Oct 6 2012




BusinessInsider.com has published their annual list "The Digital 100". The list is the top 100 privately owned digital companies and their value.

There are few newcomers like "Pinterest". which arrives at Number 13.

Then there are those digital sites that some of us really didn't know they existed. MLB.com which is a newcomer ranked at Number 8. The baseball site is already worth $3 billion after an initial investment of $77 million!

Poor Coupons.com dropped from last year being number 23 on the list to this year being number 94. The estimated value went from one billion to $180 million dollars in one year.

The other remarkable aspect of the list is the number of digital entities that focus on China.

Below are the top five on the list and you can see the entire 100 at the site.

1. Alibaba Group, $40 billion

Estimated Value: $40 billion

Last Year's Rank / Valuation: N/A

Business: Alibaba is a B2B marketplace for international and domestic China trade.

Location: Hangzhou, China

CEO: Jack Ma

Investors: Softbank Corp, Granite Global Ventures, Venture TDF Technology Group, Silver Lake Partners, DST Global, and others

Analysis: Yahoo recently sold half its stake in Alibaba, valuing the Chinese e-commerce giant at $40 billion. It's the largest private non-LBO financing ever for a technology company globally. In the past 12 months, Alibaba has handled $12 billion in transactions.

2. Bloomberg, $35 billion

Estimated Value: $35 billion

Last Year's Rank / Valuation: N/A

Business: Business and financial market media outlet

Location: New York, New York

CEO: Daniel Doctoroff

Investors: Unavailable

Analysis: In 2008, the company was worth an estimated $25 billion. Bloomberg's 2011 revenue was $7.6 billion, up 10.5% from 2010. Although Bloomberg is comprised of many different businesses, at its core it is a media company. We give it a healthy 5X multiple on 2011 revenue for a valuation for $35 billion.

3. Twitter, $5.25 billion

Estimated Value: $5.25 billion Last Year's Rank / Valuation: #5 / $8 billion

Business: Messaging, microblogging and social networking service

Location: San Francisco, CA

CEO: Dick Costolo

Investors: Last summer, Twitter raised $800 million in two rounds: one from existing Twitter shareholders and one led by DST, both at an estimated $400 million valuation. Other investors include Charles River Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Marc Andreessen, Dick Costolo, Naval Ravikant, Ron Conway, Chris Sacca, Bezos Expeditions, Spark Capital, Digital Garage, Kevin Rose, Tim Ferriss, Benchmark Capital, Institutional Venture Partners, Insight Venture Partners, T. Rowe Price, and Morgan Stanley (nice IPO leverage).

Analysis: Twitter has been growing very quickly both in terms of users and revenue. Its revenue for 2011 was $139.5 million and it's expected to generate about $350 million this year. Twitter has said it expects its revenue to jump to $1 billion in 2014. While its valuation has been as high as $10 billion, we're living in a post-Facebook world. We give it a 15X multiple on revenue for a $5.25 billion valuation.

4. 360Buy, $5 billion

Estimated Valuation: $5 billion

Last Year's Rank / Valuation: #4 / $10 billion

Business: E-commerce

Location: Beijing, China

CEO: Liu Qiangdong

Investors: Digital Sky Technologies and Wal-Mart Accel Partners, Comcast Ventures, Allen & Company, and Khosla Ventures.

Analysis: Described as the Amazon of China, the company was reportedly thinking about a 2012 IPO. It raised $1.5 billion and was valued at $6.4 billion at the beginning of 2011, led by Digital Sky Technologies. It generated $1.7 billion in sales in 2010 and $3.3 billion in 2011. But its margins are thin and it's reportedly burning through cash. Instead of an IPO, the company is looking to raise a Series D round. Given the tough market and its thin margins, we give 360Buy a 1.5X revenue multiple for a valuation of $5 billion. Caixin reported a similar valuation for the company in May.

5. Palantir Technologies, $3.5 billion

Estimated Value: $3.5 Billion

Last Year's Rank / Valuation: #11 / $2.5 billion

Business: Analytics software / platform

Location: Palo Alto, California

CEO: Alexander Karp

Investors: The Founders Fund, Youniversity Ventures, Glynn Capital Management, Ulu Ventures, Jeremy Stoppelman, Ben Ling

Analysis: Palantir Tech is a data analytics platform focusing mainly on the government and financial sectors. We estimate Palantir will generate between $350 and $400 million this year from its subscription product, up from $100 million in 2011. We estimate a 10X multiple on revenue at a valuation of 3.5 billion.