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In this article, we will discuss the 15 most valuable platform companies in the world. You can skip our detailed analysis of these companies, and go directly to 5 Most Valuable Platform Companies in the World.
Platform companies, according to McKinsey, are ‘matchmakers [that link] people, organizations, and resources.’ These businesses essentially create value by facilitating the exchange of products and services between interdependent groups, such as producers and consumers. The Platform economy, also known as ‘Creative economy’ and ‘Sharing economy’, involves the use of innovative technology to amass scalable networks and extend connections across economic sectors and political borders. In recent years, this business model has seen dramatic growth in scale and size; six of the world’s ten largest corporations are platform companies, including Apple (NASDAQ: APPL), Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL), and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB).
The Platform economy has significantly impacted the world by increasing productivity worldwide. Uber, a transportation provider platform, annually adds a net economic value of $5.7 billion to its drivers around the world. Similarly, in 2021, eBay invested over $1 million in small businesses in the United States. While different platform companies are diverse in function and structure, one thing common between all the businesses is the high traffic they attract.
In a survey of 2,135 companies in 2017, McKinsey found that many businesses were moving towards a digitalized delivery of their products and services. The success of the platform companies illustrates that when companies redefine the value for the customers and reshape the demand side of their products, by making the consumer experience easy, efficient, and enriching, the benefits the companies incur increase.
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In this article, Insider Monkey has used credible sources such as the company websites, Deloitte, eMarketer, and global economic reports to list the world’s most valuable platform companies, based on their market capitalization and global economic impact.
15. Upwork Inc. (NASDAQ:UPWK)
Upwork (NASDAQ: UPWK) is a freelancing platform that enables connections between clients and freelancers worldwide. With over 18 million registered freelancers and 5 million clients, there are over 3 million jobs worth over $1 billion cumulatively posted on the company’s application, making Upwork (NASDAQ: UPWK) the largest freelancing company in the world.
In 2020, it revised and increased the client payment fees from 2.75% to 3% to aid the productivity of the workers. Moreover, with schemes such as Direct Contracts and Project Catalog, the company aims to support freelancers in increasing their income streams by connecting them to their clients faster.
14. Lyft, Inc. (NASDAQ:LYFT)
Founded in 2012, Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT) is a ridesharing platform that offers vehicles for hire in 644 cities in the United States and 12 cities in Canada. Second to Uber (NYSE: UBER) in its US market share of 29%, Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT) had over two million drivers and 12.5 million riders in the fourth quarter of 2020.
In 2020, Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT) announced its meal and grocery delivery service in the United States, attracting over 120,000 drivers in the country. The company prides itself in its driver satisfaction; in its 2021 economic report, Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT) revealed that 95% of its drivers worked less than 20 hours a week.
13. Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:UBER)
Uber (NYSE: UBER) is an international ridesharing platform that links users with quick and easy transportation. As of September 2021, the company has a user base of 93 million riders and 3.5 million drivers worldwide. With its acquisition of competitors Careem and Postmates, Uber (NYSE: UBER) has expanded its hold of the ridesharing industry. In 2021, it had a market share of 68% in the United States.
Uber (NYSE: UBER) is expected to grow more. eMarketer forecasts that $35.51 billion worth of rides will be booked annually through Uber by 2022.
12. Airbnb, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABNB)
Airbnb (NASDAQ: ABNB), a vacation-rental service platform founded in 2008, has become a staple for travelers worldwide. The company provides an intermediary service between hosts and guests and does not own any of the rentals it lists on its platform. With 5.4 million listings and 2.9 million hosts globally, Airbnb (NASDAQ: ABNB) has witnessed massive success, generating a revenue of $3.38 billion.
In 13 years of its founding, Airbnb (NASDAQ: ABNB) has captured 20% of the market share of the vacation rental industry. As of 2021, over 4 million guests used the company for their vacation lodging worldwide, making it the number one house-renting application in the world.
11. Pinduoduo Inc. (NASDAQ:PDD)
Pinduoduo (NASDAQ: PDD), an online marketplace founded in 2015, provides services to third-party merchants across multiple sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, and retail. Pinduoduo (NASDAQ: PDD) aims to bring more businesses and people into the digital economy and benefit the local communities with increased productivity and convenience.
Pinduoduo (NASDAQ: PDD) offers businesses the brand exposure and market reach they need to increase sales exponentially.
10. Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE:MA)
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), a payment network processor similar to Visa (NYSE: V), was founded in 1996. Since then, it has become a staple choice for people around the world. As of March 2021, there were over 1.9 billion Mastercard (NYSE: MA) cards issued globally. Currently, the company has a business reach in 210 countries and territories in the world, aiming to connect consumers, financial institutions, merchants, and businesses worldwide.
Mastercard’s (NYSE: MA) commerce platform helps merchants increase revenue, enable new sale channels, and connect to new customers globally. For consumers, it makes payments easy and safe, enabling them to trust the producers more. Consequently, the company cards are accepted in over 30 million merchant locations around the globe.
9. PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL)
PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) gained popularity amongst sellers as a fast, secure, and convenient mode of the online transaction. Within two decades, it acquired Braintree, which aims to increase sales and buyer reach of merchants globally, expanding its commerce platforms to merchants around the world. Currently, 659,222 companies and 29 million merchants use PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) for their online payments.
PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) has been an important financial asset for small to medium-sized businesses globally. In 2020, it provided more than $4.6 billion in access to capital to SMEs around the globe.
8. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (XKRX:005930.KS)
Samsung (KRX: 005930) has seen success worldwide since its foundation in 1969. Starting with television sets, Samsung (KRX: 005930) has now diversified its product range to a variety of electronics, including mobile phones and home appliances.
Samsung’s (KRX: 005930) platform, Samsung Galaxy Store, opens millions of users to a variety of applications created by digital creators all around the world. Every month, the app store traffics 400 million visitors downloading 450 million applications. These applications include gaming and entertainment, productivity, lifestyle, and utilities. Samsung (KRX: 005930), on their company website, calls for new developers to bring forth their products and diversify their sales and profits, connecting them with a wide user base.
7. Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA)
Founded in 1999 by Jack Ma, Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) is the leading website for global B2B trade. With sellers from over 190 countries, the company has a total of 828 million active buyers globally. Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) aims to provide technological infrastructure and marketing reach to retailers and businesses to help them operate more efficiently with a larger consumer base.
With an extensive list of product offerings, spanning over 40 industries with 5,900 different categories, Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) offers a platform for merchants of all creeds to maximize profit.
6. Visa Inc. (NYSE:V)
Visa (NYSE: V), with a global user base of 3.3 billion, is the largest digital payment processor company in the world.
Visa (NYSE: V), with its Everywhere Initiative, has helped 7000 startups raise over $2.5 billion in funding. In 2020, in the wake of the pandemic, Visa (NYSE: V) enabled 50 million small to micro-businesses (SMBs) worldwide to recover financially.
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Disclosure: None. 15 Most Valuable Platform Companies in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey.