Finance Finance News Billion-dollar startup entrepreneurs recreate the world
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Billion-dollar startup entrepreneurs recreate the world

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The  startup is hottest thing in business today as lots of bright (mostly) young people vie to make their idea the next big multi-billion dollar thing and push themselves into the glittering pantheon of eccentric and creative tech superstars.

Sure, the startup trail is making some people rich but its also changing the way the rest of us live as the likes Apple, Facebook, Twitter, genetics site 23 and Me and accommodation group  Airbnb remodel the way we work, play, love, communicate, travel and understand ourselves.

Some of the world’s biggest companies come from the most humble beginnings like Apple Inc.  famously begining in a garage and Facebook being created in a college dorm.

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Today the startup channel is becoming more sophisticated with billion dollar private businesses being created by with backing from venture capital firms and professional tech investors.

This list of the world’s biggest startups worth more than $1 billion, was  compiled by the Wall Street Journal.

1. Uber – founded 2009

Value: $41.2 billion
Backing: $2.8 billion

Famous for its private cab service app which offers competitive prices based on supply and demand

2. Airbnb – founded 2008

Value: $10 billion
Backing: $800 million

Famous for offering a marketplace which allows travellers to rent private homes at competitive prices

airbnb
Airbnb provides accommodation in 190 countries.

3. Xiaomi – founded 2010

Value: $10 billion
Backing: $347 million

Famous for offering cheap mobile phones in China and giving some stiff competition to Apple

4. Dropbox – founded 2007

Value: $10 billion
Backing: $507 million

Famous for creating a web storage platform allowing people to exchange large files over the internet

5. Snapchat – founded 2012

Value: $10 billion
Backing: $150 million

Famous for its photo-based mobile messaging service, Snapchat rejected a buyout offer from Facebook in 2013

Snapchat
Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel turned down millions from Facebook. Photo: Getty

6. Palantir – founded 2004

Value: $9.3 billion
Backing: $900 million

Software company used by government agencies like the FBI and CIA to sift through large amounts of information

7. Theranos – founded 2003

Value: $9 billion
Backing: $91 million

Provides medical laboratory testing services and blood diagnostics

8. Flipkart – founded 2007

Value: $7 billion
backing: $1.8 billion

Famous for bringing online shopping to India’s billions and promising next-day delivery on purchases

Flipkart
E-commerce site Flipkart is smashing Amazon in India, and is worth $7 billion.

9. Square – founded 2009

Value: $6 billion
Backing: $495 million

Famous for creating an app which allows mobile phones and tablets to be turned into electronic cash registers for businesses

10. Pinterest – founded 2008

Value: $5 billion
Backing: $800 million

Created an online scrapbook where users ‘pin’ images they like in different folders

Shutterstock
Users share inspiration for cooking, holidays and DIY on Pinterest. Photo: Shutterstock

11. WeWork – founded 2010

Value: $5 billion
Backing: $569 million

Famous for renting and dividing office space and subletting it to small startups

12. SpaceX – founded 2002

Value: $4.8 billion
Backing: $115 million

Space exploration company famous for providing cheap access to space

13. Cloudera – founded 2008

Value: $4.1 billion
Backing: $1.2 billion

Software development company which builds analytic applications for companies like Facebook

14. Spotify – founded 2006

Value: $4 billion
Backing: $521 million

Famous for creating a music streaming service with 25 million free users and another 6 million paying users

Spotify
Music streaming app Spotify has over 30 million users worldwide. Photo: Getty

15. Stripe – founded 2009

Value: $3.6 billion
Backing: $200 million

Famous for providing a way for businesses to accept payments over the internet with no monthly or setup fees

16. Jawbone – founded 1999

Value: $3.3 billion
Backing: $531 million

Famous for making aesthetically pleasing wireless speakers that can be paired with mobile phones

jawbone speakers
Jawbone speakers are a billion-dollar business.

17. Fanatics – founded 1995

Value: $3.1 billion
Backing: $320 million

Popular sporting team apparel retailer where sales in 2013 were projected to top $1 billion

18. VANCL – founded 2005

Value: $3 billion
Backing: $472 million

Chinese online clothing retailer famous for turning its customers into models for its website

19. Legendary Entertainment – founded 2005

Value: $3 billion
Backing: $1.1 billion

Media company that has co-produced blockbuster films with Warner Bros. and Universal Studios

20. Pure Storage – founded 2009

Value: $3 billion
Backing: $470 million

Famous for creating high capacity flash memory devices

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