Where Are They Now: Klout, DropBox, Assistly

In early 2011, we looked at Assistly, Dropbox and Qriously as tools that could help small businesses and startups. We had to take a look --- where is everyone now? So far the tools, apps, companies we’ve been watching are steadily growing up into first movers and disrupters. Of our three follows above we have one acquisition, one member of the billion-dollar valuation club and one positioned to be there soon. We might even see an IPO from this group. One thing is for sure: social media isn’t going away and those who are mastering it are riding the wave to the top.

In early 2011, we looked at Assistly, Dropbox and Qriously as tools that could help small businesses and startups. We had to take a look — where is everyone now?

For some perspective, Facebook was at 400 million active users and Twitter had 200 million in the winter of 2010. Facebook is now publicly traded with 1.1 billion users each month (a good-sized portion of the planet) and Twitter has an estimated $10 billion valuation and is in a huge acquisition battle against Yahoo!, which is now being led by Marissa Mayer. Wow, how much can change in a few years!

KLOUT:

2010 ($1.5 million Series A), 2012 ($30 millon Series C)

Funding to Date: $40 million

Klout back in August 2009 had just acquired Klout.com (they only had klout.net) and closed their Seed Round. Founder Joe Fernandez moved the company from NYC to San Francisco and started building out more of the technology that would soon be what Klout is today: the standard for measuring online influence. At the time Klout was in one of Twitter’s old offices and their growth has followed a similar path. Klout is said to have over 100 employees with their latest offices in SOMA. We predict Klout will be the new version of consumer credit scores.

DROPBOX:

2010 ($6 million Series A), 2011 ($250 million Series B)

Funding to Date: $257MM

In between funding rounds, when DropBox first caught our eye, we listed DropBox as one of eight great resources for Startups back in early 2011. Google docs was in its early stages and Google Drive was not even an embryo, however DropBox was a free service with rapid growth (there are now premium accounts and upgrades possible). While the current number of users is unknown, last year DropBox hit over 100 Million users and is rumored to be a large success to watch, possibly an IPO candidate for next year. Their growth is surely on track to disrupt major players in the space like Yahoo!

ASSISTLY

2010 ($1.7 million Series A) 2011 ($4 million Series B)

Funding to date: $5.7 million, acquired for $50 million by Salesforce

Only a few months after we pointed out Assistly as one of our eight resources for startups, Assistly was successfully acquired by Salesforce.com for $50MM in cash. Assistly eventually became Desk.com and grows underneath the Salesforce umbrella. Back in 2010 when startups were using Assistly for the help and support tickets, the company was less than a year old with some criticism, but positioned itself well for small and medium sized businesses, giving Salesforce a direct way to enter the ZenDesk and GetSatisfaction space.

So far the tools, apps, companies we’ve been watching are steadily growing up into first movers and disrupters. Of our three follows above we have one acquisition, one member of the billion-dollar valuation club and one positioned to be there soon. We might even see an IPO from this group. One thing is for sure: social media isn’t going away and those who are mastering it are riding the wave to the top.