Almost two decades back at the beginning of the new millennium, the concept of Startups started getting global attention. By definition, Startups are new companies with a unique entrepreneurial idea that aims to take over the world by making an instant impact. Most of the early Startups, be it Apple or Facebook, had humble beginnings. A lion-share of the global startups are technology driven and hence capable of disrupting with innovative services and products.
US and China are the breeding grounds of the world’s most successful startups. Off-late Latin America has also fared very well in giving birth to new Stratups. Startups that are valued at over $1 billion are considered “Unicorns” as a reference to their elusive nature.
According to the data, recently published by CB Insights, 6 out of the 10 highest-valued startup companies of the world are based in US, 3 in China and 1 in India. The same report states that as of November 2020, there are over 500 Unicorns in the world. It is assumed that the Covid-19 pandemic shuffled the list to a certain extent as two food delivery companies have entered the Top 10 chart recently. The chart below provides a clear picture of the global top 10 most values Startups.
Image source: Statista
Valued at $140 billion, China’s AI company Bytedance, tops the chart of the world’s highest valued startups. Bytedance is also the owner of one of the world’s most popular apps, TikTok and also runs a Chinese content platform called Toutio, which specializes in tailoring a personalized newsfeed for every viewer from different media sources, by using machine learning technology.
Didi Chuxing, the Unicorn that has claimed the second position in the list also belongs to China. Valued at $62 billion, this ride-hailing service boasts of having over 550 million users and millions of drivers. An ex-employee of Alibaba, Cheng Wei founded Didi Dache in 2012. In the next 5 years the company grew aggressively merging with other companies after successfully raising hefty capitals.
One of the world’s most influential entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX is ranked third in the list with a valuation of $46 billion. A truly one of a kind company, SpaceX is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company, that was founded by Musk to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars. On May 30, 2020, SpaceX became the first private company to have successfully sent astronauts to the International Space Station.
On the fourth position is another tech firm Stripe from California, USA, that offers financial services and SaaS or Software as a service. Primarily, Stripe provides APIs and payment processing software to mobile apps and e-commerce websites. With the pandemic catalyzing the growth of e-commerce the company is expected to flourish easily in the near future.
The fifth rank has been taken by a vacation rental online company, Airbnb. The company basically facilitates guests to find homes where they can stay for a short-term vacation and enjoy authentic hospitality. The CEO and co-founder of Airbnb, Brian Chesky has won massive global appreciation for pivoting the company after the onset of the pandemic crisis.
As evident from the description of the top five highest valued Unicorns – each and every one of them are most unique and the only commonality is the possession of a tech edge. In the coming year too, tech-driven Startups are expected to be the frontrunners worldwide, although, no one can predict with certainty the exact nature of their business.