According to Crunchbase’s latest list of unicorns, 142 new unicorns have been born this year (as of December 25, 2019). This is lower than the all-time high of 158 companies in 2018 and higher than in 2017 (102 companies), 2016 (87 companies) and 2015 (106 companies). To qualify for the award, private companies backed by venture capital need to be valued at or more than $1 billion in a round of financing.
In the United States, 78 new unicorns were born in 2019, 11 more than in 2018. The rate of creation of Chinese unicorns has slowed sharply in 2019, from 58 in 2018 to 22 this year. Germany and Brazil are close behind with five new unicorn companies, a new record for both countries. Israel, India and the UK have all reported the creation of four new unicorn companies this year.
In addition, Unicorn raised $85.1 billion in 2019, down from $139 billion in 2018 and $93.8 billion in 2017.
Despite the fear that the venture capital market has changed since WeWork announced on September 30th that it would withdraw its prospectus to delay the listing. Notably, 2018 includes the largest two-round financing in history, with $14 billion invested in Ant Financial and Unicorn and $12.8 billion in Juul. But these two rounds alone will not solve all the money that unicorns will add in 2018. Crunchbase expects investment to grow faster than in previous years with the birth of a new unicorn in 2020.
Unicorn Queue 2019
The new Unicorn company added up to $216 billion in valuation stake in 2019, raising a total of $50.5 billion over time. The leading industries for unicorns in 2019 are financial services, business and shopping, data and analytics, transportation, SaaS and healthcare.
The five most high-profile new unicorns include:
Uber’s self-driving car subsidiary: Uber Advanced Technologies Group ($7.3 billion)
E-commerce platform for pharmaceutical products: JD Health ($7 billion)
Unified Customer Analytics: Databricks ($6.2 billion)
Travis Kalanick’s Smart Kitchen Company: Cloud Kitchens ($5 billion)
A sustainable automotive technology company: Rivian ($5 billion)
Companies that become unicorns in 2019 and go public in the same year are:
Genomics Platform: 10X Genomics ($3.7 billion)
Vir Biotechnology dedicated to the treatment of infectious diseases ($1.7 billion)
Luxury market RealReal ($1.7 billion)
Bill.com ($1.6 billion) to automate back-office financial operations
Blockchain server maker Canaan Creative ($1.4 billion)
Health Catalyst for Managing Medical Data ($1.3 billion)
All of these companies have seen their IPO valuations rise in the last round of private equity in 2019, ranging from 25 per cent of Health Catalyst to 189 per cent of the 10X Genomics.
Investors in The Unicorn Queue 2019
Investing $50 billion in this new unicorn team is interesting to look at the investors driving these companies. The most active investors among companies that become unicorns in 2019 in terms of portfolio number include:
Insight owns 13 portfolio companies, Spark Capital and Tiger Global Management have 11 each, and New Enterprise Associates, GV, General Atlantic and SV Angel, whose portfolios include early and late venture capital, corporate venture capital and private venture capital equity/alternative investors are actively seeking stakes in high-value risk support companies.
In terms of the number of deals, the most active investors showcased multiple rounds of investments by companies that joined the unicorn ranks in 2019, including New Enterprises (30 rounds), Insight Partners (round 26), Kleiner Perkins and GV (round 25), Accel and Spark Capital (round 24).
2019 Unicorn Founder
While there is no shortage of funds for these high-value companies, there are still differences between the number of male and female founders of Unicorn. In 2019, only five (4%) of the founders of new unicorn companies were women, while 16 (12%) were co-founded by the men’s and women’s teams.