601 Unicorns are Valued at Near $2 Trillion; China’s ByteDance Leads the Way at $140 Billion

Despite the global coronavirus pandemic, or perhaps because of it, the value of unicorns – private companies whose valuation exceeds $1 billion – continues to grow.

The latest additions to the billion-dollar club brings the list to over 601 companies, the highest count to date, reports Crunchbase. These unicorns have collectively raised $442 billion and are valued at just under $2 trillion.

Once populated primarily by U.S. companies, China is closing in on the U.S. with if not the most unicorns, those with the highest individual valuations. The most valuable Unicorn in the world is ByteDance (parent of Tik Tok) with a market value of approximately $140 Billion. It is followed by  Didi Chuxing, which is valued at approximately $56 Billion.

Foresight Valuation Group has been conducting annual unicorn studies since 2015, with an eye on patents. Its latest reveals still fascinating data. Below are some highlights:

  • There are 490 Unicorns worldwide (as of Aug. 2020) with a total valuation in excess of $1.5 Trillion
  • About 48% of all Unicorns operate in the US, another 24% are based in China, and the rest are spread in various countries (India, Brazil, and Singapore, among others)
  • SpaceX is the most valuable US Unicorn ($46 Billion), followed by Stripe ($36 Billion), Palantir ($20 Billion – pre IPO), and Airbnb ($18 Billion)
  •  62% of US Unicorns had 10 or less published patent assets (issued or pending) as of 2015

Top Unicorns by Valuation

In 2015, Foresight CEO, Efrat Krasznik, reported that 30% of unicorns had no patents and another 32% or more had ten or fewer “assets,” meaning combined issued patents and applications.

IP CloseUp believes this could be attributed to the lack of patentability in software and e-commerce, or to the fact that patents in the U.S. and other nations have become increasingly unreliable and difficult to enforce.

CB Insights, a technology insights platform backed by the National Science Foundation, among others, puts the total number of unicorns at 494 as of October, 2020. For the complete list, go here.

Image source: IPWatchdogcon/Foresight Valuation; cbinsights.com; forbes.com; beahurst.com

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