Last year the overall economy made great strides. In particular, the real estate market rebounded, lending picked up, mega deals became the norm, investors actively looked for opportunities, and the job market continued to improve. With companies from across industries continuing to thrive all signs point to 2015 resulting in great success for more rising stars, and has many wondering who will become the next billion dollar startup.
So far 2015 has an all-around optimistic atmosphere. We think that these five companies are probably especially pleased right now, and are looking at this year with great excitment.
Facebook acquired this five-year-old mobile messaging service with hundreds of millions of users worldwide for an astonishing $19 billion early in 2014. Fortunately, WhatsApp will continue to operate as an independent arm of the mega company, so those employed at the time of the acquisition were part of the deal. And, in addition to cash and stock payments, the WhatsApp founders will be eligible for billions more in stock grants if they stick around long enough.
Founded and spearheaded by America’s youngest self-made female billionaire, this health technology and medical laboratory services company is seeking to transform health care. The Theranos diagnostic blood test does not require any needles, tourniquets, or vials. Simplifying this routine health procedure, both the process and cost, could save the country billions of dollars and make medical care accessible to vulnerable populations and the uninsured. Hospital groups and industry professionals are floored by the company’s potential, and considering the billionaires backing it and its seriously talented board, the sky’s the limit for this innovative venture.
The biggest Chinese online commerce company had the largest initial public offering (IPO) in the world in 2014, and their IPO surpassed the last record-breaking IPO by several billion dollars. Investors are reaping the rewards and expectations for the company remain high. It doesn’t seem necessary to say much more than that!
This creative company has come up with various useful business solutions, including its widely used mobile payment platform. Small businesses all across the globe have downloaded Square Register, enabling them to accept the most popular form of payment these days - debit and credit cards - even though they don’t have traditional credit card terminals or cash registers. Even big companies use Square products for some of their transactions, including Starbucks and Whole Foods. So far, overseas companies have had to figure out how to access the US app store to download it and deal with converting dollars to the local currency. Now, Square is going global, meaning it will be available in multiple languages and currencies. This expansion will further spur its popularity and growth, and 2015 should prove to be a great year.
This startup is aiming to simplify the complex payroll process that businesses endure on a monthly basis. Clearly, they are on to something, because their list of investors includes a number of the big names in Silicon Valley. With such impressive support behind them, not to mention a revolutionary approach to solving payroll problems, this company is poised to make a splash in 2015 and for years to come.