April 17, 2024

Grand Depart

Experienced In Technology

40 global technology companies beating their Western rivals

20 min read
40 global technology companies beating their Western rivals

What is the world’s biggest digital bank? No, not HSBC — it’s Brazil’s Nubank, which reported close to $5 billion in revenue last year. 

What is the most widely used social media platform in Vietnam? Not Facebook or TikTok — it’s Zalo, with an impressive 87{76cecface0748ddeecd9e742a6b04748a479068b020f881d389c6d6775b6c823} adoption rate.

And what was one of the earliest online food delivery platforms? That would be Talabat, launched by a group of Kuwaiti students in Cairo, in 2004. That’s three years before the iPhone came to market.

If these names surprise you, they shouldn’t. Startup ecosystems outside the West have been churning out billion-dollar tech companies and radically innovative products for years. But their achievements are rarely celebrated or known here in the U.S. Today, not only are entrepreneurs in Buenos Aires, Lagos, and Jakarta building businesses that create huge economic opportunity and value, they’re also competing directly with Silicon Valley for users and growth in these markets. And they’re winning.

Our 2023 annual list is devoted to 40 trailblazing companies that, in their own ways, beat the West. Some of them won by market combat: Years of bruising competition led to lucrative acquisitions by their Western rivals, or acquisitions of the Westerner’s local assets. A few just dominate their sector outright.

Others beat the West by paying attention. They saw what foreign entrants missed, and tailored their products and platforms to local user needs with surgical precision. Or they proved a certain model could work in developing economies written off by outsiders.

By seeing and seizing opportunity — and not waiting for Silicon Valley to meet local needs — these 40 companies lead the pack. They’ve already inspired a generation of new startups, founders, engineers, and problem-solvers across emerging markets, whose inventions will come to define the future of everyone’s technology experience. TikTok may have been the first international tech platform to spark a major crisis around American competitiveness, but it won’t be the last. 

— Anup Kaphle (Editor-in-Chief)



India 🇮🇳

A photo of a set of hands holding a mobile phone showing a PhonePe QR code payment system with a red overlay, against a white background.

India’s 1.4 billion citizens have many payment apps to choose from. PhonePe, a transaction platform that uses the homegrown unified payments interface (UPI), leads the pack. PhonePe’s success against Google Pay and WhatsApp Pay led to a lucrative acquisition by e-commerce giant Flipkart in 2016. Two years later, American retailer Walmart acquired Flipkart for a whopping $16 billion, with PhonePe as the deal’s crown jewel. PhonePe’s unique offering makes it particularly attractive: It’s a one-stop destination for all your daily transactions — from transferring money between different bank accounts to making purchases without ever leaving the app.

Fact box
Total fundraised $2.5 billion
No. of registered users 480 million


Kenya 🇰🇪

Ask an American what they know about African tech, and you’re likely to hear one name: M-Pesa. The Kenyan peer-to-peer payments pioneer was so groundbreaking in the 2000s that it featured on TED Talks, and its story is taught in U.S. business schools today. M-Pesa enabled Kenyans to send money securely via text messages, unlocking financial inclusion for millions. It has inspired look-alike platforms in nearly every non-Western country, and is still going strong at home, too: M-Pesa is used by a whopping 84{76cecface0748ddeecd9e742a6b04748a479068b020f881d389c6d6775b6c823} of Kenya’s population and processes transactions that amount to roughly half of the country’s GDP.

Fact box
Revenue $786 million in 2022
No. of users 52.4 million monthly active users
Market share 99{76cecface0748ddeecd9e742a6b04748a479068b020f881d389c6d6775b6c823} in Kenya


India 🇮🇳

India is covered in QR codes — from iPhone stores to roadside tea stalls — and they’re compatible with practically all of the country’s payment apps. The backbone of this infrastructure is the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), a nonprofit owned by a consortium of banks, which functions under India’s central bank. NPCI’s UPI is so well-integrated into Indian life that it processed over $1 trillion in transactions last year. Meanwhile, its homegrown card network, RuPay, has been on such a rise that both Visa and Mastercard have grumbled to the U.S. government about its unfair advantage.

