Looking at the Change in Value of the Top 20 Venture Capital-Backed Companies

April 12, 2021

In a fascinating look at the performance of the top 20 venture capital-backed companies, Pitchbook recently provided us with a view of how the top 20 companies have performed from 2019 to 2021.

The Top 10

Before looking, take a guess at the which companies you think would show up on top of the list? Hint: the top venture capital-backed company in 2019 – as measured by company value – is different than the top venture capital-backed company in 2021.

In 2019, the most valuable venture capital-backed company was SpaceX at $31.5 billion. SpaceX held that position into 2020, growing to a value of $46.0 billion. Unfortunately for Elon Musk, his leadership dropped to second with a value of $74.0 billion.

The most valuable venture capital-backed company in 2021 was Stripe. The payments processor saw its value explode in 2021 from $36.0 billion in 2020 (second only to SpaceX in this year) to $95.0 billion in 2021. The $95.0 billion put Stripe worth at least $21.0 billion more than the next most valuable venture capital-backed company.

The third most valuable venture capital-backed company in 2020 and 2021 was Instacart. The groceries delivery company saw its value explode in 2021 from $17.7 billion in 2020 to $39.0 billion in 2021. Perhaps it pays to operate in an industry that benefited from the pandemic. Interestingly, Instacart was only worth $7.9 billion in 2019.

In fourth place for valuation in 2021 (15th place in 20202) was Databricks. Databricks saw its value rise meteorically over the course of the pandemic, going from $6.2 billion in 2020 to $28.0 billion as of March 19, 2021. Databricks was worth $6.2 billion in 2019.

Rounding out the top five for 2021 is Rivian Automotive at $27.6 billion. The electric car maker was new to the list of the top 20 in 2021.

Other members of the top 10 for 2021 included Epic Games ($17.3 billion valuation), Chime ($14.5 billion valuation), Samumed ($12.4 billion valuation), Robinhood ($11.9 billion valuation), and Ripple Labs ($10.0 billion valuation).

Source: Pitchbook

The 11 – 20 Ranks

Shifting to the 11th through 20th most valuable venture capital-backed companies, the 11th most valuable company in 2021 was Tanium at $9.0 billion. Behind Tanium were Tempus Labs at $8.1 billion and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase at $8.0 billion. Rounding out the top 15 included Discord at $7.0 billion and Automation Anywhere at $6.8 billion.

The 16th through 20th most valuable venture capital-backed companies in 2021 included Compass at $6.5 billion, Airtable at $5.8 billion, SoFi at $5.7 billion, Samsara at $5.4 billion, and Pony.ai at $5.3 billion.

Source: Pitchbook

Conclusion

Overall, the past few years have been incredibly fruitful for the top 20 venture capital-backed companies. Although the pandemic has been quite disruptive for economies around the world, fortune has favored the innovators during this time of unprecedent risk.

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