The Crunchbase Unicorn Board, a comprehensive list of startups valued at $1 billion or more in private financing deals, now hosts more than 900 companies with a collective value of $3 trillion — up by a trillion dollars from our June 2020 report.
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Since July 2020, more than 100 unicorns have exited the board while 400 have joined.
As of July 15, there have been 291 new unicorns this year, already far surpassing any previous year’s peak.
As we’ve previously reported, Tiger Global Management has amassed the largest investments in current private unicorns. At our most recent count, Tiger has 132 unicorn portfolio companies, adding 58 companies to its unicorn portfolio so far in 2021.
The Softbank Vision Fund, meanwhile, has 76 unicorn portfolio companies. Sequoia Capital has 65 and Coatue 64 private unicorn companies. Andreessen Horowitz and Accel are not too far behind with 63 and 57 unicorns in their respective portfolios.
Tiger Global also leads with the highest count of rounds led in current private unicorns, at 117. The Softbank Vision Fund, Sequoia Capital and Accel each have led more than 70 funding rounds in this current crop.
Seed is the most challenging stage at which to predict a future growth startup. The investors with the highest portfolio count with investments at pre-seed or seed rounds include Y Combinator, SV Angel1 and 500 Startups, per Crunchbase data. Many of the investors represented invest in seed at scale.
Soma Capital stands out for having just over 200 portfolio companies with eight that are now unicorns. Quite a few multistage investors are represented here too: Andreessen Horowitz, Accel and New Enterprise Associates all have investments at seed that represent less than 23 percent of their portfolios.
For early-stage funding, Accel tops the list by quite a margin, leading 43 investments in early stage funding rounds. IDG Capital and Sequoia Capital are runners up for investments led at early stage.
Late-stage lead investments are dominated by Tiger Global, which now invests a greater portion of its money under management to private companies, as we’ve previously reported.
Softbank Vision Fund and Sequoia hold the second and third spots.
Investors leading or co-leading by the highest amounts are once again led by U.K.-headquartered Softbank Vision fund, which has led double the amount compared to any other firm. New York-based Tiger Global Management and Singapore-based Temasek Holdings are the funds that have led the highest amounts.
So far this year, 57 unicorn companies have gone public, Crunchbase data shows, and another five have been acquired. This contrasts with 40 that went public for the whole of 2020 and 18 companies that were acquired.
Alongside this increase in private company valuations, we are witnessing an expansion of value creation in the public markets in the first half of 2021.
“The quantity and quality of great businesses seeking capital, coupled with the large amount of dry powder from interested investors, leads us to expect the second half of 2021 to mirror the past six months. The first macro-economic factor we are watching is increased interest rates from the Federal Reserve Board (and not volatility in the U.S. public equity markets),” Murray Indick, co-chair of emerging companies at law firm Morrison & Foerster, told us via email.
Both the public and private markets have had extraordinary results over the past several years, said Ben Savage of Clocktower Technology Ventures. “There is very much a recognition as an allocator that if I want to participate in the future of innovation, I want my portfolio exposed to the long-term compounding of innovative businesses, I need to do that in the private market,” he said in an interview. “And the depths of the private markets have grown so much in the past decade that the ultimate exit, the outcomes that were realized last year and already this year, are quite large relative to history.”
Crunchbase Pro queries relevant to this article:
Unicorn companies are added to the unicorn hub-tag based on the following criteria: A privately held, venture-backed company valued over $1 billion in a funding event.
Exited unicorn companies are companies with a private round valuation that have since been acquired or had a public debut.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
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