Asia and fintech dominate top 100 platform unicorns

There are currently around 5,600 platform companies worldwide. These companies consist of large corporations, unicorns, medium-sized or smaller companies and various start-ups. In terms of the total number of global platforms, the Americas currently lead with approximately 70 percent, Asia with 24 percent, Europe with 5 percent and Africa with one percent share of the total number of platforms. 

As of Dec.2021, the value of the 100 most valuable companies is nearby 15.7 trillion. US dollars. The value share of America is about 74 Percent, Asia about 22 percent, Europe about 3 percent and Africa about one percent. The interesting matter is that the U.S. dominates the top with its most valuable platforms. Chinese platforms lost massive value in 2021 due to various regulatory measures and are currently recovering. Europe does not currently play any significant role in the largest platforms with just under 3 percent share of value. More and more interesting business models are emerging in Africa, which are still in their infancy. 

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The situation with the top 100 platform unicorns looks significantly different. They are valued at around USD 1.5 trillion, making them about one tenth of the world's most valuable platform companies. The distribution also differs: Asia, with 44 platform companies, has a value share of around 45 percent; the Americas, with 32 platform companies, have a share of around 32 percent; Europe, with 11 companies, has a share of around 11 percent; and Africa currently plays no role among the platform unicorns. 

Asia is concentrating more on the development of platform unicorns.America also has a large share. There, only those hopefuls for international growth are supported that show significant scaling potential. The exciting matter is that the proportion of SaaS companies is significantly higher among the Unicorns in America. Another key finding is the share of European platform unicorns: with a share of about 10 percent, there is still hope for those companies that may be able to create the path of international growth from the EU. Africa has established some platforms, however, the value of the companies is not big enough to make the top-100 as a unicorn due to their development maturity, among other factors. 

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The sector distribution of the top 100 platform unicorns is also surprising: the fintech sector currently accounts for the lion's share of the platforms with a share of around 41 percent. Other industries include artificial intelligence with about 20.1 percent, retail with about 11.2 percent, software & services with about 7.3 percent, supply chain & logistics with about 7.1 percent and edtech with about 3.5 percent. The remaining industries share the remaining approximately 9.7 percent. It is also exciting to note that in all regions, the Fintech industry leads in platform unicorns. As fintech platforms continue to grow, the pressure on traditional financial services and insurance companies will continue to grow in the future. The dominant top 3 sectors in US are: Fintech, Retail, and Software & Services. In Asia, the top 3 sectors are dominated by Artificial Intelligence (largely due to the Bytedance Ecosystem), Fintech and Retail. In Europe, the platform focus is on Fintech, Retail and Automotive & Transport. 

Another finding is that Asia is the growth engine for platform unicorns here and has already overtaken America. This trend is very likely to continue in the future, as more and more Chinese platforms will put pressure on American platforms and take the top spots as serious competitors. This development was recently predicted in the new Harvard's Belfer Center/Harvard Kennedy School report that in 10 years China will overtake the U.S. in core technologies and digital business models. Developments in Europe also appear promising, provided the growth of EU unicorns is supported with a similar investment culture in America or Asia. The future will certainly be very exciting here.