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Tech companies have experienced enormous growth in recent decades, as their innovative products and disruptive business models have transformed the way we now live. These technology leaders have historically been some of the best investments to own and many of them are now among the largest and most valuable companies in the world.
As the economy has become more globalized, the potential markets for these companies have expanded where one decision can have ripple effects across industries and around the world. Here’s what else you should know about the world’s most valuable tech companies.
10 most valuable tech companies in July 2022
|Company||Stock Symbol||Country||Sales (most recent FY)||Market Value|
|Apple||AAPL||USA||$365.8 billion||$2.5 trillion|
|Microsoft||MSFT||USA||$168.1 billion||$2.0 trillion|
|Alphabet||GOOG/GOOGL||USA||$257.6 billion||$1.51 trillion|
|Amazon.com||AMZN||USA||$469.8 billion||$1.3 trillion|
|Tesla||TSLA||USA||$53.8 billion||$844.8 billion|
|Meta Platforms||META||USA||$117.9 billion||$495.7 billion|
|Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing||TSM||Taiwan||$54 billion||$455.3 billion|
|Nvidia||NVDA||USA||$26.9 billion||$449.5 billion|
|Tencent Holdings||TCEHY||China||$87.9 billion||$415.5 billion|
|Samsung Electronics||SMSN.IL||South Korea||$232.8 billion||$318 billion|
*Note: Market value data as of July 21, 2022.
Facts about the world’s largest tech companies
• Google (now Alphabet) co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page met with legendary investor Warren Buffett before taking their company public in 2004. They outlined their vision for investors in a document inspired by Buffett’s owner’s manual for Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.
• Amazon expects to have a fleet of 100,000 electric vans for delivering customer packages by 2039.
• Tesla moved its global headquarters to Austin, Texas in 2021 after CEO Elon Musk became frustrated with California’s Covid-19 restrictions and high taxes.
• Meta Platforms reported that Facebook had 2.94 billion monthly active users as of March 31, 2022.
• TSMC builds computer chips and in 2021 had an annual capacity of more than 13 million 12-inch equivalent wafers.
• NVIDIA was founded in 1993 and has been a leader in computer graphics and artificial intelligence (AI) technology ever since. Today, they have more than 22,000 employees in over 50 countries.
• Tencent’s largest shareholder is South African internet group Naspers, which holds a 29 percent stake in Tencent through Prosus, its investment company, which trades in Amsterdam.
• Samsung has led the global television market for 16 consecutive years, according to research firm Omdia. It held a market share of nearly 30 percent in 2021.
• Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is worth about $105 billion and has donated nearly $57 billion to his charitable foundation, according to Forbes.
Investing in big tech
Investing in technology companies may sound exciting and holds the potential for high returns, but the process is really no different than it is for investing in any other company.
You’ll want to think about the underlying business and how, or if, it makes money, its competitive positioning, and growth prospects. Ultimately, you’ll want to have an estimate of how much cash you think the business can produce and whether that cash will be shared with investors or reinvested back into the business at attractive rates. In the end, you want to make sure you’re paying a reasonable price relative to the cash that will be produced by the business.
It’s easy to get attracted to tech stocks that move around a lot and seem to have prices that go up every day. But it’s really important to research the actual businesses, because when times get tough, as they have for many companies in 2022, you need to know whether to stick it out or not. Bear markets are inevitable for long-term investors, so it’s important to understand a company’s long-term outlook during those times.
The world’s most valuable tech companies
- Revenue: $365.8 billion
- Employee count: 154,000
- Claim to fame: iPhone, iPod, MacBook
Apple makes some of the world’s most popular products including the iPhone, iPad and Mac laptops. The company has also expanded into more accessories such as AirPods and the Apple Watch. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs helped to lead the company from the brink of bankruptcy in the late 1990s to the giant it is today by introducing innovative products that consumers love. Since Jobs’ death in 2011, CEO Tim Cook has kept the company humming and made it one of the most valuable companies in the world.
- Revenue: $168.1 billion
- Employee count: 181,000
- Claim to fame: Excel, PowerPoint, Xbox
Microsoft is older than many of the companies on this list, but it is also one of the strongest. Its Windows operating system helped to lead the growth of the personal computer market and its Office products such as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint are ubiquitous in the corporate world. The company has also built a sizable presence in the gaming market through its Xbox products and proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The company’s stock languished for many years following the bursting of the tech bubble, but it has been one of the best-performing tech stocks under CEO Satya Nadella.
