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The decacorn list: 9 startups valued at more than $10 billion

Think unicorn companies are impressive? Take a look at these. That's a lot of zeros, folks.

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Topic: CXO
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1 of 18 Pinterest

Pinterest: The stats

Valuation: $11 billion

Founders: Ben Silbermann (current CEO), Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp

Pinterest was birthed out of a failed meta-catalogue on-the-go app, Tote, which Silbermann and Paul Sciarra initially launched with their company Cold Brew Labs. The app was a complete non-starter, but Silbermann noticed a curious behavior from the app's users ...

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2 of 18 Pinterest

Pinterest: Built on human behavior

Instead of buying, they kept sending pictures of certain products from the app to themselves. One web product and four years later, it was the hottest social media platform out there, driving comparisons to Facebook in 2012.

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3 of 18 SpaceX

SpaceX

Valuation: $12 billion

Founder: Elon Musk (current CEO)

Space exploration isn't just the realm of NASA and governments these days. In 2012, SpaceX took a first big step into bringing space adventuring to the next level ...

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4 of 18 SpaceX

SpaceX: To infinity and beyond

when it successfully launched a rocket of their own into orbit. But the ultimate goal, according to founder Elon Musk, is colonizing Mars.

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5 of 18 Flipkart

Flipkart

Started: 2007

Valuation: $15 billion

Founders: Sachin Bansal (current CEO) and Binny Bansal

What started as an online bookseller quickly grew into one of India's largest e-commerce sites. It was seeded with wee investment of roughly $6,000 by Binny and Sachin Bansal.

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6 of 18 Flipkart

Flipkart: India's Amazon?

The latter once said founding the company was "one of the most ridiculous things he [had] ever done." As for what makes Flipkart different from all the other e-commerce behemoths? Sachin believes its their high "quality of service."

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7 of 18 Shadow Production

Didi Chuxing, formerly Didi Kuaidi

Started: 2012

Valuation: $15 billion

Founders: Wei Cheng (current CEO) and Dexter Chuanwei Lu

The result of a merger between two of the biggest transportation app companies in China, Didi Chuxing is Uber's biggest rival in the Asian market.

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8 of 18 Unravel Travel TV

Didi Chuxing: Big in China

Recently, the company beat out Uber to become the first car-hailing app to be licensed under the Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission. Additionally, they also partnered with Uber's direct U.S. competitor, Lyft. Let the Taxi App Wars begin!

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9 of 18 Snapchat

Snapchat

Started: 2012

Valuation: $16 billion

Founders: Evan Spiegel (current CEO) and Bobby Murphy

The hottest social-media platform du jour, Snapchat has a 25-year-old founder and current CEO in Evan Spiegel, who credits the startup's successto three key factors ...

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10 of 18 Snapchat

Snapchat: All grown up

Internet everywhere, fast and easy media creation, and ephemerality. Granted, it hasn't always been a smooth road for the company (Spiegel's leaked emails in 2014 come to mind), but he and co-founder Bobby Murphy have come pretty far from their O.G. frathouse days.

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11 of 18 Palantir

Palantir

Started: 2004

Valuation: $20 billion

Founders: Alex Karp (current CEO), Nathan Gettings, Peter Thiel, Joe Lonsdale, Stephen Cohen

In five years, this big-data company has become the go-to for various intelligence outfits and government branches, and if they ever go public, CEO and co-founder Alex Karp stands to make billions. Palantir's talent at taking large amounts of data and turning it into easily-understood visualizations help agencies like the CIA, NSA and U.S. military connect certain dots. Plus ..

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12 of 18 Palantir

Palantir: Badasses in business

... the rumors that they helped the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden don't exactly hurt their reputation either.

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13 of 18 Airbnb

Airbnb

Started: 2008

Valuation: $25.5 billion

Founders: Brian Chesky (Current CEO), Joe Gebbia, Nathan Blecharczyk

It's hard to believe now, but in 2009, Airbnb was one more struggling start-up with only $200 in weekly revenue. The turning point? When the three co-founders realized ...

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14 of 18 Airbnb

Airbnb: All about the photo

... good camera + beautiful photos = booked listings. Now, the site is now for its #wanderlusty aesthetic, proving once again that everything is about presentation.

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15 of 18 Xiaomi

Xiaomi

Started: 2010

Valuation: $46 billion

Founders: Lei Jun (current CEO), Hong Feng, Zhou Guangping, Li Wanqiang, Huang Jiangji, Lin Bin, Liu De, Wang Chuan

Xiaomi's meteoric rise to become a leader in China's smartphone market can in large part be traced to its marketing. Their motto?

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16 of 18 Xiaomi

Xiaomi: Friends with fans

"Be friends with our fans." Cultivating a culture of cool, with a highly engaged social following, the company relies solely on the Internet for sales. This flexibility allows Xiaomi to react quickly to market response, something attractive to both investors and the general public.

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17 of 18 UBER

Uber

Started: 2009

Valuation: $51 billion

Founders: Travis Kalanick (current CEO) and Garrett Camp

The apocryphal story of how Uber was born goes like this: On a snowy, cold night 2008, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp were unable to get a cab in Paris, so they vowed to create an app that, with one simple button, would hail one.

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18 of 18 Uber

Uber: Thriving under pressure

Uber's success has in large part been due to Kalanick's savvy fundraising as well as the company's aggressive worldwide expansion to more than 300 cities and counting. No stranger to controversy, the startup seems to instead thrive off of scandals that would fell other companies.

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