online
so Yelp is hardly a sure thing, but to my mind, it has gotten farther
than anyone else and if they nail it, it's a pretty clearly monetizable
business that scales. Federated Media, on the other hand, is a great
and necessary business for helping build out the new media properties.
But I'm not sure it scales or deserves remotely the same multiple.
I think it's a pretty no-brainer bet that Yelp ends up being worth more than FM when it's all said and done. Likewise, I think Yelp is worth far more than Meebo, the company just after it on the list. But again, private
company valuations are really subjective. All-in-all a great effort by
SAI that gets a lot of it right, and even the parts I disagree with are thought-provoking.
Two big takeaways: There are only 12 companies out there in the world worth $1 billion or more according to SAI, and three of the top five are all the non-profit or non-profit leaning Wikipedia, Craigslist and Mozilla. I can tell-- even from 3,000 miles away-- how much this likely incenses a market guy like Henry Blodget that some of the biggest assets online are barely monetized.
Below, a couple of Tech Ticker video interviews of two of the do-gooders, Craig Newmark and Mozilla's John Lilly. (Fun fact on both videos: My audio screwed up on the Craigslist one, and there was a "conspiracy theory" that I didn't really do the interview in the TT comments. Even though you see me walking around with Craig at his house. On the Firefox one, several commenters said I needed to stop talking about myself. Let me know if you spot the place where I do, because I sure don't. Awesome how much people manufacture reasons to hate me. Got to give them points for creativity!)
An unforgettable portrait of the emerging world's entrepreneurial dynamos Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky is the story about that top 1% of people who do more to change their worlds through greed and ambition than politicians, NGOs and nonprofits ever can. This new breed of self-starter is taking local turmoil and turning it into opportunities, making millions, creating thousands of jobs and changing the face of modern entrepreneurship at the same time. To tell this story, Lacy spent forty weeks traveling through Asia, South America and Africa hunting down the most impressive up-and-comers the developed world has never heard of....yet.
Buy it from these sellers
On the Blog
- Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky
- Food and Drink
- International Travel Tips
- Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good
- Silicon Valley
- the always controversial sarah lacy
- venture capital