Every business owner is constantly making sure their baby is doing as best as it can, doing whatever is necessary to achieve and maintain success. As an entrepreneur, one might have been hearing the term “unicorn startup” more and more often, representing everything, everyone would like to become.
What’s a unicorn company?
Unicorns are those companies that even without an established performance record had an estimated valuation of more than $1 billion, acquired mainly on their early stages of capital fundraising.
They are referred as unicorns, as they were something mythical, extremely rare to find. However this kind of companies are becoming more common across the markets.
What makes a company a unicorn:
- Are valued on 1 billion dollars or more.
- They were consolidated through social media
- They developed new commercial strategies to get directly to the final user, getting rid of intermediaries.
- The entrepreneurs that founded them are in their mid 30s.
- They were founded by a group of entrepreneurs that frequently met in college.
The unicorns of the world
The biggest, most famous unicorn is without a doubt Facebook; Facebook on top of meeting all the previous criteria, has a market value of over one hundred billion dollars.
You also might be familiar, and a regular user, of other unicorns such as: Uber, Snapchat, Twitter, Airbnb or Dropbox, and were completely unaware that they belong to this privileged list.
These companies may be relatively young, but they managed to use the Internet and social networks to satisfy market needs, creating a niche for themselves and reaching unprecedented market value and growth.
How to become a unicorn?
Currently there are 229 unicorn companies listed around the world that represent an investment of over 175 billion dollars; and the number keeps getting higher. There might have been a time where being a unicorn company seemed unreachable, but the hitting this status is becoming more likely every year.
How to get on this list? Is not about capital fundraising; many of the most successful unicorns started with a very small capital. The key is to bring something new to the market you want to compete in; it might me a service, a product or a new way of doing things. Companies like MailChimp or Spotify started their commercial offer by proposing solutions to unresolved flaws on the markets they wanted to serve, then they raised their capital.
At the end of the day a company is not good because it raises capital; it raises capital because it has an unexplored idea that grows, despite capital. The magic of unicorn startups resides on the value they bring to the market, the strength and constancy of their founders, and the ability of bringing down the idea that that venture capital is a precursor to success.