The 5 most valuable startups on the planet » SMEInsider

The 5 most valuable startups on the planet

Building your own business is a dream that millions of people share around the world, but many back out of the idea in fear that their company won’t make any money. If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are five companies that started from the ground up and made their fortune.


Snapchat (£10bn)

Founded in 2011, the picture messaging app has gone from strength to strength, with founder Evan Spiegel turning down a $3bn takeover bid from Facebook in 2013.

The California-based firm has raised well over $1bn from investors, including Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.


Palantir (£13bn)

Now one of the largest software companies in the world, Palantir was relatively late to the tech revolution, starting from the bottom in 2004.

The group was co-founded by a number of financial technology leaders, including Peter Thiel, the creator of PayPal. Based in California just like Snapchat, the company uses its technology to help the likes of the CIA crack down on fraud.


Airbnb (£16.5bn)

Over seven years ago two entrepreneurs named Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia came up with the idea to bring Bed & Breakfasts into the 21st Century.

Operating in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries worldwide, Airbnb allows regular people to let out their homes to tourists using just a smartphone.

In June of this year, Airbnb completed one of the largest private funding rounds in history, raising $1.5bn which led to the firm being valued at £16.5bn.


Xiaomi (£30bn)

China is one of, if not the biggest electronics manufacturer in the world, so it comes as no surprise that an electronics startup is one of the wealthiest companies on the planet.

Established in 2010, Xiaomi is the fourth largest smartphone maker in the world and was at one point the startup with the highest valuation, but comes in at second place with a £30bn price tag.


Uber (£33bn)

Chances are you’ve at one point stumbled out of an overpriced taxi on a Saturday evening, making Uber founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp rich in the process.

The cab-hailing smartphone app takes the crown as the most valuable startup in the world, but is currently struggling to get its taxi’s on the road. Transport for London (TfL) has recently launched a consultation to decide how the taxi company should be regulated, due to the firm taking business away from black cab drivers.