Tech

Top Tech Companies That Began Life in a Basement

By Eric Hamilton , Jul 07, 2020 11:34 PM EDT

Basements are very useful rooms that can be used for a variety of purposes if they are properly looked after and maintained. Some people transform their basement into a home gym or games room. Others create a workshop or even run a business out of their basement. As our infographic shows, there are lots of big-name tech companies that started life in a basement and have gone on to achieve huge success.

While the founders and owners of these companies may be dripping with cash these days, there was a time when they had very little money and had to find ways to get by. For many, this means having to work from the bottom up and making use of available space such as starting their tech companies in basement in order to get their business started. Many basement startups went on to achieve huge success, and we will look at some of the main ones in this article.

Tech and Other Successful Companies That Started in Parents' Basements
Tech and Other Successful Companies That Started in Parents' Basements Created By:  JES

Big Names that Operated from Basements

Many people are surprised to learn that some of the big companies that have become household names over the years started life in a basement. However, everyone has to start somewhere, and as this article shows, starting in a basement doesn't have to affect your success levels. Some of the companies that started in a basement are:

Virgin Group

Virgin has become a household name over the years, offering a range of products and services including tech services such as mobile and broadband. However, when Richard Branson was just 16 years of age, he took his first faltering steps in building his empire in a basement. From there, things went from strength to strength, and he now owns an empire worth nearly $5 billion.

Epic Games

Fortnite was released in 2017 and became a huge success, and the company behind it was Epic Games. The founder of the company Tim Sweeney admits he came up with the name to make his games design and development company look bigger and more impressive than it was. In 1991 when he was still at university, he was operating his company from his parents' basement. It is now worth around $15 billion.

FreshBooks

Many businesses these days use the cloud-based software solution, FreshBooks. But there was a time when the founder, Mike McDerment, was only bringing in around $100 a month from users. In 2004, he was running the business from the basement in his parents' home, and he continued to do this for over three years to keep costs down. He now brings in around $8 billion a year from users.

Amazon

Last but definitely not least, we have the global superstar of tech companies that is Amazon. Jeff Bezos has become a household name, but when he first started out with Amazon, he operated from a garage. He then moved to a basement in 1995 with just a handful of employees. The business is now worth over $1 trillion.

This shows that tech businesses started in basements have the potential to become huge global players.

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