News & Analysis

Sequoia Capital counts the most unicorns in its investment stable

- June 3, 2015 2 MIN READ

With the number of companies becoming unicorns doubling between 2013 and 2014, a new report from KPMG has found that Sequoia Capital is the firm with the most unicorns in its portfolio.

Sequoia counts 13 unicorns – companies that have reached a valuation of $1 billion or more prior to an event including liquidity such as an IPO, acquisition, or any other form of exit – in its stable, including Stripe, houzz, airbnb, and Dropbox.

KPCB follows with 12, counting Slack, Snapchat, and Uber in its portfolio.

According to a report from KPMG, in addition to investing in the most unicorns, Sequoia is more likely to invest in these companies in their early stages. Accel Partners also invested in five of its ten unicorns early, while Khosla Ventures invested in five of its seven early.

Forty companies joined the unicorn club through 2013 to 2014. 2015 is set to surpass previous years, with 15 hitting the $1 billion valuation mark from January to April this year.

While some investors across Silicon Valley and beyond believe that the number of billion dollar valuations could be hinting at a potential bursting of the tech bubble, others say these valuations are justified.

As Mat Beeche wrote in a recent article for Startup Daily:

“Venture capitalists know that eventually there will be some kind of market-dip. Things go in cycles; investors have been through many of them and so it makes perfect sense that in order to protect themselves and their investments, that they would encourage startups to raise more new money than is needed. It allows startups to manage their “burn-rates” more effectively and plan the money out over a longer period of time, just in case there is a future bubble-burst. At least, there will be capital to continue building the business.”

While no Australian startups other than Atlassian have hit the magic $1 billion mark yet, the 2015 Crossroads report estimated that Campaign Monitor is worth $1 billion, while Canva and The Catch Group could also be close to unicorn status.