When is a startup no longer a startup? It’s a question that’s short of a definitive answer; although at the point they start turning a serious profit would be a good point to ditch the tag. Tech companies are prolifically labelled as startups, some still despite a decade in the field, and their values are continuing to surge as investors look to latch onto the next big thing. It’s no surprise then that the most valuable startups in the world are all in tech, in some form or another.
The former PayPal entrepreneur and CEO of Tesla Motors, prolific entrepreneur Elon Musk’s space transport company SpaceX, founded in 2002, designs and builds vehicles for astro-discovery and exploration. With 15 Falcon 9 rockets launched and only 1 partial failure, SpaceX is pushing at the final frontier.
A software and services company, Palantir can count clients such as the CIA and FBI signed up for their data analysis. Set up in 2004 with Alexander Karp, the company has announced they wont be pursuing an IPO but private funding valuations have pegged them as one of the world’s most valuable startups.
SNAPCHAT: $16 TO $19BILLION
Actually valued at $10billion in December 2014, the firm is seeking a second round valuation between $16 to $19billion. Only about 3 years old, the photo-messaging app can count Yahoo and Kleiner Perkins among its current investors.
The incredibly popular crowd-sourced-taxi-hailing app Uber, has revolutionised private transport for so many but its $40billion+ valuation may shock even more. Having been around since 2009, the company has faced a lot of backlash from established taxi companies, but that certainly hasn’t held them back.
In just under 5 years, the Chinese electronics distributor has become one of the most valuable companies, and the highest valued startup in the world. Their reasonably priced smartphones are regarded as some of the best running android phones, although they’re only really available in the Asian market; it may however not be long before they make the transition west.