A ‘unicorn’ is a term used in the business world to describe a privately owned startup that is worth more than $1 billion, including the likes of Airbnb, Roblox, and, as of this month, Tipalti, after reaching a valuation of more than $2 billion.
Led by Durable Capital Partners, our Series E round also includes significant investments from Greenoaks Capital and participation from current investor 01 Advisors, and we hope that joining the ‘unicorn club’ will accelerate our growth path and increase our market-leading position as the preferred accounts payable automation solution for high-velocity companies across the globe.
While millions of startups spring up each year, only a handful ever make a success of it, which is why a private billion-dollar startup is so rare (hence why it’s called a unicorn!).
As 2020 draws to a close, we’re taking a look at some of the businesses that have joined this elite club in the last year, as well as a deeper dive into the characteristics of a unicorn.
76 new companies have joined the exclusive unicorn club in 2020 (as of October), slightly fewer than in previous years, with none of those 76 quite reaching ‘decacorn’ status yet (that’s a privately owned startup with a valuation of over $10 billion).
The most valuable of these is the National Stock Exchange of India, at a value of $6.5b, with other notable new unicorns including the learning marketplace Udemy, fitness clothing brand Gymshark, and of course, Tipalti!
The majority of 2020’s new unicorns came from the US (62%), with just 7% from China, while fintech (17%), e-commerce (14%), and internet software and services (12%) were the industries which saw the most unicorn companies this year.
|Year Joined||Number of Unicorns||Number of Decacorns||Total|
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The Countries with the Most Unicorns
Almost half (48%) of the world’s unicorn companies were formed in the US, with 235, including 50% of the world’s decacorns too.
The country with the second-highest amount of unicorns was China, with 119 (24.3%), including fashion brand SHEIN and ByteDance, the world’s only ‘hectocorn’ (valued at over $100bn).
In fact, the majority of the world’s unicorns come from a small handful of countries, with the US and China alone accounting for 72%, followed by India (4.9%), the UK (4.7%), and Germany (2.4%).
The Industries with the Most Unicorns
As you can see, the majority of unicorns fall within tech industries, although there’s actually quite a wide spread.
More unicorns fell into the fintech niche than any other, with 70 (14.3%), followed by e-commerce (12.4%) and internet software and services (12.2%).
Even for those businesses which fall into a more traditional sector, many unicorns provide tech solutions to their respective sectors such as Airbnb, in the travel sector.
The World’s Most Valuable Unicorns
The world’s most valuable unicorn by some distance (and the world’s only current ‘hectocorn’) is ByteDance, a Chinese tech firm that’s currently worth an estimated $140bn.
There are currently 26 ‘decacorns’ (worth over $10m) and between them, they account for 37% of the total value of all unicorn companies.
All figures sourced from CB Insights’ Complete List of Unicorn Companies and are correct as of October 16, 2020.