Unicorn Startups List: Inspiration For All the Entrepreneurs

Every entrepreneur dreams of making it to the list of unicorn startups one day. These unicorn startups were once started by one or two people in a garage or a home. Through years of hardwork and struggles, they managed to build a business recognised as a unicorn by the whole world.

Stories of startups like these inspire me to wake up with a positive attitude and work towards my own business.

What are Unicorn startups?

Unicorn startups list

Have you ever wondered why are they called unicorn startups? I’ll tell you why.

The term unicorn was used initially to to lay emphasis on the rarity of such startups.

In the venture capital industry, the term unicorn refers to any startup that reaches the valuation of $1 billion. In addition to this, only a privately held startup can be a unicorn.

Major characteristics of the list of these unicorn startups include:

  • Breakthrough innovation
  • Unique ideas
  • Consumer focused product/service
  • Amazing new technology
  • Making it easier

As of August 2021, there are more than 800 unicorns around the world. Popular former unicorns include Airbnb, Facebook and Google. Variants include a decacorn, valued at over $10 billion, and a hectocorn, valued at over $100 billion.

In India 14 startups have already made it to the unicorn list in the first six months of 2021.

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Top 10 in Unicorn Startups List 2021

1. ByteDance

ByteDance is a Chinese company which joined the list of unicorn startups in April, 2017.

Valuation: $140 B

Country/City: China/ Beijing

Industry: Artificial intelligence

Investors: Sequoia Capital China, SIG Asia Investments, Sina Weibo, Softbank Group

The company offers content platforms that enable people to enjoy content powered by AI technology. It operates a dozen products accessible all over the world including TikTok, Vigo, Toutiao, TopBuzz and more.

2. Stripe

Stripe is US based company which joined the list of unicorn startups in January, 2014.

Valuation: $95 B

Country/City: United States/ San Francisco

Industry: Fintech

Investors: Khosla Ventures, LowercaseCapital, capitalG

Stripe is a technology company that builds economic infrastructure for the internet. The company offers an online-based, payment processing platform that gives online merchants the ability to securely accept credit card payments through the use of custom-built forms.

3. SpaceX

SpaceX is again a US based startup which joined the list of unicorn startups in December, 2012.

Valuation: $74 B

Country/City: United States/ Hawthorne

Industry: other

Investors: Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Rothenberg Ventures

SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. SpaceX also develops a low latency, broadband internet system to meet the needs of consumers across the globe, also known as Starlink.

4. Klarna

Klarna is a Swedish startup and became a unicorn in December, 2011.

Valuation: $45.6 B

Country/City: Sweden/ Stockholm

Industry: Fintech

Investors: Institutional Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, General Atlantic

Klarna offers safe and easy-to-use payment solutions to e-stores. The concept of Klarna’s is after-delivery payment, allowing buyers to receive ordered goods before any payment is due. At the same time, Klarna assumes all credit and fraud risks for e-stores.

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5. InstaCart

A US based startup became a unicorn in December, 2014.

Valuation: $39 B

Country/City: United States/ San Francisco

Industry: Supply chain, logistics, & delivery

Investors: Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Collaborative Fund

Instacart is a mobile app that allows users to shop for groceries directly from a phone. Instacart can deliver groceries from multiple local stores within an hour and turns out to be less expensive for consumers than a time-consuming trip to the grocery market.

Instacart utilizes a crowdsourced model of Personal Shoppers who provide their own transportation and smartphones to shop and deliver groceries to customers.

6. Revolut

Revolut is a UK born startup joined the list of unicorn startups in April,2018.

Valuation: $33 B

Country/City: United Kingdom/ London

Industry: Fintech

Investors: index Ventures, DST Global, Ribbit Capital

Revolut offers a personal money cloud, cutting hidden banking fees to zero. It allows users to exchange currencies at perfect interbank rates, send money through social networks and spend with a multi-currency card everywhere MasterCard is accepted. All this is done at the touch of a button through a mobile app. The company’s goal is to completely remove all hidden banking costs.

7. Nubank

A Brazilian startup joined the other unicorn startups in March, 2018.

Valuation: $30 B

Country/City: Brazil/ Sau Paulo

Industry: Fintech

Investors: Sequoia Capital, Redpoint, Kaszek Ventures

Nubank is a technology-driven financial services startup. Nubank works to redefine the standard in financial services in Brazil by offering a no-fee credit card that is managed through a mobile app, as well as a digital account (NuConta).

8. Epic Games

Yet again, a US based startup and became a unicorn in October, 2018.

Valuation: $ 28.7 B

Country/City: United States/ Cary

Industry: Other

Investors: Tencent Holdings, KKR, Smash Ventures

Epic Games is a video game development company popularly known for its successful Gears of War series of games, as well as its Unreal Engine technology. Its subsidiaries are Chair Entertainment, People Can Fly, and Titan Studios.

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9. Databricks

Databricks is US born startup and joined the other unicorn startups in May, 2019.

Valuation: $28 B

Country/City: United States/ San Francisco

Industry: Data management and Analytics

Investors: Andreessen Horowitz, New Enterprise Associates, Battery Ventures

Databricks provides a data platform that aims to simplify data integration and offers data analytic services.

10. Rivian

A US based startup, became a unicorn in September, 2019.

Valuation: $27.6 B

Country/City: United States/ Plymouth

Industry: Auto and transportation

Investors: Amazon, Ford Motor Company, Cox Automotive

Rivian develops an integrated portfolio of electric vehicles, technologies and services with a focus on developing an all-electric pickup truck.

Do you want your startup to join this list, start working towards it right now!