Economics

The World's Top 10 Startups

Uber, Xiaomi, and Airbnb are the three most valuable startups in the world, but the lists is rapidly evolving.

Venture capitalists from all over the world look to invest in startups with the next big idea. Some startups, such as Uber, received equity funding amounting to $7.4 billion, and grew into a company worth more than $50 billion. The list of top startups is dominated by web-based companies.

1. Uber

Coming in at first place is the American startup, Uber, which is valued at $51 billion. The startup was founded in March 2009 as UberCab by two American entrepreneurs, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, who had previously founded other successful companies. Kalanicj had founded another startup, Red Swoosh, which he sold for $19 million, while Camp was one of the founders of StumbleUpon, another successful entrepreneurial venture. Ryan Graves was hired as Uber’s first employee in February 2010, and later rose to become the company's current COO. During its conception stage, Uber received $200,000 of seed capital from venture capitalists. Uber operates through mobile app software, which allows users all over the world to hire cabs or taxis. The company reached its 1 billionth-ride milestone in 2015, with the company moving into new markets around the world in countries such as Canada, India, France, Germany, Spain, Kenya and Taiwan.

2. Xiaomi

Xiaomi was selected as the second best startup in the world with a valuation of $46 billion. The Chinese-based company is primarily involved in the production of electronic gadgets such as smartphones, laptops, and tablet computers. The company has operations in Singapore, Malaysia, and India, and plans to expand into Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil, and the Philippines. Xiaomi was co-founded in April 2010 by Lei Jun, who is the current CEO of the company, together with seven other entrepreneurs and received investments from institutional investors, including IDG Capital, Temasek Holdings, and Qiming Venture Partners. The company released its first smartphone, the Xiaomi Mi1, in 2011. Xiaomi conducted a round of equity financing in December 2011, and was able to receive $1 billion from institutional and private investors. Other products offered by Xiaomi include the MiCloud (a cloud storage and cloud computing service), MiBox (a smart set-top box), and MiTV (a line of smart TVs).

3. SpaceX

SpaceX is the famous aerospace company based in Hawthorne, California, founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, who owns 54% of the company. The company is involved in various operations, but its core business is space travel. SpaceX became the first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station, when its spacecraft, Dragon, completed a successful mission to the International Space Station in 2010. SpaceX intends to become the first company to conduct interplanetary transport. The company is valued at $12 billion and is one of the top startups around the world. In 2015, SpaceX received an equity investment of $1 billion from Google and Fidelity.

Internet-based Startups

The internet has provided entrepreneurs with an easier platform to launch their startups without investing in brick-and-mortar structures. These internet-based startups have grown to become billion-dollar companies with operations around the world.

The World's Top 10 Startups

RankStartupValue (in billions of US$)
1Uber51.0
2Xiaomi46.0
3Airbnb25.5
4Palantir20.0
5Snapchat16.0
6Didi Kuaidi16.0
7Flipkart15.0
8SpaceX12.0
9Pinterest11.0
10Dropbox10.0

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