Some VCs estimate that more than half of unicorns aren’t actually worth $1 billion

by Ana Lopez

The past few years have been a rollercoaster for the herd of unicorns of the startup world.

Two years ago, we saw a record number of companies cross the $1 billion valuation milestone. But that momentum slowed to a trickle last year, and market conditions this year seem likely to turn to the point that some of those companies may lose that status.

Downward rounds are likely to become the norm this year as venture firms and investors look to bring valuations back down to earth. We’re already seeing some decacorns, like Stripe and Instacart, lowering their valuation, but they’re valued so highly that they don’t risk losing their unicorn status. But most unicorns don’t like that luxury.

The unicorn from CB Insights table of contents shows that there are currently 1,205 companies worth more than $1 billion. But if you look closely, you’ll see that the majority of these startups are actually hovering around $1 billion. Currently, 685 unicorns were last valued between $1 billion and $2 billion — that’s more than half the list.

How many of these will remain unicorns this calendar year? To find out, we recently polled more than 35 investors about the number of startups they believed would drop below $1 billion by 2023. While no one could link a specific number, the vast majority felt the herd has probably already been sifted. .

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