Lyft is going public — here are the 15 biggest unicorns that still need to IPO

iStock; Peabody/YouTube; Samantha Lee/Business Insider
  • Lyft is set to debuted on the Nasdaq on Friday morning at a valuation of $US21 billion.
  • Here are the 15 biggest “unicorns,” or private tech companies valued at over $US1 billion.

Ride-sharing app Lyft priced its initial public offering Thursday at $US72 per share, giving the company a valuation of $US21 billion.

The company was known as a “unicorn” for being privately held and worth over $US1 billion. To mark Lyft’s IPO, we compiled a list of the 15 biggest unicorns, many of which are also contemplating to go public.

The full list is dominated by US companies, with three Chinese companies and one based in Singapore also making the cut. All figures have been sourced from CB Insights and are accurate as of January 2019, with Juul Labs’ valuation updated to reflect a big money investment from Altria.

Of particular note is Lyft rival Uber, which is planning to list in the coming months. The IPO market had previously stalled given stock-market volatility and the government shutdown earlier this year. The bounce-back in stocks has re-opened the IPO market. If the market stays buoyant, there may be a “unicorn” stampede.


1: Toutiao (Bytedance)

Business InisderChen Lin, CEO of Toutiao.

Rank: 1

Valuation: $US75 billion

Country: China

Industry: Digital Media/Artificial Intelligence

Description: Creator of video app Tik Tok, the company competes with Chinese tech heavyweights Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. Tik Tok helps create and share short videos.

Toutiao recently purchased competitor Music.ly and shifted accounts to the Tik Tok user interface. The combined company has over 500 million active users.

Select investors: Sequoia Capital China, SIG Asia Investments, Sina Weibo, Softbank Group

Source: CB Insights, January 2019


2: Uber

Michael Cohen/Getty Images for The New York TimesUber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

Rank: 2

Valuation: $US72 billion

Country: US

Industry: Ride-sharing app

Description: Revolutionised personal transport by pioneering ride sharing, often breaking up taxi monopolies in cities across the world.

The company has an IPO planned for April, about a month after Lyft’s Nasdaq debut.

Select investors: Lowercase Capital, Benchmark Capital, Google Ventures

Source: CB Insights, January 2019


Didi Chuxing

Rank: 3

Valuation: $US56 billion

Country: China

Industry: Ride-sharing app

Description: Chinese ride-sharing app Didi Chuxing is the product of a merger between Didi and Uber’s Chinese business, prompted by the two groups relentless competition with each other.

Uber China, formerly a joint venture between Uber and Baidu, investors retain a 20% stake in the group. SoftBank recently announced an additional $US1.6 investment in March.

Select investors: Matrix Partners, Tiger Global Management, Softbank Corp.

Source: CB Insights, January 2019


The We Company

Rank: 4

Valuation: $US47 billion

Country: US

Industry: Facilities/Co-working

Description: Formerly known as WeWork, the company operates co-working spaces in more than 25 countries while also expanding to provide real-estate services to corporate clients.

WeWork also provides opportunities for its members to meet, socialise, and network through workshops, launch events, and even summer camp.

We recently reported 2018 results and doubled both revenues and losses to $US1.8 billion and $US1.9 billion respectively. Softbank has invested $US9 billion in the startup and is committed to invest even more.

Select investors: T. Rowe Price, Benchmark Capital, SoftBank Group

Source: CB Insights, January 2019


JUUL Labs

GettyJuul founders James Monsees and Adam Bowen.

Rank: 5

Valuation: $US38 billion

Country: US

Industry: Vaping/e-cigarette products

Description: Creator of the sleek Juul e-cigarette that has swept the US, the company controls more than 70% of the e-cigarette market and has come under increasing criticism for its appeal to teens with flavours such as mango and mint.

In December, Altria announced a $US12.8 billion investment in Juul, valuing the company at $US38 billion.

Select investors: Tiger Global Management, Altria

Source: CB Insights with valuation updated per Altria transaction.


Airbnb

AirbnbAirbnb co-founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk.

Rank: 6

Valuation: $US23 billion

Country: US

Industry: E-commerce marketplace

Description: Provides an online marketplace for short-term housing and tourism services, both of which are accessible via its websites and mobile app.

Airbnb owns no properties itself, but has over 6 million properties available for rentals directly by owners. The company has come under repeated fire for violation of local renting laws.

Select investors: General Catalyst Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, ENIAC Ventures

Source: CB Insights, January 2019


SpaceX

Dave Mosher/InsiderSpaceX founder Elon Musk.

