how to build a unicorn startup

How to build a successful Unicorn Startup

What’s hot out there? Startup culture, founding a startup became a kind of social status and people like to have titles such as entrepreneur, founder, co-founder, tech guy etc… however, the big question arises when some startups shut the doors faster than they opened and the global average stands at staggering 90% startups fail and only 10% were able to reach the “successful startup” status.

Related: Startup statistics – Some Interesting numbers about startups

We have dealt with lots of startup statistics, the reason for failure etc., however, out of 10% of successful startups, only very few startups achieve the unicorn status, what makes them special, let’s look at some key elements of building a successful unicorn startup.

What is a Unicorn Startup?

Unicorn is a mythical animal, in 2013, venture capitalist Aileen Lee coined the term Unicorn startup to represent the very successful startups in the industry, to achieve the unicorn status, the startup must achieve a valuation of USD 1 billion, according to recent survey there are over 280 companies achieved the unicorn startup status and Toutiao (Bytedance) is the highest valued unicorn followed by UBER. Actually, they entered into the decacorn club (Over USD 10 Billion in valuation). Source –

unicorn startup

Ranking of highest valued unicorn companies worldwide 2019 – Source

What it takes to build a successful unicorn startup

There are lots of reasons and key elements can be listed and we are not going to deal with all that, instead, here are the very common elements of all unicorn startups.

The startup solves a problem faced by lots of people

unicorn startup

Solve a real problem that many people experience on a daily basis, this was the reason behind the success of uber, lyft and grab, all these companies are valued more than USD 10 Billion and that’s because they solve a real problem and that problem continues every day.

The Startup disrupts the industry

Just observe the top unicorn startups and you’ll find the most common characteristic, which is the disruptive idea, UBER, Airbnb and all the unicorns have disrupted the industry in an innovative way.

Related: Sri Lankans, Are we disruptive enough?

The team is rock solid

unicorn startup

The startup idea can be a spark of one bright mind, turning the idea to reality is the real challenge and a successful startup needs a rock-solid team to be on the forefront, there are ample startups closed their doors due to inefficient team, your startup needs to grow fast and that is what investor want, your team want and stakeholders want, it is literally impossible to achieve alone and that’s where the importance of the solid team plays the key role.

The startup is technology based

unicorn startup

According to business insider, most number of the unicorn startups boasts technology as their superpower, 87% of the products of unicorn startups are software, only 7% is hardware and 6% is products and services, so the technology enables the unicorn to grow 24 x 7.

The startup business model is global

unicorn startup

If you analyze closely, most of the unicorn startups are easily expandable to all continents, those ideas and business models are not cultural nor depends on one set of people, it’s a global business idea and applicable for all the population out there.

This article is not to discourage any entrepreneurs who are looking to launch their startup, and it doesn’t mean that your idea is not going to win, it’s just a supportive information to build a billion dollar startup, summing it up, you should focus on a solution for many peoples problem, with a rock solid team, with a disruptive business model, amazing technology and global scalability to achieve the unicorn status.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *