No. 1 on the list is Castlight Health, based in San Francisco, and No. 3 is Xactly Corp., from San Jose. Castlight makes "web-based software that gives employees personalized views of medical benefits and treatment costs." Xactly makes "web-based software for managing sales compensation."
Criteria for eligibility on the list:
To be eligible for the ranking—compiled by research firm VentureSource, a unit of Wall Street Journal owner News Corp.—companies must have received an equity round of financing in the past three years and be valued at less than $1 billion, as the aim is to identify lesser-known contenders. That excludes a number of prominent companies, including Facebook, Twitter and Groupon Inc. Some 5,743 candidates were considered.
Criteria used to rank the companies:
• More money is better: A firm with more capital to deploy than its competitors will have an advantage.
• Growth is good: Companies with higher valuations for their equity are more successful than smaller ones.
• Intangibles abound: Company success can't be reduced to an equation.
All of that is explained in this Journal video.