Building your own business up to a valuation of over a billion dollars is the stuff that dreams are made of, but it's a reality for the owners of the 241 'unicorn companies' (that's a privately owned startup valued at over $1bn).

But which of the unicorns made it to the $1bn mark the quickest?

Use the navigation to the top left and explore the data.

Average value

Globally, there's currently only 241 unicorn companies in existence and combined they're worth a staggering $818bn.

That means that the average value of a unicorn company is: $3.4bn.

Of these, however, just 15 are worth $10bn or higher.


75 have only just made it to unicorn level with a valuation of exactly $1bn.


From launch to $1bn

It has taken, on average, 7 years from launch for these start-ups to grow into unicorns.

However,

19 of these (7.9%)...

...made the race to $1bn in less than a year; those being:

APUS Group
BeiBei
Bird Rides
Cambricon Technologies
Dada
e-shang Redwood
Global Fashion Group
GRAIL
iCarbonX
Illumio
Indigo Agriculture
Luckin Coffee
Manbang Group
China Internet Plus Holding (Meituan Dianping)
Maoyan-Weiying
Pinduoduo
Uptake
Weiying
Xiaomi

Double digit countries

There's only three countries who currently have unicorn companies into double digits:

THE USA (114)
CHINA (70)
THE UK (13)

Unicorn birthplaces

In fact, only 23 of the world's 195 countries (11.8%) have a start-up on the list at all:

birthplaces

Unicorn hotspots

When we look at the number of unicorn companies per country, we clearly see that only 23 countries currently have a start-up on the list. We call these the �Unicorn Hotspots.�

Only three of these have 10 or more on the list; USA, China and the UK.

Australia 1
Brazil 1
Canada 1
China 70
Colombia 1
Estonia 1
France 2
Germany 4
India 9
Indonesia 2
Israel 4
Japan 2
Luxembourg 1
Malta 1
Netherlands 1
Nigeria 1
Singapore 1
South Africa 2
South Korea 3
Sweden 1
Switzerland 2
UAE 1
UK 13
USA 114

The speed per country

But just how quickly did the unicorns in each country reach their prestigious status?

When we exclude those countries with only a single unicorn, Japan comes out top; taking just 4 years on average to reach a valuation of $1bn.

Here's the data...

The country has only one unicorn company currently on the list
Australia 6 YEARS
Brazil 5 YEARS
Canada 6 YEARS
China 6 YEARS
Colombia 4 YEARS
Estonia 5 YEARS
France 13 YEARS
Germany 30 YEARS
India 7 YEARS
Indonesia 6 YEARS
Israel 6 YEARS
Japan 4 YEARS
Luxembourg 1 YEARS
Malta 15 YEARS
Netherlands 2 YEARS
Nigeria 4 YEARS
Singapore 2 YEARS
South Africa 27 YEARS
South Korea 5 YEARS
Sweden 6 YEARS
Switzerland 18 YEARS
UAE 4 YEARS
UK 10 YEARS
USA 7 YEARS

The speed per sector

Where things get interesting is when you look at the data broken down by sector;
looking aside from simply categorising all those which fall under `tech` as `tech start-ups.`

We wanted to understand how the race to $1billion looks when broken down by the sector which these successful start-ups serve...

Perhaps surprisingly, mobile and real estate start-ups reach unicorn status the fastest, at an average of just 2 and 3 years respectively, closely followed by biotech (5), cybersecurity (5), fitness (5), social (5) and travel (5).

Advertising 8 YEARS
Biotech 5 YEARS
Construction 8 YEARS
Cybersecurity 5 YEARS
Data & Analysis 9 YEARS
Design 6 YEARS
Education 9 YEARS
Energy & Utilities 6 YEARS
Finance 7 YEARS
Fitness 5 YEARS
Food & Drink 8 YEARS
Gaming 8 YEARS
Hardware 7 YEARS
Healthcare 12 YEARS
Internet Services 9 YEARS
Logistics 8 YEARS
Management 6 YEARS
Media 8 YEARS
Mobile 2 YEARS
Real Estate 3 YEARS
Retail 6 YEARS
Sales 7 YEARS
Social 6 YEARS
Software 6 YEARS
Sustainability 9 YEARS
Transportation 7 YEARS
Travel 5 YEARS

Unicorn years

The term `Unicorn Company` was first coined by Cowboy Ventures partner Aileen Lee in 2013 TechCrunch article and since then a total number of 416 start-ups have earned this status; including those who have since exited.

But just which year saw the most companies reach the $1bn mark?

