Unicorn startups herald data-driven transformation | Daily Sabah – Daily Sabah

The global landscape of startup valuations continues to witness a surge in unicorns, ventures breaching the coveted $1 billion valuation mark. Despite a perceived slowdown, the landscape of technology startups’ valuations has impacted the count of unicorns in the world post-2022.

The narrative of unicorn startups transcends geographical boundaries, signaling a paradigm shift in the global business sphere. Beyond traditional powerhouses like the United States, China and India, this phenomenon has permeated diverse regions, underlining the universal appeal of entrepreneurial ventures.

By 2022, the number of unicorns worldwide had exceeded 1,400; North America and the Asia-Pacific region collectively constituted over 80% of all these ventures.

The ascent of ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, in unicorn valuations underscores the transformative power of technology and the boundless potential of entrepreneurs.

According to data by global market research company Statista, the United States emerged as the leader in unicorn startups, boasting a staggering 739 such ventures as of February 2024. China closely followed with 278 unicorns, while India recorded 87.

Unicorns by sector

Delving deeper into sectoral dynamics, software emerges as the dominant domain for unicorn startups globally. Over 800 technology ventures, each valued at over $1 billion, operated within this sector as of March 2024. Meanwhile, the financial services sector also boasts a significant presence, with 390 unicorns contributing to its robust billion-dollar volume.

In Türkiye, Peak Games became the country’s first startup to reach a valuation of $1 billion in 2020. In the past three years, Türkiye reached a volume of a total of seven unicorn startups, primarily in the gaming, e-commerce and software sectors.

China effect

Although China may not have the highest number of unicorns globally, the country hosts some of the most significant ones. For instance, ByteDance’s valuation stood at more than $200 billion as of April 2023. This not only made the company the most valuable unicorn in China but also globally.

The data-driven revolution has seen Chinese cities like Hefei in the eastern province of Anhui serve as hotbeds for burgeoning startups, fostering an ecosystem conducive to entrepreneurial growth. Among others are cities like Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Suzhou, which host other emerging companies.

Chinese gaming giant miHoYo, based in Shanghai, climbed a whopping 91 ranks to secure the 12th position. The company’s market value stood at approximately $22.6 billion.

Rampant cyberattacks

In an increasingly digitized world, the specter of cyberattacks looms large over key sectors such as health care, e-commerce and finance, owing to their stewardship of highly sensitive and personal data.

Recent studies have unveiled the staggering costs associated with data breaches, with the global average soaring to $4.24 million in 2021. However, the health care industry bears the brunt of these financial burdens, with breaches costing a staggering $9.23 million on average.

Similarly, the e-commerce sector finds itself in the crosshairs of cybercriminals, with online payment theft surging from $17.5 billion in 2020 to $20 billion in 2021, underscoring the relentless nature of cyber threats facing online businesses.

If you’re selling anything online, the likelihood of malicious bots targeting you has become increasingly probable.

The efficacy of an organization’s cybersecurity solution network is contingent upon establishing a digital framework that encompasses the company’s business partners and customers. What often goes unnoticed by many is the need for corporate cybersecurity to amalgamate various elements to ensure adequate protection. After all, corporate cybersecurity is a dynamic process. Needs evolve, and all security measures must continue to enhance the company’s operational capabilities.

For instance, mitigating both internal and external cyber risks necessitates a comprehensive understanding of IT infrastructure and user interactions. Consequently, corporate cybersecurity entails a complex toolkit and process management encompassing every aspect of a company’s cybersecurity environment.

What’s at stake?

Corporate cybersecurity primarily focuses on safeguarding information exchanged across various media types, including wired and wireless transmissions, cloud systems and enterprise resource planning software (ERP software).

Traditional cybersecurity tactics are devised to shield data and systems from prevalent attack methods.

Understanding corporate cybersecurity aids companies in safeguarding both their in-house infrastructure and cloud-based solutions. Evaluating the security practices of supply chain partners and third-party providers and securing network-connected endpoints are crucial facets of corporate cybersecurity.

Travel and hospitality

Even small-scale businesses increasingly find themselves targets of fraudsters and hackers, making cybersecurity a necessity for all enterprises. However, certain industries are more susceptible to cyberattacks than others.

One such common target is the travel and hospitality sector, with historical breaches leaving a trail of compromised customer data and substantial financial repercussions. The 2014 Marriott data breach, which exposed millions of customer records and incurred millions of dollars in fines, serves as a poignant reminder of the sector’s vulnerability to cyber threats.

