The Unicorn Startups of 2016
To date, the word Unicorn has only been used in reference to the rare mythical beast. Now the phrase has been coined to describe startups valued at more than $1 billion, a phenomenon thought of as equally rare. Or is it? At Expert Market, we've crunched the data to give a breakdown of what makes a modern Unicorn.
Somewhat surprisingly, most unicorns in our list were formed in 2009; just one year after the financial crisis hit the globe.
Fast-forward to the year 2016 and Unicorns are more common than ever before, and the main industry responsible for this billion dollar baby business boom is software.
Disappointingly, of the 183 Unicorns used in our data only 7 are founded and run by women. To put this into perspective, for every 26 Unicorns founded by a man, there is only 1 started by a female founder.
The female with the most valuable Unicorn is Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes.
The 20 Most Valuable Unicorns
The table below details the top most valuable Unicorns in the world right now. Despite the controversy surrounding Uber, it has still managed to remain the most valuable Unicorn on the list. With a $16 billion dollar gap between 1st and 2nd place, it seems that there's no danger of Uber losing the top spot anytime soon.
Leading the way for female founders is Elizabeth Homes, founder of the widely publicized Theranos. As the only company with a female founder in the top 20, Theranos is ranked in 14th place. However, the next ranking Unicorn with a female founder is Houzz which currently sits at number 60, showing the huge gender gap in Unicorn founders.
|Didi Kuaidi||$16B||Software||2012||Wei Cheng |
Dexter Chuanwei Lu
|China Internet Plus||$15B||Software||2003||Wang Xing|
|WeWork||$10B||Business Services||2010||Adam Neumann|
|Lufax||$10B||Financial services||2011||Gregory Gibb|
|Zhong An||$8B||Financial Services||2013||Hai Yin|
|Square||$6B||Financial Services||2009||Jack Dorsey|
|Intarcia Therapeutics||$5B||Health||1997||Kurt Graves|
NB: This list was accurate at time of publishing and does not reflect the legal issues being faced by Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes
Based on the data it seems that the most certain way to create a modern Unicorn is to opt for a Software startup. While the complete Unicorn list does contain a variety of industries to choose from, 70 out of 183 are all Software companies. So if you're an aspiring entrepreneurs with dreams of that lucrative $1 billion dollar valuation, a Software startup might not be a bad place to begin.