By now you’ve heard that Verizon is scooping up AOL for $4.4 billion in a bid to beef up its content smorgasbord and its mobile and video advertising reach.
Yes, you read the purchase price right. And, no, it’s not an Antiques Roadshow record.
Today’s top telecom giant is indeed buying the dial-up darling of yesteryear for quite a steal of a deal -- $50 bucks a share. When you consider the astronomical sums several of the hottest tech startups are now valued at, AOL’s acquisition price tag looks a little like yard sale chump change. Ouch.
Latest valuation: $50 billion
Latest valuation: $45 billion
Xiaomi is China’s top smartphone distributor and the world’s third largest. The Beijing-based company, founded in 2010 by eight entrepreneurs, designs, builds and sells a vast variety of consumer electronics and apps.
Latest valuation: $15 billion
Snapchat, based out of Venice, Calif., is an ephemeral photo- and video-messaging app and social networking service co-founded by former college friends Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown. Millions upon millions of photos and videos are shared using the app throughout the world every day.
Latest valuation: $12 billion
Latest valuation: $11 billion
Latest valuation: $10 billion going on $20 billion
Airbnb, a Y Combinator-launched startup, is a home rental startup based out of San Francisco. Much to the ire of corporate hotel chains it recently eclipsed in total available rooms, the company has quickly grown from a fledgling crash pad app to an astoundingly popular, one million-room-plus accommodations service. The platform hooks users up with all kinds of places to sleep, from average and swanky apartments, to deluxe and barebones yurts, to hippie-chic converted barns and everything in between. Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk and Joe Gebbia founded Airbnb in 2008. Despite an unending stream of rental disaster stories contributing to a pretty rough go of publicity lately, investors certainly don’t seem spooked. The company is reportedly raising a massive new funding round that will send its valuation to $20 billion.
Latest valuation: $10 billion
One of the many successful tech firms to emerge from prominent Silicon Valley incubator Y Combinator, Dropbox is a San Francisco-based cloud file storage and client software provider. Founded by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowski in 2007, the company recently elbowed into the corporate productivity product market, more aggressively gunning for rivals Google and Microsoft.
Latest valuation: $5 billion going on $8.4 billion
Latest valuation: $6 billion
Square is San Francisco-based a financial services startup that offers mobile payment solutions to businesses of all sizes, from mom-and-pop shops to large chain stores. Founded in 2009 by Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey, Square’s two most popular products are Square Reader, a credit card reader for mobile devices, and Square Register, an app that works with Square reader to transform smartphones and tablets into mobile points of sale.
Latest valuation: $4.5 billion
Human resources software startup Zenefits broke into the coveted billion-dollar valuation “unicorn” club last week on the heels of a $500 million funding round. The epic cash injection arrives just two years after Parker Conrad founded the San Francisco-based company. Launched in 2013, Zenefits provides owners of small and mid-sized businesses with software to fulfill their human resources needs, health insurance and payroll products included.