July 8, 2021
Venture capital surge delivers record for 'unicorn births'
Venture capital funding to startups around the world surged to the highest level in a decade in the second quarter, led by a record for US-based firms, a research firm said Thursday.
According to a report by CB Insights, startups globally raised $156 billion in the April-June period, a 157 percent jump from last year,
That included a record $70 billion for the United States, led by startups in Silicon Valley and in the financial technology or fintech sector, the report said.
The flood of venture funding in the quarter led to the creation of a record 136 "unicorns," or privately funded firms worth at least $1 billion, according to CB Insights.
The US led the way with 75 unicorn "births," according to the report, followed by Asia with 33 and Europe with 17.
Silicon Valley firms drew in some $23.7 billion in funding in the period, while those in New York raised $11.2 billion and Boston nearly $8 billion.
"Silicon Valley remains the largest tech hub in the US, but other cities like Los Angeles, Denver and Austin also reached new funding highs," the report noted.
Globally, more than 20 percent of all funding went to the fintech sector, which reached a new high of $33.7 billion in the quarter with a surge of 191 percent.
US-based investment firm Tiger Global was the most active funder in the quarter, with 81 deals, according to the report.
The world's most valuable unicorn, worth some $140 billion, is China-based ByteDance, parent of the social media phenom TikTok, followed by US-based fintech firm Stripe, worth an estimated $95 billion, according to CB Insights.
The flood of venture capital has led to growing numbers of unicorns, which are able to raise funds at high valuations without a stock market listing.
© 2021 AFP