Business Management

InfoShot: Emerging market unicorns

There are around 200 privately held startup companies with a valuation of $1 billion or more. Once rare beasts, this so-called ‘Unicorn’ status is now becoming increasingly common and more of a status symbol rather than a key business goal.

Despite this, however, it’s still a technology buzzword and generates the press. More than half of all Unicorns are based within the US, but an increasing number are coming from the likes of Europe, China, and other markets. CB Insights recently put together a list of all Unicorns – private companies worth more than $1 billion – based outside of the US.

We’ve previously looked at European technology Unicorns, but what about billion-dollar companies from emerging markets? [Both what constitutes an emerging market and what makes a company a technology one vs one that just uses the internet can be a bit vague, so bear with us. Also, we’ve tried to avoid subsidiaries for this list.]

China boasts the most billion-dollar companies outside the US; more than 40 of them in fact with around half being a technology company of some kind. Mobile phone maker Xiaomi was the largest from the Middle Kingdom with a $45 billion valuation, but Didi’s recent funding round could leapfrog that to see the ride-hailing and driverless car startup be worth in excess of $50 billion.

African funding has been rising at a steady clip over the last few years, hitting a record $366 million last year. Yet to date there’s only one African tech Unicorn, the African Internet Group startup incubator.

Given Uber and Chinese equivalent Didis’ massive valuations - $6 billion+ and $50 billion+ respectively – it’s no surprise similar ride-hailing services also boast big figure worth. GO-JEK in Indonesia, Careem in the UAE, Olacabs in India, as well as the likes of Dada in China all have similar offerings. There’s also a couple of Snapchat-like services, including China’s Miaopai.

Silicon Valley may have the hype, but there’s plenty of highly-valued technology companies all over the world.

Check out the infographic below discover the emerging markets with technology unicorns.



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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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