Whenever we talk about the most innovative companies, technology giants such as Apple, Google-parent Alphabet, Microsoft, and Amazon tend to dominate the list. According to the latest ranking compiled by Boston Consulting Group, Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung occupied the top five slots, in that order. However, none of these giants could make it to Fast Company‘s list of the top ten Most Innovative Companies for 2019.
Ranked: The most innovative companies
Apple, which topped the list in 2018, slipped to 17th spot. According to Fast Company, the Cupertino company failed to “break new ground with their devices.” Last year, Apple was ranked 1st because of innovative products like iPhone X, AirPods, and augmented reality. But this time Fast Company credited Apple for the A12 Bionic chipset that powers the latest iPhones.
Fast Company ranked 50 most innovative companies that are “making the most profound impact on both industry and culture” and are thriving in this “volatile world.” Surprisingly, the top two companies are not American.
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Owned by Amazon, Twitch is insanely popular in the gaming community. Fast Company praised its “growing prowess” in the world of live-streaming. Twitch has successfully gone beyond game streaming. It aims to become the future of live TV. Twitch now offers streaming in a variety of categories such as fitness, arts, talk shows, cooking, and NFL games. The interactions between streamers and the community make it a powerful platform.
Sweden-based Oatly makes a milk alternative made out of pulverized oats. It was the world’s first company to commercialize oat milk, and has become increasingly popular in the United States. It grew its revenue from $1.5 million in 2017 to more than $15 million in 2018. Oatly aims to double its sales next year. It started selling its products in coffee shops first before making them available in grocery stores. Its eye-catching packaging “both educates and amuses customers about oat milk.”
Square, the payment company founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, has been making payments “less painful.” It handled $23 billion in transactions during the last quarter. Last year, it launched Square Terminal, a single-screen credit card machine with wireless connectivity, touch screen, and receipt-printing capability. It also offers a Cash app that enables person-to-person money transfer.
7- Apeel Sciences
Apeel Sciences makes edible and tasteless products that significantly increase the shelf life of fruits, vegetables, and other food items. It was launched in 2012 with a grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Last year, Apeel Sciences launched a plant-based coating on avocados at leading grocery chains such as Costco and Kroger to help them reduce avocado waste. The plant-based coating technology slows down oxidation and water loss. It has many other products in the pipeline.
Founded in 2007, Sweetgreen is a quick-service restaurant chain that offers salads. Now it is expanding beyond salads to explore “new, fast-casual restaurant concepts and corporate delivery opportunities.” This farm-to-table business has more than 91 restaurants across eight states. It has a network of 150 farmers across the United States. Sweetgreen has launched an app that allows users to customize their orders and count calories.
5- Stitch Fix
Headquartered in San Francisco, Stitch Fix is an online personal styling service provider. Stitch Fix offers a clothing subscription service, where it sends boxes or “Fixes” of clothes, shoes, and accessories tailored to its customers’ tastes. It uses data analytics to find out the kind of clothes you like and what fits you well. It has more than 3,000 stylists to create each “Fix.” The company posted revenues of $1.2 billion in the fiscal year 2018.
4- The Walt Disney Company
If there is one company that could give Netflix a tough fight in streaming, it’s Disney, says Fast Company. The entertainment juggernaut is going to launch its Disney+ streaming service later this year. It already has vast content thanks to brands like Marvel, Disney, Pixar, ESPN, ABC, and Lucasfilm. The company has been preparing itself for personalized, on-demand entertainment for several years.
Fast Company praised the National Basketball Association (NBA) for holding people’s attention in the age of distraction. It brought e-sports in-house, allowing people around the world to engage with the sports, teams, and individual players. It makes people feel connected to the sports. The NBA reached record attendance levels for the fourth straight season. Its streaming subscriber base jumped 63% and revenues went up 25%.
Singapore-based Grab is more than just a ride-hailing company in Southeast Asia. It has expanded its services to travel booking, food delivery, and even financial services. It plans to start offering healthcare services later this year. It has more than 130 million users and generated more than $1 billion revenue last year. It provides its drivers with digital wallets via Grab Financial, which they can use to store cash, take loans, or pay at stores.
1- Meituan Dianping
Meituan Dianping is an online-to-offline service provider in China. Fast Company has named it the most innovative company in the world. Through its apps, it offers booking and delivery of various services like food, movie tickets, and hotel stays. It facilitated $33.8 billion worth of transactions in the first half of 2018. Meituan Dianping aims to become the Amazon of services. Last year, it acquired Mobike to offer local transportation services.