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This Report Counts 120 Greater China Unicorns in 2017, with 21 Backed by Tencent and 11 by Alibaba

Writer: Evelyn Du 

On December 21, the Hurun Research Institute published the Hurun Greater China Unicorn Index 2017, which counted 120 unicorns in the Greater China region with a total valuation of approximately $456 billion.

According to the report, Sequoia Capital has invested in 27 companies on the list, while Tencent and Matrix Partners China are behind 21 and 15 firms respectively.

Unicorn companies are typically defined as private firms valued over $1 billion, but Hurun included in the list companies whose total financing (including external financing) exceeds $1 billion.

Ant Financial topped the list with a valuation of over $60 billion, followed by the $45.6 billion-valued DiDi Chuxing.

Other firms in the top 10 include two worth over $30 billion (Xiaomi and Meituan-Dianping) and three valued more than $15 billion (Jinri Toutiao, CATL and Lufax). DJI ranked eighth, while Koubei, Cainiao, JD Finance and tied for ninth.

By industry, internet services and e-commerce have each nurtured 22 unicorn companies, more than any other of the 14 industries that made it to the list. The internet finance sector accounted for 17 firms on the chart, bringing the combined contribution of the top three industries to 50%. Other sectors where unicorns are concentrated include culture & entertainment, automobile & transportation as well as healthcare.

Internet finance companies stood out with a total valuation of over $106 billion, the highest among the 14 industries. Automobile & transportation followed closely behind with around $76 billion. Internet services came in third.

The average age of the 120 companies is six years old, with 15 that have been in operation for less than three years. The AI chip manufacturer Cambricon, in particular, was founded only one year ago, making it the youngest company on the list. Firms between five and six years old numbered 42, taking up the largest share of 35%.

By city, Beijing is home to the largest number of Greater China unicorns, accounting for 54 or 45% of the total; Shanghai and Hangzhou ranked second and third with 28 and 13 unicorns respectively; Shenzhen, with 10 unicorn firms, came in fourth. “Today’s unicorns have been concentrated in the U.S. And China,” said Rupert Hoogewerf (Hu Run), Chairman and Chief Researcher of Hurun Report.

According to incomplete statistics, Sequoia Capital has invested in 27 companies on the list, while Tencent and Matrix Partners China are behind 21 and 15 firms respectively. They make up the top three unicorn investors in the Greater China region, with investment portfolios concentrated in such areas as internet services, e-commerce, culture & entertainment, logistics services and automobile & transportation. Sequoia Capital, in particular, has funded quite a few unicorn companies engaged in logistics services. Meanwhile, Alibaba is behind 11 firms on the list, including Ant Financial, DiDi Chuxing, Koubei, Cainiao, etc., making it the sixth largest unicorn investor in the Greater China region.

The Hurun Greater China Unicorn Index 2017 is as follows:

36Kr Global Writers
36Kr Global Writers
The tech ecosystem is roaring. Unicorns valued at billions of dollars have emerged worldwide, while venture capital and strategic investors are constantly on the lookout for the next big thing. 36Kr Global is committed to establishing ties between global stakeholders and providing the most vital information about China’s tech scene and capital markets.

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