Most Valuable Tech Startup for the 2015 are those companies valued at $10 billion and upwards. In this list of tech startups 7 companies are based out of the US and 2 are non American.
Let us see one by one those companies that made to the list for the year.
Xiaomi : $46 billion
Founded in 2010 manufactures and distributes mobile phones and consumer electronics. Xiaomi develops mobile applications too. The company targets lower middle market and gained loyal fan base. Xiaomi incorporates user feedback into their design of its latest sets. Apart from these they offers products that includes TV boxes, backpacks, phone screen protectors, earphones and others power banks for the smartphones.
Xiaomi is based out of Beijing, capital of China has received $1.4 billion in 5 rounds from 6 investors. Investors like Digital Sky Technologies, HOPU Investment Management company, DST Global, IDG Capital Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and Morningside Group. The company is headed by Jun Lei.
Xiaomi flagship mobile phone Redmi, an Android smartphone made lot of waves in mobile world and MI phones with several variants giving a tough fight to competitors like Apple and Samsung. In fact in China, Xiaomi edged out Samsung from number one spot and took over the mantle.
Even in markets like India, lot of media attention is been given to the company due to positioning of the product and sale. They tied up with another startup Flipkart for sales of their mobile phone through flash sales which became huge hit in the market.
Sales of 40,000 to 50,000 smartphone sets were exhausted in 2 minutes of the sale. Xiaomi has setup research in Bengaluru, India where the company plans to design and develop the apps and smartphone to cater the world.
Uber : $41.2 Billion
Founded in 2009, Uber is a San Francisco based tech startup. The company is innovating at the intersection of logistics and lifestyle. Uber connects riders with safe, reliable and convenient transportation providers at various price points in cities across the globe.
Of late, Uber is facing lot of hurdles from the authorities in several countries. Uber’s biggest base after the US, India faced a number of issues from legal authorities and transport authority since the authorities are asking to register Uber as radio taxi services for which Uber is stating that they are technology company does not fall under Motor Vehicles Act Limits.
Uber has received several rounds of funding and has been nominated for the most promising startup of 2015 at DEMO Traction. The company has received $5.9 billion in funding and valued at $41.2 billion. 10 rounds and 42 investors have invested in Uber till now. Prominent investors among them are Goldman Sachs, Google Ventures, Blackrock, Times Internet are few.
Uber is headed by Travis Kalanik, Chief Executive Officer of the company aptly supported by a management of 70 members. Places like India, Uber is facing stiff competition from taxi operators like Ola Cabs, Meru Cabs and others. In fact Ola Cabs is mimicking the services that Uber offering in the US like Ola Cafe.
Snapchat : $10 billion
Founded in 2012 by Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel, the app is a photo messaging app allows users to take photos, record videos, add test and drawings and send them to others. The app provides fastest way to share a moment with friends. User can control the view the messages by setting timer for each message. The app alerts the user if the recipient has take screen shot of the message.
Snapchat is based out Pacific Palisades, California and headed by Evan Spiegel, Chief Executive Officer of the company. The company has done 3 acquisitions till now and raised 7 rounds of funding for $ 848 million from 12 investors. Yahoo, Benchmark, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Alibaba are notable investors in Snapchat.
Snapchat was earlier known as Picaboo, later rechristened by the Spiegel and in fact Snapchat coined selfies which is craze nowadays. The company launched its Android App during the fag end of 2012. In mid of 2013, Snapchat launched apps for iOS environment too.
Snapchat too faced number of legal suits against them filed in several courts. However the app verifies the age of the user when they key in date of birth and allows uploading the pics.
In 2013, Snapchat faced ownership suit when co founder Frank Reginald, classmate of Spiegel and Murphy conceived Snapchat concept. However they reached undisclosed settlement with Brown in September, 2014 and Frank was given the credits of creating Snapchat.
Palantir Technologies – $15 billion
Palantir Technologies is software and services company specialised in data analysis. The company is situated in Palo Alto, CA founded by Alexander Karp and others who are ex alumnus of PayPal and Stanford computer scientists. Palantir’s wants to solve the most important problems for the world’s important institutions such as CIA, FBI and others.
Palantir has developed products like Palantir Gotham and Palantir Metropolis. Palantir Gotham integrates structured and unstructured data provides advanced search and discovery capabilities, enable knowledge management and facilitate secure collaboration. The product maintains security tags at granular level.
The company runs the site Analyze The US, allows Palantir customers and affiliates to use Palantir Gotham to perform analysis on publicly available data from several government websites.
Palantir Metropolis is software for data integration, information management and quantitative analytics. The software connects to proprietary, commercial and public data sets and provides information on trends, relationships and anomalies that includes predictive analysis.
The company has been funded 15 rounds from 10 investors for $1000 million till now. Prominent investors among them Founders Fund, Tiger Global and Jeremy Stoppelman.
Palantir have acquired 4 companies till now. Voicegem was acquired in Feb 2013, Poptip and Propeller was acquired in Jul 2014 and FT Technologies was acquired in Feb 2015.
SpaceX – $12 Billion
Founded in 2002, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation is a space transportation startup company founded by Elon Musk. The company has developed reusable launch vehicles called Falcon 1 and Falcon 9. SpaceX operates from 4 locations Hawthorne, CA, McGregor near WACO, Washington DC, Cape Canaveral, FL and the Marshall Islands in the Central Pacific.
Elon Musk invested $100 million of his money in the SpaceX in March 2006. The company bought 10% stake in Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. They are planning to launch its first crew occupied spacecraft, its ‘Dragon’ in a test flight by 2017. CEO Elon Musk has set up his goal of human exploration and settlement in Mars. In January, the company announced their entry into satellite production business and global satellite internet business. The factory will be located in Seattle, Washington.
