Roblox was created by co-founders David Baszucki and Erik Cassel in 2004 under the name DynaBlocks. Baszucki started testing the first demos that year. In 2005, the company changed its name to Roblox, and it officially launched in 2006. Soon after it released a premium membership service named “Builders Club”.
In December 2011, Roblox held its first Hack Week, an annual event where Roblox developers work on outside-the-box ideas for new developments to present to the company. In 2013, Roblox released its Developer Exchange program, allowing developers to exchange Robux earned from their games into real-world currencies.
Twelve is a chemical technology company based in Berkeley, California. They develop technology to convert CO2 into profitable chemicals, such as plastics and transportation fuels. Currently, the company uses metal catalysts to produce synthetic gas (syngas), methane, and ethylene.
Originally launched under the name Obtainium in 2014, and later known as Opus 12, Twelve was officially founded in 2015 by Dr. Kendra Kuhl, Dr. Etosha Cave, and Nicholas Flanders.
The company was part of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s first Cyclotron Road cohort, an incubator program that aids in the creation of environmentally beneficial companies. Since then, it has won multiple awards including the Keeling Curve prize, Ocean Exchange’s WW Orcelle award, the Roddenberry prize, and Forbes’ Change the World competition.
In 2021, Twelve received $57 million in series A funding, the company has also received funding through SBIR grants for projects involving CO2 conversion. This includes generating products such as carbon monoxide, polyethylene, ethanol, ethylene, methane, and jet fuel.
Nicholas Flanders describes the company’s technology as “industrial photosynthesis” to create jet fuel and diesel from carbon dioxide. Their technology has been shown to convert CO2 from raw biogas into carbon neutral methane.
Twelve utilizes polymer electrolyte membrane electrolysis, which splits apart water molecules into its component pieces (O2, electrons, and hydrogen ions) via the application of electricity. By adding a catalyst to the cathode, they are able to split up CO2 into CO and O2
In February 2020, Twelve partnered with Mercedes and Trinseo to create the world’s first C–pillar made with polycarbonate from CO2 electrolysis.
In June 2020, the company partnered with SoCalGas and PG&E to advance their technology for use with CO2 present in biogas, which comes from sources such as landfills, sewage, and dairy farms. This gas, produced by the anaerobic breakdown of wastes, contains roughly 60% methane and 40% CO2; testing is being performed with the goal of achieving high conversion efficiency for long periods of time.
In September 2021 Twelve partnered with LanzaTech to create polypropylene, a commonly used plastic which is traditionally produced from fossil fuels; this is the first time that polypropylene was made from CO2.
Twelve plans to scale up their technology to an industrial-sized shipping container, which would enable them to produce larger quantities of product.
Global awareness of the plastic packaging problem has reached record levels in recent years and the search for a true sustainable alternative is ongoing. Could the solution lie in the seas? London-based start-up Notpla, founded by Pierre Paslier and Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, believe so.
Just 9% of all the plastic ever produced has been recycled and 12% has been incinerated. The rest lies in landfills or has been dumped into the oceans. Notpla is an alternative to plastic made from seaweed and plants.
It is always totally natural and entirely biodegradable, and can be used to create a range of packaging products, such as a bubble to hold liquids, a coating for food containers, and a paper for the cosmetic and fashion industry.
NotPla co-founders, Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez and Pierre Paslier, met while studying Innovation Design Engineering at Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art.
After their first video of an edible bubble encapsulating water went viral, they collaborated with chemists and chemical engineers from Imperial College to develop their first product, Ooho.
In 2019 the brand Notpla was born, an abbreviation of ‘not plastic’, accompanied by an identity and brand strategy that better represents our mission and values and positions us as an environmental sustainability leader.
“Fourteen million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans each year. We founded Notpla when we discovered the solution lies in our oceans too. We are already replacing plastic that plagues our seas, and working with seaweed farms that give back to the environment and the local economy. Thank you for recognising us as we take our next big step and eliminate single-use plastic for good!” say Co-Founder & CEO, Pierre Paslier
Notpla partnered with Lucozade to replace single-use plastic cups and bottles with 36,000 Ooho at the London Marathon. They also worked with Just Eat to launch a food container coated with seaweed, a revolutionary move for the takeaway industry that has traditionally relied on plastic or chemicals to hold food.
