Uber rival Didi Chuxing has recently hit a $50bn valuation, making it the most valuable startup in the world after Uber’s latest round knocked it down to a paltry $48bn.
Across the globe, here are the top 10 highest valued startups at the moment.
Timeline for Startups
- March 27, 2019
- March 21, 2019
1. Didi Chuxing
Didi Chuxing, the Chinese-based ride-sharing startup to rival Uber, has made big headways this year. It’s latest funding round, over $4bn, has put its valuation at $50bn.
As well as its expansion plans across the world, it has also been investing in Uber rivals: Lyft in the US, Taxify in South America and Europe, and Grab in Southeast Asia.
The ride-sharing startup, which was recently categorised as a transport company, has been valued at $48bn by a consortium led by Japan’s SoftBank.
Despite that fall from the top spot and the reduction to its $68bn price tag Uber remains the second-most valuable private company in the world and even with all the issues the company has faced this year, investors are still happy to pour funds into the controversial company.
The smartphone maker to rival Apple, Xiaomi, has faced some struggles of late. Whilst it was once the most valuable startup in the world, ahead of Uber, it last raised money in 2014 at a $46bn valuation.
Since then, its shipments have fallen with over cheap Chinese rivals like Oppo and Vivo pushing ahead in the market. It is reportedly seeking an IPO of $50bn in 2018, according to those familiar with the company. If Xiaoimi achieves this, however, will remain to be seen.
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Airbnb, the holiday rental website, reached profitability in the second quarter of 2016. This is a big deal for startups, and something Uber has never achieved.
It received its $31bn valuation earlier this year after closing a funding round of more than $1bn.
Yet, its facing issues with regulation. For instance, Barcelona has effectively banned people from renting out their apartments using Airbnb. And in Paris, the city is going to introduce a limit on short-term rentals to only 120 nights a year in 2018.
5. Meituan Dianping
If you’ve never heard of Meituan Dianping, it is pitched as the Chinese version of Groupon or Yelp. Its online platform allows its 280m customers to make reservations, order food and buy film tickets across 5m merchants in China, and it was valued at $30bn this year.
It said it was going to use its recent investments to fund research into artificial intelligence and data analysis.
As well, Meituan Dianping could be going public next year in the US. This would make it the largest listing of a Chinese company in the US since Alibaba’s float in 2014.
Elon Musk’s space exploration company SpaceX received a valuation of $21bn earlier this year after raising $350m in a funding round.
The company has had an interesting year. It carried out 15 rocket launches this year, three of which were using reused Falcon 9 rockets.
According to Equidate, Space X is one of the top five most valuable private tech companies in the US.
This super secretive startup, co-founded by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel, is supposedly worth $20bn but maybe not. The data-mining firm is thought to be pursuing plans for a public offering in 2019, however, a report by SharesPost Research says the company needs to rein in spending before then.
Its technology is used for antiterrorism and spycraft and was reportedly used to help take down Osama Bin Laden.
Communal workspace provider WeWork now has more than 120,000 customers in 156 offices across the world. It’s this fast growth in only seven years that has given the company a $20bn valuation.
This year alone, it opened offices in cities including Beijing, Buenos Aires, Paris and Sao Paulo, whilst it looking to open spaces in Mumbai and Melbourne in the future. It has also upped its clientele. Before it was always associated with freelancers and new startups but now it counts companies like IBM, Spotify and Salesforce amongst its paying customers.
Oh Snap Inc; Evan Spiegel’s home to Snapchat and those not so great Spectacles. 2017 has not been a good year for the company. When it went public in March it had a valuation of $29bn and was worth more than Deutsche Bank.
That has since fallen to a market cap of $18.67bn. According to StockNews, Snapchat share trade at nearly 13 times the average of analysts’ estimates for its revenue next year. And with concerns that Snap will never turn a real profit added to the stalling in user-growth, it needs something big to turn this around.
Lufax is a Chinese online wealth management platform based in Shanghai. Launched in 2011, it has had a good year in 2017 as it announced its first overseas expansion with a platform in Singapore.
It was last valued at $18.5bn when it raised $1.2bn from investors back in January 2016. For next year it has big plans: an IPO is almost certainly to be on the cards and it is also looking to develop robo-advisory services for people using its platform. And if there’s anything Chinese investors love, it’s artificial intelligence.
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