Tech Unicorns – Top 10 Themes in 2021 – Thematic Research
All the vital news, analysis, and commentary curated by our industry experts.
The term unicorn describes a rare, mythical creature, but unicorns (privately held companies worth $1bn or more) are no longer rare. There are currently 826 unicorns, of which 751 are tech unicorns. In early 2020, there was a pandemic-induced slowdown in new tech unicorn births. However, 2021 promises to be a record year, with 228 new tech unicorns created in H1 2021 alone. The US is home to half of the tech unicorns today, followed by China. The US hosts most of the cloud, fintech, healthtech, big data, and cybersecurity unicorns. China leads in AI unicorns. Tiger Global is the leading investor in tech unicorns. Sequoia Capital and Softbank follow closely behind. All three have a strong portfolio in top three themes: ecommerce, cloud, and fintech. The pandemic caused a slowdown in unicorn creation in early 2020, but 2021 is the strongest year yet. A total of 228 new unicorns were born in H1 2021 alone.
What are the top themes in which unicorns operate?
Half of today’s tech unicorns are operating in the e-commerce, cloud, fintech themes, AI, Healthtech, Edtech, Bigdata, Cybersecurity, Digital Media and Blockchain. The ecommerce, cloud, and fintech unicorns together are worth more than $1.2 trillion. These internet-driven themes saw a strong growth amid the pandemic. Another 30% of today’s unicorns operate in AI, healthtech, Edtech, big data, cybersecurity, digital media, and blockchain themes. There are also a handful of unicorns in capital-intensive themes like space economy, batteries, 3D printing, and quantum computing. Due to high barriers to entry, only a few start-ups in these themes can achieve unicorn status.
What is the geographical distribution of tech unicorns operating in the top 10 themes?
The regions included are US, China, Europe, APAC ex. China and rest of the world. The US hosts most of the cloud, fintech, healthtech, big data, and cybersecurity unicorn. The first unicorns emerged in the US in the early 2000s and the country continues to lead the unicorn club. It is currently home to 379 tech unicorns. The number of unicorns in other geographies is also growing rapidly.
The US is home to half of the tech unicorns today, while China hosts 22% of them. The US hosts most of the cloud, fintech, healthtech, big data, and cybersecurity unicorns. China leads in AI unicorns
Geographies with most tech unicorns, 2021
For more regional insights, download a free report sample
Who are the leading investors in tech unicorns?
Tiger Global is the leading investor in today’s tech unicorns followed by Sequoia Capital and Softbank. These investors have a strong portfolio in the top three themes, e-commerce, cloud, and fintech. All of the top 20 investors have invested in these three themes. We are seeing increasing investments in themes like AI, healthtech, and edtech. Investors are starting to invest in blockchain, a trend that is likely to increase. Sequoia Capital has invested in six digital media unicorns including Canva, Deezer, and Kuainkan Manhua. The other investors are Accel, Coatue, Andreessen Horowitz, Goldman Sachs, Tencent Holdings, Fidelity Investments GV and Insight partners. Accel and Insight Partners are the leading investors in cybersecurity unicorns. Accel has invested in big cybersecurity unicorns like Netskope, Synk, and Illumio, while Insight Partner backs OneTrust, Transmit Security, and Acronis.
Leading investors in tech unicorns, 2021
For more key players insights, download a free report sample
Market report scope
|Ecommerce, Cloud, Fintech, AI, Healthtech, Edtech, Big data, Cybersecurity, Digital media, and Blockchain
|Tiger Global Management, Sequoia Capital, Softbank, Accel, Coatue, Andreessen Horowitz, Goldman Sachs, Tencent Holdings, Fidelity Investments GV and Insight partners.
- This report looks at the top 10 themes in which today’s tech unicorns operate.
- It includes a list of all the current unicorns for each theme.
- It also provides details of the current top 10 unicorns operating in each theme, including valuation, funding, country, and description.
- In addition, we include the geographical distribution of the current tech unicorns for each theme, the top investors by the number of investments in the current unicorns, the unicorns which we expect to exit the club in the next two years, and a list of start-ups that we expect will soon become unicorns.
In early 2020, there was a pandemic-induced slowdown in new tech unicorn births. However, 2021 promises to be a record year, with 228 new tech unicorns created in H1 2021 alone.
Half of today’s tech unicorns are operating in the ecommerce, cloud, or fintech themes. Another 30% operate in the AI, healthtech, edtech, big data, cybersecurity, digital media, and blockchain themes.
The US is home to half of the tech unicorns today, while China hosts 22% of them. The US hosts most of the cloud, fintech, healthtech, big data, and cybersecurity unicorns. China leads in AI unicorns.
Tiger Global is the leading investor in tech unicorns. Sequoia Capital and Softbank follow closely behind. All three have a strong portfolio in top three themes: ecommerce, cloud, and fintech.
Reasons to Buy
- The number of tech unicorns is growing rapidly. This report will help you understand why and identify the themes that are driving this growth.
- It highlights the top 10 tech themes in which today’s unicorns operate. These include ecommerce, cloud, fintech, AI, healthtech, EdTech, big data, cybersecurity, digital media, and blockchain.
- It includes predictions on which unicorns might IPO soon and an analysis of start-ups that we expect to achieve unicorn status.
