Unicorns: Which are Growing, Which Are Shrinking?


Valuing startups from the outside can be challenging. As a proxy, startups are commonly assessed based on headcount growth and total funding received. In this report, we analyzed which of the unicorns (private companies with a reported valuation above $1 billion) are exhibiting signs of growth/decline based on detected changes in headcount.

We pulled metrics on 157 unicorns from the Craft database to see which are growing headcount and which are shrinking. Craft is a data and analytics platform building the “Source of Truth” on companies and mapping the global economy.


In the table below, we took a close look at the top 20 growing ranked by employee growth rate (monthly average for past six months).




Out of the top 20 fastest growing unicorns, five are transportation sharing platforms (car and bike sharing), and one (WeWork) is in shared workspace. Other industries that top the list include trading platforms (Robinhood and Coinbase), eCommerce (Wish and Mercari), healthcare (iCarbonX and GRAIL), and cloud data analytics (Snowflake and Rubrik).


Next, we look at the top 20 shrinking unicorns:



In the top 20 shrinking, eCommerce companies (Mozido and Global Fashion Group) topped the list with a wide distribution of other categories also represented.

Finally, we looked at the total announced funding, current estimated headcount, and the average monthly headcount growth for all 157 unicorns, in the table below.


In the table above, we can see that out of the 157 unicorns, 139 are growing, while only 18 have negative growth. Further, the overall median growth rate is +2.4%. Looking at the overall distribution graphically below, we can again clearly see that the vast majority of unicorns are increasing in headcount. 



Key Takeaways:


  • Many more unicorns are growing rather than shrinking, with a median growth rate of +2.4%
  • The sharing economy continues to steam ahead, with six of the Top 20 Growing Unicorns list operating in this space


Sources:


  • News articles, company announcements, social media, and Craft analysis


About Craft:


Craft is a machine-learning powered data and analytics platform building the ‘Source of Truth’ on companies, and mapping the global economy. We organize data from thousands of sources to provide comprehensive, up-to-date sector and company profiles, ranging from early-stage to the largest companies in the world.


As the economy, and nature of work continue to undergo massive transformation, Craft’s mission is to provide context and freely available tools to help people discover and evaluate companies and opportunities. Our platform is used for market and sector research, customer lead generation, competitive analysis and career search.


We welcome your feedback. Please feel free to contact us at hello@craft.co.

Coinbase
HQ
San Francisco, US
Employees
783↑ 5% increase

Coinbase is a digital currency wallet service that allows traders to buy and sell bitcoin.

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GRAIL
HQ
Menlo Park, US
Employees
368

The mission of Grail is to enable the early detection of cancer in asymptomatic individuals through a blood screen.

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Mercari
HQ
Minato-ku, JP
Employees
482↑ 9% increase

Mercari aims to provide a solution by enabling people to easily sell and purchase second-hand items in a mobile marketplace with their smartphones.

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Robinhood
HQ
Palo Alto, US
Employees
409↑ 3% increase

Robinhood is a stock brokerage application that democratizes access to the financial markets.

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Wish
HQ
San Francisco, US
Employees
683↑ 2% increase

Wish is a mobile commerce platform.

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Global Fashion Group
HQ
Luxembourg, LU
Employees
126

Global Fashion Group is an online fashion destination for emerging markets.

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Human Longevity
HQ
San Diego, US
Employees
199↓ 2% decrease

Human Longevity is a genomics and cell therapy company focused on extending the healthy, high performance human lifespan.

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InsideSales
HQ
Provo, US
Employees
458↑ 3% increase

InsideSales offers a sales acceleration platform built on a predictive and prescriptive self-learning engine.

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Lookout
HQ
San Francisco, US
Employees
410

Lookout is a cybersecurity company, providing cloud-based technology solutions for mobile security.

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Mobike
HQ
Singapore, SG

Mobike is the world’s first station-less bike share.

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Mozido
HQ
Austin, US
Employees
53↓ 4% decrease

Mozido provides an integrated platform of cloud-based, white-label, mobile payment, shopping and marketing solutions, complemented by real-time customer behavior analytics.

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Ofo
HQ
Beijing, CN
Employees
652↓ 2% decrease

Ofo is an urban bicycle sharing platform.

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Outcome Health
HQ
Chicago, US
Employees
206

Outcome Health disseminates patient education content and interactive health assessments.

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SMS Assist
HQ
Chicago, US
Employees
675

SMS Assist is revolutionizing multisite property management using our unique business model and proprietary cloud-based technology platform.

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Snapdeal
HQ
New Delhi, IN
Employees
4,720

Snapdeal is an online marketplace offering best priced deals on branded products such as mobiles, electronics, apparel and accessories.

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Yello Mobile
HQ
Seoul, KR
Employees
35↓ 3% decrease

Yellow Mobile provides the services and platform of shopping media, media, digital marketing, travel, O2O area.

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Zenefits
HQ
San Francisco, US
Employees
665↓ 3% decrease

Zenefits is an all-in-one digital HR platform for small and medium businesses.

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ZocDoc
HQ
New York, US
Employees
651

ZocDoc operates an online platform for finding and booking medical appointments in neighborhood.

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Zoox
HQ
Menlo Park, US
Employees
516↑ 6% increase

Zoox is a robotics company pioneering autonomous Mobility-as-a-Service.

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