As 2014 wraps up, there's one thing we can agree on: It was a wild year for tech start-ups.
Trends included the sharing economy, crowdfunding, wearables, mobile payments, the enterprise space with big data and flash storage. And investors chased valuations into the stratosphere. Through the first three quarters of 2014, venture capitalists poured more money into U.S. start-ups than in any full year since 2001, according to the National Venture Capital Association.
And we had controversy. Plenty of juicy controversy.
There have been numerous lists showing start-ups that raised the most cash, while other upstarts joined the billion-dollar club. So we at CNBC.com decided to take a different approach. We asked this question: Which tech start-ups got the most ink in 2014—in terms of just a passing mention, as well as more intense coverage?
We got some help from AirPR, a San Francisco-based start-up that provides data and analytics to public relations professionals.
AirPR compiled two lists: The first scanned the company's vast database of English-language articles from across the globe to determine which start-ups, founded after 1999, got the most mentions.
For the second list, AirPR put its algorithms to work to find stories that dug a little deeper and were about start-ups—instead of just references, indicating which companies got the most meaningful coverage. Here's the rundown of the two lists based on AirPR analysis.
10 tech start-ups that received the most press mentions in 2014
While the online bulletin board Pinterest has long been a Silicon Valley darling—valued at $1.5 billion way back in mid-2012—it was only the eighth most-popular subject of stories among start-ups.
Pinterest's name pops up with frequency because it's become among the most trafficked sites in the world, and was the 41st most popular U.S. web property in March, according to comScore. Pinterest is a favored place consumers turn to see what's fashionable, to find a great salad recipe or to discover new ways to decorate kids' bedrooms.