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Economies around the world depend on their private sectors to grow and expand in order for the economy to grow and expand. Multi-billion-dollar private companies are running much of the global trade and most of these companies were all startups once.

The number of unicorn startups or companies around the world is growing with each passing year and they are the true disruptors of markets. We have compiled some very interesting unicorn facts for you, which will leave you intrigued about the world of billion-dollar startups.

But first…

What Is a Unicorn?

In the world of venture capital, business and finance, a unicorn is simply any privately held startup company that is valued over a billion dollars (759 million pounds sterling). The term was first coined by Aileen Lee, a venture capitalist.

She chose the term unicorn (which is a mythical horse-like creature) because of the statistical rarity of a startup reaching a value of over a billion dollars. A very accurately termed occurrence, because such a startup is not just statistically rare then, it was almost unheard of just a few decades ago.

The progression of technology and the internet has enabled the spur of unicorn companies, and the number of startups that become unicorn companies is increasing every year since the term was coined.

Another commonly used term related to unicorn companies is Decacorn, which is a unicorn company with a value of over $10 billion. And there are unicorn companies dedicated to just selling unicorn products.

Now, let’s move on to our interesting unicorn facts.

Interesting Unicorn Facts

  • There are 546 unicorn companies in the world

Currently, there are 546 unicorn startup companies in the world, with the majority of them based in the United States and China respectively.

Source: CBInsights

  • The cumulative value of all unicorn companies is approximately $1,817 billion

If we add the total valuation of all the unicorn companies in the world, the total amounts to $1,817 billion. This figure is an approximation that is likely to grow with time because more and more startups are becoming unicorns every year and rapidly increasing in value.

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Source: CBInsights

  • Apple’s market cap is higher than the combined value of all unicorn startups in the world

Apple, the publicly traded tech giant, has a market cap of over $2 trillion, which is substantially more than the combined value of all of the world’s 546 current unicorn startups. In comparison, the total sum of value of these current unicorn startups is a little over $1.8 trillion.

Source: Self made statistic

  • ByteDance is the most valuable unicorn with a current valuation of around $140 billion

ByteDance is a multinational internet technology company legally domiciled in the Cayman Islands and headquartered in Beijing. Founded by Zhang Yiming in 2012, it is currently the most valuable unicorn with a valuation or around $140 billion.

They own TikTok, Toutiao, TopBuzz, Vigo and many other tech and online-based companies. ByteDance is currently the only Hectocorn (a unicorn startup worth over $100 billion) in the world.

Source: CBInsights

  • 94 percent of unicorn founders are men. 6 percent are women

The gender gap between founders of unicorn companies is very high, with 94 percent men and only 6 percent women founders. This gap is slowly closing as more and more female founded startups are making their way to becoming unicorn companies.

Source: Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

  • Ecommerce and internet software and services are the sectors with the most unicorn startups

As technology advances and becomes more widespread across the world, more and more people gain access to the internet and its services. This boom in worldwide internet access has led ecommerce and internet software and service companies to scale and grow exponentially.

Which is why startups from both these sectors have contributed to the greatest number of unicorn companies.

Source: onEntrepreneur

  • 14.1 percent of unicorn startups are ecommerce companies and 13.7 percent are internet software and services companies

Ecommerce companies like Flipkart, Houzz, Thumbtack, GymShark and Wish, make up 14.1 percent of companies valued over a billion dollars. While internet software and service companies like Quora, Reddit, Grammarly and Canva make up 13.7 percent of startups with a billion dollar or higher valuation.

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Source: onEntrepreneur

  • The United States has the most unicorn companies of any country in the world

It is no surprise that the United States of America has the highest number of unicorn companies, as they are currently the most powerful and largest economy in the world. They are followed by China, the United Kingdom, India and Germany respectively for the highest number of unicorn companies by country.

Source: onEntrepreneur

  • SpaceX is the highest valued ($74 billion) unicorn startup in the United States

Founded by Elon Musk in 2002, SpaceX is currently valued at $74 billion, making it the highest valued unicorn company in the United States. This is followed by Stripe ($36 billion), UiPath ($35 billion), Roblox ($29.5 billion) and Databricks ($28 billion) respectively.

Source: Fortune


While tech and ecommerce companies are dominating the unicorn startup market in fields of Artificial Intelligence, internet, cybersecurity, fintech and data, there are many other fields of business that have a growing number of unicorn companies.

These fields include auto and transportation, health, supply chain and logistics, hardware, travel and many more. Countries like the United States, China and the U.K. may lead in the number of unicorn companies, other third-world countries like India and Indonesia are quickly coming up.

This is all to say that unicorn companies can come from anywhere and it is mostly the startups that disrupt the status quo which frequently make it as unicorn companies. Making the decision to not follow a set system and taking risks for innovation is what startups becoming unicorns is all about.

The most famous example of this is probably SpaceX, who everyone, including Elon Musk himself, thought would fail at first. However, they took tremendous risks for innovation and eventually came out on top and are now the biggest American unicorn company in existence.

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