There used to be a time when a $US1 billion valuation was considered a massive success for tech startups.
Then that threshold rose to $US5 billion, and then $US10 billion.
Looking at recent media reports and The Wall Street Journal’s “The Billion-Dollar Startup Club” list, there are now over 100 “unicorn companies” — companies with $US1 billion+ valuations. There’s a growing number of “decacorn” companies, or startups with $US10 billion valuations.
Now, there’s a group of startups worth $US20 billion or more. Here are the relatively new, private tech companies that are worth tens of billions of dollars — or that will be very soon.
Valuation: $US16-20 billion
CEO: Evan Spiegel
What it does: Its photo-messaging app allows users to send photos and videos that automatically disappear after a set period of time.
Total funding: $US1.2 billion
Notable investors: Yahoo, Kleiner Perkins, Benchmark Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Coatue Management, SV Angel
Valuation: $US15 billion, but $US500 million in new funding could bump up its valuation to $US20 billion
CEO: Alexander Karp
What it does: Palantir is a software and services company that specialises in data analysis. Some of its biggest clients are government agencies like the CIA and the FBI.
Total funding: ~$US1.5 billion
Notable investors: Founders Fund, Tiger Global Management, Glynn Capital Management, Jeremy Stoppelman
Valuation: $US24 billion
CEO: Brian Chesky
What it does: Through its app and website, Airbnb provides a marketplace for people to rent out rooms or their entire homes to other people.
Total funding: ~$US1.8 billion, pending a fresh $US1 billion round of funding
Notable investors: SherpaCapital, T. Rowe Price, Founders Fund, CrunchFund, Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, DST Global, General Catalyst Partners, SV Angel, Greylock Partners
Valuation: $US41.2 billion, though a new round of funding could raise its valuation to $US50 billion.
CEO: Travis Kalanick
What it does: Uber's taxi-hailing app connects its users with drivers of private vehicles under contract with Uber. It offers different types of cars, from full-size luxury cars to smaller vehicles.
Total funding: $US5.9 billion
Notable investors: Benchmark Capital, Menlo Ventures, Google Ventures, KPCB
Valuation: $US46 billion
CEO: Jun Lei
What it does: Xiaomi is a Chinese electronics brands that manufactures smartphones. The company's smartphones are considered among the best that run Android, and the company has hardcore loyalists as Apple does in the US.
Total funding: $US1.4 billion
Notable investors: Digital Sky Technologies, Hopu Investment Management Company, DST Global, IDG Capital Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, Morningside Group
SpaceX, Elon Musk's space exploration company, designs, builds, and launches vehicles for space exploration. SpaceX has raised $US1.2 billion at a $US12 billion valuation.
Flipkart is an India-based e-commerce site specializing in electronics and content like books and music. It has a $US15 billion valuation and has raised $US2.5 billion in funding.
Virtual pinboard Pinterest has raised
$US1.3 billion at an $US11 billion valuation.