SHEIN ranked most successful startup of the decade

SHEIN is the most successful startup of the decade, ranking in the top three for valuation, public perception, growth, and number of employees.  

The Startup Success Index, by Vention, analysed a list of 1,220 startups, from CB Insights, against its valuation, the public perception of the company through search volume, its growth score, and the number of employees. Results for each category were converted into an overall score out of 100 to determine the ranking.     

Online fast fashion retailer SHEIN topped the list as the number one most successful startup of the decade, scoring 87.12. The study revealed that SHEIN, which has over 100,000 employees, ranked in the top three for every category. SHEIN has a value of $66 billion, the third highest in the study and an average monthly search volume of 62 million globally. SHEIN is being searched for 277-fold greater than ByteDance, which ranked second on the list of most successful startups of the decade.   

TikTok owner ByteDance ranked second most successful with a score of 83.57, with the highest value out of all the startups listed at $225 billion. The company also ranked highest for its number of employees, 50% more than SHEIN, and scored the highest index score of 10 for its growth. ByteDance has around 150,000 employees and a 4% total headcount growth in the last six months. While ByteDance has a lower monthly search volume at 223,582, it’s worth noting that its subsidiary company TikTok is Googled 58 million times on average worldwide a month.      

In third place is ChatGPT developer OpenAI, with an index score of 76.56. The study revealed that the AI research and deployment company has the second-highest valuation at $80 billion and the second-highest growth score at 8.98. Despite having the lowest number of employees of the top 10 at just over 700, OpenAI has the fourth biggest monthly search volume of all the companies, with 10,574,600 global searches.      

Fintech startup Stripe ranks fourth, with an index score of 67.42. It has the fourth highest company value, at $65 billion, and the fourth largest number of employees in the top 10, at 7,000.       

In fifth place is Enterprise AI Cloud data platform Databricks, with an index score of 60.82. Databricks has a company value of $43 billion and the fourth-highest growth index score of 7.07.        

Fintech company Revolut followed behind in sixth place, with an index score of 60.15. Revolut is valued at $10 billion less than Databricks but has over 1,500 more employees. The fintech company ranked higher than San Francisco-based Chime, which placed tenth on the list.     

Canva is in seventh place, with an index score of 56.09. Canva's highest score on the index was for public perception, where it placed first out of the companies listed. Canva is Googled almost two-thirds more than SHEIN, with over 98 million monthly searches.     

Epic Games is in eighth place with an index of 53.29. The American video game and software developer has a value of $23 billion and has just over 4,000 employees. The video game company ranked above. In comparison competitor Niantic, best known for developing the augmented reality mobile game Pokémon Go, has a lesser value of $9 billion and 1,050 employees.      

The digital collaboration platform Miro is in ninth place after that, with an index score of 52.84. Miro has the lowest value of all the companies of the top 10 listed at $18 billion but has the fifth biggest growth index score at 6.93. One of Miro’s top competitors' Lucid software has a value of $3 billion and a growth index score of 3.3.     

Finally, Chime rounds off the list in tenth place with a score of 47.92. The fintech company is worth $25 billion, which is $20 billion more than competitor Monzo.   

In the top 10, the study found that fintech appeared to be the most prevalent industry, with more tech-based startups being more successful than ‘traditional’ startups. In the retail industry, the second most popular company after SHEIN was American consumer goods and food delivery GoPuff which placed 12th.   

Marc Karasu, CMO at Vention, commented on the findings: "Over the past decade, many startup websites and apps have emerged as highly successful in profitability and worldwide dominance. The top three in the study, SHEIN, Bytedance and OpenAI, have achieved significant success as startups, which could be due to a combination of innovative business models, strategic partnerships, and cutting-edge technology.    

"It's interesting to note that OpenAI has the lowest number of employees of the top 10 in the study, but due to its advancements in artificial intelligence research, it has positioned itself as a leader in the field by developing cutting-edge technologies and collaborating with industry partners. Its focus on ethical AI and open-source initiatives has garnered widespread recognition and support, contributing to its success as a world-renowned startup."