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Race To A Billion

Making $1 billion dollars a day is routine for certain companies, but their first billion* might have meant years of work. Discover how long it took some of the world’s biggest companies to reach that milestone, and find who was quickest over the finishing line in our Race to a Billion…

The stats are in…

We’ve scoured the most recent financial reports to discover how long it took the world’s biggest companies to reach their first billion, as well as how long it takes them to earn a billion in 2018.

Tap on each company to read more
Company
Time to reach 1bn
stats
Dish Network
3 years
Industry
Entertainment
Total Revenue
$14,391,375,000
First Billion
3 years
Latest Billion
25.4 days
Did you know?
Shares in Dish dropped by 11% in April 2018, as more consumers move away from satellite subscriptions in favour of streaming services. The company still has ambitious plans, however, and is reportedly pouring $1 billion into an Internet of Things network in the US, as well as an estimated $10 billion spend on a nationwide 5G network.
Booking Holdings
3 years
Industry
Travel
Total Revenue
$12,681,082,000
First Billion
3 years
Latest Billion
28.8 days
Did you know?
Despite a slump in growth of bookings and room nights, Booking Holdings managed a record $25 billion in gross bookings for Q1 2018. The group’s business portfolio includes Booking.com, Kayak, Rentalcars.com, and OpenTable.
Amazon
5 years
Industry
Retail
Total Revenue
$177,866,000,000
First Billion
5 years
Latest Billion
2.1 days
Did you know?
In June 2018, Investopedia named America ‘the United States of Amazon’ as the company’s Prime memberships tipped over the 100m mark. Fast forward to September of the same year and the retail kings became the second $1 trillion company, just weeks after Apple became the first to hit this impressive milestone.
Google (now owned by Alphabet)
5 years
Industry
Tech
Total Revenue
$110,855,000,000
First Billion
5 years
Latest Billion
3.3 days
Did you know?
Google was fined $2.7 billion for breaching European Union antitrust rules in June 2017 after it was found to be using its search engine to steer users to its own shopping platform. Luckily for the tech giants, this figure was dwarfed by its $110 billion revenue in the same year.
Sky Group
6 years
Industry
Entertainment
Total Revenue
£12,916,000,000
First Billion
6 years
Latest Billion
28.3 days
Did you know?
After two-years of back-and-forth involving 21st Century Fox and Disney, Comcast finally won the bidding battle to take full control of Sky. Its offer was $3.6bn higher than Fox’s, at £17.28 per share.
Facebook
6 years
Industry
Tech
Total Revenue
$40,653,000,000
First Billion
6 years
Latest Billion
9 days
Did you know?
Facebook shares were down 7% in March 2018 after a data scandal dominated the headlines around the world, equating to an estimated loss of $40 billion. Chief Strategy Officer of GBH Insights, Daniel Ives, commented that the social media channel could lose $5 billion in annual revenue if it failed to assure its users and government agencies.
Expedia Group
6 years
Industry
Travel
Total Revenue
$10,059,844,000
First Billion
6 years
Latest Billion
36.3 days
Did you know?
Expedia enjoyed an unexpected lift in its share price by 11.8% for Q1 2018, despite analysts predicting the underperforming Trivago might weigh the group down.
Time Warner Inc
7 years
Industry
Entertainment
Total Revenue
$31,271,000,000
First Billion
7 years
Latest Billion
11.7 days
Did you know?
With around 26,000 employees worldwide, Time Warner’s impressive entertainment property portfolio includes Warner Bros., HBO, New Line, and Cartoon Network. Blockbusters such as Wonder Woman, Dunkirk, and It contributed to the company’s $31.3 billion revenue in 2017.
Costco
7 years
Industry
Retail
Total Revenue
$126,172,000,000
First Billion
7 years
Latest Billion
2.9 days
Did you know?
As Costco announced an impressive $32.36 billion in revenue, which exceeded analysts’ expectations, the firm revealed it would be boosting its minimum wage to at least $14 per hour.
Spotify
8 years
Industry
Entertainment
Total Revenue
4,090,000,000
First Billion
8 years
Latest Billion
89.2 days
Did you know?
Spotify caused a splash on Wall Street in April 2018 with the success of its IPO, trading shares above the reference price of $132, with experts predicting Uber and Airbnb could follow suit in 2019.
Fitbit
8 years
Industry
Health & Fitness
Total Revenue
$1,615,519,000
First Billion
8 years
Latest Billion
225.9 days
Did you know?
As more brands enter the fitness watch market, Fitbit isn’t letting the competition get the better of it. Fitbit’s share price soared in early June 2018 when its new Versa smartwatch became the brand’s fastest selling product since it first launched back in 2009.
Home Depot
8 years
Industry
Retail
Total Revenue
$100,904,000,000
First Billion
8 years
Latest Billion
3.6 days
Did you know?
