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Visualizing the R&D Investment of the 10 Biggest Nasdaq Companies

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The 10 Biggest Nasdaq Companies, by R&D Investment

R&D Investment of the 10 Biggest Nasdaq Companies

Over the last decade, Apple’s research and development (R&D) spending has jumped from about $3 billion to over $26 billion.

The world’s largest company, like other tech giants, is investing heavily in R&D on the heels of AI disruption and the rapid speed of innovation. As these technologies become more pervasive in our daily lives, so too has investment in R&D across major companies.

This graphic from Trendline shows the scale at which the 10 biggest companies listed on the Nasdaq are spending on R&D.

 

 

R&D Investment by the 10 Biggest Nasdaq Firms

In 2022, the 10 largest Nasdaq companies by market cap spent roughly $222 billion on R&D—a figure that has risen considerably in recent years.

RankNameR&D % of RevenueR&D Spend in 2022*
(Billions)
1Amazon14%$73.2
2Alphabet14%$39.5
3Meta30%$35.3
4Apple7%$27.7
5Microsoft13%$26.6
6Nvidia27%$7.3
7Broadcom14%$4.9
8ASML15%$3.3
9Tesla4%$3.1
10PepsiCo1%$0.8

*Trailing 12 months, ending December 31, 2022. Nvidia and Broadcom data is as of January 29, 2023.

Amazon invested over $73 billion in R&D last year, more than double the levels seen at Meta or Apple. R&D spending increased 30% over the year for the retail heavyweight, as it invested in technology infrastructure that underlies everything from software to autonomous vehicles.

 

 

Facebook parent Meta spent almost a third of its annual revenues on R&D in 2022, the highest proportion across the 10 largest Nasdaq companies. The majority of these investments were through its research arm, Reality Labs, which is focused on building a metaverse. However, the company has since pivoted away from its work on the metaverse due to a lackluster response—instead focusing on generative AI.

Chipmaker Nvidia, which has seen its market capitalization skyrocket in 2023, spent over $7 billion on R&D across generative AI, deep learning, robotics, and a number of other research areas. Between 2021 and 2022, investments in R&D grew by 34%.

Fastest Rising R&D Spenders, Globally

Beyond big tech names in the Nasdaq, many companies are accelerating their investment in R&D as the complexity of technology increases.

The table below shows the top 10 companies globally with the highest increase in R&D spend, based on analysis by fDi Intelligence.

RankNameCountryR&D Spending % Change
2021-2022
1BYD🇨🇳 China+133%
2AMD🇺🇸 U.S.+76%
3Moderna🇺🇸 U.S.+65%
4Meta🇺🇸 U.S.+43%
5Nvidia🇺🇸 U.S.+39%
6Uber🇺🇸 U.S.+36%
7Novo Nordisk🇩🇰 Denmark+35%
8Vertex Pharmaceuticals🇺🇸 U.S.+31%
9TSMC🇨🇳 Taiwan+31%
10Amazon🇺🇸 U.S.+31%

China’s largest electric vehicle maker, BYD, increased R&D investment by 133%, the most across companies analyzed. Among its primary research areas is the “Blade Battery”, which is a prismatic battery designed to hold as much as 50% more energy than comparable models.

Two chipmakers, AMD and TSMC also made the list, while three healthcare companies Moderna, Novo Nordisk, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals made significant R&D investments.

The Future of Innovation Spending

Even as many big tech names saw their stock prices fall in 2022, many dramatically increased their R&D investment.

This came as tech firms laid off thousands of employees. Together, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google’s parent company Alphabet laid of 40,000 employees as of early 2023.

Despite challenging environments, the focus on R&D is evident. Large companies can apply innovation across numerous areas of their business, improve efficiencies, with the goal of making the most out of research dollars spent.

At the same time, the complexity of technology is accelerating, requiring companies to spend more to keep with the pace of innovation. This involves investment in engineers, research facilities, along with the cost of running more advanced technological infrastructure.

Between 2000 and 2020, global R&D spending increased more than threefold to $2.4 trillion, a trend that shows minimal signs of slowing.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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How Tech Logos Have Evolved Over Time

From complete overhauls to more subtle tweaks, these tech logos have had quite a journey. Featuring: Google, Apple, and more.

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A cropped chart with the evolution of prominent tech companies’ logos over time.

How Tech Logos Have Evolved Over Time

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

One would be hard-pressed to find a company that has never changed its logo. Granted, some brands—like Rolex, IBM, and Coca-Cola—tend to just have more minimalistic updates. But other companies undergo an entire identity change, thus necessitating a full overhaul.

In this graphic, we visualized the evolution of prominent tech companies’ logos over time. All of these brands ranked highly in a Q1 2024 YouGov study of America’s most famous tech brands. The logo changes are sourced from 1000logos.net.

How Many Times Has Google Changed Its Logo?

Google and Facebook share a 98% fame rating according to YouGov. But while Facebook’s rise was captured in The Social Network (2010), Google’s history tends to be a little less lionized in popular culture.

For example, Google was initially called “Backrub” because it analyzed “back links” to understand how important a website was. Since its founding, Google has undergone eight logo changes, finally settling on its current one in 2015.

CompanyNumber of
Logo Changes
Google8
HP8
Amazon6
Microsoft6
Samsung6
Apple5*

Note: *Includes color changes. Source: 1000Logos.net

Another fun origin story is Microsoft, which started off as Traf-O-Data, a traffic counter reading company that generated reports for traffic engineers. By 1975, the company was renamed. But it wasn’t until 2012 that Microsoft put the iconic Windows logo—still the most popular desktop operating system—alongside its name.

And then there’s Samsung, which started as a grocery trading store in 1938. Its pivot to electronics started in the 1970s with black and white television sets. For 55 years, the company kept some form of stars from its first logo, until 1993, when the iconic encircled blue Samsung logo debuted.

Finally, Apple’s first logo in 1976 featured Isaac Newton reading under a tree—moments before an apple fell on his head. Two years later, the iconic bitten apple logo would be designed at Steve Jobs’ behest, and it would take another two decades for it to go monochrome.

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