Once upon a time, a valuation north of a billion dollars was a goal that only few startups were bold enough to set for themselves and even fewer were able to achieve. Nowadays, more and more young companies manage to reach that milestone, as data compiled by the Wall Street Journal
According to the Journals data, there are currently at least 73 private companies that are venture-backed and valued at more than $1 billion. That’s more than twice as many as during the height of the dot-com boom in 2000, even when inflation is taken into account. In 2014 alone, 48 companies entered the elite circle, while 16 former members (e.g. Beats Electronics and GoPro) exited by going public or being acquired.
The valuations that some of these companies have reached would have been unthinkable a few years ago. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi
and Uber, the app that helps its users find private drivers, are both valued at above $40 billion, leaving behind many public companies that have been around for decades. Moreover, the number of startups valued at $10 billion or more doubled in the past year, as the need to go public early has been reduced by the abundance of venture capital.