In 2022 Notpla won the Earthshot Prize 2022, presented by Prince William at a global ceremony in New York, in the category of “Build a Waste-Free World”.
The company was founded by Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard, former Salomon employees, in 2009, when they sought to design a shoe that allowed them to run downhill faster, and created a model with an oversized outsole that had more cushion than other running shoes at the time.
The shoes are named after the Māori language phrase loosely meaning “fly over the earth”.
The shoes were initially embraced by ultramarathon runners due to their enhanced cushion and inherent stability; however, they quickly gained popularity among other runners for offering maximum cushion and minimal weight. The brand’s original, highest-cushion models are now accompanied in the Hoka lineup by lighter-weight shoes that retain much of the brand’s signature cushion, and even lightweight training, and racing shoes, and track spikes.
Hoka was acquired in 2013 by Deckers Brands, the parent company for UGG, Teva and other footwear brands.
The company sponsors a variety of professional runners; its first athletes were primarily trail-ultra runners, but their roster has expanded to include several track & field, triathlon, and road-running athletes. Hoka also has long-term sponsorship deals with the professional training groups Northern Arizona Elite, based in Flagstaff, Arizona; and the California-based Aggies Running Club. Hoka is also the former sponsor of the New Jersey New York Track Club.
Fast Company recently ranked the brand as one of the world’s most innovative companies saying “Amid the increasingly crowded market for technically advanced running shoes, Hoka is outpacing its competitors.”
In 2022, Deckers reported that Hoka’s sales had grown 30% year-over-year for the most recent quarter (fiscal Q3 2022), from $142 million to $185 million; in the previous quarter, Hoka’s net sales grew 47% year-over-year, from $143 million to $210 million. For fiscal year 2021 (which ended March 31, 2021), net sales increased 62.0% to $571.2 million.
What’s driving this growth is Hoka’s commitment to delivering innovations that keep athletes—amateurs and pros alike—running faster and more comfortably. Hoka is known for developing a new kind of EVA foam that’s extra soft and lightweight, and molded into a rocker shape that helps propel runners forward.
Last year, Hoka built on this EVA foam base by embedding its popular Bondi shoe with a stiff, carbon-fiber plate that puts a literal spring in runners’ steps. Called the Bondi X, the shoe was well-reviewed by leading running publications for delivering the pro-grade advantages of a carbon-fiber plate without sacrificing Hoka’s renowned ultra-cushiony comfort. Hoka closed out the year by imbuing a trail runner shoe, the Tecton X, with a pair of carbon-fiber plates that are aimed at giving wearers extra propulsion with the added stability that off-piste runners require. (Hoka also improved on its popular Rincon and Clifton models of shoes in 2021.)
As Hoka expands globally, it’s moving beyond its traditional base of running-shoe retailers to create its own stores. It recently opened pop-ins in New York and Los Angeles, featuring 3D foot-scanning technology and smart lockers, as well as the brand’s first owned and operated stores in China. All of these stores also feature the brand’s growing apparel line, which will be a focus for Hoka in the coming months.
Mike Cessario is a graphic designer, and a former Netflix creative director, who was inspired to create Liquid Death after watching a Vans Warped Tour in 2009, in which concert goers would drink water out of Monster Energy cans to stay hydrated. Cessario said he wondered why no one had marketed water in a manner similar to Monster.
The company started out with Cessario and three other partners, including a bartender and an artist. Before he and his partners chose the name Liquid Death, they thought over different names for the company such as “Southern Thunder”.
Cessario filed a trademark application for the term “Liquid Death” in 2017 and produced a video advertisement to gauge market interest in the product, which received three million views before the water was available to consumers for purchase. Within a few months of release, the company had over 100,000 “likes” on Facebook, more than brands such as Aquafina had generated in their history.
In 2019, Cessario said the company’s plan was to expand to bars, tattoo parlors, and certain barber shops in Los Angeles and Philadelphia as a “lifestyle play”. His idea was that the brand was initially marketed towards straight edge adherents and fans of heavy metal music and punk rock. The drink began selling online, direct to consumers in 2019.
