New investment terms are showing up every day. Some of them fade but the one we’re about to review is becoming more common. As the market continues to grow, so will the number of investment unicorns. That’s why I’ve put together this short guide and a list of unicorn startups.

What is an Investment Unicorn?

An Investment Unicorn is a Rare Creature

An investment unicorn is a privately held startup with a valuation of at least $1 billion. Most unicorns have come from the tech sector thanks to their ability to scale their business. For example, unicorns like Stripe and Databricks can reach millions of customers with their software.

Why give them the name unicorn? Reaching $1 billion is no small feat. It used to be very rare for a private company, some would even say mythical. Thus, the name unicorn… but thanks to inflation and a long bull market, investment unicorns are becoming more common.

The number of unicorns has increased dramatically over the last few years. As a result, there are more than 900 globally as of January 2022. In addition, over 340 United States startups became uniorns by mid-December 2021.

Going one step further, the number of private companies to reach $10 billion has also climbed. They’re sometimes called decacorns. In fact, all 10 unicorn startups on this list have now reached decacorn status. However, as of now, SpaceX holds the title of the only U.S. super unicorn on the list: a hectocorn. A hectocorn is a private companies that has reached a $100 billion valuation.

In a way, super unicorns are the new investment unicorns. They’re still very rare. However, Stripe is climbing toward the hectocorn title with a $95 billion valuation. Let’s take a look…

Top 10 Unicorn Startups List

The list below is hand-selected and only includes companies based in the United States. The startups are technology-focused but serve different industries. There’s a little overlap but it’s still a good mix…

Unicorn Startup Valuation Industry
SpaceX $100.3 billion Aerospace
Stripe $95 billion Payment Processor
Epic Games $42 billion Video Games
Instacart $39 billion Food Delivery
Databricks $38 billion Data Management & Analytics
Chime $25 billion Fintech
Fanatics $18 billion E-Commerce & Direct-to-Consumer
Miro $17.5 billion Internet Software & Services
GoPuff $15 billion E-Commerce & Direct-to-Consumer
Plaid $13.4 billion Fintech

Since these are private companies, we don’t have much insight into their financials. We have to use past funding rounds to determine valuation. As a result, some of the valuation numbers above are a bit delayed.

Investment Unicorn Spotlights 


One highlight from the investment unicorn list is Stripe. It specializes in business-directed online payment processing. Stripe gives merchants the ability to securely accept credit card payments using its software.

The company is a major player in fintech. It’s growing rapidly – in less than a year, the company increased its valuation by more than 160% from $36 billion to $95 billion. And it will continue to grow as the mass transition to online continues.

Thousands of companies utilize Stripe’s services. Some of these brands include Amazon, Slack and Shopify. Furthermore, the company’s investors include SpaceX’s Elon Musk and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.

The company is on its way to becoming a super unicorn. However, many investors are eager for Stripe stock. You can learn more about the Stripe IPO and plans to go public here.


Another spotlight from out list of investment unicorns is Chime. It’s a fintech company that focuses on changing the way people think about banking. It partners with regional banks to provide financial products with their members in mind.

Chime gained a lot of momentum in the pandemic, landing a $25 billion valuation in September 2021. This is pretty impressive growth considering it was valued at just $1.5 billion in 2019. And it should continue to grow as people move away from traditional banks.

With 13 million members and counting, Chime is on its way to becoming a serious challenger to the traditional banks. It has also made the CNBC Disruptor 50 list for two years in a row, currently sitting at number 12.

It’s planning an IPO soon, but has delayed it to at least the second half of 2022. So investors should be on the look out for Chime stock in the near future. But in the meantime, you can learn more about the Chime IPO here.

How to Invest in Unicorns

Unfortunately, average investors can’t buy shares in most investment unicorns, since they’re private companies. Although, if and when they IPO, you can buy a stake in each business. There’s a lot of speculation as to when these startups will go public. To keep up with the latest updates on these companies going public, check out the IPO calendar. We update it daily to give you the latest news on upcoming and filed IPOs.

In the meantime, you can follow each company for updates. Or if you want to start investing sooner, you can check out our recent investment opportunities research.