The 4 most valuable American unicorns have immigrant CEOs. The same goes for 4 of the top 7 public companies – Crunchbase News

Immigrants have long made up a disproportionate share of founders and CEOs of America’s most valuable tech companies. But recently, their importance has increased even more.

According to Crunchbase analysis, the four most valuable private US venture-backed companies now have immigrant founders and CEOs.

Meanwhile, in the public markets, four of the seven largest US companies are now run by immigrants.

This is a remarkable result given that immigrants make up only 13.7% of the US population. Immigrant representation at the top of the most valuable unicorns also appears to have increased since we last conducted a similar analysis about two years ago.

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Below, we break down some of the findings and highlight some of the top US companies whose CEOs and founders were born outside the US.

SpaceX and some decacorns with immigrant leaders

According to data from Crunchbase, the four most valuable private venture-backed American companies are led and founded by immigrants:

  • SpaceXof course, is founded and led by Elon Muska native of South Africa who attended college in Canada before immigrating to the United States. The company reportedly reached a valuation of just over $100 billion in a secondary stock transaction last October.
  • Bandaged is co-founded by brothers Patrick and John Collison, originally from Ireland. Patrick Collissonwho is also CEO of the payment company, came to the United States to attend MIT but left to build a startup. John Collison assisted Harvard, but also left to pursue startup life before graduating. Stripe’s last public valuation was $95 billion.
  • instagramCEO of, Fiji Simo, who took office in August, is from France. Meanwhile, the founder and former CEO of Instacart, Apoorva Mehta, was born in India. He moved to Libya shortly after birth, then to Canada when he was 14 years old. The company’s last reported valuation was around $39 billion.
  • DatabrickFounder and CEO, Ali Godsi, was born in Iran and moved to Sweden as a child. After obtaining a doctorate in Sweden, he joined UC Berkeley in California as a visiting scholar. Databricks, which offers AI-powered tools to manage large amounts of data across multiple platforms, was recently valued at around $38 billion.

Public tech companies with immigrant CEOs

Meanwhile, in the public markets, four of the seven largest US companies are now run by immigrants.

This is one of the interesting, though unexpected, consequences of Facebookof the recent fall in the share price, following its disappointing earnings report last month. Today, the social media giant is no longer among the seven most valuable US public companies.

Instead, the chipmaker Nvidia entered the top seven, by CNBC. Its CEO and co-founder, jensen huangis from Taiwan who immigrated to the United States with his family when he was 9 years old.

In addition to Nvidia, three other companies in the top seven are run by immigrants. Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadellathe CEOs of google and Microsoft, respectively, originated in India. Tesla’s Elon Musk, meanwhile, has the distinction of being the only person, regardless of immigration status, to rank as CEO and founder of both a blue chip private company and a a leading public company. The other companies in the top seven…Amazon, Appleand Berkshire Hathaway— have CEOs born in the United States.

What recent funding tells us about the role of immigrants in building future tech giants

When we last looked at 2020, early data indicated that the proportion of high-value U.S. startups founded or led by immigrants was trending down. One factor is the growth of startup hubs outside of the United States, making it easier for founders to launch businesses in their home country. The other, most notorious factor: the obstacles to obtaining a visa as a potential founder of a startup.

That said, a number of newly created American unicorns and decacorns have immigrant leaders. We’ll see who they are in a follow-up article.

Photo: Jensen Huang, CEO and co-founder of chipmaker Nvidia, at SC18. (Photo through Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler/Scalable Grid Engine, used under the Creative Commons License CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.)

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