Internet Trends 2017 Report Stresses Immigration

June 5th, 2017 by Romona Paden

The Internet Trends 2017 Report, put out by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), stresses the importance of immigration in the technology sector. Data points put forward by the report’s author, Mary Meeker, show the important relationship between immigration and job growth within high-tech companies.

KPCP, a familiar name in Silicon Valley, placed early bets on now high-profile tech companies, including Amazon, Google, and Twitter.

More than half the most highly-valued private technology companies in existence in the United States with a value of $1 billion or more were founded by first-generation immigrants. Job creation at these companies amounts to 48,000 jobs. Meeker singles out in the report Indian immigrants Apoorva Mehta of Instacart, K.R. Sridhar of Bloom Energy, Laks Srini of Zenefits, Ragy Thomas of Sprinklr, Dhiraj Rajaram of MU Sigma and Jay Chaudhry of Zscaler. Others include Uber, SpaceX, AppNexus and FanDuel.

The report also extrapolates the top 60 percent of the most highly-valued tech companies in the country as founded by first- or second-generation Americans., which account for 1.5 million employees. Apple’s Steve Jobs, for instance, was a second-generation Syrian. Google co-founder, Sergey Brin, is a Russian-born first-generation American. Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, is a second-generation Cuban and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, born is Brazil, is a first-generation American.

IT services company, Cognizant, which includes a large employee base in India, was founded by Francisco D’Souza and Kumar Mahadeva, who are of Indian and Sri Lankan origin respectively.

In the report, which Meeker presented at the end of May at a Re/code-sponsored conference, the venture capitalist incorporated 355 slides. Meeker placed particular emphasis on India this year.

While tech company awareness around the importance of immigrants is already high, the trends report could also be considered something of a warning flag. Since President Trump took office in January, policy around H-1B visas that are so vital to the industry has shifted toward protectionism, which tightens the supply of employees.

Additionally, H-1B employers have since seen a cost rise due to a fee increase around the visas introduced late last year.

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