Fact box
No. of transactions 45 billion, as of March 2022
No. of users 250 million UPI users


Brazil 🇧🇷

The São Paulo-based Nubank is currently the largest digital bank in the world. It seized on Latin American banks’ inability to quickly digitize, and snagged a big investment from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Nubank has also smartly aligned itself with local pop culture, recruiting Brazilian pop star Anitta to be its global brand ambassador.

Fact box
Total fundraised $4.1 billion, as of January 2023 
Revenue $4.8 billion in 2022
No. of account holders 85 million, as of April 2023


Mexico 🇲🇽

Mexican crypto-exchange Bitso may have actually found the smartest use for cryptocurrency: remittances. The company processes 4{76cecface0748ddeecd9e742a6b04748a479068b020f881d389c6d6775b6c823} of the remittances sent between the U.S. and Mexico, which adds up to billions of dollars each year. One trick Bitso has used to compete with established players like Western Union and MoneyGram: reducing the commissions on transactions.

Fact box
Total fundraised $314.5 million, as of 2021
No. of users 6 million individuals and 1,500 institutional customers


UAE 🇦🇪

Dubai-based Binance was founded by Changpeng Zhao, universally known as CZ, who was born in China and grew up in Canada. While U.S. crypto players like Coinbase were treating alt-coins like an embarrassment, Binance reveled in the chaos. It became the biggest and noisiest crypto exchange for anyone interested in the weirder, more speculative side of crypto — which was a bigger part of the boom than anyone wanted to admit.

No one knows how long Binance’s glory days might last: The SEC recently charged it with lying to regulators and mishandling U.S. funds, and sought to broadly freeze the assets of its U.S. trading platform. In June, Binance reached a compromise to continue its operations while it defends itself.

A photo of a man speaking with an orange overlay, against a white background.

Fact box
Revenue $20 billion, as of January 2022
Daily transaction value Over $10 billion 



Singapore 🇸🇬

A photo of a woman seated on a motorbike with a red overlay, against a white background.

It’s good to have friends with deep pockets. In 2018, after a lengthy price war with Uber, the SoftBank-backed Grab went on to, well, grab the Southeast Asian assets of its biggest rival, in a deal valued at several billion dollars. Grab saw what Uber had failed to grasp about Southeast Asia: a preference for mopeds and cash transactions.

Fact box
Total fundraised $16.5 billion, as of 2021
Revenue $1.43 billion in 2022
No. of users 32.7 million users in 2022


Turkey 🇹🇷

When the Turkish delivery company launched its London operations two years ago, co-founder Tuncay Tütek said he wanted to teach the world to pronounce Getir — GET-EER — which means “to bring.” That shouldn’t be hard, as global investors have flocked to the startup in recent years, shooting its valuation to almost $12 billion. Getir has pioneered ultrafast delivery by shortening delivery times to 10 minutes, which continues to give it a competitive advantage amid a sea of players. But to invent 10-minute delivery, Getir first had to create its own network of maps in Istanbul: A five-person core team built the app’s geographic information system, and then paired it with government data on migration patterns to decide how to deploy drivers and where to build warehouses.

Even as Getir continues its takeover of the competition in Europe, it has reportedly pulled out of several European countries, including Spain and France, citing weak sales and an inability to raise adequate funds.

Fact box
Total fundraised $1.8 billion, as of April 2023
No. of users 3.5 million active users in 2021


UAE 🇦🇪

For years, Uber and its UAE-based rival Careem were locked in a costly price war for ride-sharing customers in the Middle East. When Uber acquired Careem in 2019 for $3.1 billion, it was the biggest payday ever for the blossoming tech sector in the Middle East and North Africa. The ride-hailing company’s early growth came down to understanding its local users better: It enabled cash-on-delivery years before Uber did, built call centers (so that less-app-literate users could book cars over the phone), and solved for technical gaps in Google Maps that had led to fewer reliable pickups and routing. Today, it operates in 90 cities — all the way from Pakistan to Morocco.

Careem scored a major victory in 2018 when Saudi Arabia made it legal for women to drive. The company became closely associated with the policy change, giving it both a PR win and a new supply of drivers.

