Since 2004, the number of companies valued at over $1 billion, known as unicorns, has grown exponentially. Pitchbook’s recently published Unicorn Report notes that unicorns currently make up one-fifth of 2017’s total deal value. There are currently 176 U.S.-based companies that are classified as unicorns. While the number of unicorns has increased, the number of financings and average deal size has declined. In 2017, to date, there have been 43 financings for U.S.-based unicorns, raising $10 billion. Last year, unicorns raised $18.2 billion in 68 deals and 2015 saw 118 deals raising $20.4 billion.
There are 17 companies that achieved unicorn status in the U.S. during 2017, to date. On average, it took 6.7 years for these companies to reach unicorn status since their founding. Looking at all U.S. unicorns, the companies have an average age of 8.8 years.
As more companies are electing to remain private for a number of reasons, including the costs associated with going public and remaining a public company, unicorn exits are scarce. In 2017, to date, there have been eight exits by unicorns valued at $8.7 billion. In 2016, there were 10 exits valued at $15.6 billion. This year, two unicorns were acquired and five went public.