Unicorns, Narwhals, Dedacorns & Hectocorns

We’ve all heard of the term “unicorn”, but did you know there are more mythical tech creatures out there? We’ve gathered the best sources and compiled the most interesting features of each species into one page. Enjoy!

Unicorn Infographic

Unicorn: a startup company that was founded after 2003, and is valued at 1 billion dollars or more. Here are some cool facts about unicorns today:

  • The term was created by Aileen Lee, the Founder of Cowboy Ventures, in 2013. According to her “Unicorns are on a mission to build things that the world has never seen before” [ref] https://hitenism.com/unicorns/[/ref].
  • A UC Berkeley Professor of Linguistics said “the term romanticizes techno-companies, [taking] them from the remote and unintelligible to the magical and even lovable, while also being rare and powerful” [ref] http://www.ibtimes.com/real-reason-everyone-calls-billion-dollar-startups-unicorns-2079596 [/ref].
  • Only 4 unicorns are born per year.
  • As of January 2016, there are a total of 229 startup unicorns [ref] http://venturebeat.com/2016/01/18/there-are-now-229-unicorn-startups-with-175b-in-funding-and-1-3b-valuation/ [/ref]. Click here for a list of the billion dollar club (private companies only).
  • It takes 7 years on average to go public or be acquired [ref]https://techcrunch.com/2013/11/02/welcome-to-the-unicorn-club/[/ref].
  • Some of the oldest and most powerful unicorns from before the 2000s are: Intel (1960), Apple, Oracle & Microsoft (1970), Cisco (1980), Google & Amazon (1990).
  • Currently, no unicorns have female founding CEOs (that needs to change) [ref]https://techcrunch.com/2013/11/02/welcome-to-the-unicorn-club/[/ref]!
  • Unicorn companies usually have experienced team members. Almost 80% of unicorns have at least one co-founder that has previously founded another company [ref]https://techcrunch.com/2013/11/02/welcome-to-the-unicorn-club/[/ref].
  • San Francisco is considered the home of the unicorns (and not Silicon Valley like everyone would think) [ref]https://techcrunch.com/2013/11/02/welcome-to-the-unicorn-club/[/ref].

Narwhal: a Canadian startup company, founded in 1999 or later, that is valued at more than 1 billion dollars or more.

Dedacorn: a (tech) company that is valued at 10 billion dollars or more.

  • The term was created by Bloomberg Business. They say that “it’s a made-up word based on a creature that doesn’t exist”[ref]http://www.businessinsider.com/decacorn-is-the-new-unicorn-2015-3[/ref].
  • Xiaomi is the highest-value dedacorn at 46 billion dollars, followed by Uber at 41.2 billion [ref] [http://www.businessinsider.com/startups-valued-at-more-than-10-billion-2015-2 [/ref].
  • To view the list of the 10 existing dedacorns, click here [ref] [http://www.businessinsider.com/startups-valued-at-more-than-10-billion-2015-2 [/ref].

Hectocorn: a (tech) company valued over 100 billion dollars.

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