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Imagine my surprise, while researching for this article, when I found out that Dell was the only tech company in the list of the 20 most valuable private companies in the world. I realized that the value of many tech companies (startups included) is due to public offerings.

This list contains the ten most valuable tech companies and startups that aren’t public companies (i.e. listed on any stock market). But what got me thinking is how these valuations just turn up, many of them surpassing companies that have been around for much longer and are making far more in revenue. This also highlights how close we may be to another tech bubble burst. But then again, the show must go on.

1. Uber: $51 billion

Uber raised an additional $1 billion earlier this year to bring their total funding to more than $5 billion. This places the company at an over $50 billion valuation. A company that was founded in 2009 is now almost worth as much as the companies that make the cars its drivers ride, Ford ($60 billion) and GM ($55 billion).

2. Xiaomi: $46 billion

The Chinese smartphone manufacturer was the most valuable private tech company until Uber came along and stole its thunder.

3. Airbnb: $25 billion

Airbnb is one of the highest valued hospitality companies, without actually owning a single hotel. A new funding round of $1.5 billion places the company at this valuation.

4. Dell: $24.9 billion

Since Dell went private in 2013, they are no longer bound to the ‘valuation’ tag. But before it went private again, this was the value at which the owner, Michael Dell and his group, purchased it off the stock market. That was the last we heard of Dell’s valuation.

5. Palantir: $20 billion

Palantir is a secretive data analysis company. Probably because of the kind of clients they have: CIA, US military and maybe aliens from Mars.

6. Didi Kuaidi: $16 billion

This company offers what Uber offers, but in China. It also offers private car services. It has received funding from Uber’s main rivals, Lyft. It has also received funding from Alibaba and Tencent Holdings.

7. Snapchat: 16 billion

Snapchat’s main strength is the demographics of its main users – millennials. They are a much-sought after group for advertisers. It’s worth noting that Alibaba has also invested in Snapchat.

8. Flipkart: 15 billion

Flipkart, the Indian ecommerce company, has grown mostly because the size of the middle-class in India has also grown as well as the number of internet users in the country. One of Flipkart’s investors include the New York-based investment manager Tiger Global Management.

9. SpaceX: $12 billion

Google’s reported $900 million investment in SpaceX for 7.5 percent is one of the reasons the rocket and spacecraft manufacturing company’s valuation has skyrocketed.

10. Pinterest: $11 billion

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the images on Pinterest are worth billions.The image-bookmarking website is backed by venture capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz and Bessemer Venture Partners.

Photo Credit: R. Motti via Compfight cc

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