In 2020, the brand expanded into Whole Foods Market in USA where according to Eater it became “the fastest-selling water brand on its shelves”. It then expanded into two hundred 7-Eleven stores in the Los Angeles and San Diego markets as part of a trial run.
A year later gained funding from Live Nation, the stadium events organiser, who said they would sell the drink exclusively in their events and venues for a period of time. In 2021 the company’s revenue rose to $45 million, and in 2022 it was valued at $525 million.
Liquid Death also released Greatest Hates, an album of death metal music created with lyrics from hate comments the company received online; a second album of hate comments, described as “punk rock”, was released. In 2022, during Super Bowl LVI, the company released an advertisement featuring children enjoying the beverage with Judas Priest’s song “Breaking the Law”. Parodying advertisements for alcoholic beverages, the advertisement ends with the tagline – “Don’t be scared, it’s just water”.
Schneider Electric specialises in digital automation and energy management addressing homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries, by combining energy technologies, real-time automation, software, and services. It is a Fortune Global 500 company, and in FY2020, the company posted revenues of €25.2 billion. Head office is in Rueil-Malmaison, France, but has an international structure where its leadership and large numbers of its staff are spread across main offices also in Hong Kong, Noida, and Boston.
In 1836, brothers Adolphe and Joseph-Eugene Schneider took over an abandoned foundry in Le Creusot, France. Two years later, they created Schneider & Cie, focusing primarily on the steel industry. Schneider & Cie rapidly grew, specializing in the production of heavy machinery and transportation equipment. In 1871, following France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, it developed a main activity of manufacturing weapons with the encouragement of the government in Paris. It eventually became a complex group with industrial activities in many sites in France and abroad, including in Russia before 1917 and in Czechoslovakia between 1919 and 1938.
In the 1960s, Schneider was absorbed by Belgium’s Empain group, which in 1969 merged it with its own corporate structures to form Empain-Schneider. In 1980–1981, the Empain family sold its controlling stake to Paribas, which was in turn nationalized in 1982. In the 1980s and 1990s, the company, by then again named Schneider, divested from steel and shipbuilding and focused mainly on electricity through strategic acquisitions. These included Télémécanique in 1988, Square D in 1991, and Merlin Gerinin 1992.
In 2021 Corporate Knights ranked Schneider Electric as the world’s most sustainable company.
It said “The world is decarbonizing. The key to doing so is electrifying essential aspects of our economies – power generation, heating and cooling, and transport – and ensuring that the electricity these sectors run on is zero-carbon and renewable.
It is fitting, then, that 2021’s most sustainable company on the Global 100 index is Schneider Electric. The French firm is at the heart of a megatrend that will define the global economy for decades to come, although it has never produced electricity itself.
Over the last 20 years, Schneider Electric has moved away from high-voltage electrical distribution to focus on data centres, decentralized electrical distribution (including off-grid solar storage) and smart solutions to make the world more electric, energy efficient, renewable and digital.
It has been a long journey, driven by two inspirational CEOs, Henri Lachmann and then Jean-Pascal Tricoire, who has run the company since 2006.
“It started with former UN secretary general Kofi Annan launching the Global Compact principles on sustainability,” says Gilles Vermot Desroches, senior vice-president for sustainable development and strategy. “We were one of the first companies to endorse them and to ask our suppliers to be more sustainable.”
“There are two sides to the sustainability coin,” he adds. “We aim to lead by example within our own operations and ecosystem, and we work to be part of the solution for our customers. Sustainability improves performance, innovation and our attractiveness as a place to work. It creates value.”
Besides curbing its own emissions by 250,000 metric tons of CO2 in 24 months by shifting to renewable energy, the company says its suite of energy-efficient technologies and services should save 120 million metric tons of CO2 on their customers’ behalf by the end of 2020.
Schneider Electric earned the top spot in the Corporate Knights ranking because of its strong performance across a range of sustainability criteria. The company earned 70% of its revenue from sustainable solutions, while 73% of its investments are directed toward sustainable solutions. It also performed strongly in areas including racial and gender diversity and resource productivity and safety.
The company is, despite roots that go back more than 180 years, in many ways a product of the digital age. “At the start of the internet, the big effort was to connect seven billion people. Today, 300 new assets connect to the internet every second. There are now more than 60 billion assets that can talk to people and to each other to make things run more efficiently,” Vermot Desroches points out. Simple but effective examples of this are controls that ensure that “if you’re not in the room, the light is not left on. If you’re not in the building, the heating is turned down.”
