Riding on the increased digitisation of businesses and rising appetite for internet services, 2021 birthed tech unicorns by the hordes. Hurun Research found that 1,058 unicorns (or privately owned billion-dollar firms) were added this year, almost double of 586 last year.
Sequoia ranked as the world’s most successful unicorn investor for the second year in a row, according to the Hurun Global Unicorn Index 2021. The US-based venture capital firm funded one in every five unicorns in 2021.
Sequoia, which includes Sequoia Capital, Sequoia Capital China, Sequoia Capital India, Sequoia Capital Global Equities, Sequoia Heritage, Sequoia Capital Israel, and Sequoia Scout, added 97 new unicorns in the year, growing its global tally to 206 at the end of 2021.
Tiger Global followed as the second biggest unicorn investor of the year, pushing Japan’s SoftBank to the third position. The Tiger Fund added 112 unicorns — highest amongst all VCs — to its tally, which now stands at 147.
SoftBank, meanwhile, grew its global unicorn base by 95 to 146 this year.
Sequoia, Tiger, and SoftBank cumulatively known as the ‘Big Three’, has invested in 50% of the world’s known unicorns, Hurun Research Institute stated. “Unicorns are supposed to be hard to find, but investors like Sequoia, Tiger Fund, and Softbank make it look easy,” it added.
Meanwhile, Insight Partners and Coatue broke into the Top 10 for the first time at the expense of IDG and Alibaba this year. While Coatue added 62 unicorns to its tally, Insight was richer by 52 new billion-dollar startups.
The other top unicorn investors of the year were US-based Accel, Goldman Sachs, and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), and China’s Tencent and Hillhouse Capital Group.
The vast majority of VCs are headquartered in the US (79), followed by China (11). Singapore and the UK each had 2, while France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, and Russia had one each, as per the Hurun List.
Rupert Hoogewerf, Chairman and Chief Researcher, Hurun Report shared, “The role of investors is evolving to mentorship and scale-up opportunities, rather than just providers of cash. The world’s leading unicorn investors are building ecosystems with their portfolios, hugely attractive to the world’s fastest-growing startups. Being able to say you have one of the top unicorn investor brands as an investor adds significant credibility to a startup.”
“The speed of value creation is accelerating. Founder teams and investors are becoming more experienced at knowing how to build billion-dollar businesses with focus on value-creation over sales,” he added.
Also read: Year Ender 2021: Of endings and beginnings
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