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Rise of the Unicorns!

Written by PrivCo Research

Despite the pandemic and worldly events, these private companies were invested heavily in 2021 as the society attempts to return to the norm. All companies were ranked based on a number of metrics including funding, market valuation, projected revenue, and growth.

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS through September, 2021 has been a phenomenal time of growth for private companies. Notable industries that out performed others include healthcare, SaaS, FinTech, E-Commerce, Enteprise Software, Cyber Security.

What you can learn from this report:

  • Top industries thriving to grab that Unicorn status
  • Top Next 100 Private Companies next in line to reach $1BN
  • A spotlight list of up and coming ten private companies


Today, globally there are over 900 unicorn startups or companies with this status. While the time to achieve unicorn status seems to be shrinking significantly since the days of popular graduates like Facebook and Google, the status remains a shiny badge for startups. To identify the next potential unicorns, we looked at the data from PrivCo to pinpoint startups with valuations below $900MM and ranked them by their performance based on recent funding activity and employee growth.

Key Takeaways from the Ranking SaaS or ‘System as a Service’ companies ranked highest. Three out of the top ten companies in this category. 17 companies out of the 100 companies ranked are categorized as mainly SaaS companies.

Healthcare takes second place with 14 ranking companies. However, funding received in the healthcare category is the highest when looking at totals amongst the ranked 100 companies.

A majority of the top 10 companies that ranked in the list were founded in 2015, with the earliest company dating to 1999. The top growth categories for unicorns are video games, SaaS, and fintech.

In this report, we focus on the top rank 100 top performing and valued private companies based on funding and growth by employees and revenue. We also take a look at the top industries and spotlight the top 10 private company leading the herd.

Notable Takeaways

  • SaaS companies ranked highest. Three our of the top ten companies in this category. 17 companies out of the 100 companies SaaS based businesses.
  • Healtcare takes second place with 14 ranking companies. However, funding recieved in the healthcare category is the highest when looking at totals amongst the ranked 100 companies.
  • Majority of the top 10 companies were founded 2015 withthe earliest company dating to 1999.

Industries Trends of 2021


The pandemic forced many companies to reduce overhead spending, it has also forced a digital transformation almost overnight as organizations scrambled to adopt an online workflow.

Enterprise Software

Global spending on enterprise software recorded $426BN in 2020 which highlights why SaaS startups are on the top of mind when it comes to potential new unicorns.


Cybersecurity proved to be more important than ever to help enterprises combat against threats and attacks in the cyberspace

Video Games

Epic Games takes the leaderboard for high growth unicorns due to their high funding round in 2021 as well as high valuation.


From supporting logistics to offering platforms to connect clients to services, e-commerce capability providers are experiencing tremendous growth


Payment processing software services was a huge focus of 2020 and financial services leveraging trends in data is a norm

Artifical Intelligence

In the third quarter of 2021, investors poured $17.9 billion into global AI startups. The amount of money raised has risen every quarter since Q1 2020, when AI startups raised a local minimum of $6.3 billion.


Healthcare is continually benefiting from technological advancements from mRNA to CRISPER. Investors continue to bet on the potential for startups to speedily develop advanced methods to treat, analyze, or even cure diseases. At the same time, the impact of the coronavirus has shone a light on the importance of medical advances, mental health, and more. and the need to invest in next-generation treatment.

Company Spotlight

CompanyLocationVerticalRounds of Funding
SquireNew York, NYBlack-founded, Booking9
DremioSanta Clara, CAEnterprise Software6
OutdoorsyAustin, TXMarketplace10
CorvusBoston, MAInsurTech5
HarnessSan Francisco, CADeveloper Tools4
AspirationMarina del Rey, CAConsumer Finances6
Digital AssetNew York, NYCrypto6


This report is current as of the initial date of publication in December 13, 2021 and may be changed by PrivCo at any time. The companies profiled are focused on the U.S. market of privately-owned companies based on their performance including funding rounds, employee, and revenue growth until September 30, 2021.

This report is intended for general guidance only. It is not intended to be a substitute for detailed research or the exercise of professional judgment. PrivCo shall not be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any organization or person who relies on this publication. The data used in this report may be derived from third-party sources and PrivCo does not independently verify, validate or audit such data. The results from the use of such data are provided on an “as is” basis and PrivCo makes no representations or warranties, express or implied.

PrivCo’s dataset is constantly expanding and as data is added to the platform over time, some of the numbers in this report may shift at the time of viewing in comparison to the platform. A company may not have founders listed, or the data may not be updated on PrivCo’s company profile yet.

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