You might know of unicorns as the horse-like creatures with a single horn. But that’s only one definition. In the startup world, a unicorn is slang for a company that is worth $1 billion or more. The animals are very rare. Some even say that they never really existed. Unicorn startups are rare too. Only seven-tenths of one percent (.07%) of startups become one.

A startup is a company that has not gone public through an IPO. The company can raise money through venture capitalists (VCs) though. The VCs’ play a big part in determining what companies are worth.

You have already heard of many unicorns. Snapchat is one (worth $16 billion). Twitter was one before it went public. Facebook was a super-unicorn (worth over $100 billion) before its IPO. Click here for a current list of the 119 unicorns.

Points to remember about startup unicorns:

  • They have a valuation of $1 billion or more
  • Most are technology or internet-based
  • They cannot be a public company

So, what’s your favorite unicorn?


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