Entrepreneurs

7 billion-dollar businesses that didn’t exist before Obama took office

President Barack Obama promised Americans change they could believe in, and, in terms of tech, at least, no one can dispute that the past eight years brought great change indeed.

Crowds cheered Obama's election on Nov. 4, 2008, but they did not post videos from their parties on Snapchat. And they didn't take an Uber home from the inauguration celebrations.

As hard as it may be to believe, considering how successful and ubiquitous they became, neither Snapchat nor Uber existed eight years ago.

Then Senator Barack Obama campaigning for President in 2008.
Photo by NBC NewsWire
Then Senator Barack Obama campaigning for President in 2008.

In Silicon Valley, it turns out, eight years can be an eternity.

As the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump approaches, Americans can only guess what advancements will be made over the next four to eight years that we won't be able to imagine living without.

Meanwhile, here's a look at seven now billion-dollar companies that weren't around before Obama took office.

Uber

The idea for Uber germinated in Paris on a cold winter night in late 2008 when Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp were in Paris for a tech conference. But they didn't start working on a prototype for the app until March 2009. Today, Uber operates in over 500 cities worldwide and has been valued at more than $60 billion.

Uber app
Getty Images

Snapchat

Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy started working on Picaboo, the app that would eventually become Snapchat, five years ago. The company, now known simply as Snap, is one of the most popular social media platforms, with over 150 million daily active users viewing more than 10 billion videos and sending more than 1 billion Snaps each day around the world.

Snap has also recently released a Google-glass competitor called Spectacles. The company has been reportedly valued at above $25 billion.

The Snapchat Inc. application (app) is seen on an on an Apple Inc. iPhone.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Snapchat Inc. application (app) is seen on an on an Apple Inc. iPhone.

Pinterest

How did people ever plan their weddings before 2010? The digital bulletin board launched in March of that year and now has 150 million monthly active users. More than 75 billion Pins have been saved by users. The social media platform has been recently valued at more than $11 billion.

Pinterest
Source: Pinterest | Flickr
Pinterest

Slack

Keeping up with your inbox can feel like running in quicksand. Slack, a group messaging app, aims to replace those endless reply-all email chains. Since it launched in February 2014, the San Francisco-based start-up has accumulated 4 million daily active users. It's worth almost $4 billion and has recently added voice and video chats.

Slack

WeWork

The New York-based company rents shared office space to more than 80,000 entrepreneurs, freelancers, start-ups, artists and small-businesses owners. Launched in 2010, WeWork now has shared office space for rent in 111 locations in 34 cities around the world. The company is valued at more than $10 billion.

Inside a WeWork office space.
Photo by Boston Globe

Lyft

The ride-hailing start-up Lyft may often be seen as the kinder, smaller alternative to Uber, but it has had remarkable success in its own right. The San Francisco-based app was founded in the summer of 2012 and now operates in more than 200 cities around the country. More than 315,000 drivers give over 17 million rides a month on the platform. In 2015, Lyft announced a partnership with China's largest ride-share company, Didi, giving it significant international reach. It has recently been valued at $5.5 billion.

A general view at the Lyft driver rally in Hollywood, California.
Getty Images
A general view at the Lyft driver rally in Hollywood, California.

Stripe

San Francisco-based mobile payments start-up Stripe launched in September 2011 to make it easier to accept payments online. Today, Stripe processes billions of dollars a year for hundreds of thousands of businesses including Twitter, Kickstarter, Shopify, Salesforce and Lyft. The start-up has almost 600 employees and has received investments from Visa, American Express, Peter Thiel and Elon Musk. It is valued at more than $9 billion.

Stripe screen views
Source: Stripe
Stripe screen views