Although Schneider’s business focus is on the clean energy transition, its approach has a significant social aspect to it as well, which has been heightened by the pandemic. “We learned a lot about our impact as a company during COVID. This crisis would have been very different in 2010 without all the benefits that digital has brought, from ensuring hospitals have secure access to energy, to being able to manage business and personal relationships online.”
At the heart of the company’s efforts has been a shift from shareholder value to emphasizing stakeholder value, says Vermot Desroches. “If we want to continue to lead, we have to work with our stakeholders, including our suppliers. We’re asking all our tier-one suppliers to cut their emissions by 50%. We’re asking them to respect human rights.”
A key move, in 2017, was to “build a bridge between our KPIs and the [UN] Sustainable Development Goals,” he adds. These key performance indicators include growing green revenues to 80%, giving 50 million people access to green energy and training one million underprivileged people in energy management.
“The average age in Africa is 19, and 70% of the population [is] under 30. One in six under-30s who had a job in January lost them this year. It is impossible to solve problems for only part of the population. And we need these young people to provide innovation. We must involve them to harness the power of a generation of digital natives.”
“We’re a very technical company, but when it comes down to it, we empower people,” Vermot Desroches concludes. “We believe that access to energy and digital is a basic human right.”
“Hero-entrepreneur dreams up a great idea, finds a sidekick or two to help it come alive, clashes with and defeats the entrenched incumbent, and rides to glory as the credits roll” …
The story of Sonos might seem like that, from a distance. Its four founders – John MacFarlane, Tom Cullen, Trung Mai, and Craig Shelburne – conjured a daring vision based on technology that didn’t exist at the time. Fuelled with the insight earned from success in the first phase of Internet-based business-building, they chose as their next mission a new way to bring music to every home – wirelessly, in multiple rooms, from PCs and the Internet, with awesome sound. They hired an amazing team who built amazing products from scratch, and music devotees all over the world found a new brand to fall in love with.
What are the frustrations and failures they experienced on the journey? Are there larger lessons to be learned? The story of what Sonos did and is doing might be familiar to many. With first-ever details, what follows is the story of how.
John MacFarlane moved to Santa Barbara in 1990 to get his PhD from University of California-Santa Barbara. Instead, he saw the promise of the Internet and built Software.com along with Craig, Tom and Trung. After Software.com merged with Phone.com in 2000 to create Openwave, they moved on to figure out together what to do next.
Whatever was going to be next, they knew they wanted to stay together, and stay in Santa Barbara, due to the roots they and their families had begun to establish there. It was, perhaps, the beginning of a habit of unorthodox choices to add both a degree of difficulty and a fresh perspective to the work.
As Tom describes it, the view from Santa Barbara contained four big insights drawn, in his words, from being “at the core of the Internet as it was blowing up”:
- First, the proliferation of standards meant the Internet is a programmable platform.
- Second, the collapse of costs for the brains and nervous systems of computers – integrated circuits, central processing units, and other technologies – meant these components were fast becoming commodities.
- Third, the four founders could see what the builders were buying, and thus they could see digitisation just getting started all around them, with nearly unlimited possibilities for more.
- Finally, as Tom would say, they realised that for networking, “what would be large scale would become small scale.” Wide-area networks would create markets and bring reliable capability to local-area networks.
With all of their experience, resources and insight, the four founders naturally turned to music in the home.
John’s first pitch to his three partners was actually around aviation. The notion was an offering to enable local-area networks (or LANs) for aeroplanes, with passenger services provided within them. That idea did not generate the enthusiasm John had anticipated, so it was back to the drawing board.
But that drawing board soon became filled with inspiration from the four friends’ mutual love of music, and mutual frustration with the pain of storing hundreds of CDs, dealing with the tangled spaghetti of stereo and speaker wires, and enduring the expense of custom home wiring for multi-room listening experiences. This became the opportunity to apply their unique talents, resources, and insights.
The vision was simple: Help music lovers play any song anywhere in their homes.
