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A unicorn is a startup that surpasses a valuation of US$1 billion. In our Global Map of Unicorn Startups, we have mapped 1,113 unicorns across 51 countries and 154 cities. This article provides details on the top 10 cities and top 10 countries that host a critical mass of these unicorns, along with a list of some of the most valuable unicorn startups. Our Pro members can access the full version of this report and inquire about the complete datasets related to unicorns worldwide.

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The List of Most Valuable Unicorns

Based on Crunchbase’s data, ByteDance, headquartered in Beijing, China, has earned its distinction as the highest-valued unicorn globally. Renowned for developing video-sharing social networking services and applications such as TikTok and the China-specific Douyin, ByteDance boasts a staggering valuation of US$140 billion. Following closely behind ByteDance is SpaceX, with a valuation of US$127 billion. The table below presents the top 10 most valuable unicorns. 

You can view the full list of unicorns with their valuations with a StartupBlink Pro account.

Industries with the Highest Number of Unicorns in 2023

The Software & Data Industry has 447 unicorns, securing its position as the industry with the highest number of unicorns. Notable entities within this sector include top unicorns such as ByteDance, Canva, Instacart, and Databricks. Following closely is the Fintech industry, which has produced 230 unicorns, making it the second-largest industry in terms of unicorn count. Among the most valuable Fintech unicorns are Stripe, Revolut, and You can further view the distribution of unicorns across industries with a PRO Account.

Regions with the Highest Number of Unicorns in 2023

Thanks to the strong presence of US-based unicorns, North America leads as the region with the highest number of unicorn startups, totaling 615 entities. Of these, 594 are situated in the United States, with Canada contributing 21 unicorns. The Asia Pacific region follows with 267 unicorns, followed by Europe with 171, Africa and the Middle East with 35, and Latin America and the Caribbean with 25 unicorns. The distribution of unicorns across regions are presented below:

Countries with the Highest Number of Unicorns in 2023

In total, there are 51 nations in the world with at least one unicorn. The United States leads the pack with an impressive count of 594 hosting more than 50% of unicorns in the world. China comes next as the second-largest contributor with 144 unicorns, about four times fewer than the US despite its larger population. Here are the top 10 cities with the most unicorns in the world. You can see the further distribution of unicorns worldwide with a PRO account.

Cities with the Highest Number of Unicorns in 2023

San Francisco is the city with the most unicorns in the world with 256 unicorns, reaffirming its status as the place to be if you are looking to build something massively influential. New York follows, contributing 119 unicorns. Other American cities like Los Angeles, Boston, and Seattle also featured in the list, showcasing the  strength of the U.S. startup ecosystems.

1. San Francisco, United States

San Francisco stands as center of global innovation, with an impressive count of 256 unicorns. The city is home to massively valued unicorn companies such as Stripe, InstaCart, and DataBricks. 

2. New York, United States

With 119 unicorns, New York City solidifies its place as the second city with the most unicorns in the world. Home to financial disruptors like OpenSea, Digital Currency and Chain Analysis,  the city appears to be extremely competitive at producing massively valued Fintech unicorns.

3. Beijing, China

Beijing emerges as a global technological powerhouse with 51 unicorns, including industry leaders like ByteDance, the creator of TikTok which earns the distinction of being world’s most valuable unicorn as of 2023, and Yuanfudao, the tutoring platform.

4. London, United Kingdom

Despite ranking 3rd in the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2023, London is surpassed by Beijing when it comes to producing unicorns. Yet, London is the European city with the most unicorns with 39 companies exceeding US$ 1 Billion in valuation. Renowned companies like Revolut and call the city home, and similar to New York, London is another city with high domination Fintech unicorns.

5. Los Angeles, United States

With a slight difference from London, Los Angeles contributes to 37 unicorns, including SpaceX, Service Titan, and Anduril. A considerable number of Los Angeles unicorns are emerging from the Ecommerce & Retail industry, with companies like Tipalti, Whatnot, and Goat.

6. Shanghai, China

The second Chinese city to appear in the Top 10 Unicorn Cities is Shanghai, boasting 36 unicorns. The majority of these unicorns in Shanghai emerge from the Transportation industry, with the most valuable one being Zongmu Technologies, a company focused on self-driving technologies.

7. Boston, United States

As the fourth United States city in the Top 10, Boston hosts 33 unicorns, primarily emerging from the Software & Data industries. Notable among these Boston unicorns are Devoted Health, Thrasio, and Klaviyo, which have attracted substantial investments. Despite ranking 5th in the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2023, Boston falls behind Chinese cities Beijing and Shanghai in unicorn count.

8. Bangalore, India

With 31 unicorns, Bangalore is a rising star on the global unicorn map. Home to companies like BYJU’s and Swiggy, both valued over US$ 10 billion, achieving decacorn status. Approximately 30% of unicorns in Bangalore are emerging from the Software & Data industries, followed by Fintech, which holds a share of nearly 23%.

Uncover Bangalore’s global potential in the 38th episode of the Startup Ecosystem Podcast! 

9. Paris, France

Consistent with its standing in the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2023, Paris holds the 9th position for the number of unicorns, totaling 28. The majority of these unicorns emerge from the Ecommerce & Retail and Software & Data industries, featuring notable companies like Backmarket, Content Square, and Conto.

10. Tel-Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv-Yafo, with 23 unicorns, stands out as the only city within the top 10 with a population of less than 500,000. Unicorn companies like Starkware, Wiz, and Moon Active exemplify Tel Aviv’s commitment to pioneering technological advancements, irrespective of its population size. The majority of unicorn startups in Tel Aviv are emerging from the Software & Data industry.

In conclusion, unicorns stand as crucial milestones for ecosystems, attracting investment, an influx of talent, and enhanced branding within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. For further exploration of the countries and cities that achieved this impactful milestone, schedule a call to discover StartupBlink PRO access the full version of this report and discover many other features.

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