/// Business is King Among ‘Next Big Thing’ Start-Ups
The Wall Street Journal today published its third annual list of the top venture-backed companies, with input from VentureWire, looking to identify the ones likely to become the Next Big Thing.
Charlie Vogt is chief executive of Genband, a Frisco, Texas, provider of Internet-based telecom services that topped this year’s ranking.
The top three ranked companies are all business-product makers: Genband, a supplier of voice-over-Internet-protocol technology to telecom companies; Xirrus, a provider of wireless networking equipment; and Tabula, which makes semiconductors for electronic products.
Several other companies on the list of 50 companies offer products or services designed to help businesses run more efficiently, such as data-storage company Nimble Storage (No. 26) and business-analytics software provider Marketo (No. 20).
Unlike in years past, none of the companies on this year’s list are in the energy sector, underscoring the challenges faced by that industry. This year was also the first time that a health-care company didn’t top the ranking.
Research firm VentureSource, which like The Wall Street Journal is owned by News Corp., compiled the list. To be eligible, companies must be based in the U.S., have received an equity round of financing in the past three years and be valued at less than $1 billion, as the aim is to identify lesser-known start-ups. That excludes a number of high-profile companies, including Twitter, Pinterest and Square. More than 5,900 candidates were considered.
Key criteria for ranking companies include fundraising success, recent growth in the company’s value and the track record of its founders and board members. VentureWire reporters and editors reviewed the initial ranking and rated the companies.