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The 1,000th Unicorn Has Just Been Minted


A California-based product management company called “Productboard” just managed to raise enough money in its latest funding round to put its valuation at $1.7 billion

It’s not the company that is exciting …

What is noteworthy here is that by hitting the $1.7-billion valuation market, Productboard has become the 1,000th unicorn, or the 1,000th private startup worth $1 billion. 

 According to data from startup-tracking service CB Insights, combined, these 1,000 companies are worth nearly $3.3 trillion. 

The parent company of TikTok, China’s ByteDance, is the biggest of them all, with a valuation of $140 billion, followed by the payment company Stripe, valued at $95 billion. Rocket company SpaceX is valued at $100 billion and Sweden-based payment company Klarna at $45 billion, while video game development company Epic Games is valued at $42 billion.

The unicorn market has grown exponentially in recent years. Last year alone, the total number of unicorns jumped by 70%. 

Now, since that magical number of 1,000 Unicorns has been reached, we’re already moving beyond them and into … “Decacorns” and even “Hectocorns”.

Decacorns are private startups that have hit valuations of $10 billion over a short time frame, while “hectocorn” are valued at $100 billion.

ByteDance and Elon Musk’s SpaceX are the only two companies that have hit “hectocorn” status. Another 46 companies boast decacorn valuations, while roughly 31% of unicorns are valued at exactly $1 billion.

Since the pandemic started in early 2020, unicorns have been transforming themselves into decacorns at a fast pace. Basically, it seems that earning the first billion is the real challenge.  

It takes about six years for a startup to turn into a unicorn. After that goal is reached, it’s been taking only two and a half years, on average, to transform from a unicorn into a decacorn.

Fintech is the largest category for unicorns, accounting for roughly one in every five unicorns. It is followed by internet software & services with 18% and e-commerce and direct-to-consumer with 11%, CB insights reported.

Geographically, the United States is home to half of the total number of unicorns (51%), followed by China (17%) and India (6%).

The exponential growth of the unicorns can be attributed to the rise in venture capital. Just last year alone, global funding jumped 111 percent YoY to reach $621 billion.

Globally, there are more than 3,600 investors backing these unicorns, and most of them put all their money on a single company. Yet, according to CB Insights, more than 350 institutions have investments in five or more unicorns.

U.S.-based venture capital firm Sequoia funded one in every five unicorns last year, or a total of 206. Tiger Global added 147 unicorns to its portfolio, and SoftBank grew its global unicorn base by 146 this year. 

Those three companies, known as the ‘Big Three’, have invested in 50% of the world’s known unicorns.

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