Biweekly VC Insights by Uniborn #28

Inside: CB Insights stats on unicorns, GenAI, and the venture outlook
Barbara Krassner
🇬🇪 Uniborn Team
3 min read

Hi, everyone! We've once again gathered some thrilling numbers and news, so subscribe, and let's get started.

🔥Which sectors are prime territory for startups to grow their horns?

The third quarter of 2023 brought some unicorn births, but there's a bit of a data dispute. CB Insights reports a meager 12 new unicorns, the lowest in over 6 years, while Crunchbase counts 64, still far less than in 2022 and 2021. 

Globally, there are approximately from 1,200 to 1,500 unicorns, with over half residing in the US, followed by China, India, and Europe. China, however, saw a decline in the number of new tycoons, contributing only 5 out of 59 last year, while the UK added 6. 

Image: CB Insights
Image: CB Insights

So, let’s take a look at the sectors where the unicorn population thrives:

  • Enterprise Tech (30%): think HR tech, cybersecurity, and data management, with Databricks leading the charge at an impressive $43B valuation.
  • Financial Services (18%): Stripe stands tall with a $50B valuation.
  • Consumer & Retail (17%): Shein takes the crown at $66B.
  • Industrials (15%): SpaceX is king here at $150B.

And the most outstanding long-horned startup is Chinese powerhouse ByteDance, the mother of TikTok, valued at a jaw-dropping$225B. The most valuable newcomer? Chinese automotive chipmaker GTA Semiconductor, with a $6.3B valuation.

Image: CB Insights
Image: CB Insights

You can find more details in the CB Insights report.

🔥 Where's the VC money flowing in GenAI?

In the first half of 2023, investment in generative AI surged, more than five times the total in 2022, and the industry now boasts several dozen unicorns.

But which sector of GenAI is the real deal? The latest figures from the end of the third quarter provide some clarity.

Image: CB Insights
Image: CB Insights

Visual media generation is the dominant force when it comes to the number of deals, even while its whale, Midjourney, is bootstrapped. Early estimates value the company at a sweet $10 billion.

You can also view older CB Insights charts to refresh your knowledge of this niche.

🔥 How is venture capital industry doing in general?

In our previous update, we mentioned an EIF survey where a solid 80% of venture capitalists expressed optimism about the coming 12 months.

We're not throwing in the towel on our optimism, but it's worth noting that CB Insights analytics (yes, we're really diving into their data today) are painting a rather gloomy picture. Venture deal volume has sunk to its lowest point in seven years, and this downswing can't simply be attributed to a return to pre-pandemic norms.

Image: CB Insights
Image: CB Insights

The decline in Europe isn't hitting as hard as it is in the US and Canada, and there's a slight uptick in overall funding compared to the previous quarter. Nonetheless, the number of deals is on a consistent downward trend, and it's becoming increasingly challenging to imagine this decline coming to a grinding halt by the early beginning of  2024.

You can explore the CB Insights review for a deeper understanding.

Cover image: Unsplash

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