To me (as an employee of a Japanese company of 15 years) the elephant in the room is that there are no Japanese companies on the list; nor can I remember there ever being one; nor could I name a single Japanese startup, despite have visited about a dozen times.
Peter, what about Riviera Waves?
start-up developing WiFi 802.11 a, b, g and selling it as IP. OK, it's a spin-off (Indian design service) but they run in 100% start-up mode... and it look like they could be successful.
They are based in France, is it an issue? (joke)
However, I don't think we should just use startup as an alternative to privately-held or as a euphemism for "not-yet-commercially-successful"
Of course development timescales may differ by industry segment.
Certainly startups are often stealthy for a couple of years before they are even to start their tilt at the market.
There are some circumstances where engineers form a company....go away and do something else.....and only later start to develop their business. So you end up with X years of existence but only Y years of endeavor.
There are no hard and fast rules but i think it is hard to class a ten-year old company as a startup.
Hi Peter: when is a start up no longer a start up? That's a good question as there are no hard or fast rules. As part of the semiconductor start-up alumni I tend to think of accession from the start up ranks is more about financial maturity than time measures... there's an argument to say that all the while a company is being funded (i.e. on the way to being profitable) then it could be classed as a start-up. Let's be realistic here - semiconductor start-ups are an endangered species for a number of reasons - not least because the old fabless model takes (on average) 10 years to get firmly off the ground... we've seen the evolution of new models in the past 6 or 7 years which seek to reduce investment and time scales and ultimately the risk to investment as a response. On the question of Nujira - I still class them as a start up. They've had an interesting journey which flies in the face of the trend. Whilst many investors are encouraging start ups away from the fabless model, in Nujira's case they were actively encouraged to go fabless! Hence they may be xx years old but their foray into the fabless start up land has been much more recent... so I class them firmly as a start up (oh and they've received money fairly recently and investing that in development).
Thanks for maintaining this list over the years - always of great interest.