Corralling billion-dollar 'unicorns'

A few years back, yet-to-be-listed tech startups valued at $1 billion or more were so rare they were dubbed "unicorns" in the U.S., after the mythical creatures. Now these pricey startups are becoming more and more common.

As of January 18, there were 150 unicorns worldwide, according to U.S. research company CB Insights. These startups are worth an estimated $525 billion in all.

The graphic below shows unicorns and unicorns-to-be, broken down by country and industry. Click the country buttons or select an industry from the pull-down menu to get information on specific companies.

The bubble chart shows the relative valuation of each company. The names of those valued at more than $1 billion pop up. Moving your cursor over the bubble chart shows the country where a company is based, its industry and valuation. The chart underneath describes the businesses.

By country

Company Valuation (in billions of dollars) Country Industry

Source : CB Insights

Uber Technologies, the popular U.S. ride-hailing app, is the biggest unicorn of them all, followed by Chinese handset manufacturer Xiaomi. Both are valued at around $50 billion. There are 13 unicorns with valuations of $10 billion or more.

By industry, e-commerce has produced more unicorns than any other, with 31. Emerging countries are home to quite a few unicorns, such as India's Flipkart. The financial technology and health care fields have their share of the billion-dollar breed.

By country, the U.S. has the most valuable unicorns, worth a total of $317 billion. China is in second, with a combined valuation of $126 billion, followed by India at $27 billion. Sweden, Germany and the U.K. also rank high on the list. Unicorn counts are rising in Israel, Singapore, Thailand and Argentina.