How 11 Startups With Billion-Dollar Valuations Actually Make Money

Every month or two, another tech startup enters the billion-dollar club.

News stories dutifully report the amount of the round and the names of the investors, along with the new valuation number.

But a lot of times, a more fundamental question is left unanswered: How do these companies actually make money? Do they make money?

Here are the answers: The business models of 10 tech companies who haven't yet filed to go public but are reportedly valued over $1 billion -- along with one company, Foursquare, that's getting close to that number.

It's a mix of straight e-commerce, transaction brokering, and advertising.

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Matt Rosoff is an editor at Silicon Alley Insider. Prior to joining SAI, he was an analyst at Microsoft for 10 years and wrote about music and digital technology for CNET News.com.

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