The Most Valuable Employees: Snapchat Doubles Facebook

Startups run on huge promises with lean staff, but how do they stack up against their public peers?

We compare the world’s 11 most valuable startup—those with a valuation of at least $10 billion–with their publicly-listed peers. While public companies are required to disclose their latest employee figures, such information is not often readily available for startups. FORBES reached out to companies and used the valuation at their latest funding round according to Pitchbook.

With a lofty $15 billion valuation and only 330 employees, Snapchat tops the list with the highest valuation per headcount ratio – about $48 million per employee. That’s double the ratio atFacebook FB +1.06%, which has the highest market cap per employee among all the public tech companies worth at least $10 billion. With similarly small staff and equally impressive valuations, WeWork and Pinterest come in at the third and fourth spots respectively thanks to their impressive $19 million and $18 million per employee.

Uber, the most valuable private startup in the world with $51 billion valuation, ranks fifth at $15 million per employee. As the company’s valuation soared in recent funding rounds, so did its employee roster. At the beginning of 2014, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said he planned to grow from 550 employees to up to 2,000 by the end of the year. The company now has over 3,500 employees worldwide, a six-fold increase over the last 18 months, as it gears up for global expansion.

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