Unicorns

Table of contents:

  1. State of Unicorns in 2022
  2. Unicorns by Geography
  3. Unicorns by Industry
  4. Unicorns by SDG
  5. Unicorn Edge Cases
  6. Related Content

State of Unicorns in 2022

Globally 2,600 unicorns and $1B+ exits have been created since 1990, of which 1,330 are still private and venture-backed. Then there are over 175 rumoured and not verified unicorns.

Since 2018, roughly 250-300 new unicorns have been minted, except in 2021, when this number spiked to 787 (two unicorns per day!).

North America accounts for 58% of all cumulative unicorns; EMEA for 18% and Asia & Oceania for 23%.

Cumulative by type

By type

In 2022, SaaS companies continue to dominate the unicorn scene with 172 new unicorns, a slight decrease from the previous year. Physical tech companies saw a bit of a slowdown, with only 50 new unicorns in this category. The marketplace and ecommerce space also saw a decrease in new unicorns, with 41 companies joining the unicorn club in 2022.

Overall, it seems that while the SaaS industry is still strong, growth in other categories may be slowing down.

Treemap / hierarchy chart

Unicorns by Geography

By country (current HQ)


In 2022, the United States continues to lead the pack as the top country for unicorns and companies valued at $1 billion or more, with a significant 1430 companies in this category. China comes in second place with 325 unicorns and $1B+ companies, followed by the United Kingdom, India, and Germany.

By city

The Bay Area continues to be the top ecosystem for unicorns and companies valued at $1 billion or more, with a leading 580 companies in this category. New York City comes in second place with 199 unicorns and $1B+ companies, followed by New Palo Alto, Beijing and Boston.

Unicorns by Industry

By vertical

Fintech continues to be a major player in the unicorn and $1 billion+ scene, with 517 companies in this category. Health is also a strong industry, with 433 unicorns and $1B+ companies. Transportation, Marketing, and Security also have a significant presence in the list, with 234, 190, and 165 companies respectively.

By vertical table

By sub-vertical table

By country table

Unicorns by SDG

By SDG

Unicorn Edge Cases

Not all unicorns are venture-backed. We've counted about 50 bootstrapped unicorns so far, an exceptional few.

And there are other edge cases too. Some 250+ startups have reached $1B after they IPO-ed. We've counted 13 zebras, companies that have reached $1B at some point but subsequently dipped (there might be many more soon). We count 29 icaruses, companies that have fallen (occasionally, they manage to resurrect like FanDuel).

We count 2 ICO unicorns (coin offerings). We count 30 quasi-tech unicorns that are not quite tech companies. Should a unicorn be a tech company to qualify? Many say yes, but in reality, this is a slippery slope. Many startups are not actually tech companies.

Related Content

  • Taxonomy: Learn how Dealroom defines its entities, taxonomy, filters and more here