U.S. technology behemoths experienced an astonishing surge in market capitalization, with their combined value skyrocketing by $2.4 trillion. This impressive feat was primarily propelled by the widespread enthusiasm for generative artificial intelligence (AI), as reported in Accel’s annual Euroscape report. Leading tech giants such as Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, and Nvidia all bore witness to a substantial 36% year-on-year increase in their stock values. Particularly noteworthy was Nvidia’s emergence as the frontrunner, breaching the coveted $1 trillion market cap threshold, largely attributable to its AI chip manufacturing operations.
The Meteoric Rise of AI The extraordinary ascent of the tech industry can be predominantly attributed to the sudden and fervent interest in generative AI products like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and Anthropic’s Claude. Although OpenAI led the way in this movement, other tech firms also enjoyed significant growth, either through the development of AI software or strategic acquisitions of AI startups. It is worth highlighting that the United States played a pivotal role in this generative AI boom. OpenAI secured the largest funding of any AI company this year, an impressive $10 billion from Microsoft, with an additional infusion of $1.3 billion later on. Anthropic, a key competitor in the generative AI sector, also attracted substantial funding from Amazon and other investors in the past year. In stark contrast, generative AI funding in Europe lagged significantly, amassing only around $500 million. French startups like Hugging Face, Poolside, and Mistral AI secured $235 million, $126 million, and $113 million, respectively.
This year marked the resurgence of tech unicorns, restoring their numbers to pre-pandemic levels. Notably, generative AI companies constituted a substantial 80% of U.S. unicorns, whereas they represented only 40% in Europe and Israel. As Philippe Botteri, a partner at Accel, aptly puts it, “Generative AI is redefining the potential of software, bringing the opportunities for enterprise automation and productivity improvement to a new level.”