2017 - with 65 companies becoming unicorns.

We're predicting a total of 70 start-ups to become unicorns throughout 2018, based on 32 having achieved this by 18th June 2018. Can 2018 be the year of the unicorn?

2009 1
2010 1
2011 4
2012 5
2013 4
2014 32
2015 60
2016 36
2017 66
2018 32

Start-up years

How about when we take a look at the year in which the unicorn companies were incorporated?

Of the 241 unicorns, 35 (15%) of these were incorporated in 2012;

Perhaps unsurprisingly; 160 of the 241 (66%) of today's unicorn companies were incorporated within the last 10 years; 226 (94%) of these since the turn of the millennium.

1919 1
1979 1
1985 1
1990 1
1992 1
1994 2
1995 2
1997 2
1998 1
1999 3
2000 5
2001 6
2002 7
2003 4
2004 6
2005 6
2006 13
2007 13
2008 7
2009 18
2010 25
2011 20
2012 35
2013 20
2014 18
2015 13
2016 7
2017 2
2018 1

Unicorn Speed (The Full List)

If you're wanting to explore the journey of all 241 of the world's unicorns, you'll find the data below.

Impressively, China's Luckin Coffee, reached a $1bn valuation within just 8 months of being founded back in October 2017, thanks to a Series A round which closed in June 2018.

