The most successful startups are known for driving innovation and growth within their markets. These are businesses that nail the best product-market fit, disrupt the status quo and listen to their audience. This is what sets them apart from the thousands of other businesses that launch each year. And in that innovative space, Phoenix ranks No. 2 among best cities to launch a startup, according to Time2play.

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Not every business goes on to be a unicorn (worth over $1 billion dollars). In fact, as of March 2022, there are only 1,000 of them in the world. There are even fewer that graduate to become decacorns (over $10 billion) or hectocorns (over a $100 billion).

We’ve taken a look at the data and created a comprehensive list of the most valuable startups and businesses in the world in 2022. Keep reading to find out who they are.

Who are the top 10?

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At the time of writing, there are only two businesses in the world that are valued at over $100 billion – Bytedance and SpaceX – so there’s no surprise that they landed at the top of the list. Bytendance’s subsidiary, Tiktok, is currently being used more than Google itself and SpaceX is trying to make life multi-planetary. Who wouldn’t invest in those businesses, right?

The data shows that fintech is dominating the world of successful startups, with four companies making the list. Stripe (3), Klarna (4), Checkout (7), and Revolut (10) are the highest-valued fintech companies in the world in 2022. The secret behind their success? They all solve real-life problems. In this case – they make online payments and purchases a lot easier.

Epic Games (5), Canva (6), Instacart (8), and Databricks (9) all began their startup journey almost 10 years ago. Each has grown exponentially in that time and gone on to become decacorns in 2022.

The best US cities to launch a startup

There are a lot of things to consider before launching a business in the US, but you can give yourself an advantage by choosing the right location. Silicon Valley is the birthplace of many successful startup stories including AirBnB, Apple, Google, and Meta. But for many businesses out there, launching in San Francisco is expensive and unrealistic.

We’ve analyzed the data and identified the three best cities in the US for launching a business. This is taking into account startup costs and the number of successful startups in the region.

Denver, Colorado

Number one on the list is Denver, Colorado. The city has slowly but steadily turned into one of the most appealing tech hubs in the US. Back in 2018, we saw some big rounds of funding like Cherwell Software and Gusto.

Now, businesses like DispatchHealth, Cologix, and Guild Generation are some of the biggest in the city. Denver ranks top of the list because it has some of the lowest state filing fees and corporate income tax rates in the country.

Phoenix, Arizona

With its lower corporate income taxes, a lower regulatory burden, and cheaper office rentals, this city has proved to be the next tech stronghold in the US.

Some of the fastest-growing Startups coming from this location are Verra Mobility, Nikola Motor Company, and American Traffic Solutions. People are already tipping Phoenix to become the next Silicon Valley.

Tampa, Florida

Third and final on this list comes Tampa, Florida. This city is known for its many startup accelerator programs. Tampa is the homeland of some of the highest-funded companies in 2021 and early 2022, such as A2 Global Electronics + Solutions, AmeriLife, and ReliaQuest.

How much is $100 billion, anyway?

Some of the valuations on this list are hard to comprehend, and so to finish our report, we had a little fun with the data. We have looked at which luxury items you could purchase with these company valuations, and how many times.

The History Supreme Yacht is the most expensive transportation item in the world, worth $4.5 billion. Bytedance could afford to buy 32 of these. The SpaceX valuation equates to 51 replicas of the 1963 Ferrari GTO.

Stripe’s $95 billion could get you 4,130 pieces of Christie’s Perfect Pink Diamond ($23 million each), while with Klarna’s $45.6 billion, you can buy FC Chelsea 23 times over, which is currently on sale for $2 billion.

Moving down the list, Epic Games’ $42 billion can get you almost 64 of the most expensive private jet in the world, The Air Force One. Too bad there are only two of them.


To support our research and report, we analyzed the data of the world’s most highest-valued businesses. We used websites like CBS Insights to compile our list of the top 10. We also used local state websites to investigate taxation rates and business incentives before recommending locations in the US to launch a business.