An Online Fast Fashion Retailer is Named The Most Successful Startup of the Decade

Online fast fashion retailer SHEIN has been named the most successful startup of the decade by Vention's Startup Success Index

The online fast fashion retailer was also named the world’s largest apparel retailer in 2023

Online fast fashion retailer SHEIN is the most successful startup of the decade, according to the Startup Success Index by software development experts at Vention. The Startup Success Index analyzed a total of 1,220 startups based on the following categories:

  • Valuation
  • Public perception of the company through search volume
  • Growth score
  • Number of employees 

The results of every category were then converted to an overall score out of 100. SHEIN, which has over 100,000 employees, ranked in the top three for every category and scored 87.12. 

Landing in second place is TikTok owner ByteDance with a score of 83.57. ByteDance has the highest value among those listed at $225 billion (approximately PHP 12.9 trillion), the most number of employees at 150,000. 

OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, ranks third with the score of 76.56. The company, helmed by CEO Sam Altman, has the second-highest valuation among those listed at $80 billion (approximately PHP 4.58 trillion). 

“Over the past decade, many startup websites and apps have emerged as highly successful in profitability and worldwide dominance,” says Vention CMO Marc Karasu. “The top three in the study, SHEIN, Bytedance and OpenAI, have achieved significant success as startups, which could be due to a combination of innovative business models, strategic partnerships, and cutting-edge technology.” 

SHEIN’s History 

SHEIN was founded in Nanjing, China, in 2008 by Chris Xu. It began as a small domestic retailer that was not involved in the design and manufacture of its products. Instead, SHEIN sourced its products wholesale from Guangzhou. 

SHEIN eventually developed its own supply chain system and went on to become the world’s largest apparel retailer in 2023. Numbers show that SHEIN’s merchandise value was approximately $45 billion (PHP 2.58 trillion) in 2023. 

The success of SHEIN can be attributed to its inexpensive products, which are highly appealing to its target market. These products have likewise been made more accessible to consumers around the world due to the company’s decision to leverage e-commerce. 

According to the Startup Success Index, SHEIN has the third largest value among the companies listed at $66 billion (approximately PHP 3.78 trillion). It also records an average monthly search volume of 62 million globally. 

Startup Success Index Top 10 

Below are the companies that ranked in the top 10 of the Startup Success Index. 

Name of CompanyIndex Score
1. SHEIN87.12
2. ByteDance83.57
3. OpenAI76.56
4. Strip67.42
5. Databricks 60.82
6. Revolut60.15
7. Canva56.09
8. Epic Games53.29
9. Miro52.84
10. Chime47.92