Hottest Stealth Startups [Graphic]

Rumors of “the death of stealth mode” have been greatly exaggerated. Ever since angel investor Chris Dixon tweeted, “New early-stage start up trend: get big quietly, so you don’t tip off potential competitors” back in March you can’t grab a coffee at The Creamery without hearing a “We’re in stealth mode” come out some neophyte founder’s mouth.

Multiple startups I have contacted for coverage have uttered the dreaded epithet and declined press despite a growing userbase. I’ve spoken to a handful of VCs who hold that it’s getting increasingly difficult to announce funding or undertake any sort of publicity for the nascent companies they’re involved with.

Perhaps the most absurd thing about the state of stealth mode is that many of these under-the-radar companies still manage to be over-hyped (!). In testament to this, the Quora thread “What are the hottest stealth startups in Silicon Valley right now?” explores the ambiguities of stealth mode and forms a consensus on the most buzzed about stealth companies in Silicon Valley currently.

Some, like 3LM, we’ve tracked down and got the skinny on. And others, like Rockmelt, are still on our radar. (FYI. If you’ve got a Facebook Fan Page, Marc Andreesen as an investor and are working on a new browser, YOU ARE NOT STEALTH.)

We’ve created an expandable PearlTree for those hungry for more information on the secretive startups. But really it’d be great if some of them would just remove the cloak of invisibility or whatever marks the transition to non-stealthy behavior.

Hey guys, I’m really curious about all the cool things you’ve been working on, and I promise we won’t bite (I’m looking a you Path).