The Beauhurst Unicorn Tracker
Key data on Britain’s $1b businesses, updated as and when new businesses join the herd.
A unicorn startup is a private company which manages to reach a valuation of $1b (currently about £732m) or more. First coined by Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures, the term “unicorn” refers to the rarity of startups which achieve this status. Indeed, of the 40,000+ high-growth startups and scaleups we’ve tracked here at Beauhurst, just 30 have reached a billion dollar valuation.
But the number of unicorns is steadily increasing. There are thought to be over 500 unicorn companies globally, and vocabulary is expanding to accommodate increasingly large valuations: companies valued at over $10b (like SpaceX in the United States) are known as decacorns, while those valued at over $100b (such as China’s Bytedance) are known as hectocorns.
Despite the outbreak of covid-19, and the decline in investment activity that came with it, a total of seven tech companies joined the UK’s unicorn club in 2020. There are now 23 active billion dollar startups in the UK, and an additional six have exited the private market, either through an initial public offering (IPO) or an acquisition. One startup company, e-commerce platform provider Powa Technologies, achieved unicorn status before it fell into administration in 2016.
These billion dollar startups span a range of sectors, from fintech and artificial intelligence, to cybersecurity and healthcare. Each has grown with varying levels of venture capital, vastly different business models, and are led by co-founders from a myriad of backgrounds.
This tracker covers a range of metrics, from the number of funding rounds raised prior to unicorn status, to how long it takes a company to reach a billion dollar valuation. We hope you find it useful, and make sure to check back to see how figures change over time! You can see the full list of UK unicorns companies at the end of this page.
The data on UK unicorns
private unicorns worth over $1b
exited unicorns worth over $1b
dead unicorn (excluded from stats)
average number of rounds before unicorn status
average amount raised before unicorn status
of unicorns are based in London
average age of company at unicorn status
How long does it take to reach unicorn status?
The methods of growth unicorn businesses have used to scale
Unicorn founder demographics
Exited UK unicorn companies
As the UK’s high-growth economy continues to evolve, increasingly more startups are reaching billion-pound valuations – otherwise known as ‘unicorn’ status. This rare breed of super-fast-growing,
About Future Fifty Future Fifty is a prestigious programme for 50 leading late-stage UK tech companies, with approximately 25 new businesses selected to join each year.
Just last week, the UK welcomed another exciting young company into the billion-dollar club. Snyk develops tools that alert users and help fix security vulnerabilities in
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