Runway and Cohere are the latest generative AI startups to join the billion-dollar valuation club. We look at what’s happening in the market and where it’s headed.
These startups are taking far less time to get to $1B+ valuations than most of their unicorn peers: Across the 13 genAI unicorns, the average time to reach unicorn status is 3.6 years but for the unicorn club as a whole the average is 7 years — almost twice as long.
Meanwhile, the excitement about generative AI has led to a wide gulf between these companies’ soaring valuations and their modest revenues.
Below, we dig into the generative AI unicorn cohort using CB Insights data on:
- Revenues and revenue multiples
- Employee headcount growth
- Top unicorn investors
So far, 13 generative AI companies have reached a $1B+ valuation. The vast majority of these passed the unicorn threshold within the last year or so as generative AI took off with mainstream users.
OpenAI, on the other hand, became a unicorn in 2019 and has seen its valuation grow 10x since then. It leads the pack with a $29B valuation. It’s followed by Anthropic ($4.4B valuation), Cohere ($2B), and Hugging Face ($2B).
Many of these unicorns develop their own large language models (LLMs) — a capital- and computation-intensive task — and have fundraised substantially to support these efforts. (For a selection of LLM developers, check out this Market Profile.)