- In addition, it provides an analysis of the leading investors in unicorns, including a look at the themes in which they are investing.
Arctic Wolf Networks
Bright Health Group
Circle Internet Financial
Digital Currency Group
Dragoneer Investment Group
Eruditus Executive Education
Fresh to Home
Glynn Capital Management
Hillhouse Capital Group
Howden Group Holdings
Institutional Venture Partners
Lightspeed Venture Partners
Ping An Good Doctor
The Hut Group
Tiger Global Management
Table of Contents
How many tech unicorns exist today?
Where do today’s tech unicorns live?
What are the top 10 unicorn themes?
Who are the top investors in tech unicorns today?
Our thematic research methodology
Frequently asked questions
What are the key themes in which the tech unicorns operate?
Ecommerce, cloud, fintech, AI, healthtech, edtech, big data, cybersecurity, digital media, and blockchain are the key themes where the tech unicorns operate.
Who are the leading investors in tech unicorns?
Tiger Global is the leading investor in today’s tech unicorns followed by Sequoia Capital and Softbank.
Tel +44 20 7947 2745
Every customer’s requirement is unique. With over 220,000 construction projects tracked, we can create a tailored dataset for you based on the types of projects you are looking for. Please get in touch with your specific requirements and we can send you a quote.
Business Intelligence & Marketing Manager, SAL Heavy Lift
“The GlobalData platform is our go-to tool for intelligence services. GlobalData provides an easy way to access comprehensive intelligence data around multiple sectors, which essentially makes it a one-for-all intelligence platform, for tendering and approaching customers.
GlobalData is very customer orientated, with a high degree of personalised services, which benefits everyday use. The highly detailed project intelligence and forecast reports can be utilised across multiple departments and workflow scopes, from operational to strategic level, and often support strategic decisions. GlobalData Analytics and visualisation solutions has contributed positively when preparing management presentations and strategic papers.”
Market Analyst & Management, Liebherr-Werk
“COVID-19 has caused significant interference to our business and the COVID-19 intelligence from GlobalData has helped us reach better decisions around strategy. These two highlights have helped enormously to understand the projections into the future concerning our business units, we also utilise the project database to source new projects for Liebherr-Werk to use as an additional source to pitch for new business.”
Head of Key Accounts, Saab AB
Your daily news has saved me a lot of time and keeps me up-to-date with what is happening in the market, I like that you almost always have a link to the source origin. We also use your market data in our Strategic Business Process to support our business decisions. By having everything in one place on the Intelligence Center it has saved me a lot of time versus looking on different sources, the alert function also helps with this.
Marketing Intelligence Manager, Portugal Foods
Having used several other market research companies, I find that GlobalData manages to provide that ‘difficult-to-get’ market data that others can’t, as well as very diverse and complete consumer surveys.
Head of Customer Insight and Research, Standard Chartered
Our experience with GlobalData has been very good, from the platform itself to the people. I find that the analysts and the account team have a high level of customer focus and responsiveness and therefore I can always rely on. The platform is more holistic than other providers. It is convenient and almost like a one stop shop. The pricing suite is highly competitive and value for our organisation.
I like reports that inform new segments such as the analysis on generation Z, millennials, the impact of COVID 19 to our banking customers and their new channel habits. Secondly the specialist insight on affluent sector significantly increases our understanding about this group of customers. The combination of those give us depth and breadth of the evolving market.
I’m in the business of answering and helping people make decisions so with the intelligence center I can do that, effectively and efficiently. I can share quickly key insights that answer and satisfy our country stakeholders by giving them many quality studies and primary research about competitive landscape beyond the outlook of our bank. It helps me be seen as an advisory partner and that makes a big difference. A big benefit of our subscription is that no one holds the whole data and because it allows so many people, so many different parts of our organisation have access, it enables all teams to have the same level of knowledge and decision support.
Head of Consumer Sensory Insights, Givaudan
“I know that I can always rely on Globaldata’s work when I’m searching for the right consumer and market insights. I use Globaldata insights to understand the changing market & consumer landscape and help create better taste & wellbeing solutions for our customers in food, beverage and healthcare industries.
Globaldata has the right data and the reports are of very high quality compared to your competitors. Globaldata not only has overall market sizes & consumer insights on food & beverages but also provides insights at the ingredient & flavour level. That is key for B2B companies like Givaudan. This way we understand our customers’ business and also gain insight to our unique industry”
Senior Account Manager, TSYS
GlobalData provides a great range of information and reports on various sectors that is highly relevant, timely, easy to access and utilise. The reports and data dashboards help engagement with clients; they provide valuable industry and market insights that can enrich client conversations and can help in the shaping of value propositions. Moreover, using GlobalData products has helped increase my knowledge of the finance sector, the players within it, and the general threats and opportunities.
I find the consumer surveys that are carried out to be extremely beneficial and not something I have seen anywhere else. They provided an insightful view of why and which consumers take (or don’t) particular financial products. This can help shape conversations with clients to ensure they make the right strategic decisions for their business.
One of the challenges I have found is that data in the payments space is often piecemeal. With GD all of the data I need is in one place, but it also comes with additional market reports that provide useful extra context and information. Having the ability to set-up alerts on relevant movements in the industry, be it competitors or customers, and have them emailed directly to me, ensures I get early sight of industry activity and don’t have to search for news.