Fact box
No. of users 48 million registered users 
No. of employees Around 5,000
Total fundraised $771 million, as of 2018


Bangladesh 🇧🇩

Few startups in South Asia have managed to expand regionally, let alone also lead those markets. Pathao is the biggest ride-hailing company in Bangladesh and Nepal — both markets with half a dozen local and international players, including Uber (in Bangladesh) and inDrive (in Nepal). And it’s the only profitable food-delivery business in Bangladesh. Pathao recently got the green light to launch its own payment wallet, PathaoPay. We’ll see if it does as well as the rest of the company.

Fact box
Revenue $14 million in 2022 
No. of users Over 8 million


UAE 🇦🇪

Kitopi takes the ghost kitchen idea and supercharges it. Founded in Dubai in 2018, the kitchen-as-a-service platform currently operates over 60 kitchens across the Gulf states. When a restaurant brand joins Kitopi, they hand the company their recipes and train its workers on how to prepare their food. The entire process — from setting up to launching deliveries — takes no more than 14 days. Its services have grown so rapidly in the region that Kitopi has already helped Shake Shack and Papa John’s to establish virtual restaurants in the Middle East.

Fact box
No. of employees 5,000
Total fundraised $804 million, as of May 2022


Chile 🇨🇱

A two sets of hands passing paper grocery bags to one another with an orange overlay, against a white background.

This e-grocery startup exploded out of the gate in 2015, launching simultaneously in Chile and Mexico. Cornershop’s ease of navigation, seamless search function, and a novel customer-shopper messaging interface supercharged its growth. Its success was quickly noticed up north, and in 2021, Uber bought the company for $1.4 billion. Notably, it also had a fully employed delivery force, with union representatives regularly meeting with the company’s C-suite.

Fact box
Total fundraised $31.7 million, as of 2020
Revenue $200 million annually


Russia 🇷🇺

The second most-downloaded ride-hailing app in the world started in Siberia. But after Russia invaded Ukraine, inDrive left the country and relocated its employees and their families elsewhere. One of inDrive’s key features was inspired by local taxi price-gouging during the region’s cold winters. The app allows users to negotiate a price with drivers. It now also supports couriers and freight delivery. You can haggle with them, too.

Fact box
Total fundraised $387 million, as of 2023
No. of downloads 175 million 


UAE 🇦🇪

Talabat, which is Arabic for “request,” was founded by Kuwaitis in 2004. Back then, the company took online orders over a modem connection, which it would then disconnect to call the restaurant, place the customer’s order, and reconnect to the internet. It has since expanded across the Middle East and North Africa, and in 2015, was acquired by Germany-based Rocket Internet for $170 million. Talabat’s recipe for success includes a focus on exclusive deals, lower commission rates for restaurants that sign up only on its platform, and locally tailored promotional campaigns, including during Ramadan. As of last year, it had nearly 80{76cecface0748ddeecd9e742a6b04748a479068b020f881d389c6d6775b6c823} of the market share in the UAE’s food delivery market by order volumes. Talabat also signed Cristiano Ronaldo as a brand ambassador. The company certainly takes goals very seriously.

Fact box
Number of registered users 2 million


China 🇨🇳

A photo of the rear of an electric car plugged into a charging port with an orange overlay, against a white background.

BYD, which stands for “build your dreams,” sits at the top of China’s electric vehicle market. It’s expanding beyond China, starting with commercial vehicles like taxis and buses, and could possibly overtake Tesla soon as the biggest EV company in the world. And they didn’t even have to buy Twitter to do it. Makes you think.

Fact box
Total fundraised $6.6 billion, as of 2021
Revenue $63 billion in 2022 
No. of units sold 1.86 million EVs in 2022



South Korea 🇰🇷

Everyone in the world is trying to create the “everything app,” but the closest you’ll come to finding one outside of China is probably Naver. It’s not just South Korea’s Google, it’s South Korea’s entire internet. Its flagship products are Line, a supercharged messaging app that practically runs the country; and V Live, the streaming platform that drives the K-pop industry. And whoever runs K-pop pretty much runs the world.

