Initial public offerings (IPOs) by unicorns, or venture-backed startups whose valuations had topped US$1 billion in the private market, are on track to hit a new high this year.
According to Crunchbase data, there had been 23 unicorn IPOs globally this year as of mid-August 2018, already equaling the full-year figures for 2016 and 2017.
Apart from rising VC exits through IPOs, the industry has also witnessed some big-ticket unicorn M&A deals.
TechCrunch noted that 11 unicorns had been acquired so far this year. Examples include the US$16 billion acquisition of Flipkart by Walmart, and the US$7.5 billion purchase of GitHub by Microsoft.
Six largest unicorns worldwide in terms of market capitalization have exited as of mid-August.
The list includes entities like Xiaomi, Spotify, Pinduoduo, iQiyi, Adyen, and Dropbox, TechCrunch reports.
In terms of unicorn exits by geography, the United States has seen the most such initiatives this year, as of mid-August, followed by China.
In unicorn IPOs, both China and the US had nine deals each and were on level, but when it came to M&A transactions, the US (7 deals) was ahead of China (3 deals).
Europe claimed the third spot with four unicorns getting IPOs during the period.
TechCrunch believes we could witness more unicorn IPOs in the remaining months of this year, as well as in 2019.
Entities that could possibly make larger offerings in the next year include Uber, Airbnb and Didi Chuxing.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Aug 21
Translation by Jonathan Chong
[Chinese version 中文版]
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