Oak Investment Partners backs 4 of the 50 companies in the 2012 WSJ list of top VC-backed companies. This isn't the first time Oak has been well-represented in that list, or in other important lists. But it feels great every time.
Venture Capital and VC-backed Companies
There are a very large number of companies backed by VC's, and a similarly large number that aspire to that backing. For this list, 5,900 companies were considered, so the list is what the WSJ considers the top 1% of all such companies. An elite list!
As to VC firms, there are also quite a few. The NVCA gives a couple definitions; depending on the one you prefer, there are between 460 and 791 venture firms in the US. This means that most venture firms probably have no companies they back on the WSJ list.
As I've done in the past, here's a quick summary of the companies:
#1 Genband. This is a rapidly growing, complex company that provides products and services deep in the innards of networks. The simplest way to understand them is experts in implementing the long evolution of fixed networking and communications systems to ones that are IP-based, for example VOIP.
#25 SmartDrive. SmartDrive has been on the list before. They're pretty much the same thing as they were, except they've clawed their way higher in the list this year, as they richly deserve. They still help drivers of commercial vehicles drive more safely and use less fuel. The market has rewarded them by installing their service on more than 10,000 commercial vehicles.
#27 Movik. Movik is deep inside the mobile networks. Most people don't think about what happens when they talk on their mobile phones while walking or driving, and they don't need to, because of the astounding web of complex systems that make it all happen. But we all know the mobile networks aren't flawless, in spite of the billions of dollars spent to upgrade and maintain them. This is where Movik steps in. With their deep insiders' knowledge, they have constructed a kind of real-time "big data" application with analytics and automated responses. They get a flow of information from the various internal systems and decide, for example, that a person walking and talking is connected to a local cell tower that is becoming overloaded, and there's a nearby one that he's walking towards that has excess capacity -- and gets him switched. It's cool stuff, and creates a win for customers and the carriers.
#46 Keep Holdings.I'm having a lot of fun working with Scott Kurnitt and his ace team, based here in NYC, as they rapidly evolve their way from good ideas and implementations to great ones. Starting with AdKeeper, they've now added a service