As 2012 draws to a close, it looks like 2013 is shaping up to be another seminal year in the world of technology. Over the last 12 months we saw the unveiling of some massive tech IPOs along with major enterprise tech acquisitions, such as Microsoft's purchase of office social media hub Yammer. Emerging trends, such as increasing mobile use and cloud computing, are transforming our world more than ever.
We've put together a list of companies to watch in 2013, both in enterprise and consumer technology. Whether you're a potential investor, an eager developer or a devotee of all things tech, these are the companies to keep an eye on.
Kaltura created the world's first open source video platform, which allows organizations to easily create and deploy their own Corporate Tube or Campus Tube. Kaltura's robust video platform is utilized by over 300,000 companies and website, ranging from the likes of Groupon (for training and communication), to Wikipedia. The powerful and future-proof nature of Kaltura's platform in an increasingly video-centric Internet -- 55 percent of all traffic will be video traffic within the next five years -- is just one of the reasons the company was able to secure a $25 million Series D funding round last month and is one great tech company to watch next year.
An e-commerce company that cuts the middle man out of money transfers, Dwolla is a bank account-based payment system that charges a small, flat rate for receiving money, as opposed to the percentage system favored by most major institutions. Users can now transfer anything under $10 dollars for free, and are charged just a quarter for receiving any amount higher. After starting out in Iowa in 2008, Dwolla is now available throughout the country, and users can now complete transactions instantaneously without entering their credit card information online. Whether for personal use or for small businesses and nonprofits, Dwolla is revolutionizing the way we bank.
As companies and individuals increasingly move towards the cloud, Dropbox has established itself as the go-to service for file hosting and synchronization. Dropbox lacks many of the restrictions, space constrictions and syncing problems that plague other cloud storage applications, and is ubiquitous across almost all platforms, including Windows 8 (a platform that Google recently rejected for its Drive app). Its user-friendly interface and a variety of add-ons has helped make Dropbox one of the web's most valuable start-ups, behind behemoths like Facebook and Twitter. Dropbox's user base will only grow as cloud computing becomes the standard.
Eventbrite makes your favorite events easy to create, share and even sell tickets for online. Your event can be shared across all social media outlets, whether it's a rock concert at a major venue or a painting class. This combination of social media interaction and small fees has helped drive Eventbrite's profits through the roof -- they did twice as much business in 2011 as in 2010, with $400 million worth of tickets sold. Eventbrite will continue to take on traditional ticketing companies like Ticketmaster by supporting the smaller, less complex mega-events that were, until now, vastly underserved.
In an Internet overrun with blogs, it can be difficult to get your own work noticed -- or, for that matter, to find something worth reading. Medium, the new self-publishing platform from some of the minds behind Twitter, auto-curates a stream of relevant articles, stories and collections for users to read. This works both ways, as readers see what's important to them and writers are exposed to their target audiences. The democratization of distribution -- wherein millions of people can be reporters, writers, photographers, etc. -- is a welcome change from the days of receiving our news from only a few main sources. But for those seeking quality over quantity, look to Medium -- which is still mainly in invitation-only alpha mode, but will open to the greater public next year -- to fill the void.