While many businesses have been hit hard by the global pandemic, there are numerous startups that are actually thriving in the wake of COVID-19. CB Insights provides a list of leading startups in 2020. As of November 2020 there are about 500 unicorns. A unicorn company or startup, is a privately owned entity whose valuation is over $1 billion.

Looking at 2020’s top ten startups by country, the United States ranks highest in the list with a total of 242 startups whose total net value is $715.5 billion. China is second with a total of 119 startups with a value of $514.8 billion. During the year 2020 from January through June, most of China’s funding has been directed towards ‘corona-tech’ companies to develop solutions around medicine and healthcare. Both India and the UK ranking at position 3 and 4 respectively have a total of 24 startups. India’s startups value stand at $85.2 billion while UK’s are valued at $65.5 billion. Germany at 5th position has a total of twelve startups valued at $24.9 billion. At 6th position is South Korea that is growing to become one of the world’s leading tech hubs, with a total of 11 Korean unicorn startups. South Korean government’s support, venture boom as well as the strong mobile infrastructure account for the country’s 2020 unicorns valued at $30.4 billion. Israel ranked 7th position with a total of 8 unicorn startups valued at $10.8 billion. Brazil and France each have 7 startups valued at $18.0 billion and $9.2 billion respectively. At 10th position is Indonesia with 5 startups valued at $26.4 billion.

CB Insights further classified 2020’s startups in terms of leading industries. The fintech industry takes the lead with a total of 70 startups valued at $248.4 billion. Stripe, a US based unicorn tops the list in this industry with a value of $36.0 billion as of Nov 2020. Of the top ten leading startups in the fintech industry, 5 of them are based in the US and 2 are Indian unicorns. The second leading industry is the internet industry with a total of 64 startups valued at $131.1 billion. Australia’s Canva takes the lead with a $6.0 billion value while the rest excluding India’s Zomato are US based internet companies. The E-commerce sector has bloomed to rank 3rd best industry with 63 startups at a total of $170.8bn. The leading unicorns in this sector include SHEIN (China), Wish (US), Chehaodou (China), Coupang (South Korea) and Tokopedia (Indonesia) among others. Artificial Intelligence is the 4th largest sector with China’s Bytedance valued at $140.0 billion taking the lead. Startups in the US and China dominate the top ten category in the AI sector. The mobile and telecommunications sector is the 5th largest industry this year with 33 startups all valued at $74.6bn. Kuaishou (China), Yello Mobile (South Korea) and Niantic (US) top the industry at position 1, 2 and 3 respectively.

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