Household brand names are worth a lot of money to big business and often the sale of these companies can reach 10 figures; well over a billion dollars.
The internet opens the door for many opportunities to either earn a bit of money on the side or to build a wildly successful business that is acquired by a larger company, leaving you laughing all the way to the bank.
While most of us could only dream of our business being sold for a cool million bucks, for others, that’s just not enough.
“A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? … A Billion dollars.”The Social Network
Let’s take a look at some high profile Internet companies that have been sold for over a billion dollars.
A Billion Dollars Plus
1. Alibaba : $1 Billion Dollars
Acquired by Yahoo! in August 2005
Alibaba.com is a business-to-business e-commerce company that primarily serves as a directory of Chinese manufacturers, connecting them to other companies around the world looking for suppliers.
Yahoo is currently a 40% share holder in the parent Alibaba Group.
They operate two marketplaces; the first is an international marketplace based in English tailored to global importers and exporters in China; the second is a Chinese marketplace that focuses on suppliers and buyers trading domestically in China.
2. Instagram : $1 Billion Dollars
Acquired by Facebook in April 2012
Developed by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Instagram is a free photo sharing application that first appeared on the iPhone.
Instagram allows users to take photos, apply a filter, and share it across social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, Flickr, and Posterous.
The application is compatible with any web-enabled device running iOS or Android.
3. Tumblr : $1.1 Billion Dollars
Acquired by Yahoo! in May 2013
Tumblr functions as a subset of blogging that allows users to post quick streams of consciousness in the form of short writing, pictures and video.
Tumblr is very easy to use and is popular with 18-25 year old demographic.
What makes Tumblr different is the “Share on Tumblr” bookmarklet, which allows other Tumblr users to ‘re-blog’ the post on their own tumblr.
4. Yammer : $1.2 Billion Dollars
Acquired by Microsoft in June 2012
Yammer is a social network that integrates with other systems such as Microsoft SharePoint and enables a “virtual office” for the businesses by connecting employees, content, conversations, and business data in one location.
Employees can create groups to collaborate on projects and share and edit documents. Yammer enables users to collaborate in real-time, using any web-enabled device.
5. PopCap Games : $1.3 Billion Dollars
Acquired by Electronic Arts in July 2011
PopCap Games create easy-to-learn and irresistible games for all ages including award-winning hits like Bejeweled, Zuma, Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies.
Their games can be played everywhere on PC and Mac, iPhone and iPad, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, Facebook.
6. PayPal : $1.5 Billion Dollars
Acquired by eBay in October 2002
PayPal is a money transfer and payment service that allows individuals and businesses to send and receive money via email, phone, text message or Skype. PayPal connects directly to bank accounts and credit cards.
PayPal created the Gausebeck-Levchin test, which is the blurry box of letters and numbers, created in the early days to help prevent unauthorized access by automated systems.
eBay already had an online payment system called Billpoint, which was quickly phased out after the acquisition of PayPal.
7. YouTube : $1.65 Billion Dollars
Acquired by Google in October 2006
YouTube is the second largest search engine (after Google) and provides a platform for users to create, connect and discover the world’s videos.
YouTube has partnered with major movie studios, record labels, and web original creators to fill paid channels as well as free, ad-supported video watching.
Read more: 10 Youtube Alternative Video Hosting Sites
8. DoubleClick : $3.1 Billion Dollars
Acquired by Google in March 2008
DoubleClick is a provider of digital marketing technology and services. Companies use DoubleClick for expertise in serving advertising, media, video, search and affiliate marketing.
9. aQuantive : $6.4 Billion Dollars
Acquired by Microsoft in May 2007
The second largest acquisition in Microsoft’s history (the largest being Skype), aQuantive became part of Microsoft’s newly-created Advertiser and Publisher Solutions (APS) Group.
On July 2, 2012, Microsoft announced that it would take a $6.2 billion writedown, mostly related to the 2007 acquisition of aQuantive.
The group is now simply called Microsoft Advertising.
10. Skype : $8.5 Billion Dollars
Acquired by eBay in September 2005 for $2.6 Billion
Sold to Microsoft in May 2011 for $8.5 Billion
The Skype software allows users to make voice and video calls over the Internet. Skype-to-Skype calls are known as VOIP and are free, while calls to landline and mobile phones are charged at competitive rates.
Skype reportedly had over 665 million registered users prior to Microsoft’s acquisition.
Skype’s original name “Sky peer-to-peer” comes from the use of it’s peer-to-peer system (similar to Kazaa/Bit-torrent) rather than a client-server system.
Skype is now available across PC, Mac, web browser, iOS and Android devices and xBox.
Credit: All figures sourced from Crunchbase.