The majority of tech start-ups that have gained a $1 billion valuation in the past decade hailed from outside Silicon Valley, according to research that casts new light on the global growth of fledgling digital companies.
The research into "unicorns" – fledgling tech groups that are valued at $1 billion following an initial public offering, sale or publicly-declared funding round – found that 60 per cent of major internet or software companies were created outside California's Bay Area.
The study seen by the Financial Times, and created for Atomico, the London-based venture capital group led by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström, analysed the 134 companies that reached the billion-dollar mark over the past 10 years.
It found that 79 were from the US with 52 from the Silicon Valley area, while 26 came from China and 21 from Europe. There were none from Latin America, Africa or the Middle East.
Mr Zennström said the proliferation of computing expertise worldwide, coupled with greater access to capital for non-US start-ups, meant that an "irreversible trend" was forming that will see the proportion of major technology companies not hailing from the American west coast rise over time.
"To build a truly successful company you have to have remarkable entrepreneurs," he said. "That talent is everywhere."