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Uber, Stripe, and Instacart are among the high-profile, immigrant-founded unicorns.
What do Uber, Instacart, and Stripe have in common? Aside from valuations in excess of $1 billion, the three startups have immigrant founders. Uber co-founder Garrett Camp is from Canada, AppDynamics’s Jyoti Bansal is from India, and Stripe was co-founded by the Irish brothers John and Patrick Collison.
These founders born outside the United States are not an exception to the rule, but the rule itself, confirms a study by Arlington, Virginia-based nonpartisan think tank National Foundation for American Policy.
More than half of the highest-valued startups in the U.S.–44 startups out of 87 meeting the valuation–were founded by immigrants, according to a Wall Street Journal article about the study.
The statistic isn’t really news. Back when there were only 54 U.S. unicorns, it was reported that roughly half had immigrant founders. But the latest findings come at a time when Republican presidential nomination front runner Donald Trump is talking about ending the H-1B visa program many of these entrepreneurs have relied on.
Study author Stuart Anderson told The Wall Street Journal that what would benefit the U.S. economy is greater ease in securing the visas, not a more complicated and arduous process.
“Who is going to invest in a company if the founder of the company may not be able to stay in the U.S.?” he told the Journal.
A few countries came out on the top of the list as the most common places of origin for immigrant founders. Here are the top five.
- India: 14 founders (Instacart, Zenefits, AppDynamics)
- Canada: 8 founders (Uber, Slack, Moderna Therapeutics)
- United Kingdom: 8 founders (FanDuel, Jawbone, MuleSoft)
- Israel: 7 founders (WeWork, Gusto, Tango)
- Germany: 4 founders (ZocDoc, Oscar Health Insurance, Palantir Technologies)