VCs are eyeing the potential of the following companies that made successful rounds of funding in the past year.
Airbnb (United States)
Airbnb is a company that offers a peer-to-peer lodging community marketplace based in San Francisco, California, USA. Through its website, guests can discover and book unique spaces around the world, be it an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, using their mobile phones or the Internet. Airbnb has a current valuation of $25.5 billion, raising $1.5 billion in the June 2015 funding round.
Airbnb was founded in 2008 by Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky, and Nathan Blecharczyk. As of 2016, it has over 2,000,000 listings in 34,000 cities and more than 190 countries, with 60,000,000+ total guests that used its website. Some of its investors include General Catalyst Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, and ENIAC Ventures.
China Internet Plus Holding (China)
China Internet Plus Holding is an eCommerce/marketplace company founded in 2002 and based in Beijing, China, that develops and operates a platform providing online group-buying services and a social commerce website. Its current valuation is at $18 billion, raising more than $3.3 billion in the latest VC funding round.
China Internet Plus Holding is a company merged from two startups, Meituan and Dianping, with the former being a China-based group discount platform and the latter being a Chinese location-based dining information and group-buying website. The marketplace provided by the company provides Offline-to-Online (O2O) services, including food reviews and recommendations, daily deals, travel reservations, and group discounts for movie tickets, restaurants, entertainment, and health/fitness sectors. Some of its investors include DST Global, Trustbridge Partners, and Capital Today.
Didi Chuxing, formerly Didi Kuaidi (China)
Didi Chuxing is an on-demand Chinese transportation network company founded in 2012 and based in Beijing, China, that provides vehicles and taxis for hire in China via smartphone applications. Its current valuation is at $20 billion, raising $1 billion with Apple’s strategic investment a few days ago.
Didi Chuxing is a company that resulted in the merger between China-based taxi-hailing firms Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache, which are backed by Tencent Holdings Limited and Alibaba Group respectively. Didi Chuxing is the largest mobile taxi-hailing platform in China, with more than 1.5 million registered taxi drivers in 400 cities throughout China. Some of its investors include Apple, Matrix Partners, Tiger Global Management, and Softbank Corp.
Lufax, the second largest peer-to-peer (P2P) lender in China, is an Internet finance marketplace that handles the origination and trading of financial assets. Founded in 2011, Lufax is based in Shanghai, China, and has a current valuation of $18.5 billion, raising $924 million in the December 2015 funding round.
Lufax’s business model is based on matching borrowers with investors while collecting a 4 percent fee for each loan. The company now has more than 500 partnerships with institutions that offer online lending, wealth management, and fund services, and boasts of over 3 million active users who have made transactions exceeding $243 billion. Some of its investors include Ping An Insurance, Bank of China Group Investment Ltd., Guotai Junan International Holdings Ltd., and China Minsheng Banking Corp Ltd.
Uber (United States)
Uber is an American on-demand transportation company based in San Francisco, California, USA. It has its own booking app that allows users to request for a trip via their smartphone. Uber is the first company to offer a peer-to-peer (P2P) transportation service, with other companies following suit with Uber’s business model. Uber has a current valuation of $62.5 billion, raising $2.1 billion in the late 2015 funding round.
Uber was founded in 2009 by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp. As of 2016, Uber is available in more than 60 countries and 404 cities worldwide. Some of its investors include Lowercase Capital, Benchmark Capital, and Google Ventures.
DJI Innovations (China)
DJI Innovations is a hardware company based in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. The company manufactures unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), both commercial and recreational, for aerial photography and videography. It is known ultimately for its drones made for civilians that can be used for various purposes, like filmmaking, agriculture, conservation, search and rescue, energy infrastructure, hurricane hunting, and 3-D mapping of landscape. DJI Innovations currently has a valuation of $10 billion, raising $75 million in the May 2015 funding round.
DJI Innovations, founded by Frank Wang, is the world leader in camera drones and quadcopters for aerial photography, which is why it’s not surprising that the company accounts for 70% of the consumer drone market, and was able to sell 400,000 drone units in 2014 alone. Some of its investors include Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital.
Lyft (United States)
Lyft is an American on-demand transportation company based in San Francisco, California, USA. Lyft is a competitor of Uber, facilitating P2P ridesharing through the mobile application. Lyft has a current valuation of $5.5 billion, raising $1 billion in the late 2015 funding round.
Lyft was founded in 2012 by John Zimmer and Logan Green. As of 2015, Lyft has about 100,000 drivers across the country, with over 1 million rides being completed every week. Some of its investors include Founders Fund, Mayfield Fund, Floodgate, and General Motors.
Zhong An Insurance (China)
Zhong An Insurance is China’s first online-only insurance company. Zhong An’s online model is based on lower operating and distribution costs, offering more than 200 insurance products, mainly in property-and-casualty insurance businesses and motor-insurance. Founded in 2013, Zhong An is based in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, and has a current valuation of $8 billion, raising $934 million in the 2015 funding round.
Zhong An Insurance is the result of a joint initiative of Ping An, Alibaba, and Tencent. As of 2015, Zhong An provided over 3.6 billion insurance policies and assisted 369 million clients. Some of its investors include SAIF partners, CDH Investments, Morgan Stanley, China International Capital Corp., and Keywise Capital Management.
Ele.me is a Chinese P2P food delivery service based in Shanghai, China, with a website that allows customers to offer meal ordering services to other customers. Through Ele.me, users also have a way to communicate with restaurants. Ele.me has a current valuation of $4.5 billion, raising $1.25 billion in last month’s strategic investment by ecommerce giant Alibaba.
Ele.me was founded in 2008 by Xuhao Zhang and Jia Kang. Some of its investors include Sequoia Capital China, GSR Ventures, Horizons Ventures, and Alibaba.
Snapchat (United States)
Snapchat is an image messaging and multimedia mobile app based in Venice, California, USA. The social application allows users to send videos to each other, where they can broadcast videos with or without filters that show snippets of the users’ lives to followers or friends. Snapchat has a current valuation of $16 billion, raising $175 million in a strategic investment by Fidelity Investments.
Snapchat was first released in 2011 by Evan Spiegel and Reggie Brown as a project for one of Spiegel’s classes. As of 2016, Snapchat has more than 100 million daily users using the app for an average of half an hour each day. Some of its investors include Benchmark Capital, General Catalyst Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Fidelity Investments.