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Graphic shows the top-ten unicorns in the CB Insights database.


World’s most valuable unicorns

By Duncan Mil

July 10, 2020 - A “unicorn” startup is a private company with a valuation of over $1 billion. There are more than 470 unicorns -- including 25 “decacorns” valued at over $10bn each, according to business analytics company CB Insights.

The popular Beijing-based news aggregator Jinri Toutiao -- which means “today’s headlines” in Chinese -- heads the list of decacorns with a market valuation of US$75 billion.

The term unicorn was coined in 2013 by venture capitalist Aileen Lee, choosing the mythical animal to represent the statistical rarity of a billion-dollar startup.

According to CB Insights, there were 475 unicorns as of July 2020. The top-ten unicorns after ByteDance-owned Toutiao include China-based Didi Chuxing, Kuaishou and DJI Innovations; U.S.-based SpaceX, Stripe, Palantir Technologies, Airbnb and DoorDash; with India’s One97 Communications tying for the tenth spot.

CB Insights, with the support of the U.S. government’s National Science Foundation, developed an algorithm to analyse startups through their publicly available data.

CB Insights calls this algorithm Mosaic. The algorithm sifts through data on 280,000 tech startups tracked in CB Insights’ database, looking for traits including how much investment money the startup has attracted.

Mosaic also looks for signs of momentum in customer growth, mainstream media, and social media coverage to identify ones that could grow to a billion-dollar valuation.

Mosaic’s current list includes 25 startups valued above $10 billion, an additional 303 companies valued above $1 billion, and 147 in the $1 billion categories. In total, the 475 companies have a combined market valuation of around $1,418 billion.

PUBLISHED: 10/07/2020; STORY: Graphic News