Türk Telekom-Schneider Electric partnership

One of Türkiye’s leading telecommunications and technology companies, Türk Telekom, has announced a groundbreaking partnership with French electrical equipment maker Schneider Electric in the realm of industrial automation, propelled by the advancements in 5G technology.

The agreement between the two entities, aiming to provide end-to-end solutions to corporate clients in the field of industrial automation, strategically positions Türk Telekom and Schneider Electric as partners in the 5G readiness phase, with a shared objective of contributing to Türkiye’s long-term industrial strategies.

The collaboration aims to expedite the transition of various industries into the realm of productivity concerning data economy while fostering digital transformation and sustainability.

Supporting digitalization

Zeynep Özden, deputy general manager in charge of marketing and customer experience at Türk Telekom, emphasized the institution’s commitment to leading Türkiye’s digital transformation across all sectors and pioneering initiatives in environmental and social domains for a sustainable future.

Özden said the collaboration with Schneider Electric is seen as pivotal in enhancing services provided to industries, covering industrial automation and energy management technologies, to achieve sustainability and efficiency goals.

“With our robust fiber infrastructure, as Türkiye’s most prepared operator for 5G, we continue to enrich our products and services with next-generation technologies for today and the future. By supporting the digitalization of businesses and industries, we play an active role in their economic growth. In this context, we believe that our strategic collaboration with Schneider Electric to enhance the services we provide for industries’ sustainability and efficiency goals, covering industrial automation and energy management technologies, is significant,” she noted.

Leading role in sustainability

Türk Telekom’s leadership and experience in the telecommunications sector will be leveraged to comprehensively expand efforts in 5G infrastructure, catering to industries’ sectoral needs.

Zeynep Özden (L), deputy general manager in charge of marketing and customer experience at Türk Telekom, and Mehmet Sağlam, deputy general manager in charge of digital energy and secure power business unit for Türkiye and the Middle Asia region at Schneider Electric. (Courtesy of Türk Telekom)

Its partnership with Schneider Electric includes offering industrial automation solutions across various verticals such as predictive maintenance, digital twins, robotic systems, production management systems, building management solutions and energy resources management solutions, utilizing 5G-based mobile private network technologies.

Özden said the company attaches great importance to digitalization in all fields, from commerce, education, health and industry to art and sports.

“We offer digital solutions in Türkiye and international markets, ranging from cybersecurity to data centers, cloud computing technologies to next-generation smart city projects. We provide end-to-end services to our corporate customers in their digital transformation needs and journeys. On the other hand, we closely follow international trends in the business world,” she noted.

She said the company will combine its strong product portfolio in telecommunications and information technologies with Schneider Electric’s expertise in industries’ transformation and sustainability competency.

“We find this collaboration valuable in terms of two significant sector partnerships. With our strong infrastructure and product portfolio in telecommunications and information technologies, we aim to contribute to Türkiye’s long-term industrial strategies by offering new-generation technologies most suitable for the existing technology infrastructure, business practices and digital transformation needs of corporate customers and regional countries,” Özden added.

Developing innovative solutions

Mehmet Sağlam, deputy general manager in charge of digital energy and secure power business unit for Türkiye and the Middle Asia region at Schneider Electric, highlighted the transformative potential of technologies such as IoT, automation, and digital twins, especially with the widespread adoption of 5G connectivity.

The partnership with Türk Telekom, he emphasized, aims to accelerate Türkiye’s digital and sustainable development by providing innovative automation solutions and ensuring profitability and reliability for customers.

“Today, technologies such as the Internet of Things, automation and digital twins, which trigger transformation in every segment from buildings to data centers, industrial facilities to energy infrastructures, will take on a new dimension with the widespread adoption of 5G connectivity. Numerous new devices, services, and applications will be introduced,” Sağlam said.

With its strong and global experience spanning 186 years, he said Schneider Electric embraces leading this transformation as a mission with its IoT-enabled, open-architecture platform EcoStruxure, robust agnostic software portfolio, and its expertise in the field through its company AVEVA.

“Through partnerships with leading independent software companies, we are also helping our customers benefit from innovative automation solutions. Thus, with digital and innovative solutions, we guarantee our customers’ profitability and reliability while offering sustainable value with a strategy focused on efficiency and decarbonization. In line with this, we are partnering with Türk Telekom for a strategic collaboration to strengthen our efforts and serve the transformation of our country and region,” Sağlam said.

“With this collaboration, which will be the first of its kind in scope and value creation, we will accelerate Türkiye’s digital and sustainable development.”


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