According to new research
Ten years ago, the idea of a privately owned company worth $1bn was the stuff of myth, so much so that this exact kind of business was branded a ‘unicorn company’.
These days the unicorn club has 237 members, with a combined worth of $815bn and an average value of $3.34bn, including the likes of Uber, Airbnb and Pinterest.
There are even 16 decacorns, which are privately held companies worth over $10bn.
It’s staggering that these multi-billion dollar companies didn’t even exist ten years ago, which is why comparethemarket.com decided to look into just how long it takes the average unicorn company to hit that magic $1bn mark.
The answer? Just seven years (on average). That’s pretty amazing when you consider just how successful these companies are!
Even more impressively, 15 of the companies on the list made it to $1bn within just a year of being incorporated.
The research has also broken things down into detail, looking at things such as which countries have produced the most unicorns, which sectors have performed the best, and which year saw the most unicorns born.
For example, they found that 2012 was definitely the ‘year of the unicorn’, as this was the point at which 35 (15%) of the current unicorns achieved their status.
And as you might expect, a large majority (73%) of the current unicorns were incorporated in the last ten years, and almost all of them (93%) were formed since the turn of the millennium.
This is largely because most fall into the tech sector, which is why the research has decided to break the unicorns down into more specific categories, finding that software startups were tied with real estate for the quickest sector to reach $1bn, with an average of three years.
Biotech, fitness, transportation and travel weren’t far behind, with these industries taking five years on average to reach the landmark.
Looking at where in the world these companies were born, it’s the USA and China leading the way, with 116 and 65 each, with the UK and India some way behind on 13 and 10.
But none of these hold the crown for being the country whose unicorns made the leap to $1bn the quickest, as this actually goes to Israel and the Netherlands, with both taking five years on average (excluding those countries with just one unicorn).
Other than this, only 24 countries are home to a unicorn startup, with only three in Africa and two in South America.
It’s interesting to look at how quickly so many of these hugely successful businesses have popped up and to speculate how many might continue to do so in years to come.
In fact, the research has predicted that based on the current amount, 60 startups could have achieved unicorn status in 2018, with this number surely likely to rise in years to come.
Who could it be? According to Comparethemarket.com it could be Dollar Shave Club and HelloFresh based upon recent whisperings!