From the growing number of electric vehicles on the streets of Hanoi to the influx of Brazilian influencers on India’s Twitter alternative Koo, Uber’s position in South Africa’s ride-hailing market, Indonesia’s largest-ever IPO, and a decline in Chinese venture investing — these are the statistics uncovered in Rest of World’s reporting this year that encapsulated the dynamics driving change in the tech sector around the world.


The number of bitcoins El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, claimed to have bought as of January 2022

President Nayib Bukele shocked international observers and delighted cryptocurrency enthusiasts when he made El Salvador the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender — a bold financial experiment for a country where an estimated 70% of the population remains unbanked. 

Due to price fluctuations, Bloomberg estimates Bukele’s crypto purchases would have cost about $71 million at the time of purchase and lost at least $10 million in value after. 

Source: Bloomberg


The number of Airbnb nights booked in Ukraine during the first quarter of 2022

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

As the war in Ukraine broke out, Airbnb customers around the world began booking nights in the country, with no intention of staying, to support Ukrainian hosts. After the campaign picked up, Airbnb waived its fees, resulting in over $20 million in gross book value to date, according to the company’s most recent earnings call. Airbnb has also offered free temporary accommodations to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, though only 14,000 have been housed to date.

Source: CNBC


The standard service fee charged by Uber for rides hailed in South Africa

In 2022, Bolt South Africa typically charged a 23% commission on the final ride price, while DiDi charged a 13% commission. To get around paying the fees and increase their profits, drivers told Rest of World they used the apps to acquire clients but preferred to book long-distance trips off the platforms.

Source: Rest of World

$28.8 billion

The valuation of GoTo, Indonesia’s largest private-tech company, based on the top share prices listed in its IPO prospectus

According to the documents, GoTo — formed via the merger of ride-hailing giant Gojek and e-commerce firm Tokopedia — saw profits increase 50% year over year in the first half of 2021. But the listing came at a rocky time for Indonesian tech companies: The country’s first unicorn, Bukalapak, has traded well below IPO level since its listing.

Source: Nikkei


The number of companies from Africa in startup accelerator Y Combinator’s Winter 2022 batch

Fully two-thirds of those came from Nigeria alone, including open-source infrastructure company Convoy and identity verification firm Dojah. Although the Winter 2022 Demo Day batch included a record-high number of African startups, half of this year’s crop still came from the U.S. India was home to the second-largest contingent: 32 startups.

Source: TechCrunch


The share of Starlink users that live outside of the U.S., Europe, and Australia


In mid-2021, Elon Musk announced his satellite internet company would be expanding globally in just a few months, but now, nearly a year later, the service is used almost exclusively by users in Western markets. Over 80% of Starlink users reside in North America, according to Cloudflare and figures posted by the company on Reddit. Worldwide, more than 500,000 people are currently waiting for their Starlink terminal orders to arrive. 

Source: Rest of World


The decline in venture capital deals in China in the first six months of 2022, compared to the year before

That’s almost four times the global rate of decline during the same period, and nearly twice the rate of decline in the U.S., according to research firm Preqin. The combination of an industry-wide reckoning on sky-high tech valuations and the Chinese Communist Party’s tight Covid-19 restrictions in business hubs like Shanghai led to the decline, though there were $24.7 billion in venture deals in China during this time.

Source: Bloomberg


The amount by which gig drivers’ incomes have dropped in Indonesia during the coronavirus pandemic

Willy Kurniawan/Reuters/Redux

While gig workers have been impacted by poor economic conditions over the past two years, conditions are worsening in Indonesia, sparking protests across the country. In late July this year, five on-demand gig drivers who work for apps like Gojek, Grab, and Shopee gathered to sew their lips shut to protest working conditions and stagnating wages. 

Source: Rest of World


The number of accounts Twitter banned in India in July 2022

In July 2022, Twitter suspended 45,191 accounts in India — the vast majority of which were promoting terrorism and child sexual exploitation — for violating the company’s guidelines. Meta flagged 27 million accounts on Facebook and Instagram in the same month.

Source: The Economic Times

275 million

The combined size of the global fleet of electric two- and three-wheelers as of September 2022

Two- and three-wheelers are the real driving force behind the global electric vehicle revolution, with strong sales in China, India, and Vietnam comprising 42% of all electric vehicle sales as of 2021. Between 2019 and 2021, electric passenger cars doubled the global fleet from 7 million to 16.7 million.

Source: Rest of World

$3 billion

The amount of goods sold on TikTok’s Chinese version, Douyin, in the first half of 2022

CFOTO/Future Publishing/Getty Images

Inspired by Douyin’s success in China, Chinese sellers believe livestreaming is the future of shopping. To allow creators to sell to audiences in the West, a new crop of boot camps has emerged, offering two-day crash courses in sales tactics and English-language internet slang to entice Western shoppers.

Source: Rest of World

1 million

The number of Brazilian users who joined Koo, the Indian Twitter alternative 

Mass resignations from Twitter prompted users from all over the world to start looking for alternative social media platforms. In Brazil, many users jumped to Koo, an Indian social media app, after a Brazilian celebrity influencer with 15.4 million Twitter followers tweeted out, “My goal is to have the biggest koo in Brazil,” and linked to his Koo account. “Koo” is homophonous with the word for “ass” in Portuguese.

Source: Rest of World