ByteDance, owner of TikTok, has reached a valuation of US$250 billion, making it the leader of unlisted companies. They are followed by SpaceX, Elon Musk’s satellite company, and OpenAI, creator of ChatGPT.
They are large companies that when they go public – and some of them have plans to do so – will be among the most valuable in the world. ByteDance (TikTok), SpaceX, OpenAI, Huawei, Shein, Ikea and Stripe can compete with some of the giants on Wall Street.
Just as there is a close fight between Microsoft and Apple to lead the ranking of the most valuable companies on the Stock Market, a similar rivalry occurs with unlisted companies. Thanks to its commitment to artificial intelligence, Microsoft has surpassed Apple as the most valuable firm with a capitalization of US$2.90 billion compared to the US$2.84 billion of the apple company. QTo this end, Apple made history in 2023 by being the first company to reach the figure of US$3 trillion in capitalization.
Although their valuations are not as accurate as those reflected on the stock market and depend more on specific share transactions, financing rounds and the opinion of analysts, there has also been a surprise among unlisted companies. ByteDance, owner of the social network TikTok, took first place, surpassing OpenAI – the promoter of ChatGPT – and SpaceX, Elon Musk’s satellite company.
The Chinese group ByteDance is on the list of the next IPOs, but it seems that it is still waiting for a more favorable stock market situation. When it hits the Wall Street market, its value could exceed the current US$250 billion. ByteDance has a turnover of US$120 billion and its sales and profits are growing at a rate of 30% and 80% annually, respectively. Its income comes from advertising through its online applications TikTok, Toutiao, Douyin and Feishu. ByteDance has more than 1.5 billion daily active users.
The group has been accused by the US of working closely with the Chinese government to censor and monitor content offered to its users. To avoid this type of political conflict, some of the financial firms that support ByteDance – such as KKR, SoftBank and Sequoia – seem to be more inclined to segregate TikTok from the group and list only this social network.
In the second place of the most valuable unlisted companies there is a tough fight between SpaceX and OpenAI. Because although Elon Musk’s satellite company has a much higher value, the growth of the creator of ChapGPT is being spectacular and is on its way to reaching US$120,000 million in value, which is four times more than the US$30,000 million at which it was valued. at the beginning of 2023 when Microsoft’s entry into its capital took place. In fact, the stock market run that Bill Gates’ company is leading is largely due to its commitment to the generative artificial intelligence promoted by OpenAI.
The owner of ChatGPT plans to soon carry out a placement among private investors of shares held by employees, which will serve to verify what the bill is, for the company and for its investors, of the recent chaos that occurred in its leadership . The board agreed to the sudden dismissal of the CEO, Sam Altman, which forced Microsoft to intervene, and led to practically the entire workforce threatening to resign. The conflict was resolved with the reinstatement of Altman and the appointment of a new council.
OpenAI still has a long way to go to reach the US$175 billion at which SpaceX has just been valued. Satellites are giving Elon Musk much more joy than his other two business jewels: Tesla and X (formerly Twitter). SpaceX – a leader in commercial space launch services and owner of the world’s largest satellite network – has begun negotiations to carry out a private takeover bid for shares aimed at employees and minority investors at a price of US$95 per share, which represents a total valuation of US$175,000 million.
Behind TikTok, SpaceX and OpenAI would be Huawei, although the value of this Chinese giant is highly conditioned by the sanctions imposed on it by the United States, which classified the group as a threat to national security. The European Union has also advised member countries to restrict or exclude Huawei from 5G telecommunications networks. The value of the group would be around US$120 billion, according to analyst estimates.
The next on the list of most valuable unlisted companies would be the Chinese textile chain Shein, which two months ago presented its prospectus to go public to the SEC. In the last financing round carried out last year, Shein was valued at US$66 billion, although that value would now have to be updated because the fast fashion chain is suffering greatly from competition from its compatriot Temu. Shein’s possible listing is also conditioned by the growing tensions between China and the US.
One of the most anticipated IPOs is that of Stripe, which has delayed its jump to the stock market on several occasions. In fact, the Silicon Valley company, specialized in Internet payments, has hired Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan to carry out the operation.