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19th Jun 2024

Company you’ve never heard of overtakes Microsoft as most valuable company in the world

Charlie Herbert

It’s value has almost doubled since the start of 2024

A company that most of you have likely never heard of has overtaken Microsoft as the most valuable in the world.

Nvidia is a chip-making company in California and on Tuesday (June 19), it saw its share price climb to an all-time high.

With a staggering worth $3.34tn (£2.63tn), it managed to overtake Microsoft as the world’s most valuable company, just days after it overtook Apple in second.

It’s been an spectacular rise for Nvidia, with the company’s worth having nearly doubled since the start of 2024.

The reason for this? It creates chips needed to train and run artificial intelligence (AI), and in recent years demand has exploded.

Now, the company’s chips power many of the biggest AI tools, including OpenAI’s ChatGPT, and it has surged ahead has the market leader ahead of the tech giants such as Apple and Google.

Silicon Valley-based Nvidia is now the world’s most valuable company (Getty)

Nvidia used to be known as a company that produced video game chips, and eight years ago its stock was worth less than one per cent of its current price, the BBC reports.

Speaking at an event in Copenhagen, Chris Penrose, Nvidia’s global head of business development for telco at Nvidia, said the record valuation was the culmination of more than 30 years of work in the fields of computing and AI.

“The generative AI journey is really transforming businesses and telcos around the world,” he said. “We’re just at the beginning.”

Along with the boom in AI and demand for chips, the company also benefitted significantly from a rush to mine Bitcoin in 2020, which prompted a surge in sales of its graphics cards.

As the company’s profile has increased, so has that of its 61-year-old CEO, Jensen Huang. He has seen his net worth increase by $93bn over the last 18 months, and he is now worth more than $100bn, the Guardian reports.

However, it remains to be seen whether Nvidia can continue to dominate the AI chip market as giants such as Microsoft, Meta and Apple funnel huge amounts of time, effort and money into building their own AI-computing capabilities.