What’s Worth More Unicorns or The biggest US Tech Companies?

According to new data compiled by Crunchbase News, the worldwide valuation of unicorns has surpassed $4 trillion. The valuation milestone is significant not just in terms of its magnitude, but also in terms of its relative size. In comparison to what, exactly? The valuation of the West’s top tech businesses, notably the Big Five in the United States. Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook were once known as Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook. The five-company alliance is currently known as Alphabet, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Meta, with the names of the youngest two companies changing in subsequent years.

Aside from corporate branding modifications, the five companies’ combined valuation hit $3 trillion in 2017. It seemed incredible at the time that less than a half-dozen enterprises could be valued so much. The organization surpassed the $4 trillion barriers a year later, in mid-2018. (Note: Alex is a Crunchbase stockholder and used to work on the Crunchbase News team.) At TechCrunch, we use a variety of data sources, although we’ll mention this issue from time to time when we rely significantly on Crunchbase data.)

But, as you might expect, 2018 wasn’t the pinnacle. When stocks peaked in late 2021, the five businesses managed to treble their value to over $8 trillion; however, according to Wolfram Alpha data, the sum has since plummeted to $7.2 trillion as of last Friday’s close. Unicorns have grown in value at a similar rate, albeit a few years later. Crunchbase News, for example, reported last summer that the total valuation of worldwide unicorns had surpassed $3 trillion, up from $2 trillion the year before.

That, by the way, is the result of all those investment rounds last year that seemed to propel more and more firms into the $1 billion valuation club, giving them “unicorn” status, a word established by TechCrunch in 2013. The comparison between the five most valued U.S. tech corporations and a rough grouping of high-value startups on a global basis may appear a little arbitrary; after all, why compare the two numbers unless you enjoy playing with enormous numbers?

We may be seeing a split in their two valuation directions after years of advancing in lockstep. The biggest IT companies are taking a beating, with Meta losing ground in particular. The Next Generation of Tech Leaders, on the other hand, is raising a lot of money and developing private-market value. The data from Crunchbase News does not indicate a slowing in the rate at which unicorns accumulate illiquid value. 

We expect the value of global unicorns to rise this year, albeit at a slower rate – if the “things are slowing down in venture land” narrative proves to be more than venture capitalists’ hope for lower startup prices – but still in a direction that differs from the value of the five most well-known U.S. tech firms.