Over the past several years, we’ve seen a rise in private companies valued at more than a billion dollars — the so-called “unicorns.”
But when too many startups became unicorns, a new class of startups emerged: “decacorns,” companies valued at over $10 billion.
These are the Ubers and Airbnbs of the world, the startups that steadfastly remain private companies as they seek more millions in funding at higher and higher valuations.
Following are the US startups valued at more than $10 billion.
Valuation: $10 billion
CEO Drew Houston
Dropbox reached its $10 billion valuation in 2014 after a $617 million funding round. Since then, the company has shifted its focus to business customers, launching Dropbox Enterprise last year.
The company began to cut back on lavish spending an employee perks in 2016, something that was costing the company $25,000 per year per employee. While Dropbox doesn’t disclose its financials, it’s reported to have generated more than $500 million in revenue last year. CEO Drew Houston said in June that the company is free cash flow positive now, which is a milestone for a fast-growth tech company.
Various reports have pegged a Dropbox IPO as taking place sometime in 2017.
Valuation: $11 billion
CEO Ben Silbermann
In May 2015, Pinterest raised a $533 million Series G funding round from investors like Andreessen Horowitz, First Mark, and Goldman Sachs, bumping the New York-based company’s valuation up to $11 billion.
The virtual discovery and pinning platform has more than 175 million monthly active users, over half of whom are international. The company has expanded its focus in recent months to overseas markets like the UK, France, Germany, Japan, and Brazil, and has doubled down on increasing the advertising on its platform. Last August, Pinterest acquired online bookmarking service Instapaper.
Rumors swirled throughout 2016 that Pinterest was on the brink of going public, and in October, the company named its first chief financial officer, a signal that Pinterest could be inching closer to an IPO.
Valuation: $12 billion
CEO Elon Musk
After raising a $1 billion funding round from Fidelity and Google in January 2015, Elon Musk’s SpaceX reached a $12 billion valuation.
Less than a year later, SpaceX made history when it launched its Falcon 9 rocket into space, dropped off a satellite, then landed back on the ground safely. The success of the launch and landing proved it was possible to reuse expensive rockets, rather than letting them fall into the ocean.
But 2016 was a more challenging year for the company. In September, a SpaceX rocket exploded during a launch-pad test, destroying a satellite Facebook intended to lease. SpaceX has since delayed the debut of another, more powerful rocket system — the Falcon Heavy — and delayed launches crewed by NASA astronauts until 2018.