Company Valuation Founded Reached $1bn Years To $1bn
Luckin Coffee $1bn 2017 2018 0
Xiaomi $46bn 2010 2011 1
Illumio $1bn 2013 2014 1
Uptake $2.3bn 2014 2015 1
APUS Group $1bn 2014 2015 1
BeiBei $1bn 2014 2015 1
Dada $1bn 2014 2015 1
Weiying $2bn 2014 2015 1
Global Fashion Group $1.1bn 2014 2015 1
iCarbonX $1bn 2015 2016 1
Pinduoduo $15bn 2015 2016 1
Indigo Agriculture $1.4bn 2016 2017 1
GRAIL $2.46bn 2016 2017 1
e-shang Redwood $2.8bn 2016 2017 1
Maoyan-Weiying $3bn 2016 2017 1
Cambricon $2bn 2016 2017 1
Manbang Group $6bn 2017 2018 1
Bird Rides $1bn 2017 2018 1
Instacart $4.35bn 2012 2014 2
Yello Mobile $4bn 2012 2014 2
DiDi $56bn 2012 2014 2
GrabTaxi $6bn 2012 2014 2
Zenefits $2bn 2013 2015 2
BenevolentAI $1bn 2013 2015 2
Oscar Health $3.2bn 2013 2015 2
STX Entertainment $1.5bn 2014 2016 2
Opendoor Labs $1bn 2014 2016 2
Guazi $1bn 2014 2016 2
Zoox $1.55bn 2014 2016 2
Katerra $1bn 2015 2017 2
ACORN OakNorth $1.2bn 2015 2017 2
Desktop Metal $1bn 2015 2017 2
Dt Dream $1bn 2015 2017 2
Particle $1bn 2015 2017 2
UCommune $1.7bn 2015 2017 2
Letgo $1bn 2015 2017 2
NuCom Group $2.2bn 2016 2018 2
Hellobike $1.46bn 2016 2018 2
VANCL $3bn 2007 2010 3
Airbnb $29.3bn 2008 2011 3
Cloudflare $1bn 2009 2012 3
Pinterest $12.3bn 2009 2012 3
Lu.com $18.5bn 2011 2014 3
Magic Leap $4.98bn 2011 2014 3
Avant $2bn 2012 2015 3
DraftKings $1.35bn 2012 2015 3
AUTO1 Group $3.54bn 2012 2015 3
Lyft $11.5bn 2012 2015 3
Royole $3bn 2013 2016 3
Human Longevity $1.2bn 2013 2016 3
Xiaohongshu $1bn 2013 2016 3
Mercari $1bn 2013 2016 3
CGTZ $1.4bn 2014 2017 3
Symphony Communication $1bn 2014 2017 3
SenseTime $4.5bn 2014 2017 3
Rubrik $1.3bn 2014 2017 3
NIO $5bn 2014 2017 3
Ofo $1bn 2014 2017 3
Discord $1.65bn 2015 2018 3
Tempus Labs $1.1bn 2015 2018 3
New Dada $1bn 2015 2018 3
CAOCAO $1.6bn 2015 2018 3
Uber $68bn 2009 2013 4
Stripe $9.2bn 2010 2014 4
Moderna $3bn 2010 2014 4
ironSource $1.5bn 2010 2014 4
WeWork $20bn 2010 2014 4
Koudai Gouwu $1.4bn 2010 2014 4
Snapdeal $7bn 2010 2014 4
Coupang $5bn 2010 2014 4
TechStyle Fashion Group $1bn 2010 2014 4
Mogujie $1bn 2010 2014 4
Olacabs $3.65bn 2010 2014 4
Gusto $1bn 2011 2015 4
SoFi $4bn 2011 2015 4
Infinidat $1.6bn 2011 2015 4
Mia.com $1bn 2011 2015 4
Tujia $1.5bn 2011 2015 4
Kuaishou $3bn 2011 2015 4
Yixia $1bn 2011 2015 4
ContextLogic (dba. Wish) $3bn 2011 2015 4
LifeMiles $1.15bn 2011 2015 4
Cylance $1bn 2012 2016 4
51Xinyongka $1bn 2012 2016 4
UBTECH Robotics $1bn 2012 2016 4
MindMaze $1bn 2012 2016 4
Compass $2.2bn 2012 2016 4
Huimin $2bn 2012 2016 4
Jumia $1.04bn 2012 2016 4
Hike $1.4bn 2012 2016 4
Careem Networks $1.2bn 2012 2016 4
Quanergy $1.59bn 2012 2016 4
JetSmarter $1.5bn 2012 2016 4
Tongdun Technology $1bn 2013 2017 4
VIPKID $1.5bn 2013 2017 4
Robinhood $5.6bn 2013 2017 4
Carbon3D $1.7bn 2013 2017 4
Clover Health $1.2bn 2013 2017 4
DouyuTV $1.51bn 2013 2017 4
NetEase Music $1.16bn 2013 2017 4
Meicai $2.8bn 2014 2018 4
Preferred Networks $2bn 2014 2018 4
Actifio $1.1bn 2009 2014 5
Slack Technologies $5.1bn 2009 2014 5
Houzz $4bn 2009 2014 5
TangoMe $1.1bn 2009 2014 5
Domo Technologies $2bn 2010 2015 5
Funding Circle $1bn 2010 2015 5
TransferWise $1.6bn 2010 2015 5
GuaHao $1.5bn 2010 2015 5
Docker $1.3bn 2010 2015 5
Warby Parker $1.2bn 2010 2015 5
Nextdoor $1.5bn 2010 2015 5
ShopClues $1.1bn 2011 2016 5
OfferUp $1.2bn 2011 2016 5
AppLovin $1.4bn 2012 2017 5
Yuanfudao $1bn 2012 2017 5
Tuandaiwang $1.46bn 2012 2017 5
Affirm $2bn 2012 2017 5
Coinbase $1.6bn 2012 2017 5
Peloton Interactive $1.3bn 2012 2017 5
Deliveroo $2bn 2012 2017 5
Improbable $1bn 2012 2017 5
Toutiao $20bn 2012 2017 5
Xiaozhu $1bn 2012 2017 5
Zhaogang $1bn 2012 2017 5
Traveloka $2bn 2012 2017 5
