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Number of global unicorns in 2020, by country

The number of unicorn companies found in China in early 2020 was bigger than those of 29 other countries, including Germany, India and the UK, combined. The country with the most unicorns, or privately owned companies with a valuation of one billion U.S. dollars or more, were however in none of these countries, but rather in the United States. Infor, JUUL Labs and The We Company were the biggest of these American companies, when looking at their market value.

Made in China

Although China did not have the highest number of unicorns worldwide, the country was home to some of the world's most important ones. ANT Financial, for example, was valued at around 125 billion U.S. dollars as of January 2020. This made the company not only the highest valued unicorn of China, but also the most valued unicorn of the world.

Ayo Technology

The Chinese company, a spin-off from Alibaba's Alipay, reinforces the trend that global unicorns tend to be active in either Fintech or technology. Over 140 of these high-valued startups were active in technology, with an additional 100 in finance, insurance and real estate. In comparison, there were roughly 50 unicorns specifically dedicated to health and pharmaceuticals. This growing market made up roughly ten percent of all unicorns in the U.S. and Canada, the fourth-largest segment in the North America region.

Number of unicorns worldwide as of January 2020, by country

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Release date

January 2020



Survey time period

January 2020

Supplementary notes

A unicorn company is a privately owned startup that has a current valuation of one billion USD or over. Once a company has gone public (IPO) or has been acquired it is no longer termed as a unicorn. All published figures are best estimations based on latest publications of sources. Figures are correct as of January 2020. Figures and valuations are rounded as some company valuations have not been externally verified and are self-published. Latest valuations used. As multiple sources were used and valuations vary between sources, the most recent valuation was used. Where valuations differed but the reporting date was the same, mean averages were used. Industries were assigned by the sources. Where companies crossed industries, the major category was used as determined by the source. Where companies have multiple countries listed the country of headquarters has been used.

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