Fact box
Revenue $6.1 billion in 2022
No. of users 38 million monthly active users in January 2023


China 🇨🇳

It might not grab headlines as often as ByteDance or Shein, but Tencent is one of China’s most valuable companies. It produces some of the world’s most popular video games, like PUBG and Honor of Kings, but its real powerhouse is WeChat: the “everything app” that is the envy of the global tech industry. Although every would-be super-app aspires to be the next WeChat, no platform in China or elsewhere comes close to the company’s utter domination. It’s so deeply integrated into daily life in the country that if the app vanished one day, the majority of China would be unable to function.

Fact box
Revenue $79.6 billion in 2022
No. of users 1.3 billion for WeChat, as of 2022

Telegram Messenger

UAE 🇦🇪

A photo of a man speaking with an orange overlay, against a white background.

Telegram was founded by Pavel Durov, who is sometimes called “Russia’s Mark Zuckerberg” because he created VK, which is sometimes called “Russia’s Facebook.” Telegram Messenger has given WhatsApp a run for its money, thanks to a combination of private messaging and large group channels. A group on Telegram can have up to 200,000 active members, and its channels can be followed by an unlimited number of people. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, its feed can be ad-free and not run by an algorithm. Telegram is so popular that it has become the go-to platform for following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Even President Zelenskyy uses it for his broadcasts.

In 2019, Telegram raised a $1.7 billion initial coin offering (ICO) in an effort to launch a blockchain platform. After the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed an emergency action order, Telegram eventually agreed to return $1.2 billion to investors.

Fact box
Total fundraised $2.9 billion, as of 2023
No. of users Over 700 million monthly active users, as of 2022


Vietnam 🇻🇳

Vietnam considers itself a socialist-oriented market economy, which presents certain challenges for startups seeking access to global investors or talent pipelines. But protectionism doesn’t explain why the country’s biggest messaging app, Zalo, continues to trounce Viber, Messenger, and WhatsApp in the battle for Vietnam’s roughly 75 million internet users — just about all of whom are Zalo users. Building one of the few successful super-apps outside of China hinged on knowing what the masses wanted: One reason for its early popularity was the option to share and save high-quality photographs instantly, without having to rely on email or Google Drive.

Fact box
No. of users 73.4 million daily active users by the end of 2022
No. of government accounts 6,000


USA 🇺🇸

One of the most commonly used writing assistant apps in U.S. colleges was founded in Ukraine. Initially, Grammarly’s three founders wanted to build a tool that’d help students with spelling and grammar, and discourage them from plagiarism. Well, it turns out students aren’t the only ones who need writing assistance. The company reached 30 million daily active users in 2020, and by 2021, Grammarly was worth $13 billion. After years of slim competition, new rivals like OpenAI’s ChatGPT are openly challenging its supremacy.

Fact box
Total fundraised $400 million, as of 2021
No. of users 30 million daily active users, as of 2020


China 🇨🇳

Africa’s number one mobile phone supplier launched in Lagos, with a suite of desperately needed localized features like dual SIM and phone cameras that accurately recognized darker skin tones. Today, Transsion is based in Shenzhen, which tells an interesting story about the growing Sino-African tech sector. The company overtook Samsung in 2017 and has continued to expand, largely thanks to low prices and a “glocalization” strategy, focused on devices specifically tailored to local markets.

Fact box
Revenue $6.8 billion, as of 2022
Total fundraised $400 million in 2019


Jamaica 🇯🇲

In richer countries, it’s easy to take the internet for granted. But building towers and cables can cost billions, and not many telecom companies are willing to take the risk with small or poor countries. Especially not in 2001, when Denis O’Brien, an Irishman, launched Digicel in Jamaica. His belief that a high volume of low-income users could make telecom infrastructure pay for itself — and then some — made Digicel the dominant operator across the Caribbean and South Pacific, highly influential in the economies and politics of those markets. That is, until a multibillion-dollar debt burden grew too heavy and it began restructuring. It still controls the lion’s share of the Caribbean mobile phone market and is the largest foreign investor in Haiti.

