A look back at PTN's "Young Companies To Watch" from a year ago: 10 of 30 acquired

Tom Paine



To Watch

Taking a look back at Philly Tech News' "Young Companies To Watch" list as it stood in July 2011, 10 of the 30 startups have been acquired since then, including the top four. I'm guessing that Accenture's recently announced acquisition of Octagon Research Solutions will be the largest exit in terms of valuation, though no word from principal investor Edison Ventures yet. myYearbook was acquired by Quepasa Corp (now MeetMe) for $100 million, though that was mostly in stock. Estimates I've seen from the Indian press for the price CSC paid for AppLabs, the software testing firm founded by Sahsi Reddi and co-headquartered in Philadelphia but having most of its headcount in India, suggest it might have been as high as $200 million. Portico Systems was acquired by McKesson for $90 million.

Active Network acquired StarCite, the once high-flying corporate meeting management site that had faltered a bit durng the recession, for about $51 million in stock and cash. Philly-based cloud unified communications provider Alteva was acquired by New York-based Warwick Valley Communications, an old-line local telco that is essentially remaking itself in Alteva's image, for $17 million. Mobile payment startup Venmo moved to New York last year and was recently acquired by Braintree for $26 million. Yardley-based MobileMD was acquired by Malvern-based Siemens Healthcare for a price that hasn't been disclosed, but the exit probably produced a good IRR for its investors. Safend was acquired by Massachusetts-based Wave Systems for $12.8 million. SEO software vendor ClickEquations was acquired by ICG partner company Channel Intelligence for an undisclosed amount and subsequently sold to Acquisio.

Mortgage tech startup ISGN moved its headquarters to Florida. appMobi appears to have moved at least in part from Lancaster to San Francisco. Exton-based iPipeline received a $71.4 million VC investment earlier this year.

Philly Tech News' "Young Companies To Watch" is my somewhat objective, somewhat subjective, imperfect ranking of Philly area startups in terms of their potential. I use whatever bits of financial data that are available, and other metrics that are indications of market acceptance. Also considered are factors such the background of founders, quality of investors, amount of investment (though not always a good indicator), the quality of their proprietary intellectual property, and industry recognition. Not interested in revenue for its own sake, but rather the potential for profitability, competitive advantage and market value. It includes only privately-owned companies or firms in which publicly-traded companies have a minority interest. You can see the current version on the right sidebar.

I'm always interested in hearing from anyone who wants to provide information that helps me provide a more accurate picture.