At 36, Victoria Ransom has already had an impressive career spearheading startups. Her latest, Wildfire, is her third effort. Wildfire provides tools for companies and organizations to manage their social media marketing -- services that are in high demand these days.
Wildfire has seen substantial growth in the past year. According to Ransom, it has hired almost 250 people. The company performed well enough to get on <a href="http://money.cnn.com/quote/quote.html?symb=GOOG&source=story_quote_link" title="">Google's</a> radar, and the search giant bought the social media service company this past August. According to a Wildfire press release announcing the purchase, "Wildfire will operate as usual, and there will be no changes to our service and support for our customers," despite the fact that it is now under the aegis of another 40 Under 40 list member, Sergey Brin.
A former financial analyst who quit to find her inner entrepreneur, Ransom had already started up an adventure travel company and a software company by the time she and fiance Alain Chuard created Wildfire in 2008 to help businesses market across social media platforms. It caught on like, ahem, wildfire. In 2011 the firm’s revenue tripled; this year its employee count reached close to 400, and it opened offices in eight cities around the world, including Singapore and Paris. Though Ransom wasn’t looking to sell, Wildfire’s rapid growth caught Google’s eye. The search giant acquired Wildfire for some $400 million in August. Ransom plans to stick around for the next few years, but says she already feels that entrepreneurial itch. Up next: A not-for-profit. –C.L. Michael Lazerow