Fact box
Revenue $1.8 billion in 2022
No. of users Over 10 million daily active users


China 🇨🇳

A photo of a two people dancing in front of a cell phone with a green overlay, against a white background.

China’s ByteDance is the biggest tech company in the world right now — at least when it comes to cultural impact. And government scrutiny. ByteDance created TikTok, the first Chinese app to become an international hit, and has a suite of other apps that seem primed to take on the global market. TikTok’s Chinese twin app, Douyin, is equally successful at home. At this point, the only thing that can stop ByteDance is governments around the world banning its products, which is happening more than it used to.

The tech firm has faced criticism from dozens of countries over privacy and security concerns, and continues to be accused of being a national security risk in the U.S. because of how it treats the data it collects.

Fact box
Revenue $80 billion in 2022
No. of users 600 million monthly active users for TikTok, 750 million daily active users for Douyin


China 🇨🇳

A photo showing the lower half of two people holding SHEIN bags with a red overlay, against a white background.

Shein is to clothing what TikTok is to videos. And the common denominator is Gen Z. As of 2021, the Nanjing-born company is the biggest fast-fashion retailer in the world. It has a simple marketing formula: Invite thousands of influencers to try several dozen outfits and post them on TikTok and Instagram, and then push pop-ups and sales events. But the real secret behind Shein’s success is its sophisticated algorithm: It collects real-time feedback on popular purchases, allowing it to be more efficient with inventories and keep prices ultralow. Just how fast is Shein’s fast-fashion empire? It adds up to 10,000 individual styles to the app every day.

The company’s meteoric growth has invited scrutiny for its poor labor conditions and negative impact on the environment.

Fact box
Total fundraised $4.1 billion, as of 2023
Revenue $22.7 billion in 2022
Market share 50{76cecface0748ddeecd9e742a6b04748a479068b020f881d389c6d6775b6c823} of the U.S. fast fashion market


India 🇮🇳

The Bengaluru-based BigBasket cracked grocery delivery in a market where behemoths like Amazon and Flipkart have failed. How? By solving for the necessary infrastructure to bring online grocery shopping to the far corners of a country that doesn’t have the roads, highways, or cold storage systems to support it. The company’s big innovation was building a network of small warehouses in major cities across India, and then going all-in on technology — like investing in web-connected, temperature-controlled trucks and inventory-optimizing algorithms — when almost no one else was.

Fact box
Revenue $870 million in 2022


Mexico 🇲🇽

It might be surprising to think that Mexico’s answer to 7-Eleven is a tech company, but it absolutely is. Thanks to its Oxxo Pay service, and the Spin by Oxxo debit card and app, the company’s network of over 20,000 convenience stores has evolved into a fintech powerhouse. It combines digital payments, e-commerce integrations, and physical storefronts, making Oxxo the dominant player in Mexico and, more recently, across Latin America. For instance, Spin by Oxxo — a neobank-like debit card that needs to be activated at an Oxxo store — has more than double the customers Nubank does in Mexico.

Fact box
No. of employees 179,161 in 2022
No. of users 12 million daily customers in Mexico alone


Singapore 🇸🇬

This e-commerce unicorn came out of a 54-hour hackathon, and takes its name from an iconic Mad Men reference. Carousell is a one-stop mobile platform to buy and sell secondhand goods — the company says it sees more than 140 items sold per minute. It’s a novel idea, as long as its efforts to combat fake sellers and phishing scams prove successful. Outside of Southeast Asia, Carousell is making waves in Australia and New Zealand.

Fact box
Total fundraised $372.6 million, as of 2021
Revenue $82.5 million in 2022


Singapore 🇸🇬

Shopee is a juggernaut. Calling it the “Amazon of Southeast Asia” doesn’t quite do it justice, but “Amazon of the Global South” might. This Singapore-based e-commerce giant — with operations in six other Asian markets and one in Latin America — pioneered the now-ubiquitous livestreaming and “shoppertainment” elements in the online shopping experience. Sadly, getting Ronaldo to dance to a “Baby Shark”-like song wasn’t enough to insulate Shopee from layoffs last year.