- Revenue: $257.6 billion
- Employee count: 156,500
- Claim to fame: Google, YouTube, Google Cloud
Google got its start as a search engine that helps to organize the information on the internet. Billions of people use Google to find what they’re looking for online and the company has used its leading search position to build an online advertising behemoth. Google’s core search business is enormously profitable, which has allowed it to expand into other areas. It acquired the video site YouTube, the Android operating system used on mobile devices, and has even expanded into self-driving cars through its Waymo subsidiary. Along with Meta and Amazon, the companies account for the majority of digital ad spending.
- Revenue: $469.8 billion
- Employee count: 1.6 million
- Claim to fame: Amazon Prime, Kindle, Amazon Web Services
Amazon got its start by selling books online in the late 1990s, but it’s safe to say that they’ve expanded their offering since then. Today, you can buy just about anything from the “everything store” and its Prime service delivers to customers in two days or less. Amazon has also expanded into the streaming world through its Prime Video service, which is included with a Prime subscription. The company was also a pioneer in the cloud computing industry and its Amazon Web Services segment grew nearly 40 percent to more than $62 billion in revenue in 2021.
- Revenue: $53.8 billion
- Employee count: 99,290
- Claim to fame: Electric vehicles
Tesla is a leader in the development and production of electric vehicles. Its sleek vehicles are highly sought after by consumers despite their hefty price tags and long wait times for delivery. The company’s business model is also unique from most automakers because it doesn’t use the traditional dealership model to sell vehicles. Founder and CEO Elon Musk is one of the most watched executives in business and, while highly accomplished, is prone to erratic behavior. He recently agreed to purchase Twitter before changing his mind and is engaged in what could end up being a drawn-out legal battle.
Meta Platforms (META)
- Revenue: $117.9 billion
- Employee count: 71,970
- Claim to fame: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp
Meta Platforms, better known as the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, is the largest social media company in the world. Founded in 2004 out of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room, the company has grown to nearly 3 billion monthly active users, as of March 31, 2022. The company’s platforms have added features in recent years to fight off competition from newer social media companies such as Snapchat and TikTok. Its digital ads have proven to be highly effective, which has helped make it a leader in online advertising. The company expects to invest heavily to build its vision of the Metaverse.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSM)
- Revenue: $54 billion
- Employee count: 65,152
- Claim to fame: Manufactures semiconductors for Apple, Qualcomm, others
Though many people may not be familiar with it, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., or TSMC, is one of the most important companies in the world. It manufactures chips that go into many different electronic devices such as iPhones, computers and automobiles. The chips are designed by other companies and manufactured by TSMC. An investment in the company comes with additional geopolitical risk because of its location in Taiwan and the tension that exists with China. Because chip manufacturing requires massive upfront investments, experts say it will be difficult for competitors to catch up with TSMC any time soon.
- Revenue: $26.9 billion
- Employee count: 22,473
- Claim to fame: Leader in computer graphics, AI, accelerated computing
Nvidia is one of the largest semiconductor companies in the U.S. and is a leader in graphics chips used in video games. Its chips are also used in data centers and automobiles, among other uses. Nvidia saw a big boost to its business during the Covid-19 pandemic as more people stayed home and played video games or used products and services that relied on data centers. The company believes its total market opportunity is about $1 trillion and expects to grow for years to come.
Tencent Holdings (TCEHY)
- Revenue: $87.9 billion
- Employee count: 112,771
- Claim to fame: Weixin, WeChat, Games
Tencent is one of the largest companies in China and has businesses that span the digital economy including social media, gaming and payments. Tencent’s Weixin platform is the largest communication and social platform in China with 1.3 billion monthly active users. Tencent processes more than 1 billion daily commercial payment transactions through Weixin Pay. The company has made changes to its gaming business recently to place limits on the amount of time spent playing in response to concerns from the Chinese government. The Chinese government has been cracking down on areas of tech that it views as unproductive or anticompetitive.
Samsung Electronics (SMSN.IL)
- Revenue: $232.8 billion
- Employee count: 109,541
- Claim to fame: TVs, appliances, memory chips
Samsung was founded in 1969 and has become one of the leading providers of electronics in the world. In 2021, Samsung was the leader in global television set market share for the 16th consecutive year with a share of nearly 30 percent. The company also produces other appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators, while also offering air conditioners and smartphones. Samsung is also one of three major companies that manufactures memory chips that are used in a wide variety of end-products including phones, computers, data centers and cars.
The tech industry has created some of the world’s most valuable companies, which have also been some of the best investments. Be sure to thoroughly research any company before investing, or consider purchasing an ETF focused on the tech sector if you’re looking for a diversified approach that requires less due diligence. While many tech companies are innovative and exciting, investors ultimately care about the cash and profits a business can produce.
Editorial Disclaimer: All investors are advised to conduct their own independent research into investment strategies before making an investment decision. In addition, investors are advised that past investment product performance is no guarantee of future price appreciation.