Nubank $2bn 2013 2018 5
Circle $3bn 2013 2018 5
Revolut $1.7bn 2013 2018 5
DoorDash $1.4bn 2013 2018 5
taxify $1bn 2013 2018 5
Klarna $2.5bn 2005 2011 6
Kabbage $1bn 2009 2015 6
Adaptive Biotechnologies $1bn 2009 2015 6
AppDirect $1.04bn 2009 2015 6
Sprinklr $1.8bn 2009 2015 6
Jiuxian $1.05bn 2009 2015 6
Thumbtack $1.2bn 2009 2015 6
Kik Interactive $1bn 2009 2015 6
Mofang Gongyu $1bn 2010 2016 6
GO-JEK $1.8bn 2010 2016 6
CrowdStrike $1bn 2011 2017 6
ReNew Power $2bn 2011 2017 6
United Imaging Healthcare $5bn 2011 2017 6
Zhihu $1bn 2011 2017 6
Zoom Video Communications $1bn 2011 2017 6
Face++ (Megvii) $1bn 2011 2017 6
Canva $1bn 2012 2018 6
YITU Technology $2.37bn 2012 2018 6
UiPath $1.1bn 2012 2018 6
Snowflake Computing $1.5bn 2012 2018 6
Palantir Technologies $20bn 2004 2011 7
InMobi $1bn 2007 2014 7
AppNexus $1.2bn 2007 2014 7
Lookout $1bn 2007 2014 7
Credit Karma $3.5bn 2007 2014 7
Ten-X $1.2bn 2007 2014 7
Quikr $1bn 2008 2015 7
Farfetch $1.5bn 2008 2015 7
Zomato Media $1bn 2008 2015 7
Duo Security $1.17bn 2010 2017 7
Intercom $1.27bn 2011 2018 7
Bloom Energy $2.7bn 2001 2009 8
Automattic $1.16bn 2005 2013 8
Eventbrite $1bn 2006 2014 8
Tanium $3.75bn 2007 2015 8
Zocdoc $1.8bn 2007 2015 8
Zeta Interactive $1.3bn 2007 2015 8
Afiniti $1.6bn 2009 2017 8
C3 IoT $1.4bn 2009 2017 8
Quora $1.8bn 2009 2017 8
L&P Cosmetic $1.78bn 2009 2017 8
Uniquedu Corporation $1bn 2010 2018 8
Tradeshift $1.1bn 2010 2018 8
OrCam $1bn 2010 2018 8
Gett $1.4bn 2010 2018 8
Mu Sigma $1.5bn 2004 2013 9
DJI Innovations $10bn 2006 2015 9
23andMe $1.5bn 2006 2015 9
Apttus $1.75bn 2006 2015 9
BuzzFeed $1.7bn 2006 2015 9
Fanli $1bn 2006 2015 9
BlaBlaCar $1.6bn 2006 2015 9
Age of Learning $1bn 2007 2016 9
Ginkgo BioWorks $1bn 2008 2017 9
Rubicon Global $1bn 2008 2017 9
SpaceX $21.5bn 2002 2012 10
InsideSales.com $1.5bn 2004 2014 10
Lakala $1.6bn 2005 2015 10
Oxford Nanopore Technologies $1.55bn 2005 2015 10
Anaplan $1.4bn 2006 2016 10
Liepin $1bn 2006 2016 10
BrewDog $1.15bn 2007 2017 10
HeartFlow $1.19bn 2007 2017 10
JOLLY Information Technology $1bn 2008 2018 10
Meizu Technology $4.58bn 2003 2014 11
iTutorGroup $1bn 2004 2015 11
Outcome Health $5bn 2006 2017 11
Rocket Lab $1bn 2006 2017 11
17zuoye $1bn 2007 2018 11
Qualtrics $2.5bn 2002 2014 12
Panshi $1bn 2003 2015 12
Vox Media $1bn 2003 2015 12
Unity Technologies $2.6bn 2004 2016 12
reddit $1.8bn 2005 2017 12
Coocaa $1.45bn 2006 2018 12
Babytree $2.2bn 2006 2018 12
China Internet Plus Holding (Meituan Dianping) $30bn 2001 2015 13
Trendy International Group $2bn 1999 2012 13
Proteus Digital Health $1.1bn 2001 2014 13
The Hut Group $3.25bn 2004 2017 13
Soundhound $1bn 2005 2018 13
MarkLogic $1bn 2001 2015 14
Hujiang $1bn 2001 2015 14
Medallia $1bn 2001 2015 14
Procore $1bn 2002 2016 14
Infor $10bn 2002 2016 14
Kendra Scott Jewelry $1bn 2002 2016 14
Squarespace $1.7bn 2003 2017 14
One97 Communications (operates Paytm) $5.7bn 2000 2015 15
CureVac $1.65bn 2000 2015 15
Lianjia $5.8bn 2001 2016 15
VistaJet $2.5bn 2002 2017 15
OVH $1.1bn 1999 2015 16
Fanatics $4.5bn 1995 2012 17
Intarcia Therapeutics $5.5bn 1997 2014 17
AvidXchange $1.4bn 2000 2017 17
Cell C $1bn 2000 2017 17
Global Switch $6.02bn 1998 2016 18
Ding Xiang Yuan $1bn 2000 2018 18
Vice Media $5.7bn 1994 2013 19
Easyhome $5.7bn 1999 2018 19
YH Global $1bn 1997 2017 20
SMS Assist $1bn 1995 2016 21
Supreme $1bn 1994 2017 23
BGL Group $3bn 1992 2017 25
Radius Payments Solutions $1.07bn 1990 2017 27
Avaloq Group $1.01bn 1985 2017 32
Promasidor $1.58bn 1979 2016 37
Ottobock $3.5bn 1919 2017 98

Sources:
https://www.cbinsights.com/research-unicorn-companies
https://www.crunchbase.com

All information correct as of 22/5/18