Nearly a quarter of Time’s 100 most influential companies are in the Bay Area

Reports of the Bay Area’s business exodus have been greatly exaggerated — at least if Time magazine’s new list of the 100 most influential companies in the world is any indication of Silicon Valley’s global standing.

The list, released Tuesday and compiled for the first time this year, is dominated by the Bay Area and California. Of the 100 companies listed, 23 are in the Bay Area, and an additional seven are in California — six of them in the Los Angeles area and one in San Diego.

Nearly half of the 64 United States companies on the list are based in the Golden State, despite some recent high-profile announcements from companies moving to lower-cost states such as Texas and Colorado.

The list comes after a tumultuous year for the U.S. economy, which saw crushing unemployment numbers while corporate stock prices soared. The move to online everything has been particularly beneficial for Silicon Valley’s technology luminaries, such as San Jose-based Zoom, San Francisco-based DoorDash and Los Gatos-based Netflix, that have become a part of daily life.

Jensen Huang, CEO of Santa Clara-based semiconductor company Nvidia, told Time he anticipates a virtual Metaverse that mirrors the real world online, a vision popular in science fiction books and movies such as Neuromancer and The Matrix.

“There will be a new New York City. There’ll be a new Shanghai. Every single factory and every single building will have a digital twin that will simulate and track the physical version of it,” Huang told Time.

Even the future of payments and money is being led by Bay Area companies. That includes the payment processing company Stripe, based in San Francisco, and PayPal, in San Jose. “People no longer want to handle cash,” PayPal CEO Dan Schulman told the magazine.

Other Bay Area tech companies on the list include social media giants Facebook, Nextdoor and Twitter, as well as upstart Clubhouse. There’s also online class provider Coursera in Mountain View, fundraising platform GoFundMe in Redwood City and the shoe company Rothy’s in San Francisco.

The list also includes tech stalwarts Apple and Google. The payment company Flutterwave, which operates primarily in African countries, is based out of San Francisco, as is short-term rentals company Airbnb. Click here to see the full list.

Although Bay Area companies are plentiful in the list, some are making moves at leaving the region. Cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase, originally headquartered in San Francisco, announced early this year it would become a remote-first company.

Since January 2020, 29 percent of its San Francisco workers have left the city, CEO Brian Armstrong said in a blog post, adding that none of the company’s executive team lives in San Francisco or plans to regularly work in the office.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk, CEO of Palo Alto-based Tesla, recently moved to Austin where he is expanding operations for Tesla and Los Angeles County-based SpaceX. Earlier this month, however, he issued a plea on Twitter that will sound painfully familiar to any Bay Area resident.

“Urgent need to build more housing in greater Austin area!” he tweeted.

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