What are Unicorn startups? - Answers

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What are Unicorn startups?

Countries with the Most Unicorn Startups

The term  Unicorn,  was first coined in  2013,  by the venture capitalist  Aileen Lee, founder of  Cowboy VC.  Stating in her article ‘Welcome to the Unicorn Club: Learning from Billon-Dollar Startups,’ she estimated the software startups founded in 2000s and figured that a mere 0.7% of them reach a US $ 1billion valuation. The rare occurrence of such firms led to the association of the term Unicorn, the mythical animal. A Unicorn, is a privately-owned startup company valued at over US $ 1billion. A startup is a newly emerged business venture, initiated by individual founders or entrepreneurs, to establish a marketplace need. According to TechChurch, there are  279 Unicorn startups  as of March, 2018.

Associated terms are called ‘Deadcorn‘ and ‘Hectocorn’, which are used for companies with valuation over  US $ 10 billion  and  US $ 100 billion, respectively. Notable lists of Unicorn companies are maintained and updated by the Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, CB Insights and TechCrunch.

When the term was first given by Lee, there prevailed only 39 companies that were categorized as Unicorns. The Harvard Business Review, studied the pacing rates of the Unicorn startups and speculated the companies between 2012-2015 to grow in valuation, twice as fast as companies from startups found in 2000-2013. It is firmly believed that a large number of companies with high valuations, reflect a new wave of technologically driven growth. On the other hand, opinions have formed around the age of globalization and the policies of central banks, in the creation of vast pool of capital that slosh around the globe hunting for Unicorns.

The rationale behind the speedy growth of the Unicorns is multi-fold. The strategy of  GBF (Get Big Fast), adopted by the startups, includes cutting back on prices to gain an advantage on market share and simultaneously expanding at high rates through massive funding. This clears the path and pushes back the rival competitors. Secondly, using of technological advancements  to their advantage, the startups have got an edge over attaining Unicorn status. The social media explosion, mobile smartphones, cloud computing have fostered in the development of these companies towards the Unicorn level. The availability of easy access to private capital  and policy measure in favor of these startups have thrusted their growth rates and increased the investment rates by three-folds from 2013-2015.

The evaluations of the unicorn startups are different than the well-established companies. The valuation for Unicorns, comes from funding rounds of large venture capital firms investing in startup companies. Additionally, the practice of  sharing-economy, also called as ‘collaborative consumption’  or ‘on-demand economy,’ is based on the concept of sharing personal resources. This has resulted in some of the startups gaining the Unicorn status.

The concept of Unicorn startups is far from being mythical, and have become a regular feature in today’s business and economy. According to  CBInsights, the total tallied figure of Unicorns is 220 with a cumulative value of  US $763 billion, in 2017. A few of the top Unicorn startups by valuation are:

Uber:  Projecting a current valuation of  US $ 69 billion, as of December 2017, it tops the list of Unicorn startups with the highest value. Uber, was formerly known as UberCab, is a car sharing, transportation network company, that also constitutes a mobile app to reach to its customers for transport services. Founded in  2009,  it is headquartered in  San Francisco, California, USA.

Didi Chuxing:  Presenting a current valuation of  US $ 56 billion,  it is the second most successful Unicorn startup. It was founded in  2012, as a car sharing, transportation network company. Services spanning across 400 cities with almost 400 million users in China, it is headquartered in  Haidian district, Beijing, China.

Airbnb:  Featuring a  current valuation of  US $ 31 billion, it ranks third in terms of value, in the successful Unicorns. Airbnb, is a property sharing, online marketplace company, with short-term lodging services in variety of vacation rentals, apartment rentals, hostel beds and hotel rooms. It was founded in  2008  and is headquartered at  San Francisco, California, USA.

Below mentioned are the Unicorn startups by valuation by CBInsights listing:

Company Valuation ($B) Country
Uber $72.0 United States
Didi Chuxing $56.0 China
Airbnb $29.3 United States
SpaceX $21.5 United States
Palantir Technologies $20.0 United States
WeWork $20.0 United States
Toutiao (Bytedance) $20.0 China
Stripe $20.0 United States
Lu.com $18.5 China
JUUL Labs $15.0 United States
Pinterest $12.3 United States
Bitmain Technologies $12.0 China
Lyft $11.5 United States
Global Switch $11.1 United Kingdom
GrabTaxi $11.0 Singapore
Infor $10.0 United States
DJI Innovations $10.0 China
One97 Communications (operates Paytm) $10.0 India
Slack Technologies $7.1 United States
Snapdeal $7.0 India
Manbang Group $6.0 China
Lianjia (Homelink) $5.8 China
EasyHome $5.7 China
Vice Media $5.7 United States
Robinhood $5.6 United States
Intarcia Therapeutics $5.5 United States
Outcome Health $5.0 United States
United Imaging Healthcare $5.0 China
Coupang $5.0 South Korea
UBTECH Robotics $5.0 China
Tanium $5.0 United States
Oyo Rooms $5.0 India
Magic Leap $5.0 United States
Meizu Technology $4.6 China
Fanatics $4.5 United States
SenseTime $4.5 China
Social Finance (SoFi) $4.5 United States
Faraday Future $4.4 United States
Compass $4.4 United States
Instacart $4.4 United States
Olacabs $4.3 India
Yello Mobile $4.0 South Korea
Houzz $4.0 United States
DoorDash $4.0 United States
XPeng Motors $3.7 China
Auto1 Group $3.5 Germany
Otto Bock HealthCare $3.5 Germany
Credit Karma $3.5 United States
Indigo Agriculture $3.5 United States
Youxia Motors $3.4 China
The Hut Group $3.3 United Kingdom
Oscar Health Insurance Co. $3.2 United States
Zoox $3.2 United States
Kuaishou $3.0 China
Royole Corporation $3.0 China
Maoyan-Weiying $3.0 China
VANCL $3.0 China
Moderna $3.0 United States
ContextLogic (dba. Wish) $3.0 United States
BGL Group $3.0 United Kingdom
Circle Internet Financial $3.0 United States
Xiaohongshu $3.0 China
Unity Technologies $3.0 United States
CrowdStrike $3.0 United States
Vipkid $3.0 China
SouChe Holdings $3.0 China
UiPath $3.0 United States
Niantic $3.0 United States
ESR Cayman (e-Shang Redwood) $2.8 China
Meicai $2.8 China
Klarna $2.5 Sweden
VistaJet $2.5 Malta
Qualtrics $2.5 United States
Zhihu $2.5 China
GRAIL $2.5 United States
YITU Technology $2.4 China
Uptake $2.3 United States
ACORN OakNorth $2.3 United Kingdom
NuCom Group $2.2 Germany
Babytree $2.2 United States
ReNew Power Ventures $2.0 India
Traveloka $2.0 Indonesia
Huimin $2.0 China
Zenefits $2.0 United States
Avant $2.0 United States
Trendy Group International $2.0 China
Weiying $2.0 China
Deliveroo $2.0 United Kingdom
Affirm $2.0 United States
Nubank $2.0 Brazil
Cambricon $2.0 China
Preferred Networks $2.0 Japan
Improbable $2.0 United Kingdom
LegalZoom $2.0 United States
Tempus Labs $2.0 United States
OpenDoor Labs $2.0 United States
Go-Jek $1.8 Indonesia
Quora $1.8 United States
Zocdoc $1.8 United States
Sprinklr $1.8 United States
reddit $1.8 United States
Automation Anywhere $1.8 United States
L&P Cosmetic $1.8 South Korea
Apttus $1.8 United States
Squarespace $1.7 United States
Buzzfeed $1.7 United States
Revolut $1.7 United Kingdom
Carbon3D $1.7 United States
UCommune $1.7 China
Insidesales.com $1.7 United States
Discord $1.7 United States
CureVac $1.7 United Kingdom
Darktrace $1.7 Germany
Afiniti $1.6 United States
Infinidat $1.6 Israel
BlaBlaCar $1.6 France
Beijing LaKala Billing Services $1.6 China
Coinbase $1.6 United States
CAOCAO $1.6 China
Gan & Lee Pharmaceuticals $1.6 China
TransferWise $1.6 United Kingdom
Dataminr $1.6 United States
Quanergy Systems $1.6 United States
Promasidor Holdings $1.6 South Africa
Oxford Nanopore Technologies $1.6 United Kingdom
DouyuTV $1.5 China
Mu Sigma $1.5 United States
STX Entertainment $1.5 United States
GuaHao (We Doctor) $1.5 China
JetSmarter $1.5 United States
Tujia $1.5 China
ironSource $1.5 Israel
23andMe $1.5 United States
Snowflake Computing $1.5 United States
Nextdoor $1.5 United States
