To say that the startup culture around the world has flourished this year would be an understatement. Long gone are the days when reaching the coveted unicorn status, and attaining a valuation of $1Bn was a once in a blue moon event. This year, startup valuations have been ballooning up like never before, with a new unicorn surfacing every week. Over the last 8 months, the number of unicorns has increased from 487 to 701, an increase of 43%, almost double from 361 unicorns in June 2019, according to a new report.
Achieving the status of unicorn is an enviable one, and as the world is starting to recover from the effects of the pandemic, numerous start-ups have joined the unicorn family. It has rained cash for the start-up ecosystem as investors have invested millions in firms, leading to the unprecedented rise in the number of unicorns.
According to data from CB Insights (and as given in the blog post), it was the United States that continued to dominate with 154 unicorns out of the 227 globally since October 2020 – over 67%. Silicon Valley has 69 new unicorns, while New York and Los Angeles have 30 and 8 respectively. Silicon Valley alone accounts for 51% of the US market cap and 47% of unicorns in terms of numbers, while New York comprises 11% of the market cap and 17% of unicorns by number. SpaceX has made Los Angeles comprise 11% of the market cap and 7% of US unicorns.
“This is increasing share for both the USA & Silicon Valley as a % of global tech unicorns, with NY and LA accelerating somewhat. New York anecdotally feels like it has transitioned into a break-out cluster of its own,” the blog post read.
On the other hand, China has produced only 9 new unicorns since October 2020, comprising approximately 4% of the global number, despite having 20% of the unicorn market cap. It currently has 142 unicorns in total, second only to the USA’s 369. You may wonder why the Asian giant has fallen behind – one reason might be a data issue. Beijing, with a market cap of 59% and 37% of Chinese unicorns, and Shanghai, with a market cap of 13% of market cap and 24% of unicorns in China, are the largest in the country.
Meanwhile, Europe has not lagged behind, adding 25 new unicorns since October 2020. London added 8 new unicorns (a total of 21), Paris added 5 new unicorns 9 (a total of 13), Berlin added 5 new unicorns to take the count to 9, while Stockholm added 2 new unicorns for a total of 4, including a decacorn. The number of unicorns in Europe is divided as follows – the UK has 29, Germany has 17, France has 14, Switzerland has 5, and Sweden has 4.
As for India, the second-largest internet market in the world, the start-up ecosystem has had perhaps its best year ever. Bangalore produced 7 new unicorns to take the total to 14, New Delhi added 2 more to take the number to 12, while Mumbai and Chennai produced one each. There are 32 unicorns in India to date.
The other unicorns to have come up since October 2020 are from Israel (13), Brazil (12), the biggest generator of unicorns in South America, South Korea (10), Canada (9), Singapore (5), Japan (5), and Australia (4).
In terms of overall concentration, the US wins the race, followed by China, the European Union, and finally India. Israel and Canada have not remained behind either, continuing to generate unicorns at a fast pace.
Coming to decacorns, or start-ups with a valuation of $10 billion or more, they have been largely concentrated in a handful of countries. The US has 14 decacorns, while China has 9 and both India and the UK have 2 each. Brazil, Sweden, Australia, and Singapore have a solitary decacorn each.