More $1bn startups bypass the US

Oliver Smith
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Many $1bn-plus software firms were founded outside Silicon Valley in the past decade
SILICON Valley’s stranglehold of creating leading software businesses is weakening as less than 40 per cent of the 134 software companies reaching a billion-dollar valuation over the past 10 years have come from the legendary tech hub.

New research, created by London-based venture capital firm Atomico, led by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, found that 82 major software companies that had reached the billion-dollar mark were created outside Silicon Valley.

North America was still responsible for 79 of the 134 companies, including the likes of Airbnb and Uber from Silicon Valley, with Asia’s 34 billion-dollar companies putting the region in second-place, led by 26 Chinese firms including Sina Weibo and

Meanwhile three billion-dollar software firms have emerged from the UK in the past decade, including online payday lender Wonga, mobile payments firm Monitise and property app Zoopla.

“It demonstrates once and for all that geography is not a barrier to success – as the research shows, significant numbers of entrepreneurs are building phenomenally successful companies around the world,” said Zennstrom, who described the globalisation of billion-dollar tech firms as an irreversible trend.

Of the 134 companies, the average time from start to the billion-dollar mark was six years. However, 24 firms among the list reached that in under three years.

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