Moore good publicity for fast-growing Appia.

The Wall Street Journal’s third annual ranking of the nation’s top 50 venture capital-backed companies called “The Next Big Thing”includes apps specialist Appia in Durham.

No. 1 on the list is Genband, which has a major presence in RTP.

Appia, founded by Jud Bowman in 2008 when he bought the smartphone assets of Motricity, came in 22nd on the 2012 WSJ list.

A year ago, Appia came in 15th.

Unfortunately for the Triangle and North Carolina, Appia is the only local company to crack the elite list.

Genband is based in Texas, but it has 500 or so employees in RTP. Genband came to the Triangle in 2010 when it acquired the VoIP business of bankrupt Nortel.

“Venture capitalists are still investing in flashy Internet start-ups, but the ‘Next Big Thing’ is more likely to be a maker of humdrum Internet plumbing for businesses,” WSJ says in its report. And Genband leads the way.

Appia, which has raised $28.25 million from investors, was cited for its booming apps story business as the reason for making the list.

“The company is expecting to hit 500 million downloads this year,” the report says.

Appia recently struck a major deal to expand its reach across Latin and South America.

About Genband, the Journal notes: “Genband counts telecom providers like Sprint Nextel Corp. and Comcast Corp. among its 600 customers for its VoIP technology. Its products include ‘Call Grabber,’ which allows a user to transfer a voice or video call from a land line to a mobile device or broadband-enabled TV.”

Selections were based on data compiled by research firm VentureSource. “Companies must be based in the U.S., have received an equity round of financing in the past three years and be valued at less than $1 billion, as the aim is to identify lesser-known start-ups,” the Journal says.