Immigrants have created some of America’s most valuable privately held companies. Several of these companies are soon to become publicly traded and available to any American who wants to invest in these billion-dollar startups.
The news of potential initial public offerings (IPOs) for many immigrant-founded companies comes at a time when a study from the National Foundation for American Policy finds that 55%, or 50 of 91, of the country’s $1 billion startup companies had at least one immigrant founder. Many of these immigrant-founded companies are valuable. “The collective value of the 50 immigrant-founded companies is $248 billon, which is more than the value of all the companies listed on the stock market of many countries, including Argentina, Columbia, Peru, Portugal and Ireland,” according to the research. The $248 billion figure likely underestimates the underlying value of these 50 companies.
Uber, cofounded by Canadian immigrant Garrett Camp, is the most valuable U.S. billion-dollar company with at least one immigrant founder, with a valuation of $72 billion. However, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that if Uber proceeds with an anticipated initial public offering in 2019, its value could reach $120 billion. “That eye-popping figure is nearly double Uber’s valuation in a fundraising round two months ago and more than General Motors, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are worth combined,” reported the newspaper.
SpaceX, founded by South African immigrant Elon Musk, and WeWork, co-founded by Israeli-born immigrant Adam Neumann, are the second and third most valuable U.S. billion-dollar startups with an immigrant founder, valued at $21 billion and $20.2 billion respectively. Neither company is expected to have an initial public offering in 2019.
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