Forbes Next Billion-Dollar Startups 2016

[“Next Billion-Dollar Startups 2016″ originally appeared on Forbes and is written by Amy Feldman, Susan Adams, Alex Konrad, and Chloe Sorvino.]

Startups are the spark that lights the engine of the U.S. economy. The most successful of them, companies like Airbnb, Uber, and Snapchat, change the way we live, travel and communicate. For Forbes’ second annual list of next billion-dollar startups, we’ve found 25 companies that are transforming their industries and showing tangible results. They’ve already attracted tens and in some cases hundreds of millions in investment capital while in the midst of explosive growth.

We put together the list with the help of TrueBridge Capital Partners, a nine-year-old venture firm in Chapel Hill, NC, that also collaborates with Forbes on our annual Midas list of the world’s top tech investors. TrueBridge asked 180 venture firms to nominate startups and to encourage their portfolio companies to nominate themselves. It also fielded entries directly, through a link that appeared on its website and on Forbes.com. To be considered, firms had to give TrueBridge their revenue numbers, their most recent valuations, a list of investors, data on their customers and an outline of their business model and growth trajectory. TrueBridge examined more than 100 companies, then passed a list of 50 to the Entrepreneurs team at Forbes. We did further reporting and analysis, examining companies’ track records, evaluating business plans, and talking to founders, investors, customers and competitors. We also gave TrueBridge an additional 20 companies to evaluate. The list is confined to U.S. startups.

After much winnowing, we think we’ve come up with a fascinating group of companies we’re confident are heading toward billion-dollar status.

Next Billion-Dollar Startups Spotlight

YapStone

Founders: Tom Villante, Matt Golis; Equity raised: $50 million; Estimated 2016 revenue: $235 million; Key investors: Accel, Meritech Capital Partners

What it does: Offers a secure online payment service for vacation and apartment rentals through clients like HomeAway and VRBO. While there’s lots of competition in the online payment space, including major players PayPal and Square, Yapstone’s focus has given it an edge. Says CEO Tom Villante, 48: “Our goal is to be at $1 billion in revenues by 2020.” For more on YapStone, see here.