The one problem, in 2002: Almost none of the necessary technology existed to achieve that. The next great start-up involving music and technology would take root between the global hubs of both more than 90 miles from Los Angeles, and more than 250 miles from Silicon Valley. With a vision that was pure imagination.
In 2002, great music in the home meant wires hidden behind bookshelves and furniture, connecting to speakers the size of bongo drums; audio jacks plugged into the right holes on the backs of receivers and players; physical media primarily in the forms of compact discs and tapes – and if you wanted a multi-room experience, an afternoon (or weekend) drilling through walls to snake wires from a central receiver to speakers throughout your home.
Whiste the original Napster had risen and fallen as a means to find music online to play on the personal computer, digital music was still new, and the idea of streaming music directly from the Internet was far-fetched. Pandora, iTunes, Spotify, and the rest of today’s leaders in music streaming services did not exist, nor did the iPhone. The top Internet service provider in 2002 was still America Online via dial-up, and fewer than 16 million U.S. households had high-speed broadband.
Undaunted, the founders went to work scoping out their vision and seeking uniquely great talent to join them.
Their first step was to translate what they imagined onto paper.
According to Cullen, it took about three months and looked like this:
You can read the full story here
Veja creates sneakers in a different way, mixing social projects, economic justice, and ecological materials. It uses Brazilian and Peruvian organic cotton for the canvas and laces, Amazonian rubber for the soles, and various innovative materials conceived in recycled plastic bottles or recycled polyester. The sneakers are produced in high-standard factories in Brazil. Part of Veja’s logistics is managed by Log’ins, a professional and social inclusion company.
Veja sneakers and accessories are made of organic cotton, wild rubber from the Amazon, vegetable-tanned leather, and recycled plastic bottles.
- Organic cotton: Veja works in the North-East of Brazil with a co-operative of organic cotton farmers. Over 320 families have adopted the agro-ecology farming model with the technical support of the local NGO, ESPLAR. Cotton and food crops are cultivated without chemicals or artificial pesticides. Veja buys organic cotton at around twice the market price.
- Vegetable-tanned leather: Since 2006 Veja has used vegetable-tanned leather. Vegetable-tanned leather is a chrome-free leather tanned with organic compounds only. Leather is usually tanned using heavy metals, like chrome, which generate high levels of pollution in the waters close to tanneries. Veja has replaced heavy metals with acacia extracts, a natural tannin.
- Recycled plastic bottles: Veja uses waterproof bottle mesh on the soles of sneakers. It takes three recycled plastic bottles to make a pair of shoes. Bottles are collected from the streets of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and are later crushed and transformed into fiber.
Veja shoes are made in South Brazil respects the standards of work established by the International Labour Organization. Products are transported by ship from Brazil to Le Havre in France, where they are then taken to Paris by boat. Logistics are managed by Ateliers Sans Frontières, a French social association which enables people who have been unemployed to return to the workforce through training.
In 2005, the company made its first official launch at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Growing its influence, the company collaborated with French fashion designer Agnès b. In 2006, the company developed their first collection using vegetable-tanned leather, and has since began curating the photography exhibition Novo Mundo(S) at Wanted Gallery, Paris.
In 2007, the company began its collaboration with French label Comptoir des Cotonniers, launching its first collaborated product Veja + Christine Phung collection at the Pompidou Centre Design Shop in Paris. The business began expanding into the children’s trainer scene, with the launch of Veja small.
In 2008, the company began its expansion to London, opening its studio there.Through time, the company has released a wide variety of different products and styles, ensuing talks of collaborations with third party organisations.
Seeing record moves of progress, the company began its new wave of collaborations, beginning with Regina Dabdab. In 2013, the company released a capsule collection of printed trainers, inspired by professor Greg Asner’s aerial maps recording forest cover and biodiversity in tropical forest ecosystems. With the launch of the film Once upon a Forest, by French director Luc Jacquet, Veja commemorated its launch by releasing a custom trainer.
In 2018, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle wore a pair of Veja sneakers to watch an Invictus Games sailing event during the official tour she took through Australia, New Zealand and Fiji with her spouse Prince Harry.
In 2019 the brand launched a collaborations with Rick Owens, Madewell and Lemaire.
Revolut was founded in 2015 by Russian and Ukrainian entrepreneurs Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko. The company was originally based in Level39, a finatech incubator in London’s Canary Wharf, London.
