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RS Components

The technology industry is constantly growing and is in fact the fastest growing industry in the world’s economy, with no signs of slowing down. With the aim of improving the way we do things, research, new developments and innovation are taking place every day and pushing us to an increasingly digital world. Research and breakthroughs in the likes of artificial intelligence (AI), big data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and virtual reality (VR), are already having a major impact on nearly every industry, and also many of our own personal lives.

Pushing for new developments requires staggering amounts of investment and spending, which the tech industry again tops the leaderboard in, with 2016 seeing its spending reach over $6.3 trillion, making it the world’s ‘third largest economic force’ in GDP terms. The United States took first place spending $18.58 trillion and then China at $11.2 trillion. This is staggering, as essentially, one industry is spending more than whole countries GDP in one year.

But with the tech industry being so large and varied, have you ever wondered which sector is the most successful?


RS Components have analysed 214 global unicorn companies valued at $1 billion or more to find out the top 10 most successful sectors in tech:




Valuation ($B)











Internet Software & Services



Big Data






Digital Media



Consumer Electronics



Auto Tech



Cyber Security



The On-Demand sector makes the most money in the tech industry by a long way, with a whopping valuation of $178.75 billion. The sector includes the likes of popular companies such as Uber, GrabTaxi, Deliveroo and Gett, and is only set to grow as even more businesses like these emerge. This rise is inevitable as the nature of the On-Demand sector in allowing independent sellers to offer services and goods to customers is gaining more interest as people look for new and innovative ways of making money.


Uber is one of the most famous enterprises to emerge from the On-Demand sector, and since its birth in March 2009, has come on leaps and bounds, reaching an impressive valuation of  $72 billion. This figure is astounding when looking at the On-Demand sector’s overall valuation, with Uber alone making up nearly half of the money it brought in. This success comes as no surprise and also with no sign of stopping as the business continues to invest in a variety of areas in the On-Demand sector, such as food delivery, logistics, electric bikes and even self-driving cars. This year, the company has a mind-blowing $1 billion budget for similar projects to invest in. With companies like Uber leading the way, the On-Demand sector is dominating the tech industry as it is becoming increasingly popular with the public.


The next two most successful sectors in tech include E-Commerce and Fintech, with the former making $102.28 billion and the latter making $91.22 billion. Interestingly, of all 214 companies analysed, these two industries held the highest number of businesses, with E-Commerce at 37 companies and Fintech at 31. E-Commerce, also known as electronic commerce essentially refers to the buying and selling of services online, and dates back to 1994, with the first ever online sale where a man sold a CD to his friend through his website NetMarket. Since then, E-Commerce has exploded, with the likes of Amazon leading the way and becoming the most famous and successful E-Commerce business today. The most successful E-Commerce businesses analysed was Airbnb, with a value of $29.3 billion. To top it off, the sector’s success isn’t stopping any time soon, with global retail e-commerce sales expected to reach $27 trillion in 2020.


Of all 214 global unicorn companies analysed, nearly half of them are based in the USA, with 102. In second place is China who hold 57 of the companies, followed by India with 13. The UK comes in at 4th with just 11 companies. The number of companies placed in the USA is greatly significant when considering the scale of the industry’s success and influence in the world’s economy. With an incomprehensible figure of money coming from just one single country, it’s crucial to acknowledge the impact the United States ia having across the world.

Who will be the next most successful sector in tech in a few years then?


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Finance Derivative is a global financial and business analysis magazine, published by FM.Publishing. It is a yearly print and online magazine providing broad coverage and analysis of the financial industry, international business and the global economy.