What is a possible net worth value for online start-ups 3-5 years in their existence?


I understand there is nothing like typical scenario for this, however what do you think is a possible net worth value for an online start-up in 3-5 years time, considering that the business is on a right track, steadily growing its customer base etc.

Does anybody know any real life examples particularly in social-media or business-networking business area?

Real-life case studies or examples are welcome! (Except for Groupon or Facebook, we all know the story behind that.)

Ps. I rephrased my question from typical to possible.

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asked Sep 20 '11 at 13:16
Peter K.
194 points
  • Typically it is close to 0. There are outliers. – Tim J 13 years ago
  • Even with the changes this is impossible to answer - and if we answered it, it is a useless response. It all depends. The range is $0 to $1 billion. Again, it is a pretty useless question. There are examples all over the map – Tim J 13 years ago
  • Thanks Tim, useless or not Ryan gave me a hint I was looking for. – Peter K. 13 years ago

3 Answers


Yes, somewhere between zero and a billion, with most towards the former.

answered Sep 20 '11 at 16:30
Steve Jones
3,239 points


I can't see how there is a 'typical' worth for an online startup at just about any point. It's so dependent on technology, founders, # of customers, revenue, growth potential, etc. Some startups are 'worth' hundreds of millions after a few years, some worth millions, some worth nothing.

answered Sep 20 '11 at 15:02
Ryan Doherty
598 points
  • I think you misunderstood my question. I know there is nothing like typical net wroth (that's what is also written in my original post). However I was hoping to get some real life examples of how much were some of the online business worth 3-5 years in their time considering they were doing their job right. – Peter K. 13 years ago
  • Ah, I see what you mean. I'd search around TechCrunch for their articles on funding, which would tell you approximately how old a startup is, how much they raised and their valuation. – Ryan Doherty 13 years ago
  • Thanks, will do. – Peter K. 13 years ago


If you're on track, and have customers you can likely use the following method to achieve a pretty good baseline to compare your growth with:

Calculate your current, and expected growth rates
Calculate your current internal valuation
Apply growth rate to your current evaluation, and multiply by the period, and you have a decent estimate.

Looking at the valuations of other companies will only be so helpful. EX: Friendster could try to compare themselves to Facebook, but the truth of the matter is, Friendster is no Facebook :)

The best way to forecast future valuations is to find your growth rate, and apply to your current valuation.

EX: Current company valuation is $550,000
Current growth rate is around 29% annually, remaining stable according to planning.
Based on these numbers, in year Three the company would be worth $915,255

Hope this helps a bit.

answered Sep 21 '11 at 03:37
1,162 points
  • Thanks this helps a lot! I'm happy to see someone came up with a constructive answer that I was looking for. – Peter K. 13 years ago

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