Howdy ladies and gents.
I know I’ve been a bit of a slacker when it comes to giving ya’ll good shite to read with your coffee on a regular sort of schedge (that’s writer slang for schedule, FYI) but in my defense, I’ve been dealing with quite a lot of personal stuff that I won’t bore you with.
The short of it is, it seems since my Dad died the hits keep coming.
But I have faith they keep coming for a reason, and God has a plan. Maybe the goal is to make me the toughest biatch on the planet! Ha… who could be tougher?!
Anyhoo, Jeremy here has graciously provided this guest post for your brain broadening pleasure.
I hope you will make him feel welcome in the comments below, and let us know if there are any other tech start-ups poised to do pretty awesome things in 2012.
Over the past year, the technology industry has been one bright spot in what has otherwise been a weak economy.
While many companies still struggle to find funding for their businesses, Silicon Valley has been awash in cash, thanks in part to large venture capital firms like Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners.
The most successful tech starts-ups have even been able to go public with an initial public offering despite the volatile stock market, which scared off many companies from issuing shares.
In 2011, popular tech start-ups like LinkedIn and Groupon were all able to go public.
Given this vibrant market, more tech companies have been launching services in recent years to take advantage of this thriving market at a time when technology adoption is at an all-time high.
However, there are a few start-ups that look to have particularly promising futures in Silicon Valley. Maybe you have already heard of them, or are using their services, but did you realize how poised they are for a breakout 2012?
Square, a mobile credit card payment company, is the first company. Founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, Square allows merchants to easily accept credit cards through their cell phones, thereby eliminating the need for a merchant account, which has typically been a complicated and expensive process.
Square has already become a big hit with small businesses, who use the company to process more than million individual sales in an average month. On account of their success, they recently received $100 million in a new venture capital round, giving the company a $1 billion valuation.
However, they face a lot of competition in this space from companies like PayPal and Google, which has been investing heavily in the mobile payments space. But to be the frontrunner in their category is huge, so it’s safe to say Square has not seen their best days yet.
Cloud storage company Dropbox is another start-up that has been riding the buzz surrounding cloud computing to increase their popularity.
Dropbox allows computer users to easily sync their computer files to the cloud, thereby giving them instant access to their information anywhere they have an internet connection.
Although cloud storage is not a particularly new concept, Dropbox has been able to make the process almost seamless, allowing them to gain more than 40 million users worldwide.
Dropbox recently raised $250 million, and there have been some rumors of a possible IPO in the near future.
Despite its success, however, cloud computing is one of the most competitive industries in Silicon Valley. In addition to fellow start-up Box.com, all the technology heavyweights like Apple, Google and Microsoft have been migrating to the cloud, making it a crowded space.
Lastly, peer-to-peer lending is a nascent industry that has developed a cult of popular users as it attempts to disrupt the banking industry.
Prosper Marketplace, one of the two leaders in this space, attempts to eliminate the middleman in the lending market by directly connecting investors seeking higher returns with borrowers looking to lower their interest payments.
Peer-to-peer lending is still a niche market at this point, but it has been growing rapidly as more people become disillusioned with the banking industry.
Prosper has facilitated more than $200 million in loans, although they have been facing very tough competition in their market. There is also micro-loan business specialist Lendio that continues to grow rapidly.
The industry is still up for grabs, however, and Prosper may still be able to become the dominate player.
Silicon Valley has been a breeding ground for disruptive technologies, creating entirely new industries in the process. The only question that remains is whether any of these companies above have what it takes to succeed in this hyper-competitive market.
Will Square, Dropbox and Prosper dominate their industries and become part of the new wave of Silicon Valley success stories like Twitter, Facebook or Google? How will you capitalize on the services of these three up and coming companies?
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