The hot list: 15 Boston consumer tech companies with big mo

TripAdvisor's new building in Needham can accommodate about 1,500 employees; nearly 1,000 work there today.
TripAdvisor's new building in Needham can accommodate about 1,500 employees; nearly 1,000 work there today.

While visiting TripAdvisor’s new headquarters last month, I started to put together a mental list: consumer-focused Internet and software companies in the Boston area that have strong momentum, good buzz, and at least 50 employees.

The criteria: these are not branch offices (that eliminated companies like Kayak, GSN Games, and Sonos, which have engineering teams in Boston but are headquartered elsewhere); their main business is building and marketing something directly to consumers; and they can legitimately be called technology-driven companies.

Companies are listed roughly in order of how many employees they have. I ran my list past a handful of angel investors and venture capitalists to make sure I wasn’t missing anyone, but feel free to post a comment about other companies you think belong here.

• TripAdvisor: Network of travel-related web sites.

• Wayfair: Operator of e-commerce sites focused on home furnishings and decor.

• Care.com: Marketplace for childcare providers, pet-sitters, and house cleaners.

• Rue La La: Time-limited sales of high-end merchandise and experiences.

• Carbonite: Online data backup for consumers and small businesses.

• Harmonix Music Systems: Maker of videogames like “Rock Band,” “Dance Central,” and “Disney Fantasia.”

• DraftKings: Play fantasy sports with real money.

• PillPack: Online pharmacy with elegant packaging.

• CarGurus: Information for car shoppers.

• peerTransfer: Making tuition payments simpler and cheaper for international students.

• Drizly: Mobile app for getting booze delivered.

• SimpliSafe: Modular home security system with no subscription fees.

• Circle Internet Financial: Bitcoin-based money transfer.

• Foodler: Online food delivery in cities including Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

• BookBub: Sends out daily e-mails about free and discounted e-books.

Update: One unintentional omission from this list was Invaluable, which hosts live auctions of art, antiques, and collectibles for real-world auction houses. They’ve got 127 employees; I wrote about them last June.

Scott Kirsner writes the Innovation Economy column every Sunday in the Boston Globe, in which he tracks entrepreneurship, investment, and big company activities around New England.
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