SpaceX has developed three families of rocket engines called Merlin, Kestrel and Draco RCS and in the process of two other rocket engines called SuperDraco and Raptor are few notable investors in SpaceX.
SpaceX signed a large development contract with NASA in 2012 to develop and design a crew carrying space capsule for the next generation of US Human spaceflight capabilities. Apart SpaceX two other companies Boeing and Sierra Nevada Corporation received similar development contracts.
SpaceX has received 7 rounds of funding for $1.2 billion from 10 investors. Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Rothenberg Ventures.
Flipkart – $ 11 billion
Founded in 2007 by Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal (they are not related to each other family wise). The company offers over 20 million products across 70+ categories. They are specialised in shipment of electronics, books and music. However they have panned into different categories such as furnishings and fashion too.
The company is based out Bengaluru, Karnataka. Both founders are alumni of Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and had a stint with Amazon.com. They incorporated Flipkart Online Services P Ltd in 2007 which owns Flipkart. The staff strength of Flipkart is 16,000 people. Flipkart allows its users to pay in different modes such as Cash on Delivery (COD), credit and debit transaction and net banking, electronics gift voucher and card swipe on delivery of products.
Flipkart is achieved growth in both organic and inorganic ways. They acquired WeRead – a social book discovery tool in 2010. In 2011, they acquired Mime360, a digital content platform company. They acquired Chakpak.com, a Bollywood news site offers updates, news, photos and videos. Flipkart acquired the rights to Chakpak’s digital catalogue that include 40,000 filmographies, 10,000 movies.
In 2012 they acquired Letsbuy.com – leading e retailer in electronics and integrated the traffic of the website to Flipkart. In 2014, they acquired Myntra.com for an estimated $319 million deal. In 2015, Flipkart acquired another Bengaluru based global mobile network AdiQuity.
Flipkart has raised 11 rounds of funding for $2.5 billion from 16 investors. Notable investors like Tiger Global, DST Global, Morgan Stanley, and Accel Partners have invested in the company.
Pinterest – $5 billion ( Under Revaluation)
Founded in 2008 by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp. Pinterest is a social bookmarking site with a virtual pinboard interface that visually showcases the user’s interests.
The website is a discovery and planning tool. People are called as Pinners use the site and apps to get ideas for their future. Pinterest provides access to others people board to find interesting.
Pinterest saw exponential growth during the second half of 2011. Content can also be found outside of Pinterest and simply upload it to a board via the ‘Pin it’ button.
There are several advantages of using Pinterest. Pinboards can be used by educators to teach and plan lessons. It would be helpful for both teacher and student. Teachers can pin sites for referral and students can pin and organize sources and have hands on the projects.
Page can be personalised to suit one’s need. Pinterest is popular among women. According to a study conducted by Nielsen in 2012, female audience of Pinterest accessing the website through computer was 70% in 2012.
Pinterest stores actual copies of the images being pinned and the company uses Amazon S3 cloud storage for data storage. Pinterest does not generate its own content. It draws from many resources around the web and complies them in one location to be used by users.
The company has acquired 6 companies till now. Punchfork, Livestar, Hackermeter, VisualGraph, Icebergs and Kosei. Pinterest raised funds 8 times from 22 investors for $ 1.1 billion. Bessemer Venture Partners, Rakuten, Fidelity Investments, FirstMark Capital are some of the prominent investors of the company.
Airbnb – $10 Billion
Founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk and Joe Gebbia. Airbnb is community marketplace for people to list and book unique spaces around the world through mobile phones or the internet. Whether one require an apartment for a night or a villa for a month. Airbnb provides a list of property listed by the users who are ready to provide accommodation to temporary residents.
User has to register and create a personal online profile before using the site. User has to upload the pictures of the property while listing that includes recommendations by other users, reviews by previous guests, response rating and private messaging system.
The company was started out of an idea where two of the founders were unable to pay rent for their flat in San Francisco. They made their living room into a bed and breakfast accommodating three guests on mattresses and providing homemade breakfast.
The founders concentrated on high profile events during which getting accommodation is scarce. To fund the company founders created special edition breakfast cereals with presidential candidates as inspiration. As of today Airbnb has listings of more than 500,000 in 33, 000 cities in 192 countries. The company is helping people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.
Airbnb funded 7 times till now at various dates from 20 investors for $682.8 million. Founders fund, Ashton Kutcher, Crunch Fund, Sequoia Capital are most prominent investors in the company
Dropbox – $10 Billion
Founded in 2007 by Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston. The company based in San Francisco, CA, enables users to protect their files with admin control and dedicated support. Dropbox serves customers ranging from Fortune 500 companies to local organization globally.
Dropbox offers cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud and client software. The software allows users to create a special folder on their desktops or laptops, which Dropbox synchronizes in such a way the folder can be used to view it. Files places in this folder can be accessed via the Dropbox website and mobile apps.
The idea of Dropbox was flashed to Drew Houston during his college days when he used to forget his USB flash drive. However the existing services at the time had their own challenges such internet latency, large files, and bugs to name few.
Dropbox user Amazon’s S3 storage system to store the files, however the company may switch to different storage provider in future. The company also provides technology called LAN sync which allows computers on a LAN to securely download files locally from each other instead of hitting the central servers.
The company has acquired 21 companies till now and they are Cove, Audiogalaxy, Snapjoy, Mailbox, TapEngage, Endorse, Foundry Hiring, Sold, PiCloud, Zulip, Readmill, Loom, HackPad, Bubbli, Droptalk, MobileSpan, Parastructure, Predictive Edge, CloudOn and Pixelapse.
Dropbox has received 6 rounds of funding for $1.1 billion from 24 investors till now. JP Morgan, Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital, BlackRock are few of the prominent investors in the company. The company has been valued at $10 billion.