This year's Bessemer Venture Partners The annual Cloud 100 benchmark report was recently released and my colleague Alex Wilhelm looked at some general trends in the report. However, as I looked into the data, I decided to focus on the top 10 companies in the evaluation. I found out that the top company broke the convention for several reasons.
Bessemer looks at private companies. As soon as they go public they lose interest and that's why certain startups get in and out of this list every year. For example, Dropbox was by far the highest-rated company with a rating in the range of $ 10 billion for 2016 and 2017, the earliest data in the report. It went public in 2018 and therefore disappeared.
While that $ 10 billion benchmark remains a pretty good measure of a solid cloud company, one company in particular has blown the scoring field, such a huge outlier that its value dwarfs even the mighty snowflake that holds a value of over $ 12 billion before it went public earlier this month.
The company is Stripe, which has another $ 36 billion worldwide valuation. Stripes began its climb to the top of the charts in 2016 and 2017 when it sat behind Dropbox with a valuation of $ 6 billion in 2016 and around $ 8 billion in 2017. At the time of Dropbox Stripe left the chart in 2018 and probably would have gotten past it when its valuation soared to $ 20 billion. It soared to around $ 23 billion last year before taking another huge leap to $ 36 billion this year.
Stripe remains an outlier, not only because of its huge valuation, but also because of the fact that it has not yet gone public. As theinformationsuperhighway's Ingrid Lunden pointed out in an article earlier this year, the company has failed to consider its intentions, despite recent speculation that an IPO may be imminent.
What Stripe did to deserve this insane rating is the cloud payments API of choice for some of the biggest companies on the internet. Keep in mind that Stripe's customers include Amazon, Salesforce, Google, and Shopify, and it's not difficult to see why this company is as valued as it is.
Stripe came up with the idea of simplifying the integration of a payment mechanism into your app or website. This is extremely time consuming. Instead of building their own, the developers used the pre-built variant of Stripe and Stripe receives a little money every time someone knocks on the payment gateway.
If you are talking about some of the largest participating companies in the world and many other companies large and small, all of these payments made through the Stripe systems add up to high sales, and that sales have resulted in this amazing valuation.
Another company to look out for here is UIPath, the robotic process automation company that was just behind Snowflake, valued at over $ 10 billion. While it's unclear whether RPA, the technology that automates legacy workflows, has the sustained power of a payments API, it has certainly evolved a lot in recent years.
Most of the companies in this report appear for a couple of years when they become unicorns, watch their values rise, and eventually go public. Stripe up to this point has chosen not to do so, which makes it a highly unusual company.