The Most Valuable Startups to Work for in 2016

If you want to work for one of the most successful startups in the world, you’ll have to travel to the US or India. Read on and find out who they are.

Depending on who you ask, working for a startup can be a good or a bad thing, but just how bad can it really be working for Uber, Airbnb, or Snapchat? These startups don’t only make millions but they’re also known as particularly generous employers. So, to beg the question, who wouldn’t want to work for them?

Statista has recently compiled a list of the most prominent and successful startups in the world, and if you’re currently on the lookout for a job at a startup, this list of unicorn companies (start-up companies valued at over $1 billion) is the place to start.

Here are the 12 largest so-called unicorns of 2016.

1. Uber

Uber app

Uber, the popular ride-hailing company, is currently at the top of the list and is valued at more than $50 billion. Through their mobile app, users can submit a trip request, and are then linked to drivers. As the highest valued startup in the world, Uber has managed to raise more than $7 billion from investments. Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp are behind this huge startup success.

2. Xiaomi

Headquartered in Beijing, Xiaomi is a privately owned Chinese electronics company and the fourth largest smartphone maker in the world after Samsung and Apple. Currently worth $46 billion, the company was founded only six years ago but within that short period has managed to climb to the second spot in the list of the most valuable startups in the world. Since 2014, the company had already sold over 60 million smartphones and today employs over 8,000 employees in China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, and Brazil.

3. Airbnb

Founded in 2008, Airbnb currently has over 1.5 million rental property listings across 34,000 different cities in 191 countries.  Specialising in the travel industry, Airbnb connects travellers with people who have a spare room or property to rent all around the world. This privately owned company managed to make $1.5 billion from investors last year – an amount that is higher than the market caps of some of the most luxurious hotels in the world like Marriott and Hilton – and is now worth an estimated $25.5 billion.

4. Didi Chuxing

Didi Chuxing (in Chinese), formerly Didi Kuaidi, is the ‘Uber of China’. Headquartered in Beijing, the Chinese transportation network company provides vehicles and cabs for hire across the country through a smartphone application, much like Uber. Currently valued at $25 billion, the company was formed in 2015 from the merger of rival firms Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache (backed by the two largest Chinese Internet companies, Tencent and Alibaba, respectively).

5. Palantir

In fourth place is Palantir, an American private software and services company specialising in big data analysis. Co-founded in 2004 by PayPal founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel, Palantir reached a value of $20 billion last year after raising $450 million from private funders. The company’s clients include the CIA, the FBI, the Marine Corps, the NSA, and the United States Air Force, as well as other US government bodies, providing them with a data analysis programme that assists in the detection of fraudulent activities.

6. Meituan-Dianping

Meituan graphic

Meituan-Dianping is a Chinese group buying web site for locally found consumer products and retail services. Founded in 2010 by Wang Xing, offers deals of the day through vouchers on local services and various forms of entertainment. Even though it’s just a six-year-old company, Meituan-Dianping’s worth is already estimated at $18.3 billion with some 19,000 employees.

7. Snapchat

Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel
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Favoured by a younger audience, Snapchat has become one of the most used and popular apps in the world. This revolutionary product allows users to send each other images that are deleted shortly afterwards, and has raised around $1.2 billion from investors. Despite the fact that it was only founded four years ago by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown, Snapchat is doing pretty well with a net worth at $16 billion, which is a lot more than what Facebook offered to buy the company back in 2013.

8. WeWork

WeWork, an American company that offers shared workspace, community, and services to entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, and small businesses, comes eighth on the list with a worth of $16 billion. Founded six years ago, this company is headquartered in New York City but has 54 different co-working locations across the US, as well as in Europe and Israel. The company has plans to expand to every continent by 2017.

9. Flipkart

Founded in 2007 by two former Amazon employee (Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal; the two are not related), Flipkart is an e-commerce company that’s headquartered in India. With an estimated worth of $15 billion, Flipkart has become the highest value Indian-based startup when it completed a $700 million funding round last year. The online shopping platform features the company’s own products under the name DigiFlip and sells items like tablets, USBs, and laptop bags.

10. SpaceX

Elon Musk, the man behind PayPal and Tesla, is also the founder of the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, better known as SpaceX. The aerospace manufacturer and space transport company started operations 14 years ago, and today is valued at $12 billion after having raised $1.25 billion in equity funding.

11. Pinterest

Pinterest founders

Pinterest, the popular web and mobile application company, allows users to browse items and ideas on virtual pin boards and categorises them into albums is currently at position eleven, and is worth $11 billion. Having launched in 2010, the San Francisco-based company has since managed to raise its profile, making it to the list of the most valuable startups.

12. Dropbox

Dropbox graphic

Last on this list is Dropbox, the company that provides users with a cloud storage service that allows file sharing and synchronisation. Founded in 2007 by MIT students Drew Houston and Arash Ferowsi, Dropbox provides client software for a range of OS and mobile systems, and is used by more 25 million people around the world. The company’s worth is currently estimated at $10 billion after having raised around $600 million from investors like Accel Partners and Y Combinator.

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