Skift Take

The online travel booking world has seen few new successes in the last decade and this list reflects it. On the other hand, digital technologies are changing all other aspects of travel, transport and leisure activities.


The most overused word in startup and tech circles these days, unicorns are private companies valued at $1 billion and above by investors, primarily venture capitalists and growth equity investors.

CBInsights, the business information service that tracks private companies and investors, has been keeping a live list of these unicorns from around the world, and as of last count, about 142 of them exist.

Out of these, we decided to sort through the ones that are travel companies or have major business in the travel industry, and we counted 15 of them on this list. As you can see, most of them are focused on disruption taxi/private transportation sector.

Uber is the most valuable private company, not just in travel but amongst all private companies anywhere in the world. Airbnb is the second most valuable company on this list. Deem is the only business travel company on the list, focused on expense management. Eventbrite is the only meetings/event tech company on this list. Decolar is the only traditional online travel company/OTA on this list, focused on the South American market.

Geography wise, U.S. headquartered companies top the list with six, though almost all of those are global businesses. China is second with four companies on this list, all of them focused locally.

As for the investors, Accel Partners seems to have the biggest stakes in these travel unicorns, with Sequoia, GGV and Tiger Global being other prolific investors.

The full list, in the table below.

Rank Company Valuation ($B) Date Joined Country Industry Select Investors
1 Uber $51 8/23/2013 United States Car Hailing Lowercase Capital, Benchmark Capital, Google Ventures
2 Airbnb $25.50 7/26/2011 United States House Rentals General Catalyst Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, ENIAC Ventures
3 Didi Kuaidi $15 12/31/2014 China Car Hailing Matrix Partners, Tiger Global Management, Softbank Corp.,
4 SpaceX $12 12/1/2012 United States Space Travel Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Rothenberg Ventures
5 Dianping $4.05 4/11/2011 China Restaurant reviews & reservations QiMing Venture Partners, Lightspeed China Partners, Sequoia Capital
6 Lyft $2.50 3/12/2015 United States Car Hailing Founders Fund, Mayfield Fund, Floodgate
7 Olacabs $2.40 10/27/2014 India Car Hailing Accel Partners, Matrix Partners, Sequoia Capital
8 BlaBlaCar $1.60 9/16/2015 France Car Hailing Accel Partners, Index Ventures, Insight Venture Partners
9 GrabTaxi $1.50 12/4/2014 Singapore Car Hailing GGV Capital, Vertex Venture Holdings, Softbank Corp.
10 Deem $1.35 11/15/2011 United States Expense Management Empire Ventures, Foundational Capital, Oak Investment Partner
11 Ucar Group $1.25 7/2/2015 China Car Hailing Legend Capital, Warburg Pincus
12 Eventbrite $1 3/13/2014 United States Events Registration Sequoia Capital, SoftTech VC, Tiger Global Management
13 Zomato Media $1 4/10/2015 India Restaurant reviews & delivery Sequoia Capital, VY Capital
14 Tujia $1 6/17/2015 China House Rentals GGV Capital, QiMing Venture Partnersl
15 Decolar $1 3/10/2015 Brazil Online Booking Sequoia Capital, TPG capital, Accel Partners

All data from CBInsights.

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Tags: valuations

Photo credit: An Uber taxi driver drives his car through a street in New Delhi, India. Saurabh Das / Associated Press

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