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Value Vaporized From The Unicorn Board With FTX Collapse  

Image to illustrate The Crunchbase Unicorn Board

Four newly minted unicorn companies joined The Crunchbase Unicorn Board in November 2022, while three companies were removed.

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This is the lowest count on record for new unicorns since the beginning of 2020. (The next lowest count is five newly minted billion-dollar valued companies in March 2020.)

High-value closures

Three cryptocurrency companies vaporized $45 billion in value from the board. Bahamas-based cryptocurrency platform FTX and its U.S. counterpart based in San Francisco, FTX US, entered bankruptcy proceedings. And New Jersey-based crypto lender BlockFi was shuttered in late November. BlockFi had been bailed out by a loan from FTX in June 2022 to cover its losses.

FTX was the most highly valued unicorn to close, based on an analysis of Crunchbase data, followed by Pittsburgh-based self-driving startup Argo AI, which shuttered in October as it was unable to raise new funds. Argo AI — funded by Ford and VW — was last valued at $12.4 billion in July 2021 in a partnership funding with Lyft.

Theranos is the third most highly valued company to close. It was valued at $9 billion in a 2014 funding and shut down in September 2018.

And earlier this year, Celsius Network, another crypto lender, filed for bankruptcy  in July.

With bankruptcy proceedings and closures, the unicorn board’s value shifted down for the first time in three years; from $3.9 trillion to $3.8 trillion, a small proportion of its overall value.

Funding to unicorns

Unicorn companies raised $2.6 billion in November 2022, the lowest amount in recent years raised in a month by this cohort as global late-stage funding dropped precipitously.

Four new unicorns

  • China-based electric vehicle company Voyah, a subsidiary of Dongfeng Motor Group, raised its first funding, a $702 million Series A which valued Voyah at $4.2 billion. This is the sixth billion-dollar valued electric vehicle company out of China to raise funding this year.
  • Semiconductor company Astera Labs, based in Santa Clara, California, raised a Series D funding of $150 million led by Fidelity Management. The company was valued at $3.2 billion.
  • EV charging business ABB E-Mobility, based in Zurich, raised a financing of $209 million with participation from investment group Interogo Holding, family office moyreal holding, and ABB E-Mobility chairman Michael Halbherr. The company is valued at $2.6 billion with plans to go public.
  • Quantum computing company Xanadu, based in Toronto, raised a $100 million Series C funding led by Canadian growth-stage investor Georgian which valued the company at $1 billion.

Exits slow

The value of the unicorn board is dented by these high-profile closures. However, the bigger impacts to the board’s current value were the inflated valuations and pace of new unicorns set in 2021 and into the first half of 2022.

On a more telling note, zero unicorn companies went public this past month. The single exit from the board was California-based Evernote, first valued as a unicorn in 2012. It was acquired by Milan-based app developer Bending Spoons for an undisclosed amount.

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Funding rounds included in this report are seed, angel, venture, corporate-venture and private-equity rounds in venture-backed companies. This reflects data in Crunchbase as of Dec. 7, 2022.

The Crunchbase Unicorn Board is a curated list that includes private unicorn companies with post-money valuations of $1 billion or more and is based on Crunchbase data. New companies are added to the Unicorn Board as they reach the $1 billion valuation mark as part of a funding round.

Funding to unicorn companies includes all private financings to companies that are tagged as unicorns, as well as those that have since graduated to The Exited Unicorn Board.

Unicorns that close down or are in bankruptcy proceedings are removed from the current unicorn board. However, they are still counted in charts that show new unicorns by year and unicorn fundings raised over time.

Please note that all funding values are given in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted. Crunchbase converts foreign currencies to U.S. dollars at the prevailing spot rate from the date funding rounds, acquisitions, IPOs and other financial events are reported. Even if those events were added to Crunchbase long after the event was announced, foreign currency transactions are converted at the historic spot price.

Illustration: Dom Guzman


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