Rank: 7

Valuation: $US21 billion

Country: US

Industry: Sattelite/Space transport

Description: Founded by Elon Musk in 2002, SpaceX’s mission is to reduce the costs of space transportation and enable the colonization of Mars so as to better ensure the survival of humanity. Seriously.

SpaceX has initiated over 100 launches representing $US12 billion in contract revenue.

Select investors: Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Rothenberg Ventures

Source: CB Insights, January 2019


Stripe

Rank: 8

Valuation: $US20 billion

Country: US

Industry: Fintech/Payments platform

Description: An online-payments company that was founded in 2012 by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison.

Stripe provides tools for customers to pay merchants online, similar to PayPal. Unlike PayPal, Stripe accepts payments from Chinese Alipay, providing an advantage in the Chinese market.

Select investors: Khosla Ventures, Lowercase Capital, capitalG

Source: CB Insights, January 2019


Epic Games

Mike Coppola/Getty ImagesEpic Games cofounder Tim Sweeney

Rank: 9

Valuation: $US15 billion

Country: China

Industry: Gaming

Description: Epic Games pioneered the games-as-service industry, developing blockbusters such as Fortnite and Infinity Blade.

Fortnite is the most popular gaming platform in the world, with over 250 million players. The game itself is free while revenues, which topped $US1 billion for Fortnite alone, are driven by in-game purchases. Items for purchase include special dance moves for virtual characters.

Select investors: Tencent Holdings, KKR, Smash Ventures

Source: CB Insights, January 2019


Pinterest

John Lamparski/GettyPinterest CEO Ben Silbermann.

Rank: 10

Valuation: $US12 billion

Country: US

Industry: Social platform

Description: Social-media site where people “pin” images and seek inspiration across community and individual “pinboards.” Categories include fashion, health, and beauty.

Pinterest has reportedly filed for an IPO due for 2019.

Select investors: Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, Firstmark Capital

Source: CB Insights, January 2019


Bitmain Technologies

Business InsiderCrypto-mining equipment.

Rank: 11

Valuation: $US12 billion

Country: China

Industry: Blockchain

Description: One of the world’s largest makers of crypto-mining equipment, Bitmain’s equipment is responsible for mining a significant share of the global supply of bitcoin.

A report by the Financial Times cited inconsistent reports of profits across funding rounds, delaying plans for an IPO amidst a slump in crypto prices.

Select investors: Coatue Management, Sequoia Capital China, IDG Capital

Source: CB Insights, January 2019


Samumed

Diana Yukari/Business Insider; photos courtesy SamumedSamumed CEO Osman Kibar, CFO Cevdet Samikoglu, and chief medical officer Yusuf Yazici.

Rank: 12

Valuation: $US12 billion

Country: US

Industry: Biotech

Description: San Diego-based biotech company seeking to reverse the effects of ageing across a variety of conditions. These include regrowing hair on balding heads, smoothing out wrinkles, and regenerating cartilage to worn-down joints in people with osteoarthritis.

Samumed raised $US438 million in 2018, bringing total funding to $US650 million ahead of a planned IPO.

Select investors: Vickers Venture Partners, IKEA GreenTech

Source: CB Insights, January 2019


GrabTaxi

Business InsiderGrabTaxi CEO Anthony Tan.

Rank: 13

Valuation: $US11 billion

Country: Singapore

Industry: Ride-sharing app

Description: A ride-sharing app that operates in the Southeast Asian countries of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia.

In 2018, Uber sold its Southeast Asian business to GrabTaxi for a 27% stake in the combined company.

Select investors: GGV Capital, Vertex Venture Holdings, Softbank Group

Source: CB Insights, January 2019


Palantir Technologies

Rank: 14

Valuation: $US11 billion

Country: US

Industry: Big Data / Cyber-security

Description: Founded in 2004, Palantir is a software company that specialises in big-data analytics. The company is used by the US government to utilise data in identifying terrorist organisations and by corporations for fraud detection and cyber-security.

Palantir is reportedly eyeing an IPO in 2020.

Select investors: RRE Ventures, Founders Fund, In-Q-Tel

Source: CB Insights, January 2019


Global Switch

Wikimedia CommonsGlobal Switch founders David and Simon Reuben.

Rank: 15

Valuation: $US11 billion

Country: UK

Industry: Computer hardware and services

Description: UK data center operator, founded by British brothers David and Simon Reuben in 1998. Global Switch owns and operates 11 data centres totaling 3.7 million square feet across Europe and Asia Pacific.

The brothers sold control to a consortium of Chinese investors and an IPO is planned for 2019 in Hong Kong.

Select investors: Aviation Industry Corporation of China, Essence Financial, Jiangsu Sha Steel Group

Source: CB Insights, January 2019


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