Fact box
No. of users 343 million monthly users, as of 2022
Revenue $73.5 billion in 2022
Market share Around 60{76cecface0748ddeecd9e742a6b04748a479068b020f881d389c6d6775b6c823}


Nigeria 🇳🇬

A photo of a man handing a woman a package in black and white with a orange overlay, against a white background.

Once called the “Amazon of Africa,” Jumia was the continent’s first unicorn. It proved that pay-on-delivery — a feature most Western players believed would never work — could be implemented successfully in extremely low-trust environments. In 2019, a few weeks after the company’s IPO in New York, its stock suffered a spectacular decline following allegations of fraud and inflated metrics. Jumia has since exited three countries, cut several of its offerings, and gone through a reorganization to seek profitability.

Fact box
Total fundraised $1.2 billion
Revenue $221.9 million in 2022
No. of users Over 3.1 million quarterly active users


China 🇨🇳

Pinduoduo literally means “shop more together,” which is a good way to explain how it became one of China’s largest e-commerce companies: by transforming shopping into a social experience. The South China Morning Post once described the company as if “Amazon, Groupon and Facebook had a baby in China.” Even if you haven’t heard of Pinduoduo, you’d know its sister app Temu, which launched in the U.S. last year and followed up with a Super Bowl ad this February. Temu follows Pinduoduo’s model of rock-bottom pricing and gamified social e-commerce, and has continued to dominate our Instagram feeds.

Fact box
Revenue $5.8 billion in 2022
No. of users 733.4 million monthly active users


Pakistan 🇵🇰

For years, Western tech companies were shy to enter Pakistan, despite the country having one of the largest populations of internet users in the world. Necessity breeds innovation, which meant e-commerce platform Daraz developed such a lead that Amazon couldn’t catch up. The company doubled down on its head start by investing in its own delivery logistics platform Daraz Express and launching new features like livestreaming — which boosted orders by a whopping 900{76cecface0748ddeecd9e742a6b04748a479068b020f881d389c6d6775b6c823} in the second half of 2022. After dominating Pakistan, Daraz, which was acquired by Alibaba in 2018, is on a mission to capture the e-commerce markets in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

Fact box
Employees 3,000, as of February 2023
Total fundraised $55.6 million, as of 2018


Argentina 🇦🇷

A photo of a woman assembling a package with an orange overlay, against a white background.

There is a certain irony that American e-commerce giant Amazon is not particularly popular in South America. Filling that gap is MercadoLibre (and its Brazilian counterpart Mercado Livre). By building an online payments infrastructure called Mercado Pago, the company leapfrogged Amazon’s efforts to lure in both sellers and buyers. It diversified payment options and allowed Latin Americans — many of whom had been skeptical of online purchases — to make digital payments, including via QR codes, at approved locations.

In 2019, Marcos Galperin, CEO of MercadoLibre, got into a lengthy battle with the Argentine government and self-exiled to Uruguay.

Fact box
Revenue $10.5 billion in 2022
No. of users 148 million, as of 2023
Market share More than 50{76cecface0748ddeecd9e742a6b04748a479068b020f881d389c6d6775b6c823} in Latin America

Modern Life


China 🇨🇳

A photo of a man reaching for a flying drone with a red overlay, against a white background.

After its inauspicious beginnings in a Hong Kong dorm room in 2006, DJI (Da Jiang Innovations) has grown into the world’s largest drone manufacturer. A DJI drone can be found anywhere from the cornfields of Iowa to the beaches of Sydney — and even at some local law enforcement agencies in the U.S. Last year, the company was blacklisted by the U.S. Department of Defense for its alleged ties to the Chinese military, an accusation the company continues to deny.

Despite bans by the U.S. Treasury and Commerce Departments, DJI still accounts for the majority of consumer drones used inside the United States.

