As the Wall Street Journal puts it, “Silicon Valley investors are already on the hunt for their next Instagram,” and an influential group including Greylock Partners, Redpoint Ventures, and even Richard Branson himself have funded the startup app firm Path to the tune of $30 million. That cash was at a notional value for Path, a more closed, personal social sharing app designed in response to Facebook’s push for public access, of around $250 million. Path is pretty disruptive, and the flurry of excitement comes as the financial echoes of Instagram’s billion-dollar purchase by Facebook still reverberate around the world. But the WSJ’s point is, argue many, an interesting one: That’s because while it’s true investors are looking for the next Instagram, Path is not it. In terms of business model, boutique appeal, number of users, and growth curve, it’s a different beast, and expecting it to go billion-dollar-crazy is almost crazy.
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