In April 2021, PitchBook published its list of the top 11 new U.S. unicorns by post-money valuation. Unicorn companies are those valued at over $1 billion and as of March 2021, there were 602 active unicorns globally. Many of these companies were founded over a decade ago and others in the last few years.

Below are the 10 biggest U.S. startups by valuation as reported by PitchBook. Some of the companies on the list are gaining brand recognition but many are still not known to the average person. Here is an overview of each company, so you can get a better sense of the current startup landscape.

Key Takeaways

  • A unicorn is a startup with a valuation of over $1 billion.
  • As of March 2021, there were 602 active unicorns globally.
  • The top 10 biggest U.S. unicorn startups by valuation include Waymo, Rivian Automotive, Ripple Labs, Attentive, Snyk, Zapier, SambaNova Systems, Ro, Patreon, and Klaviyo.

1. Waymo

Waymo was founded in California in 2009 and became a unicorn in May 2020. It is a Google spinoff company that focuses on autonomous driving technology. The goal is to transport people and commercial goods safely. Its ride-hailing service is Waymo One and its commercial goods transportation service is Waymo Via. The company has a post-valuation of $30.75 billion.

2. Rivian Automotive

Rivian Automotive started in 2009 in Michigan. It became a unicorn in January 2021. The company manufactures autonomous electric vehicles with high-power motors and batteries that can withstand high and low temperatures. The company has received funding from Amazon and has a post-valuation of $27.6 billion.

3. Ripple Labs

Ripple Labs began in 2012 in California and became a unicorn in October 2020. Ripple Labs is a blockchain company whose technology assists financial institutions to send money across borders, "instantly, reliably, and cost-effectively." The company has a post-valuation of $10 billion.

4. Attentive

Attentive got its start in New Jersey in 2016, reaching unicorn status in September 2020. The company has created a personalized mobile messaging platform, allowing brands to use behavioral data to send automated, personalized mobile messages across a customer's lifecycle. This includes product recommendations, customer service, and sales information. Attentive has a post-valuation of $6.97 billion.

5. Snyk 

Snyk started in Massachusetts in 2015 and reached unicorn status in March 2021. It is a security company focused on cloud-native application security. It helps developers with identifying open-source vulnerabilities. The company has a post-valuation of $6.54 billion.

6. Zapier 

Zapier began in California in 2011 and reached unicorn status in January 2021. The company created an online automation platform that links web-based applications like Dropbox and Google. The application allows users to transfer data from one platform to another, making it easier to move information around. The company has a post-valuation of $5 billion.

7. SambaNova Systems

SambaNova started in 2017 in California and became a unicorn in February 2020. It developed an advanced systems platform and hardware that powers machine learning and data analytics. It helps manufacturers using artificial intelligence to create faster and more efficient algos. It has a post-valuation of $5 billion.

8. Ro

Ro began life in New York in 2017, reaching unicorn status in July 2020. It has created a direct-to-consumer health platform that is patient-focused, which covers all aspects of a patient's healthcare experience from diagnosis to medication delivery and ongoing care. It has proprietary pharmacy distribution centers and in-home care API, providing high-quality, affordable healthcare without the need for insurance. The company has a post-valuation of $5 billion.

9. Patreon

Patron began in 2013 in California, reaching unicorn status in September 2020. The company created a platform that allows individuals to monetize their creative work through a direct relationship with their followers, fans, and supporters. The premise of the platform works by linking creators and their followers through a membership model, whereby the creators share exclusive content through the paid platform. The company has a post-valuation of $4.26 billion.

10. Klaviyo 

Klaviyo started in 2012 in Massachusetts, becoming a unicorn in November 2020. The company created software to use for marketing online businesses. This includes brand creation and scaling to move brick and mortar stores online. The company has a post valuation of $4.15 billion.