SFCED | San Francisco Center for Economic Development


The New Geography of Super-Charged Startup Cities

…the San Francisco Bay area is the world’s leading center for billion dollar startups, with 38.7 percent of the world’s total (53). Interestingly, San Francisco is home to more companies than nearby Silicon Valley: with 35 mega-startups (25.6 percent of the entire total), the metro has almost double the number found in Silicon Valley (18, or 13.1 percent).

The location of startup companies is a key indicator of innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth. But not all startups are created equal. What distinguishes leading-edge startup clusters is not just a large volume of companies, but a series of really successful startups like Apple, Google, Facebook or Twitter. These big successes, which go public and are worth billions of dollars, set a powerful example for other entrepreneurs and also create a pool of business people-turned-venture capitalists who can in turn use their money to invest in fledgling startups.

I’ve tracked the geography of startups in my series here at CityLab on Startup Cities, but a new study by the international investment firm Atomico provides detailed data on an intriguing subset of these uber-successful startups. It identifies the location of software companies founded in the past decade (since 2003) that have reached billion dollar valuations, 137 companies in total worldwide.

The map charts the location of these billion dollar startups across the globe.

Read more: CityLab The New Geography of Super-Charged Startup Cities

Global Billion Dollar Startups 2014