Industrials, Technology Author: WIM Committee, Yanmei Tao Editor: Luke Sheehan Oct 29, 2020 10:55 AM (GMT+8)

Although unicorn companies development histories may be short, they can be seen as pioneers that are able to ‘disrupt’ or change the way the contemporary market operates in each case.

WIM Presents 50 New Global Tech Leaders in 2020

On December 9-11, 2020, EqualOcean will host this year's World Innovators Meet (WIM). WIM2020 will take on a bolder stance and adopt a more global outlook by taking the form of an online conference that will be streamed simultaneously in all countries and regions that champion the realm of technology and innovation. 
During the World Innovators Meet, the WIM Committee will release the annual blockbuster WIA list, the World Innovation Awards, based on our annual industry and investment research findings, together with a series of research reports.


The term 'unicorn' was first coined in 2013 by Aileen Lee, the founder of Cowboy Ventures, a US-based seed-stage venture capital firm. In TechCrunch article 'Welcome To The Unicorn Club: Learning From Billion-Dollar Startups' (2013), she called a startup company valued at USD 1 billion or more a unicorn. With the spread of the article, the concept of a 'unicorn enterprise' became popular.

What's so special about them?

To become a unicorn is no cakewalk. Each unicorn today has its own business form and competitive advantages – and each faces particular obstacles.

Why is it named after a rare creature like a 'unicorn'? Because these companies have changed traditional business models within an industry, or used their emerging edge to leverage untapped niche markets. The rarity of the mythical creature conveys the rarity and good fortune that these breakthrough companies can bring.

EqualOcean believes that the existence of these unicorn companies reflects the level of innovation and commercial strength in a region. Most of these enterprises are in the vanguard of their industry, leading the way for the next generation of new technologies, business activities and business models. Their rise is thus regarded as a bellwether of future economic growth. Becoming one of them is the dream of any fledgling startup.

Therefore, potential unicorn companies have been increasingly favored by investors and the market in recent years.

The development status of unicorn enterprises in 2020

EqualOcean's 'New Tech Leaders 2019: Global 50'  report counts 535 unicorn companies in the world; the combined valuation of these companies has far exceeded 11 trillion yuan. Approximately 80% of start-up unicorn companies come from the two major economies of China and the United States. Three Chinese super unicorn companies – Ant Group, ByteDance and DiDi – are ranked among the top unicorns in the world.

At the same time, a total of 13 Chinese companies were selected to enter the list last year by considering the five indicators of 'enterprise establishment time', 'innovative advantages', 'founders' background', 'investment institution preference' and 'funding amount.' 

Some of these companies have undergone new developments this year. For example, Transwarp has received new equity investment in May; Intellifusion completed the Pre-IPO rounds of funding and equity funding in April and July this year, respectively; Kujiale and KK Group have entered the Series E funding stage; Weltmeister completed the Series D round of funding in September this year; JD Health entered the Series B funding stage in August this year; TuSimple entered the strategic funding stage in July this year.

The 'New Tech Leaders 2019: Global 50' report will be released soon

As a matter of fact, although the world was affected by the COVID-19 in the first half of 2020, there are still more than 20 companies in China with valuations exceeding USD 1 billion.

'Which track are these unicorn companies concentrated in?'; 'Which countries and cities are they located in?'; 'Are there common characteristics in their growth?'; 'Where are the different development directions of unicorn companies in different regions?'; 'What kind of emerging trends are there in the development of various industries after the COVID-19?'; 'Which new technologies will drive unicorn companies' development?' – These issues are still worth research and discussion.

In December, EqualOcean will release the 'New Tech Leaders 2020: Global 50' research report and continue to research on the geographical and industry distribution of global unicorn companies.

The report will integrate industry prospects, funding rounds and investor preference to analyze the current status and future development of unicorn companies in the eight mainstream industries of Technology, Financials, Consumer, Healthcare, Industrials, Automotive, Communication and Real Estate.

Finally, EqualOcean will rank the 50 most noteworthy tech start-ups in the world today, combined with the changing impact of the COVID-19.

About WIM

Hosted by EqualOcean, the World Innovators Meet (WIM) is a world-class event for innovators. It provides limitless opportunities to learn from and connect with the most sought-after technology pioneers.

About WIA

The World Innovation Awards (WIA) are announced at WIM to recognize game-changers across various industries and geographies. Selected by a committee of distinguished experts, entrepreneurs and investors, WIA are designed to acknowledge technology disruptors striving to make a positive impact.

Register for the event

We sincerely welcome you to join WIM2020 on December 9-11, 2020.

Click here to register and you will receive:

[Global Trends] Key insights from 11 Industry and Overseas Chapters made available to you for all three days of WIM2020.

[Insightful Conversation] Connect with 120 top-notch global speakers, listen to their perspectives and interact with them online.

[Innovative Community] Join an exclusive network of 10,000 professionals to participate in discussions and gain first-hand information from fellow participants.

[Business Networking] Gain 1:1 business-connect opportunity to launch or speed up partnerships worldwide.

[Comprehensive Report] Exclusive in-depth research reports will be delivered right to your mailbox.

Free tickets, Premium tickets and Platinum all-inclusive tickets are on sale. Presale and group ticket options are also available, don't miss this opportunity!

Join the WIM2020 family and become a member of the World Innovation Community, participating in a technology and innovation carnival that connects the world right at your doorstep, all while drawing a special end to the extraordinary 2020!


If you would like to become/recommend a speaker, discuss cooperation opportunities or media partnerships, apply for the World Innovators Awards or to be a volunteer, please click here to fill in the WIM2020 Cooperation Form (we recommend you to do so on a computer). We will be in touch as soon as possible. Thank you and welcome!