Forbes gave Home Depot shares a $212 price estimate in June 2018, as the retail firm announced plans to invest $1.2 billion into its supply chain over the next 5 years. The proposed strategy includes creating a further 170 distribution facilities across America, which will enable the brand to reach 90% of the U.S population within 24 hours.
Netflix
10 years
Industry
Entertainment
Total Revenue
$11,692,713,000
First Billion
10 years
Latest Billion
31.2 days
Did you know?
The popularity of Netflix shows no signs of slowing. The streaming expert’s stock was up 18% in January 2019, which came after it took home five Golden Globe awards for films and television. The awards came just weeks after the Sci-Fi horror hybrid Bird Box ruled the headlines, with 46 million viewers in just seven days, according to Netflix.
Dropbox
10 years
Industry
Tech
Total Revenue
$1,106,800,000
First Billion
10 years
Latest Billion
329.8 days
Did you know?
Dropbox ended Q1 2018 on a high after making its debut as a public company, with revenue of $316.3 million versus $309.2 million predicted by analysts. Reports from early 2019 suggest the cloud storage company has a current market value of around $9 billion.
Under Armour
14 years
Industry
Health & Fitness
Total Revenue
$4,976,553,000
First Billion
14 years
Latest Billion
73.3 days
Did you know?
Under Armour has enjoyed a lucrative relationship with actor Dwayne Johnson with the UA Project Rock Collection. The entire stock of his $120 UA Project Rock 1 training shoe sold out within 30 minutes at the end of May 2018.
Lululemon
14 years
Industry
Health & Fitness
Total Revenue
$2,649,181,000
First Billion
14 years
Latest Billion
137.8 days
Did you know?
Lululemon’s shares hit a record high at the end of May 2018, with its online sales up 62% in the last quarter. With the yoga-inspired sports label on track to generate more than $3 billion in revenue by the end of the year, it’s moving away from being a niche brand and into a major market player.
Apple
14 years
Industry
Tech
Total Revenue
$229,234,000,000
First Billion
14 years
Latest Billion
1.6 days
Did you know?
In August 2018, Apple became the first public company in the world to hit the trillion-dollar mark after share prices rose to $207.05, sending the tech giant to all-new heights. This landmark moment came just 42 years after the company was founded.
Oracle Corporation
14 years
Industry
Tech
Total Revenue
$37,728,000,000
First Billion
14 years
Latest Billion
9.7 days
Did you know?
Co-founder Larry Ellison went from humble beginnings in the Bronx to become the fifth wealthiest person on the planet via software Oracle Corporation, but his philanthropy is equally as impressive. Ellison is said to have donated 1% of his wealth to charity, including a $200 million pledge to the University of Southern California for a cancer treatment facility.
ASOS
15 years
Industry
Retail
Total Revenue
£1,923,600,000
First Billion
15 years
Latest Billion
189.7 days
Did you know?
After the November 2018 trading period, ASOS reduced expectations for the rest of the financial year, with an expected 15% growth and earnings margin of 2% (down from 4%). Some analysts have suggested that uncertainty surrounding Brexit is to blame.
Microsoft
15 years
Industry
Tech
Total Revenue
$89,950,000,000
First Billion
15 years
Latest Billion
4.1 days
Did you know?
In October 2018, Microsoft announced it had acquired coding platform GitHub for $7.5bn, expanding the brand’s developer tool and services offering. The deal is rumoured to have made GitHub’s three founders billionaires.
Intel
16 years
Industry
Tech
Total Revenue
$62,761,000,000
First Billion
16 years
Latest Billion
5.8 days
Did you know?
Intel is facing stiff competition from rivals AMD, which believes its next processing chip will boost its market share considerably. The news came as Intel saw its shares drop by 1%, whilst AMD saw its stock rise by 3.2%. Hopefully Intel’s recently announced 10-nanometre chip designed specifically for 5G smartphones will keep it ahead of the tech game.
Walmart
18 years
Industry
Retail
Total Revenue
$500,343,000,000
First Billion
18 years
Latest Billion
0.7 days
Did you know?
While McDonald’s recently announced plans to roll out more self-service pay kiosks, Walmart revealed plans to bring more cashiers back. The move came after reports that self-service checkouts hadn’t helped operating margins and left customers unsatisfied.
Starbucks
27 years
Industry
Restaurants
Total Revenue
$22,386,800,000
First Billion
27 years
Latest Billion
16.3 days
Did you know?
While Starbucks has faced competition in recent years partly due to the rise in popularity of indie coffee shops, new chief financial officer, Pat Grismer, believes the brand’s partnership with Nestle will help boost earnings. The Swiss giant paid Starbucks £5.2bn in 2018 to sell its coffee products outside of the café chain, meaning that Nespresso machine owners will soon be able to purchase Starbucks branded pods to enjoy at home.
McDonald's
28 years
Industry
Restaurants
Total Revenue
$22,820,000,000
First Billion
28 years
Latest Billion
16 days
Did you know?
