Unicorns running wild in 2016

Five global tech startups rank up to unicorns in less than 30 days

Gabriela Motroc
Unicorn word image via Shutterstock

Silicon Valley has been intensely breeding unicorns in the past year, but the rest of the world is now claiming its piece of the billion dollar pie. Five global tech startups are now officially unicorns after raising a total of $858 million.

There are currently 152 unicorn companies out there with a total valuation of $532 billion, according to venture capital research company CB Insights, but the tap continues to leak as more tech startups claim their spot in the Unicorn Club, Venture Beat noticed.

Last month, Shanghai-based Dada, a company which resembles Uber in concept, but not in practice -its app links delivery workers to local delivery jobs- raised $330 million in Series D financing from Sequoia Capital and DST Capital to name a few.

Bags packed for Unicorn Club

The second unicorn in line is the UK’s global travel site Skyscanner, which received this status in early January. Its current $1.6 billion valuation is a clear reminder that unicorns’ unpredictable nature is their greatest asset -Skyscanner’s worth has doubled since late 2013 as roughly 50 million travelers use its website on a monthly basis, it claims. The Edinburgh-based company raised $192 million from heavyweight investors such as the Scottish pension fund manager Baillie Gifford, UK fund manager Artemis, London-based private equity firm Vitruvian Partners, the Malaysian government’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad and previous investor Yahoo Japan.

One Indian company hopes to emerge as the first pure-play Indian e-commerce business to become profitable in the foreseeable future. Online marketplace, which sells items at wholesale price, is now a member of the Unicorn Club after raising more than $100 million in a Series E round chaperoned by Singapore’s sovereign fund GIC. The indian company currently has a $1.1 billion valuation. ShopClue claims it is shipping out more than 3.5 million products per month and prides itself in attracting over 100 million visitors per month.

SEE ALSO: The 80-hour week in startups: Is this acceptable?

The British roots are strong in the Unicorn Club this year as software company Anaplan joins Skyscanner in claiming their spots in the high-profile society. Baillie Gifford, Harmony Partners, Founders Circle Capital and earlier Anaplan investors joined forces and offered Anaplan $90 million to help it fulfill growing international demand for its platform. The software company has been nicknamed ‘the spreadsheet killer’ for outpacing Microsoft Excel at a number of multinational companies.

Cyber-security at its best

US-Israeli cyber-security firm ForeScout also hit the billion-dollar mark this year after receiving $76 million in fresh financing led by Wellington Management. Although ForeScout has been in business for more than a decade, the solution recently became more popular than ever, especially after rumors that 2016 will likely be a major year for cyber security companies started to appear. The company has tripled its value in the past year and a half.

The unicorn status is an unsteady title especially as far as mobile Internet companies are concerned. Digi-Capital, a tech M&A adviser, announced in early February that there were $100 billion mobile Internet exits last year and the IPO trend went from a craze to a no-go zone. Although investors continued to pour billions into mobile Internet companies, investment fell more than 20 percent in the last quarter of 2015.

The numbers seem to point to a direction that does not favor mobile Internet companies. Still, they continue to multiply as mobile Internet revenue is forecasted to hit $850 billion by 2018.

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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