A Recent History of Unicorns

People have been fascinated by Unicorns for such a long time. In the Middle Ages, it was considered the noblest of all mythical creatures, a symbol of divine presence. But we don’t need to go back that far in history to continue finding them. To this day, they show up in our lives. Passing through the playful childish universe of the imaginary, to the incorporation of big brands of companies — like ours.

In 2013, from the vast lands of Palo Alto, California, a new unique being arose. Still a Unicorn, but this time more than the magical horse with a horn on its head. The term was originally coined by Aileen Lee in, “Welcome to the Unicorn Club: Learning from Billion-Dollar Startups”. The featured article launched the new business lingo into the world making it go viral in the venture capital industry to describe any privately held startup reaching and/or surpassing the $1 billion mark in value.

Focusing on software companies, Aileen zoomed in on startups founded in the early 1990s and 2000s. She noticed that only a meager 0.07% of them could achieve or ever reach the $1 billion valuations. The startups that did manage to reach the mark, was as rare as finding a mythical creature. Thus, these startups earned the new high title of being dubbed — “UNICORNS” (club included).

With so many grand ideas starting up, some had to come down. A lot of talks have been buzzing around the Zebra, a less enchanting and a safer option for those, who want to take as little risk as possible. Fair enough. Believing in Unicorns can be risky. But perhaps the Unicorn, that the startup-founders and VC are dreaming of, is not a glittering rainbow, like the ones in current pop culture. But rather discrete, actionable and acute strategists. A valuable piece in the chessboard to the current market.

With big tech companies all over the world — surpassing the value of $1 Billion and championing above the rest is no small feat, but it is not an impossible dream. As of today, there have been a calculated 360+ existing Unicorns in the market, totaling a value of $1 trillion as of June 2019. Becoming a Unicorn or even a “Super Unicorn” (value over $100 Billion) is truly extraordinary and rare. To spot a Unicorn in the wild market and invest in them — is hands-down worth it!

Don't miss these stories: