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Five start-ups to watch in the Digital 100

Tuesday, 27 March 2012 | By Michelle Hammond

Dropbox, LivingSocial and Craigslist are among the world’s most valuable start-ups, according to Business Insider’s Digital 100 of 2011, which also identifies new additions to the list.


For the last four years, US business news site Business Insider has compiled a list of the world’s most valuable digital start-ups, more recently known as the Digital 100.


Not surprisingly, Facebook tops the list for 2011, with a valuation of $80 billion, up from $25 billion last year and $6.5 billion the year prior.


Facebook is followed by social game developer Zynga, daily deals site Groupon, Chinese online retail giant 360Buy, and micro blogging network Twitter.


Rounding out the top 10 are web-based file hosting service Dropbox, Wikipedia, invite-only online retailer Vente Privée, group buying site LivingSocial and online classifieds site Craigslist.


Newcomers include accommodation site Airbnb, Angry Birds maker Rovio and mobile payments provider Square. Here are five others you may not have heard of:


1. Jawbone


Based in San Francisco, Jawbone is the creator of Bluetooth headsets, noise-eliminating technology, JAMBOX, wireless speakers and speakerphones.


It also created THOUGHTS, a free mobile service that allows users to utilise their voice in a new way.


In July, Jawbone raised $70 million for a total of $170 million raised to date. According to the Wall Street Journal, the valuation of that round was $1.5 billion.


2. Trulia


Based in San Francisco, Trulia is one of the largest and fastest growing online real estate companies in the US.


Trulia is close to Zillow’s audience metrics, while doubling revenue year over year. With Zillow valued at $1 billion or more, Business Insider estimates Trulia’s valuation at $700 million.


3. Mind Candy


Mind Candy is a London-based social network offering online games for children.


It’s most famous for Moshi Monsters – virtual creatures that Mind Candy users can adopt and buy virtual goods for.


Spark Capital sold half its Mind Candy stake in June for 15 times more than its initial investment seven years prior. The deal valued the company at a reported $200 million.


4. Vostu


Vostu is an online gaming company that is big in Brazil, which is where it is based. It has 42 million users. 


Vostu raised $30 million at the end of last year at what Business Insider estimates was a $300 million post-money valuation.


While the company has grown significantly since then, a lawsuit with Zynga is a potential risk for Vostu. It’s estimated Vostu will do about $50 million of revenue this year.


5. Warby Parker


Based in New York, Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective – to create boutique-quality, classically-crafted eyewear at a revolutionary price point.


In July last year, Warby Parker received $1.5 million in seed funding, followed by $12 million in Series A funding in September, at an estimated valuation of $100-200 million.