On April 18th, the Hurun Research Institute published the “2023 Global Unicorn List,” which includes non-public companies founded after 2000 and valued at over $1 billion. The valuation calculation for this list was based on data from the end of 2022.
There are currently 1,361 unicorn companies worldwide, distributed across 48 countries and 271 cities, with a total value of $4.3 trillion, an increase of 17% from one year ago. The average age of unicorns is nine years old and the average age of their founders is 43.
In the past year, 508 new unicorns were born. According to the list, unicorns mainly come from industries such as financial technology, software services, e-commerce, artificial intelligence and new energy.
Looking at the regions, the United States leads with 666 unicorn companies, an increase of 179. China ranks second with 316, an increase of 15. Following are India with 68, the United Kingdom with 49 and Germany with 36.
From the perspective of city distribution, San Francisco is still the “capital of global unicorns” with 181 unicorn companies. New York ranks second with 126, followed by Beijing with 79, Shanghai with 66 and London with 42.
Shenzhen ranks sixth with a total of 33 unicorn companies. Guangzhou is 22 and ranks eighth. The two cities together account for about one-sixth of China’s unicorn companies.
In 2022, Guangzhou is the Chinese city with the fastest growing number of unicorn companies, increasing by 12 compared to a year ago. This is nearly three times the number before the pandemic (8), equivalent to the number of unicorn companies in a country like Israel or France.
Among them, the fast fashion e-commerce platform Shein is the fastest growing company in terms of value, increasing by 310 billion yuan compared to a year ago, reaching 450 billion yuan and entering the top ten unicorns. The Hurun Research Institute described it as “one of the most successful companies since the outbreak”.
It is worth mentioning that OPPO and vivo, two intelligent smartphone manufacturers from Dongguan, were included in the global unicorn list for the first time this year. They are also ranked second among the top 10 new unicorns, with a value of RMB 165 billion (USD 24 billion) and RMB 160 billion, respectively.
In addition, ByteDance remains the world’s most valuable unicorn with a value of RMB 1.38 trillion (about USD 200 billion). Elon Musk’s SpaceX ranks second with a value of RMB 945 billion (USD 137 billion), an increase of RMB 260 billion from a year ago.
Ant Group dropped one spot to third place with a value of RMB 830 billion (USD 120 billion). ChatGPT company OpenAI is one of the best-performing unicorns globally in the past year, with its value increasing sevenfold to reach RMB 138 billion (USD 20 billion) and rising from rank 272 to rank 17 worldwide.