The Center for Global Enterprise Releases First Global Platform Survey Valuing Platform-based Companies at $4.3 Trillion

January 7, 2016 | By Monica Debban




Worldwide platform companies have a market value of over US$4.3 trillion and employ millions directly and indirectly.  This is the finding of the first survey of platform companies undertaken by The Center for Global Enterprise (CGE), a nonprofit research institution devoted to the study of the contemporary corporation.  The report, The Rise of the Platform Enterprise: A Global Survey presents the results of a year-long research project in which leading scholars and experts from Africa, China, Europe, India and the U.S. collaborated to conduct the first comprehensive survey of major public and privately owned platform companies.


The research identified 176 platform companies worldwide with a market valuation of US$1 billion or more.  Some platform companies have become household names, such as Amazon, Alibaba or Uber, but there are many others that are less known.  The location and value of platform companies vary substantially across the world.  Asia now has the largest number of leading platforms with 82, exceeding those in North America.  Top hubs for platform formation and operations include San Francisco Bay Area, Beijing, London and New Delhi.


“The ability of platforms to better utilize houses, cars, workspaces among other assets has spawned considerable interest and passion around the potential of the so-called ‘share economy,’ said Peter C. Evans, VP of the Center for Global Enterprise and project leader of CGE’s “Emerging Platform Economy” research.  “They are reshaping the contours of competition, innovation, and even global trade.”


“Growing platform competition explains the ‘platform anxiety’ that is being exhibited in Europe, which lags behind North America and Asia in platform formation and value capture,” said Annabelle Gawer, Professor of the Digital Economy at the University of Surrey.


“While platforms make important contributions to the economy, it is also critical to understand their implications.  A platform like Uber has expanded to 67 countries in seven years; it took IBM 50 years to get there,” said Sam Palmisano, Founder and Chairman of the CGE and former CEO and Chairman of IBM.


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