“New mobility, digital world or space exploration monopolize the list”
“The largest startups that are not listed”
On December 10, AirBnb went public, in an operation that valued the firm at 47,000 million dollars and made it the largest IPO of all 2020. The vacation rental management company then stopped join the ranks in the list of the world’s largest startups (incipient companies that need intense financial support to continue developing their projects) that have not yet made the leap to the public market.
It is a group that has been somewhat orphaned without the American giant, but that continues to have a large group of components that could be the next to take the step and start trading. After all, AirBnb is not the first company of its kind to have followed this path. Before, firms like Dropbox, Uber or Snap did, companies that already have a certain path on the market.
Many of the companies that are on this list are related to the technological changes that are taking place in the world in recent years. New mobility, digital payments, and even space exploration and tourism are some of the future businesses found in this group. At this time, according to data collected by The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Venture Source, the list of largest startups that are not yet listed is headed by Didi Chuxing, the Chinese Uber, which in the last financing round reached a valuation of 56,000 millions of dollars.
Behind her appear firms such as JUUL, of electronic cigarettes, with 38,000 million dollars, or WeWork, which was valued at 47,000 million until 2019, when this valuation was cut to 10,000 million after the failed attempt to go public.
Didi Chuxing founded in 2012, it is a company that developed an application to call a taxi, similar to Uber’s service in the rest of the world, and is also developing its own autonomous car. In 2016 Uber sold its business in China to Didi in a share swap operation valued at 25,000 million dollars, becoming the former the largest shareholder of the Chinese firm, with Apple, Alibaba and Tencent as other large shareholders. The last round of funding it carried out was in September 2019, and at that time the company was valued at $ 56 billion.
WeWork is a company founded in 2010, with the intention of creating shared work spaces in which contacts between entrepreneurs and new startups are facilitated, mainly. In January 2019, the company was valued at 47,000 million dollars, the second largest after Didi, and had among its main investors the giants of the financial world such as Goldman Sachs, Jefferies Group or JP Morgan. However, things have changed for WeWork in a short time, a reflection of the risk that can be involved in investing in these types of start-ups. In August 2019 the company began to prepare for a possible IPO, which ended up being a fiasco. Investors began to study the financial situation of the company and doubts arose. Everything led to the departure of Adam Neumann, its founder, from the company, after receiving 1.7 billion dollars from SoftBank, which came to control the company and the firm’s valuation was reduced to 10 billion dollars, which it still ranks it among the 10 largest startups in the world.
Juul is an electronic cigarette and vaporizer company founded in 2017 in California. At the end of 2018, the tobacco company Altria invested 12.8 billion dollars in the firm, which markets its products as those aimed at adult smokers to help them quit the habit. However, it has received criticism from regulators and health institutions as there are cases of people who were not smokers and they have ended up being after the use of their products.
Not everything is Tesla in Elon Musk’s mind. SpaceX, founded in 2002, is another of the companies that the tycoon is taking forward, with the aim of creating human colonies on the planet Mars. Science fiction? We will have to wait to see it, but for now it has achieved the milestone of recovering already used space rockets. The company is valued at $ 30.5 billion, with firms like Fidelity and Google among its large shareholders. In 2020, a rumor emerged that Musk wants to go public with the part of SpaceX’s business dedicated to developing a network of satellites to provide Internet service in space.