Having enjoyed success in Europe with its delivery service and self-order kiosks, McDonald’s plans to expand these services across the US. The fast food chain has plans to upgrade 1,000 stores with kiosk and mobile technology each quarter over the next two years.
Viacom
30 years
Industry
Entertainment
Total Revenue
$13,263,000,000
First Billion
30 years
Latest Billion
27.5 days
Did you know?
In a bid to increase revenue and broaden its audience, Viacom is increasing its live event schedule by 135% in 2018. The cable company earned $3.15 billion via events alone in the first quarter of 2018, and its new strategy includes plans to sell audience data to advertisers looking to target live event consumers.
CVS Health
31 years
Industry
Retail
Total Revenue
$184,765,000,000
First Billion
31 years
Latest Billion
2 days
Did you know?
When a judge gave the AT&T and Time Warner merger the green light in June 2018, CVS Health emerged as the unlikely winner and saw its share price soar. Experts believe the ruling puts the proposed $69 billion merger with Aetna in a stronger position. However, in December 2018 a judge ruled that the two companies must keep some operations separate while he completes his review of the merger.
Comcast
35 years
Industry
Entertainment
Total Revenue
$84,526,000,000
First Billion
35 years
Latest Billion
4.3 days
Did you know?
In May 2018 Netflix’s market value increased to $150 billion, overtaking Comcast for the first time. But, it’s not all bad news for America’s largest cable company, as its high-speed internet revenue reached an all-time high of $4.2 billion in Q1 2018.
WW
42 years
Industry
Health & Fitness
Total Revenue
$1,306,900,000
First Billion
42 years
Latest Billion
279.3 days
Did you know?
WW enjoyed a record number of subscribers in 2018, with 4.6m members signed up by the end of the first quarter od 2018. In early June, shares in the company hit an all-time high of $93.74 after analysts at J.P Morgan made a bullish call on the weight loss specialists, whose popularity has soared since acquiring influencers Oprah Winfrey and DJ Khaled as brand ambassadors.
Burger King
50 years
Industry
Restaurants
Total Revenue
$1,219,200,000
First Billion
50 years
Latest Billion
299.4 days
Did you know?
In October 2018, the Financial Times reported that Burger King is looking to expand into sub-Saharan Africa in a bid to grow the brand. Burger King currently has fewer than 17,000 restaurants globally, whereas rival brand McDonald’s has more than 37,000.
Walt Disney
69 years
Industry
Entertainment
Total Revenue
$59,434,000,000
First Billion
69 years
Latest Billion
6.14 days
Did you know?
The bidding war to takeover 21st Century Fox isn’t the first time Disney and Comcast have come to blows. In 2004, Disney curbed Comcast’s unsolicited bid to take it over, which caused a huge rift between Disney CEO Bob Iger and Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts.
Hilton
78 years
Industry
Travel
Total Revenue
$9,140,000,000
First Billion
78 years
Latest Billion
39.9 days
Did you know?
In May 2018, Blackstone (the world’s largest buyout group) agreed to sell its remaining 5.8% stake in Hilton Worldwide. The move marks the end of an 11-year ownership which has turned out to be one of the most lucrative private equity transactions of all time. Hilton stated it would also be buying back 1.25 million of shares owned by Blackstone.
IBM
79 years
Industry
Tech
Total Revenue
$79,139,000,000
First Billion
79 years
Latest Billion
4.6 days
Did you know?
IBM has been behind some of the world’s most ground-breaking inventions, including the automated teller machine (ATM) and hard disk drive (HDD). Such innovations have earned IBM and its employees’ countless awards, including five Nobel prizes.
Target
87 years
Industry
Retail
Total Revenue
$71,879,000,000
First Billion
87 years
Latest Billion
5.1 days
Did you know?
In a bid to fend off competition from Amazon and bring its business model up to date, Target purchased same-day delivery service Shipt in 2017 for $550 million. Target is hoping that its $99 annual Shipt membership ($20 cheaper than Amazon Prime) and commitment to delivering a wider range of products will see it eat into Amazon’s profits throughout 2019.
Walgreens
110 years
Industry
Retail
Total Revenue
$118,214,000,000
First Billion
110 years
Latest Billion
3.1 days
Did you know?
Walgreens recently revealed it had spent $500 million on building, testing, and implementing new IT systems for its US stores, with plans to spend a further $500 million. This news came as the brand faced competition after CVS Heath bought out the country’s third largest health insurer and Amazon announced plans to enter the pharmacy market.
Debenhams
215 years
Industry
Retail
Total Revenue
£2,064,600,000
First Billion
215 years
Latest Billion
176.8 days
Did you know?
In January 2019, it was revealed that FTI was in talks with Debenhams in order to formulate a restructuring plan that could see 4,000 of the company’s 27,000 employees out of work. The news comes on the back of a disastrous Christmas 2018 in retail.