Which are the largest tech companies in Silicon Valley today?
In spite of the fact that NYC and other notable cities have been displacing Silicon Valley as hotspots for launching startups, fast-growing startup ecosystems, and attracting capital, the valley is still a mecca for many entrepreneurs and tech workers.
The foundation and how entrenched this culture is in the DNA of the area is unlikely to change any time soon, even if traditional office space is all but abandoned for remote work after 2020.
So, who are the biggest companies in the area today? What can aspiring entrepreneurs learn from them?
Apple had a market cap of over $1.5T on July 1st, 2020. With a peak of around 188,000 employees, it has been one of the largest tech companies in the world in many ways. That’s around three times the number of employees Facebook has.
There are sure to be plenty of ups and downs and twists for this highly visible tech giant in the wake of the events of 2020. Yet, its fabled history from the early days of Steve Jobs to the iPhone has created a world-dominating brand with an intensely loyal fan base.
Visual Capitalist does a great job at capturing how these companies generate their billions as you can find on the visual below.
Palo Alto based Hewlett Packard has been around for over 80 years and still one of the largest tech companies in Silicon Valley. The original garage where HP was founded is marked as the birthplace of Silicon Valley.
While still big, HP is a fraction of the size of Apple, with a market cap of around $24B, and 60,000 employees. In 2009, Businessweek named the company one of the 11 most valuable in the world.
Without a doubt one of the largest tech companies in Silicon Valley. Google parent Alphabet is unquestionably one of the biggest tech giants in the world. All despite many attempts to break up its monopolies.
Alphabet has a market cap of just under $1T. The Mountain View, California headquartered company was birthed in restructuring by Google in 2015. It is considered one of the world’s four most valuable companies. It was the fourth to become worth $1T.
Alphabet has been one of the most active acquirers in the tech space, including ultimately acquiring a variety of the startups it has backed with capital.
According to Built-in SF, Google has over 184,000 employees at the beginning of 2020. You can also see below how they make their money.
Larry Ellison’s Redwood City-based technology company Oracle has also been a big acquirer in the tech space where M&A advisors have been top of mind which puts them on the top list of the largest tech companies in Silicon Valley. One of the most notable being $7B Sun Microsystems in 2010. Oracle has an estimated 136,000 employees, with a market cap of around $170B.
Intel is even bigger than Oracle, with a market cap of around $249B. Intel is more than 50 years old and is a supplier to Dell, HP, and Apple. The Santa Clara based company had over 110,000 employees as of 2019, and over $71B in revenues.
Intel acquired at least 29 other companies between 2010 and May 2020, including paying $7.6B for McAfee.
Slightly smaller than Intel, Cisco boasts close to a $200B market cap. San Francisco based Cisco had over 75,000 employees in 2019, and revenues of over $51B.
Cisco has long been an active acquirer, with 11 company purchases from 1995 to 1996. In May 2020, it was announced Cisco would acquire SaaS company ThousandEyes. A tech startup that had raised over $100M from investors including GV, Salesforce, and Sequoia.
With a market cap of around $600B, Facebook is still noticeably worth less than Google and Apple, despite being one of the largest tech companies in Silicon Valley.
Facebook has been a top acquirer of other tech firms, including Instagram.
Below you can see how they make their money.
For a relatively small market cap, Broadcom has a reputation for making big deals. Recently this includes acquiring Symantec for over $10B. It’s an attempt to acquire and merge Qualcomm for over $110B was blocked by the government.
eBay had 14,000 employees and revenues of over $10B as of 2018. With a market cap of just $37B, eBay is now much smaller than PayPal, which it once owned. PayPal has a market cap of over $200B. eBay has frequently bought and sold popular companies and parts of them, including Craigslist, Stubhub, and Skype.
Silicon Valley has some of the biggest companies in the world. Not just in the tech space either. Outside of the valley, some of their biggest tech rivals include Amazon and Microsoft when it comes to size.
For now, the area still seems to be a top place to pitch for startup fundraising and to sell your startup business. Still, it will be interesting to see how this changes following the events of 2020.
The National Venture Capital Association says that US startups raised around $34B in new capital in the first three months of 2020 alone. That could certainly set them up well to weather the mayhem of COVID-19 and any economic fallout.
When it comes down to fundraising keep in mind that it is all about storytelling. For a winning deck, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
Some of today’s most valuable companies and startups were born in the financial crises of 2000 and 2008. Many of these have started massive layoffs according to Bloomberg. Yet, this could be a great thing for new startups looking for more affordable talent and who are more comfortable working in a virtual environment.
Some companies have even enjoyed a huge surge in value and revenue in 2020, thanks to being ahead of the curve with new remote working solutions.
The valley is always likely to hold some magic, and its big companies may be unlikely to ever leave. Yet, it will be interesting to see how they change in size over the next phase of the cycle.
Hopefully, this post provided some clarity on the largest tech companies in Silicon Valley. If you are interested of going with your business through the hyper-growth and venture capital route you may be interested in the video below where I cover in detail the pros and cons of venture capital.