What are unicorn companies

Unicorn companies are businesses that are created from a disruptive, innovative and differentiating idea, to offer products or services. They are linked to technology, and its market value exceeds $ 1 billion.

One of its main characteristics is having started as startups or emerging companies with a low initial investment, and having grown rapidly.

The rapid growth of unicorn companies is due to their innovative quality that aims to satisfy a need you have a large market share. It is also because they are very scalable businesses that manage to raise capital from their initial stages, an advantage that helps them develop much faster.

The term unicorn companies was coined in 2013 by the investor Aileen Lee, Co-Founder of Cowboy Ventures. He used it to refer to tech companies breaking the $ 1 billion value barrier. A figure as fabulous as the mythological animal and that seems impossible to reach for most of the companies.

Characteristics of unicorn companies

What are unicorn companies like? They are appreciated companies like revolutionary business models, source of inspiration for entrepreneurs, and have enormous influence on the culture of today.

They have the following characteristics in their way of operating and growing:

  • Are B2C (Business-To-Consumer) companies, that is, they develop their commercial strategy to reach the customer or final consumer of the product or service directly. The customer is the center and their experience is key to the success of the business.
  • Is it so constituted solely by private capital, and are not listed on the stock exchange.
  • They experience rapid growth in their financial value.
  • Its marketing strategy to grow and consolidate has as fundamental support to the social media.
  • Most start out as a startup, and employ the Get Big Fast (GBF) strategy to win customers and expand globally in the fastest way possible.

In terms of how they are formed, unicorn companies are distinguished by:

  • To be young companies, with less than ten years of foundation.
  • Be made up of young work teams, with an average age of no more than 35 years.
  • Their work teams are multidisciplinary and multicultural. This feature allows them to discuss a great diversity of ideas and make the most of the talent and creativity of their professionals.
  • Its founders are young entrepreneurs who knew each other from school, college, or previous jobs.
  • Be aware of the uncertainty that surrounds them and the importance of knowing how to deal with successes and failures in the daily operation of the company.

Which are?

I agree with you data from CB Insights, exist all over the world 390 unicorn companies.

The United States and China are the countries with the most business unicorns; in both there are close to 75% of the total unicorn companies in the world. Great Britain, India, Germany and South Korea are the next countries on the list.

The sectors in which these companies operate are varied.

  • Internet software
  • Financial technology (Fintech)
  • Electronic commerce
  • Hardware
  • Health
  • Trips
  • Transport
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Telecommunications
  • Big data analysis
  • Educational Technology (Edtech)

Facebook, Uber, Spotify and Xiaomi were great unicorns, but they lost their status when they started trading on the stock exchange. Mark Zuckerberg’s great social network was considered a superunicorn because its value was estimated at more than 500 billion dollars.

Among the best known unicorn companies in America and Europe are:

  • Airbnb (United States): digital platform for hosting services.
  • Spacex (United States): aerospace transport.
  • Cabify (Spain): technological platform for corporate transport services.
  • BlaBlaCar (France): shared vehicle service.
  • Rappi (Colombia): digital platform of purchase services and home delivery of products.
  • Palantir Technologies (United States): company specialized in big data analysis.
  • Global Switch (UK): Provides data centers and technical spaces to companies in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Unicorn companies ranking

The top ten unicorn companies in the 2019 world rankings, according to frequently updated CB Insights data, are:

  1. Toutiao (Bytedance): It is a Chinese company valued at 75 billion dollars. It is a news and information platform that uses artificial intelligence to personalize content.
  2. Didi Chuxing: It is a Chinese transportation company and its value is 56 billion dollars. Through an application, it provides vehicle and taxi rental services.
  3. JUUL Labs: It is an American company valued at $ 50 billion. It is dedicated to producing electronic cigarettes.
  4. WeWork: Its value is 47 billion dollars, it is American and it is a company that provides shared workspaces.
  5. Airbnb: This US company is worth $ 29.3 billion. It is a digital platform to offer accommodation services for tourism or business.
  6. Stripe: is a company that provides an online payment system for individuals and businesses. It is American and its value is 22.5 billion dollars.
  7. SpaceX: is an American unicorn dedicated to designing, building and launching rockets and spaceships. Its value is 18.5 billion dollars.
  8. Epic Games: is a US company that develops video games. She is known for creating Unreal technology and for developing popular video games like Fortnite. Its value is 15 billion dollars.
  9. Grab Taxi: It is a platform for transport on demand (private cars, motorcycles, taxis and shared rides). It is a Singapore company and its value is 14.3 billion dollars.
  10. DoorDash: is a platform that offers product purchase services to local merchants and home delivery. It is a United States company and is valued at $ 12.6 billion.

The top ten unicorn companies in the ranking are considered “Decacorns”, because its value exceeds 10 billion dollars. Companies that exceed $ 100 billion in value are called “hectocorn.”

You may also find this article interesting about the difference in manners between Asia and the West.

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