Highest valued unicorn companies worldwide 2020

As of January 2020, ANT Financial, a Chinese Fintech company which spun off from Alibaba's Alipay, was valued at about 125 billion U.S. dollars by venture-capital firms, which made it the highest valued unicorn globally. A unicorn is a privately held company with a market valuation of one billion U.S. dollars or more. As of January 2020 there were over 600 Unicorns globally, with the majority based in the United States and China.

A ranking of the largest 100 companies globally based on market value can be accessed here.

Additional information on the growth of the sharing economy

The sharing economy is a hybrid market model in which the peer-to-peer sharing of access to goods and services occurs. Many such transactions are facilitated by a company that generally plays the role of matching those providing a service or good and those requiring it. The economic performance of many such firms has been particularly impressive in recent years. Ride-sharing firm Uber increased their global gross booking volume from 5.4 billion U.S. dollars in the third quarter of 2016 to 14 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018 before their May 2019 IPO.

The performance of firms such as WeWork and Airbnb goes some way to explaining the frequency of startups who seek to profit from some aspect of the global sharing economy. Moreover, the number of sharing economy users in the United States is set to increase to 86.5 million in 2021. A key factor in the success of startups will be their ability to gain access to customers from across a variety of age groups. Convincing people to abandon a traditional market model is a central challenge for such firms, but as AirBnb have proven, the payoffs can be enormous. The fact that 10 percent of those aged 50-64 in the United States had used online home-sharing services as of December 2015 compared with 11 percent for those ages 18 to 29 shows such market penetration is possible.

Leading unicorns worldwide as of January 2020

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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.
*Market valuation ranges from 100 to 150 billion U.S. dollars, so median value used.

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