Tech blog TechCrunch is hosting the third iteration of its annual startup show next week, where 50 brand new sites and services are slated to be launched. The show was started in early-2007 by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington and entrepreneur and Weblogs Inc. co-founder Jason Calacanis as an alternative to the DEMO conference series. Instead of paying to be on stage (once selected) as is done at DEMO, companies selected by Arrington and Calacanis get to present for free.
Next week at the TechCrunch 50 conference, 50 new companies will take the stage and make a pitch, while about a hundred others--some new, some retreads from prior TechCrunch events, fight for attention on a paid show floor called the "Demo Pit."
How many of these companies that launched at a TechCrunch event have gone on to fame and glory? It was hard enough for these companies to make a mark when they were fighting for attention against dozens of other start-ups. It's even harder to continue momentum from a conference after the dust settles. Below are five that have done quite well, and five that haven't.
The good Mint
Mint made its public debut at the TechCrunch40 in 2007, where it won the audience choice award, netting it $50,000 in cash (that it didn't really need).
The site presents users with a bold option: give us your bank account, mortgage, and credit card information and we'll help you track how you're spending your money and give you tips and tools on how to save.
Since 2007, it's since gone on to raise two additional rounds of funding, bringing the total past $30 million. The site also has 1.4 million registered users. and claims to be "tracking $175 billion in transactions, $47 billion in assets and has identified more than $300 million in potential savings for its users." It's also won numerous awards, including a Webware 100 award in 2009, a "50 best websites of 2009" recognition from Time Magazine, as well a nod from PCMag's "Top 100 websites of 2009" Postbox
Postbox, a Mozilla-based e-mail client that launched at last year's TechCrunch50 show, has done well for itself inside a year. For one, it's publicly available and fully out of beta--which is more unusual than it should be. It's also a paid and license-based product, meaning the company isn't just giving it away for free.
Earlier this year Postbox won a Webware 100 award in the communications category as voted on by CNET readers. It was also picked as Lifehacker's "Top 10 Up-and-coming products" shortly after its release. Xobni
Another e-mail utility graduate, Xobni, came from the first TechCrunch show back in late-2007, when there were just 40 companies presenting. The product, called "Insight," was a plug-in for Microsoft's Outlook e-mail software, and could replace Microsoft's built-in search tool, as well as show users details on the frequency of those they were e-mailing with.
In the months prior to 2007's TechCrunch 40, Xobni had picked up a little more than $4 million in funding. The product, however, remained in private beta until mid-2008, after which it was opened up to the public. Then, in early January of this year, the company announced another round of funding, totaling $7 million, including Cisco Systems as one of the investors.
The company also released a paid version of its service in mid-July that costs $30 a year and adds extra features on top of the free product. It remains a product for the desktop version Microsoft Outlook only, although… Read more