Aihuishou $1.5 China
Freshworks $1.5 United States
Hellobike $1.5 China
Tuandaiwang $1.5 China
Coocaa $1.5 China
Gett $1.4 Israel
CGTZ $1.4 China
Koudai Gouwu $1.4 China
AvidXchange $1.4 United States
Hike $1.4 India
C3 IoT $1.4 United States
AppLovin $1.4 United States
Anaplan $1.4 United States
Toast $1.4 United States
DraftKings $1.4 United States
PagerDuty $1.3 United States
Rubrik $1.3 United States
Zeta Interactive $1.3 United States
Peloton Interactive $1.3 United States
Docker $1.3 United States
Swiggy $1.3 India
Intercom $1.3 United States
Atom Bank $1.3 United Kingdom
Thumbtack $1.2 United States
Ten-X $1.2 United States
Clover Health $1.2 United States
Appnexus $1.2 United States
Warby Parker $1.2 United States
Human Longevity $1.2 United States
OfferUp $1.2 United States
Careem Networks $1.2 United Arab Emirates
Postmates $1.2 United States
HeartFlow $1.2 United States
Logical Thinking (Luojisiwei) $1.2 China
Automattic $1.2 United States
NetEase Cloud Music $1.2 China
Tuhu $1.2 China
LIfeMiles $1.2 Colombia
BrewDog $1.2 United Kingdom
Global Fashion Group $1.1 Luxembourg
Shopclues $1.1 India
Proteus Digital Health $1.1 United States
Actifio $1.1 United States
TangoMe $1.1 United States
OVH $1.1 France
Tradeshift $1.1 United States
Lime $1.1 United States
GitLab $1.1 United States
Yijiupi (易久批) $1.1 China
Radius Payments Solutions $1.1 United Kingdom
Jiuxian $1.1 China
Jumia $1.0 Nigeria
AppDirect $1.0 United States
Avaloq Group $1.0 Switzerland
Kendra Scott Jewelry $1.0 United States
Ofo $1.0 China
Katerra $1.0 United States
Yuanfudao $1.0 China
Yixia $1.0 China
Medallia $1.0 United States
Apus Group $1.0 China
CloudFlare $1.0 United States
Procore Technologies $1.0 United States
Lookout $1.0 United States
Funding Circle $1.0 United Kingdom
Fanli $1.0 China
Zomato Media $1.0 India
TechStyle Fashion Group $1.0 United States
Desktop Metal $1.0 United States
Illumio $1.0 United States
BeiBei $1.0 China
Panshi $1.0 China
InMobi $1.0 India
MarkLogic $1.0 United States
Zhaogang $1.0 China
Vox Media $1.0 United States
Kik Interactive $1.0 Canada
letgo $1.0 Netherlands
Kabbage $1.0 United States
iTutorGroup $1.0 China
Gusto $1.0 United States
Dt Dream $1.0 China
Cell C $1.0 South Africa
MindMaze $1.0 Switzerland
Mia.com $1.0 China
iCarbonX $1.0 China
Symphony Communication Services Holdings $1.0 United States
Age of Learning $1.0 United States
Quikr $1.0 India
SMS Assist $1.0 United States
benevolent.ai $1.0 United Kingdom
Mofang Gongyu $1.0 China
Adaptive Biotechnologies $1.0 United States
HuJiang $1.0 China
Guazi (Chehaoduo) $1.0 China
Rubicon Global $1.0 United States
YH Global $1.0 China
Cylance $1.0 United States
Rocket Lab $1.0 United States
Zoom Communications $1.0 United States
Tongdun Technology $1.0 China
Supreme $1.0 United States
Particle $1.0 United States
Face++ (Megvii) $1.0 China
XiaoZhu $1.0 China
Ginkgo BioWorks $1.0 United States
Canva $1.0 Australia
OrCam Technologies $1.0 Israel
17zuoye $1.0 China
Ding Xiang Yuan $1.0 China
Soundhound $1.0 United States
Huike Group (Uniquedu Corporation) $1.0 China
JOLLY Information Technology $1.0 China
Bird Rides $1.0 United States
taxify $1.0 Estonia
New Dada $1.0 China
luckin coffee $1.0 China
PolicyBazaar $1.0 India
Celonis $1.0 Germany
9f Group $1.0 China
OutSystems $1.0 Portugal
Pony.ai $1.0 United States
MediaMath $1.0 United States
Tiger Brokers $1.0 China
About You $1.0 Germany
Revolution Precrafted $1.0 Philippines
Klook $1.0 Hong Kong
GoodRx $1.0 United States
Bukalapak $1.0 Indonesia
Root Insurance $1.0 United States
Cohesity $1.0 United States
Shansong Express (FlashEx) $1.0 China
BYJU’S $1.0 India
Udaan $1.0 India
Rappi $1.0 Colombia
Xinyang Technology (SoYoung) $1.0 China
Roblox $1.0 United States
Aijia Life $1.0 China
Nxin (农信互联) $1.0 China
WalkMe $1.0 United States
Convoy $1.0 United States

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