Final Word

What is a unicorn startup? The elusive and often mysterious sounding term is in fact just a startup company with a valuation of $1 billion or higher that is privately owned. It’s rare to achieve this status but it has become less rare over the last decade. It requires the right sprinkle of innovation, ideas, team member collaboration, a viable product or service, and a little bit of luck, among other things. 

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

How are Unicorns Funded?
Unicorns can be founded however the founder sees fit. But, typically they’re funded with seed money, in stages, with the backing of private capital, and by venture capitalists. Often capital is exchanged for equity.
How Much Revenue Do You Need to be a Unicorn?
There isn’t a set amount of revenue needed to be considered a unicorn. In fact, some unicorns start pre-revenue and many are losing cash at fast burn rates. Instead, they are considered a unicorn based on their overall valuation which is determined by the company’s investors.
Who is the Fastest Unicorn?
The fastest unicorn ever is thought to be Avant, a Chicago based AI (artificial intelligence) firm that reached unicorn status after only one month and sixteen days. It was founded in 2012 and AI companies are generally one of the fastest industries to achieve unicorn status. Other top contenders are fintech companies and transportation companies.
How Many Companies Become a Unicorn?
There are a variety of answers to how many companies became a unicorn depending on who you ask. However, most reputable sources say that there are currently almost 900 unicorns and over 1.300 total unicorns ever founded. Keep in mind that statuses change quickly and companies may lose unicorn status by decreasing in value or by going public.

About the Author

Allison Bethell

Allison Bethell

Real Estate and Finance Expert

Allison Bethell is a content writer, real estate investor, small business owner, and consultant. She has a B.A. from Villanova University in Sociology and Business. She also holds several graduate certificates in early childhood development, screenwriting, and contract law.

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