The term “unicorn” refers to a privately-held startup company with a valuation of more than $1 billion.
CB Insights “State Of E-Commerce Global 2021 Report” (PDF), issued in February 2022, addressed ecommerce unicorns. According to the report, 48 ecommerce unicorn “births” occurred in 2021, bringing the total number of global ecommerce unicorns to 102 as of December 31.
On December 31, 44% of global ecommerce unicorns were in Asia, the highest region.
PwC, the international accounting and consulting firm, published a report in January 2022 titled “Living in a world of unicorns.” The report analyzes global unicorns from January 1, 2016, to June 30, 2021. According to the PwC analysis (based on data from PitchBook), the number of unicorns during that period increased from 165 to 743. Financial technology unicorns led the pack, raising $106 billion in private capital across 188 companies.
The above-referenced CB Insights report included data on ecommerce companies selling public shares. In 2021 nearly four times as many ecommerce companies went public (through an initial public offering or a special purpose acquisition company) than in 2020. Moreover, the number of ecommerce mergers and acquisitions — where one company buys another or two companies merge — also increased dramatically year over year.