Storonsky was born in Russia to a Ukrainian father who was Deputy General Director of Science for natural gas research institute Gazprom Promgaz. Storonsky studied for a master’s degree in physics at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and also became a state champion swimmer. He completed a separate masters in economics at New Economic School in Moscow. Later he worked as a trader at Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse. At the age of 20, he emigrated to the UK and acquired British citizenship. In 2022, he condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and renounced Russian citizenship.
In 2018, Revolut secured a Challenger bank licence from the European Central Bank, facilitated by the Bank of Lithuania, authorising it to accept deposits and offer consumer credits, but not to provide investment services. At the same time, an Electronic Money Institution licence was also issued by the Bank of Lithuania.
In 2019, Revolut signed a global deal with Visa, following which it expanded into 24 new markets and hired around 3500 additional staff. It also launched commission-free stock trading on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, initially for customers in its Metal plan. In the same year it hired a number of banking veterans including Wolfgang Bardorf, previously with Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, Philip Doyle, from ClearBank and Visa, and N26’s Stefan Wille.
In 2020, another funding round tripled its value, to £4.2 billion, as it launched into the US market, plus a financial app in Japan. It also turned profitable.
In 2021, it applied for a UK banking licence, and for a bank charter in the USA. It raised another $800 million from investors, including SoftBank resulting in a $33 billion valuation.
In 2022, it launched as a bank (instead of an e-money platform) in 10 additional European countries: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden. At this point it claimed more than 25 million customers around the world and more than 150 million transactions a month.
Mission and Vision of Revolut
Revolut’s vision is to build a sustainable, digital alternative to traditional big banks.
Revolut’s mission now is to help our customers improve their financial health, empower them to have more control, and promote financial cohesion across the communities in which we operate.
Values and Principles of Revolut
Storonsky recently introduced a new set of personally-driven culture values at Revolut:
Shoot for the moon. Push the envelope. Jump in with both feet. We constantly push, rethink, and rework to get 10x further from where we are now. We aren’t afraid to be ambitious — and we’re always looking for the next big thing. Revolut is for those who always strive for excellence, for those who want to become the best in the world at what they do, for those who would never settle for less. Revolut is for 10x people.
Ship, shipmates, self. Be radically honest, direct, and respectful. Never compromise on talent. Lead by doing. We believe the key to winning is building diverse, lean teams of brilliant go-getters who break down barriers. We select, coach, and retain the top talent only and give them all the support to achieve greatness.
Start with “Why?”. Never lose ‘North’. Be open minded – listen, probe, adjust. We believe logic, reason, and common sense prevail over everything else in decision-making. We dive deep until we get to atoms. If we don’t know something – we bet, collect the data, and reiterate. Logic, reason, and common sense prevail over everything else in decision making at Revolut. We are open-minded, we listen, and we are always in search of the truth.
Get It Done
Commit and execute. Act like an owner. We believe that ideas are great, but execution is everything. That’s why respect at Revolut comes from sweat and stretch. Revoluters always push through! We stopped listening to excuses a long time ago – we care about results. We believe that grit, determination, skill, smartness, and courage can break through almost any wall.
Put customer first. Keep it simple. We believe that everything we do should solve our customers’ needs. To create awe and inspire, we pay attention to every single detail. We love building great products, we love delighting our customers, we love turning the complexity of a chaotic world into the simplicity of a beautiful solution that truly solves customer needs.
BYD was founded in 1995 by Wang Chuanfu, a Chinese chemist, who became a billionaire entrepreneur. He was born in 1966 in Anhui province to a family of poor farmers. While in high school he was cared for by his elder brother and sister because both of his parents had died. After high school he studied chemistry at the Central South University, and went on to earn a master’s degree in 1990 from the Beijing Non-Ferrous Research Institute.
The name BYD is an abbreviation of “Build Your Dreams”.
BYD started as a rechargeable-battery factory competing in the Chinese market against Japanese imports. It grew quickly within ten years capturing more than half the world’s mobile-phone battery market and becoming the largest Chinese manufacturer (and in the top four worldwide) of all types of rechargeable batteries. BYD topped the 2010 Bloomberg Businessweek Tech 100 list, a list of large, fast-growing tech companies. Replacing work done by machines with cheap, local labour lowered costs, and the company began expanding beyond batteries adding automobiles and mobile phone components.
