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These days in Silicon Valley, a billion dollars seems downright quaint. The enthusiasm for social networking and mobile apps has venture capitalists clamoring to give money to young companies.
The exuberance has given rise to an elite club of startups — all younger than seven years and all worth billions. Successive investments in Twitter have reportedly cranked its value 33 percent, to $4 billion, while Zynga, creator of the popular Facebook game FarmVille, is worth more than $5 billion. Google is willing to pay $6 billon for Groupon, an online coupon company that was valued at $1.35 billion only eight months ago.