Startups Blog

What Do the Top US Unicorn Startups Have in Common?

Four of the US’ top unicorn startups - SpaceX, Instacart, Stripe, and Databricks - all have something curious in common. Did you know that their CEOs are all technically immigrants to the US? You don’t have to be born in America to succeed here - and these companies prove this for certain!

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America’s Top Immigrant CEOs

It’s true - immigration is hugely important to America’s financial ecosystem, and the statistics speak for themselves. The four most valuable startups considered unicorns in the US right now have CEOs or leaders that hail from overseas.

The most obvious example is Elon Musk, head of SpaceX (and Tesla). Musk, who has been on-and-off the wealthiest person on the planet, was born in South Africa. After studying in Canada, he moved to the US - and the rest is history.

Instacart, the online grocery disruptor, is helmed by Fidji Simo, who inherited the brand. Simo is a French entrepreneur with his brand based in the US. Interestingly, Instacart was previously helmed by Apoorva Mehta, who is an Indian native.

Meanwhile, Stripe - the leading payment processing service - is led by the Collison brothers, who are Irish. Both Collisons attended high-level education in the US before quitting to develop their brand.

Finally, Ali Ghodsi, the CEO of Databricks - was born in Iran. In fact, he was also raised in Sweden! Trained and educated in the US, he’s since built his AI company to a valuation of more than $38 billion.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

What all four of these CEOs have in common is not just immigration status but an entrepreneurial spirit. All four companies built up from the roots, with dreams realized in the US. Ultimately, it’s clear that some of the most successful business people on the planet aren’t necessarily natives of their chosen HQs.

Immigrants to the US may have a spirit to succeed as they are exploring new options and avenues. The entrepreneurial spirit is one of a willingness to change the world. While there are many successful, entrepreneurial founders born and based in America, immigrant CEOs seem to be setting a standard.

This entrepreneurial spirit from overseas may arise from developing and finding new opportunities. If a CEO’s homeland doesn’t provide opportunity - then maybe they can find it elsewhere. The four companies we discuss in this article are very different in many ways. However, they are linked by an endless thirst for success and to change lives for the better.

Are the Most Successful Startups Immigrant-Owned? 

Not at all - it’s an interesting trend, but homegrown talent in the US is in balance with overseas entrepreneurism. Immigration is the lifeblood of the US economy, however, in that it helps to provide fresh insight. This insight can apply to how society runs as a whole, for example.

Regardless, it’s time to cast aside notions that the ‘best companies’ are homegrown. Many successful startups beyond this top four are immigrant-owned! Take a closer look at ongoing data via Fundz to learn more.



Topic: Unicorn Startups



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