A year after the 2002 acquisition of Tsinchuan Automobile Co Ltd, BYD Automobile Co Ltd was born. One of many Chinese automakers, in 2010 it was the sixth largest in terms of sales volume. In 2022, BYD announced its intention to end production of combustion engine vehicles and focus only on electric vehicles.
In 2016, BYD unveiled a working monorail prototype marketed as “Skyrail” and announced they will enter the global rail transit market. The first public Skyrail line opened as a 9.7 km (6.0 mi) long loop line in Yinchuan’s flower expo in 2018. Since then BYD has begun construction of a number of systems around the world including the Guang’an Metro and the Guilin Metro in China, Line 17 in São Paulo and the SkyRail Bahia, both in Brazil.
At the beginning of 2020, in the midst of Covid-19, BYD responded quickly and announced that it would produce face masks to help alleviate mask shortages around the world. BYD face masks have been delivered to more than 80 countries and regions. BYD accomplished blueprints within 3 days, completed the manufacture of mask-making machines within 7 days, and rolled off the first batch of masks within 10 days. In just 24 days, BYD established the world’s largest mask plant with the highest capacity up to 100 million pieces per day.
Today BYD is a high-tech company devoted to leveraging technological innovations for a better life. After more than 27 years of high-speed growth, BYD has established over 30 industrial parks across 6 continents and played a significant role in industries related to electronics, auto, renewable energy and rail transit. With a focus on energy acquisition, storage, and application, BYD offers comprehensive new energy solutions with zero-emission. As a company listed on both the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Shenzhen Stock Exchange, its turnover exceeds RMB 200 billion.
In a 2022 interview with Forbes Asia. Wang Chuanfu, the Chinese billionaire whose BYD just usurped Tesla as the world’s biggest seller of electric cars offered some advice for entrepreneurs. “Do more and talk less.”
His Shenzhen-based company outpaced its USA rival in the first half of 2022, selling some 641,000 electric and hybrid plug-in models, versus Tesla’s 564,000. This marked a fourfold increase in BYD’s year-earlier sales, despite industry disruption from Covid-19 related lockdowns in Shanghai.
Behind its pole position is a portfolio of innovative tech, says Wang: “[BYD] has mastered the core technologies of the whole industrial chain of new energy vehicles, such as batteries, motors and electronic controls.”That list also includes semiconductors—BYD’s chipmaking arm, BYD Semiconductor, specializes in making the chips used in EVs, which has allowed the firm to get around shortages that disrupted sales of other EV makers.
In a global EV market projected to reach $824 billion by 2030 (at a CAGR of 18%), according to Portland-based Allied Market Research, “vertical integration is giving BYD long-term staying power while smaller rivals that aren’t yet vertically integrated will be driven out,” says Bill Russo, CEO of investment advisory firm Automobility in Shanghai.
In the first nine months of the year, BYD’s net profit nearly quadrupled to a record $1.3 billion year-on-year, fueled by new EV sales that soared 250% to 1.2 million over that period. Its market cap is around $100 billion, though short of Tesla, rivals the combined market values of U. S. incumbents Ford Motor and General Motors; and it’s given Wang a net worth of $17.7 billion and the No. 11 rank on China’s 100 Richest list.
Besides Wang, BYD has generated two other billionaires. Wang’s cofounder and cousin Lu Xiangyang, a non-executive director at BYD, who ranks No. 18 with a fortune worth $12.7 billion, and director Xia Zuoquan, though he missed the minimum for the list. Already a household name in China, where BYD makes up almost 70% of sales, Wang’s pursuing a more aggressive global push.
In Asia, the 56-year-old recently launched new EV models in Japan, Thailand and India, and plans to build factories in the latter two to increase capacity. In October, BYD introduced three electric models at the Paris Auto Show, part of bigger plans for Europe.
The company, which has over 30 production bases worldwide, said it expects to sell at least 1.5 million EVs this year, with a reported goal of 4 million in 2023. With know-how in hand, strategy becomes “the direction of enterprise success,” Wang says. “First, technology serves strategy, and secondly, it serves products.