In Silicon Valley, startups valued at $1 billion or more are nicknamed “unicorns” because originally they were so few and far between.
But, according to new data from Crunchbase, 2018 is quickly diminishing the rarity of the unicorn status: In the first seven months of the year alone, 65 companies have already achieved valuations of $1 billion or more.
If the trend continues, 2018 will be a record-making year for billion dollar companies.
“In the first seven months of 2018, investors put $73 billion into rounds for private venture-backed companies valued at $1 billion or more,” Crunchbase reporter Joanna Glaser writes. “That’s about three-fourths of the total for all of 2017, last tallied at $98 billion.”
Among the companies achieving unicorn status are buzzy, US-based startups like electric scooter company Lime and e-cigarette purveyor Juul. As Crunchbase notes, cryptocurrency companies like mining chip producer Bitmain and crypto trading platform Circle are also unicorn newcomers.
So far, the US and China are tied when it comes to companies achieving unicorn status. While a reported 26 companies have achieved billio-dollar valuations this year in both countries, Crunchbase notes that Chinese companies are typically slower to make their valuations publicly available, suggesting that China’s startup growth could be greater than the US.
However, it’s worth remembering that big valuations, while often coveted by founders and investors alike, aren’t necessarily always purely beneficial. As longtime Silicon Valley investor Elad Gil pointed out in a recent interview with Business Insider, a high valuation can often hurt a company’s longterm growth.