Fact box
Revenue $2.9 billion in 2020
Market share 70{76cecface0748ddeecd9e742a6b04748a479068b020f881d389c6d6775b6c823} of the global drone market


South Africa 🇿🇦

South African streaming platform Showmax is growing quickly and is currently available in more than 40 countries in Africa. It was launched by MultiChoice, a hugely popular subscription TV company owned by tech and media giant Naspers. One reason for Showmax’s success is its focus on local markets: It has expanded domestic payment channels in several countries, and offers a strong selection of local movies. Some estimates indicate that the number of streaming users in Africa is set to triple from 5 million to 15 million in the next three years. And Showmax is well-positioned to be in the continent’s top three services, behind Netflix and Disney+.

Fact box
Market share 31{76cecface0748ddeecd9e742a6b04748a479068b020f881d389c6d6775b6c823} in Sub-Saharan Africa
No. of users Around 2 million total subscribers

Flo Health

Belarus 🇧🇾

Founded in Belarus in 2015, Flo Health is now the biggest period-tracking app in the world, beating femtech competitors such as Clue and Glow. The company closed its headquarters in Minsk after Belarus came out in support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s worth noting that Belarus, which once had a thriving tech scene, has experienced a mass exodus of tech talent since the war. In 2022, Flo launched an “anonymous mode,” following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade, which overturned the constitutional right to abortion.

In 2021, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against Flo, alleging that it misled users and shared sensitive health data with analytics companies. Flo reached a settlement with the FTC.

Fact box
Total fundraised $75.5 million, as of 2023
No. of users 50 million monthly active users


Indonesia 🇮🇩

It’s tough to take on streaming behemoth Netflix, but popular Indonesian platform Vidio is doing just that. It leaned hard into producing Bahasa Indonesia-language content for its 60 million local users, with sports, reality TV, and teen dramas. Netflix has noticed the potential of Indonesia’s streaming market: Last year, it announced a plan to launch seven local titles. But Vidio’s sitting pretty — it announced 40.

Fact box
Revenue $80 million in 2022
No. of users 3.7 million paid subscribers


China 🇨🇳

You might not know what Genshin Impact is, but Gen Z sure does. The open-world action role-playing game by miHoYo is the world’s highest-grossing video game, having generated $4 billion by the end of last year. But miHoYo isn’t stopping at one hit game. If the buzz around its sci-fi adventure game Honkai: Star Rail is any indication, it is on track to becoming one of the great new global powerhouses in gaming.

Fact box
Revenue $4 billion from Genshin Impact by the end of 2022
No. of users 67 million active players


Japan 🇯🇵

Robot-maker Fanuc, the most in-demand robot manufacturer in the world, prefers to stay out of the spotlight. The company has supplied for companies like Apple, Samsung, and Tesla, with nearly a million of its robotics units installed globally. Fanuc says it has more than 810,000 industrial robots installed globally, more than any other company in the world, and has made more than five million Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines. How tight-lipped is this company? In a rare 2015 interview with Bloomberg, a Fanuc executive took the opportunity to say that the company planned to continue not talking to the press.

Fact box
Revenue $5.8 billion, as of August 2023
Market share Around 60{76cecface0748ddeecd9e742a6b04748a479068b020f881d389c6d6775b6c823} of the CNC machine market


Taiwan 🇹🇼

Without semiconductor giant TSMC, the world would stop. The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company produces over half of the world’s semiconductors: those tiny little chips that power almost every single electronic device, from iPhones to EVs to fighter jets. In recent years, the company has found itself caught in a geopolitical battle between the U.S. and China. But with the two countries lacking their own significant chipmaking capabilities, they can neither alienate nor disrupt TSMC.

Fact box
No. of employees 65,152 in 2021
Revenue $75.88 billion in 2022
Market share 60{76cecface0748ddeecd9e742a6b04748a479068b020f881d389c6d6775b6c823} of the global semiconductor foundry market

Urban Company

India 🇮🇳

A photo of a woman giving another woman a manicure with a green overlay, against a white background.

Think Taskrabbit, but with a focus on in-house services like painting, plumbing, and even massages. Since its founding in 2014, Urban Company has disrupted India’s age-old beauty services industry by standardizing home services, now performed by trained professionals. It’s the country’s largest employer of female gig workers in the platform economy, and has also been hailed for bringing more people from oppressed castes into the organized workforce.

Fact box
Total fundraised $470 million, as of 2023
No. of users 5 million monthly active users

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