It’s not surprising that mobile unicorns are multiplying, with mobile internet revenue forecast to hit $850 billion by 2018. What is staggering is that the 89 mobile unicorns across 18 sectors and 15 countries in Silicon Valley based tech advisor Digi-Capital’s new Mobile Internet Report Q2 2015 are now worth an average $9.3 billion, after adding $44 billion in Q2 to hit $831 billion total shareholder value. Even mid-range (i.e. median) mobile unicorns are worth almost $3 billion, so “only” $1 billion valuations might be losing their mythical status.
High rollers welcome
Mobile unicorns and investors can be big winners at ultra-high stakes poker, as 28 companies added $68.5 billion shareholder value in the last quarter. The biggest winners include household names like Uber, Facebook and Fitbit, and some you might not know such as 58.com, Cookpad and Ganji. Social networking, mCommerce and transport had the most risers by sector, with the US and China adding most value by country.
However not everyone was a winner, with 17 companies losing $24.8 billion over the quarter. Games and US companies felt the most pain, and GREE lost its unicorn status by enterprise value in Q2.
Four by two
Not all unicorns are created equal, with valuations dominated by four sectors and two countries. The monster unicorns Facebook and Alibaba are in the two largest sectors, as social and mCommerce sectors each took around one third of total mobile unicorn value. The other big sectors are travel/transport (with Uber) and messaging (with WhatsApp and LINE).
America dominates with over half of global value, as China plays catch up by taking one third. But if you look at this without the monster unicorns of Facebook and Alibaba, the US still takes half but China drops to one fifth.
Some folks in Silicon Valley think unicorns will continue sprouting wings and soaring. Others say they’re plain old horses with fake horns glued on. But mobile unicorns are unpredictable mythical beasts, so only time (and the market) will tell what happens next.
You can find the full analysis and data in the reports here.
Note: The companies listed all have substantial parts of their business from mobile internet, but exclude mobile infrastructure (e.g. Qualcomm), device (e.g. Xiaomi) or substantial but minority mobile internet businesses (e.g. Tencent with WeChat). The valuations come from a mix of stock markets, acquisitions and fundraising rounds.