A group of people sitting around a table engaged in Unicorn Hunting.

Unicorn Hunting

The business term ‘unicorn’ is used to describe a privately owned business that is worth over $1 billion. At the time of writing, there are currently over 1,400 pre-IPO unicorn companies worldwide, including the likes of SHEIN, Canva, Grammarly, and SpaceX. We also entered the list ourselves back in 2020 and Tipalti is currently valued at $8 billion.

In mid-2022, we brought you an updated report on unicorn companies around the world. Since then, there have been some changes to the list, with some companies joining and some leaving.

We wanted to reveal the latest stats and figures for unicorn companies, including the new entries on the list. We will also reveal which industries and countries produce the most unicorn companies.

New Additions to the Unicorn Companies List

A graph displaying the quantity of unicorns in a company for Unicorn Hunting 2023.

308 companies joined the unicorn list last year, meaning that new entries account for 21.52% of all unicorn companies. One of those new entries is Miro, a visual collaboration platform based in the United States. The company is valued at $18 billion and is used by companies such as Walmart, Cisco, and Volvo.

Other companies that joined the list last year include financial technology company SumUp, which is valued at $8 billion, and supply chain and retail planning platform Relex Solutions, which is valued at $6 billion.

Unicorn Companies That Have Exited the List

Unicorn companies that have exited the list in 2023.

38 companies exited the unicorn list last year, with 13 of them originating in the United States, including Fair, a car leasing company that exited the list in March, and Prime Medicine, a biotechnology company, which exited the list in October.

Following closely behind is China, which had 11 companies exit the unicorn list. This includes the likes of MGI Tech, a developer of advanced life science tools that exited the list in September, and Zhihu, a social network platform, which exited the list in April.

Some of the other countries that lost unicorn companies last year include Germany, India, the United Kingdom and Japan.

The Countries with the Most Unicorn Companies

The countries leading in unicorn companies for Unicorn Hunting 2023.

American companies are still dominating the unicorn list in 2023, with 712 companies being based in the United States. This accounts for almost 50% of the total 1,431 current unicorn companies. Although this has decreased from a 54% majority in the last report, it is evident that most unicorn companies are still being born in the United States.

Additionally, 14 of the top 30 most valuable unicorns are from the US, including the likes of SpaceX, Stripe, and Instacart.

China is still home to the second-highest number of unicorn companies, with 248 in total, accounting for 17.33% of the list. There are seven Chinese unicorn companies in the top 30, with two of them, Bytedance and Ant Group, in positions one and two.

20 new Indian companies have joined the unicorn list since our last report, accounting for almost 6% of the list. There are three Indian companies in the top 30: Reliance Retail, Reliance Jio, and BYJU’S.

Unicorn Companies in the United States

Unicorn Hunting in the United States: Discovering Future Unicorn Companies in 2023.

As previously mentioned, almost 50% of the unicorn list is made up of American companies. The city of San Francisco currently has the most pre-IPO unicorn companies in the United States, standing at 221 unicorns. Some of the top companies created there include Vanta, a provider of automated compliance solutions, Zip, a cloud-based approval management software provider, and Monte Carlo, a provider of data observability solutions.

Next is the city of New York, which currently has 130 unicorn companies. This includes the likes of Backbase, a banking software suite for banks and financial institutions, Clear Street, a trade lifecycle management platform for brokerages, and the ever-popular NordVPN, a provider of encryption-based VPN.

Concluding the rest of the top five is Palo Alto, with 36 unicorn companies, Boston, with 28 unicorn companies and Mountain View, with 21 unicorn companies.

The Industries with the Most Unicorn Companies

The Unicorn Hunting 2023 industry has the most unicorn companies.

Unicorn companies come from a huge variation of industries, with the majority being in the software sector. There are 771 unicorn companies that fall into the software category, which accounts for almost 54% of the total.

Financial services is the second biggest industry in the world of unicorn companies, accounting for 23.76% of the list, with 340 companies falling into this category.

The IT industry follows closely behind, with 309 companies, which accounts for 21.59% of the total.

The World’s Most Valuable Unicorn Companies

Unicorn Hunting 2023: Discover the world's most valuable unicorns.

There are now four hectocorn companies with values over $100 billion: ByteDance, Ant Group, SpaceX, and Shein. There are also now 67 decacorn companies valued at over $10 billion including Chime, Discord, and Getir. This is compared to 59 decacorn companies in the previous report.

1 – ByteDance, valued at $180 billion

ByteDance, the Chinese tech company responsible for the creation of popular social media app TikTok, has managed to keep its place at the top spot, whilst increasing its value to a huge $180 billion. This is compared to $140 billion in our last report.

2 – Ant Group, valued at $150 billion

Financial services corporation, Ant Group, has managed to knock SpaceX from second place on the list. The company – which owns the world’s largest mobile payment platform, AliPay – is valued at $150 billion.

3 – SpaceX, valued at $125 billion

Although SpaceX remains the most valuable unicorn company in the US, it has slipped back to third place on the list. The company – which was founded by business tycoon Elon Musk and Tom Mueller – is, however, still valued at $125 billion.

Emerging Unicorn Companies

There are many companies throughout the world that are very close to entering the unicorn list. One of these companies is Nxtra Data, an information technology based company, founded in India. The company is currently valued at $986 million, with its lead investor being The Carlyle Group.

There may also be another American company to add to the list soon, as Delphix, an intelligent data platform, is currently valued at $981 million. Some of the other emerging companies include League, a platform technology company in Canada, CarTrade, an online automotive market in India, and Zum, a child transportation company for schools in the United States.


All figures sourced from Crunchbase’s Unicorn Board and are correct as of 25/1/2023. Information surrounding unicorn companies in the United States is sourced from Tracxn.

Due to a lack of data for certain industries from the previous year, no changes could be recorded for the biggest unicorn industries.

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