Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Comparison between VBProfiles Unicorn and Atomico Billion Lists

After an article released by John Koetsier on Unicorns, we received questions from Robin Wauters about the validity of our number of Unicorns for Europe. He introduced two different lists from Atomico and then from GP BullHound
  1. Comparison between the Atomico and VBProfiles lists:
The Atomico list identifies software companies that got valued more than US$ 1 Billion either as a Unicorn, while being public or through an acquisition. the term software companies is taken at large as it includes companies such as Prosper or YouTube, which are not technically software companies, but technology enabled services. And Atomico's list doesn't include Unicorns like Fitbit which is a hardware company. 

Atomico's list contains 236 companies:
·       165 Unicorns defined as having reached the US$ 1 Billion valuation while being private:
·        50 companies that reached the Billion Dollar valuation after going public;
·        15 companies that got acquired for more than one Billion without reaching Unicorn Status;
·          6 companies for which we could not find evidence the company reached a Unicorn status.

Regarding the VBProfiles 206 Unicorn list, while comparing our list with our Atomico's, we identified 14 new unicorns (8 from Asia, 6 from the USA, 1 from Finland (Europe)) and we are adding those to our Unicorn landscape. 1 other Unicorn in the Atomico list (Anaplan) was not part of the 206 Unicorns as of 12/2015 because the company announced their funding in January 2016.
  1. Comparison between the GP BullHound list:
GP BullHound list relates to 13 European companies valued more than US$ 1 Billion in 2015.  Again Anaplan announced their funding in 1/2016 so were not part of our study. We could not confirm Ve status as a Unicorn and Skrill was acquired for US$ 1.2 Billion but was not valued US$ 1 Billion privately so is not technically a Unicorn.
  1. Work Ahead:
This exercise enabled us to identify two sources of problems: 
  • We are counting some companies such as YouTube as Unicorns when they should not;
  • Through the GP Bullhound study, we identified 3 companies that we categorized as US companies when they were originally from Europe. We are going to scrub all our addresses to make sure that the companies are associated to the countries they are originally from, not with the country of their current headquarters. 
We are going to report back to John and Robin about our findings moving forward but, at this point and based on this initial work, we are not expecting major changes in the study for the number of Unicorns coming from Europe. I will keep updating the blog as new information is available.

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