How many startups are there in 2010

Valuable Unicorns: The 10 Most Successful Startups in the World

The startup landscape harbors many risks and not all companies can cope with this intense competition. According to a study by the German Startup Monitor, the average age of a startup in Germany is just under 2.5 years. It is rare for a young company to be successful in the long term. It is even rarer that a startup generates over 100 million euros in sales and receives a company valuation of over a billion dollars. If this rating is successful, the company receives the title “Unicorn” and thus has a good chance of becoming one of the most successful startups in the world as a Unicorn company.

Most of the world's unicorns are in technology and telecommunications. Many billion-dollar startups provide financial, insurance and real estate services. Transport and logistics are also a lucrative industry for these well-known startups. It is noticeable that many of the most successful startups in the world come from China. And this development is not unfounded, because startups get the best market conditions in China to grow. The Chinese government supports its tech champions, and numerous financing channels are also available. The situation is similar with the successful startups worldwide in relation to the USA. There, too, unicorns find support for their business concepts very easily, which, due to the success of the unicorn companies, also has an impact on the list of the most successful startups in the world.

The 10 most successful startups in the world over the past ten years

In a global comparison, it is all the more difficult for a startup to stand out from the competition. But some companies have made it and can prove themselves through particularly high sales, rapid growth and a high market value. The following most successful startups in the world are particularly noticeable as unicorn companies:

1. Snapchat Inc.

There are now many messenger services for smartphones. But the US startup Snapchat Inc. has become famous for the fact that photos and other media are only visible for a certain number of seconds on their Messenger and are then automatically deleted. It is now known that the files sent by the well-known startup can be restored, but the release of Snapchat in 2011 was a sensation. The number of users rose rapidly, just two years after it was founded, it was 350 million messages sent per day. Today there are 10 billion video clips every day. In 2016 the company was renamed Snap Inc. and currently employs 3,200 people. The annual turnover is 1.4 billion euros, which results in an estimated market value of 28 billion euros and makes this unicorn one of the most successful startups in the world.

2. Xiaomi

While Samsung or Apple are better known as smartphone manufacturers in this country, everyone in China knows the smartphones from the startup Xiaomi. The well-known startup Xiaomi Tech is currently the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. In 2010, the Chinese founders set themselves the goal of producing inexpensive high-end smartphones and two years later they were able to generate EUR 800 million in sales. Today 24,000 people are employed by one of the most successful startups in the world and the annual turnover is 22 billion euros. As a next step, the company wants to establish itself on the European market with its “Mi Stores”. Just recently, the first German Mi Store of this successful startup opened worldwide in Düsseldorf.

And the @XiaomiDE Mi Store is open! 🎉

- Allround PC (@Allround_PC) July 23, 2020

3. ByteDance

A technology company can be assumed relatively quickly behind the company name ByteDance. And that is also correct, because the well-known startup, founded in China in 2012, has several adaptive content platforms. It quickly rose to become one of the world's leading users of artificial intelligence. But ByteDance achieved its financial breakthrough in 2016 through the video portal TikTok. In November 2019, TikTok reached one billion monthly active users, making it one of the fastest growing companies and the most successful startups in the world. At the beginning of May 2020 there were over two billion downloads and an annual turnover of 160 million euros. As a result of this development and further investments, the company value of the Unicorn company ByteDance is currently estimated at 80 billion euros.

Is it better to be perfect and late, or good and on time? #ByteDance #QuestionOftheDay

Posted by ByteDance on Wednesday, March 11, 2020

4. Pinterest

Anyone who likes to exchange photos or be inspired by recipe photos has certainly heard of the well-known startup Pinterest. The name is a suitcase word from the English words "pin" for to attach and "interest" for interest. This means that you can memorize useful ideas that correspond to your own interests on pin boards. The photo community was founded in the USA in 2010 and has since doubled its number of users every year. There are currently around 1,700 employees at Pinterest and around 300 million users are active on the platform. This year advertising sales are expected to amount to around 1.2 billion euros, which will make the Unicorn company one of the most successful startups in the world.

5. Doordash

The well-known startup Doordash does not have a unique business idea, but executes it best. Because the service is comparable to Lieferando in Germany: Customers can order food from restaurants using the Doordash app, drivers pick it up there and deliver it home. The startup was founded in 2012 by four students from the elite Stanford University in California. Today Doordash offers its service in around 600 cities in the USA. In addition, as one of the most successful startups in the world, it even delivers supermarket purchases through a cooperation with Walmart. Doordash currently employs around 7,500 people, plus an annual turnover of 800 million euros and an estimated market value of 3.6 billion euros.

6. DiDi Chuxing

The Uber app is now known around the world as an online switching service and transport service provider. However, the app does not appear in this list because Uber was founded in 2009. DiDi Chuxing is considered its Chinese counterpart and was only launched in 2012. Just two years later, the well-known startup was valued at $ 1 billion, making it a unicorn. Around 7 billion journeys are offered each year, and the number of users is 550 million annually. In the meantime, the startup has also entered the bicycle rental and bus transport sectors, has established itself as the market leader in many cities and is one of the most successful startups in the world. The current market value is around 40 billion euros.

7. Oyo

Oyo is the only most successful startup in the world on this list that is not from China or the USA. Instead, the company was founded in India in 2013. In the meantime, however, it has also expanded to China, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and even Great Britain. Oyo became known through the operation of around 8,500 cheap hotels in 230 cities around the world. A night here sometimes costs only 12 euros with a minimal principle of equipment and comfort. For customers who usually stay in cheap hostels with eight-bed rooms and shared showers, this is completely sufficient. The well-known startup currently has an annual turnover of 800 million euros and is valued at 4.4 billion euros.

8. Juul Labs

Electronic cigarettes are still very popular and Juul is the leader in the industry. Founded in 2015, the manufacturer already has a market share of 72 percent in the USA. Behind this success story are two American product designers who developed Juul as a project for the inhaler manufacturer Pax Labs and who later continued to work independently. Today, as one of the most successful startups in the world, the company generates 1.6 billion euros in sales annually and is valued at 38 billion euros. The reason why the Unicorn company is so successful is that its nicotine mixture is stronger and at the same time cheaper than that of the competition. Critics complain, however, that the amount of nicotine of this well-known startup is artificially increased and is even more harmful to health.

9. WeWork

Anyone who sets up or owns a company usually also needs office space. The rent for such a business space can, depending on the location, exceed your own budget or represent too much effort. The US startup WeWork therefore provides coworking spaces for startups, self-employed and corporations. The first co-working office was opened in Brooklyn in 2010; today there are over 650 locations worldwide with almost 10,000 employees. In Germany, the well-known startup has locations in Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Cologne and Munich, for example. The market value of the unicorn company WeWork is currently estimated at almost 40 billion euros.

10. Ant Financial

The company name Ant Financial is unknown to most Europeans, but this well-known startup is the highest-rated financial technology company in the world, valued at up to 150 billion euros. The Unicorn company was founded in China in 2014 and literally means “ant finance”. And this company name also describes the business model, because many small fees result in a huge network and sales of 14 billion euros. Anyone with a Chinese passport can, for example, use the startup to buy and manage investment products, pay their electricity bills, top up their mobile phone credit, order a ride-sharing service or send parcels. This combination has made Ant Financial the most financially successful startup in the world.

Top startups from other countries and cities: