From start-up to global enterprise: the most successful companies

The 2010s have ushered in unparalleled technological innovation and progress through a variety of industry achievements and new businesses. Of course, the last decade has introduced us to B2C services which we can’t imagine life without today, see: Instagram, Deliveroo, Uber.

But, B2B organisations and companies have also had their fair share of ground-breaking, industry shattering innovations, which despite being less than 10 years old, still hold up a vital part of many organisations of todays’ key infrastructure.

Here is just three examples of 2010 start-ups turned global enterprises:

Slack (2012)

Free messaging services are nothing new, and the likes of Microsoft Network (MSN) have been around since 1995. What Slack did, was introduce a streamlined messaging, all-in-one corporate contact system which can be introduced to any workplace with ease.

Within just three years, Slack became the fastest growing start-up ever – which is all the more impressive considering it provides a B2B Software as a Service solution. What Slack did so well, is promise an injection of excitement into stereotypically boring B2B business models. It did this through clever marketing, which blurred the lines between traditionally consumer and traditionally corporate, and through a slick, no-nonsense service which just worked.

Today, Slack has an estimated worth of more than $20 billion, and it’s no surprise that SMEs and start-ups have constantly tried, and many have failed, to emulate its success.

Stripe (2010)

Founded in 2010, with its first round of seed funding beginning in August 2010, Stripe has only gone from strength to strength.

Providing technical, fraud prevention, and banking infrastructure required to operate online payments, allowed business to make and receive internet payments, crucially tapped into an emerging fintech market, solving problems that many businesses weren’t yet aware of.

What really set Stripe up for success was its willingness to open its doors to external funding. In May 2011, it had received a $2 million investment from venture capitalists followed by an $18 million Series A investment.

Today, Stripe is worth $35 billion and is still one of the leading success stories for a B2B fintech start-up.

Microsoft Azure (2010)

Admittedly, this one isn’t a start-up, and instead is developed by one of the most recognisable and profitable brands worldwide, Microsoft.

However, Microsoft Azure has had such an impact on business operations in the 2010s that it had to be mentioned. It provides SaaS, PaaS and IaaS which uses public cloud computing for services such as analytics, virtual computing, storage, networking and so much more.

Microsoft Azure is quite simply an example of how to make use of emerging technologies such as the cloud and lead an entirely new service platform which is now utilised millions of businesses worldwide.

Whilst SMEs of today initially won’t have a fraction of the finance available to them as Microsoft, there is still a lesson to be learned here, around innovation and using advancements in new technology to create an all-in-one platform which gives its customers no reason to seek alternative services.


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