Billion-dollar startups are often considered as unicorns – and rightfully so, since they are extremely rare. But as the entrepreneurial trend has caught up with the world over the past few years, startups are flourishing and these billion-dollar unicorn companies are becoming more plentiful.
2017 started off on a great foot for companies like Airbnb which raised $1 billion in its funding round whereas WeWorks closed a $3-billion funding round. Uber and Snapchat are also rolling in billions of dollars – but what about startups that may have slipped under your radar?
According to PitchBook, the venture capital industry poured in more investment money in new startups in 2017 than the previous year. Here are a few of these unicorn startups with a valuation of $1 billion or more. How many of them can you recognize?
Founder: Nate Morris (CEO); Valuation: $1 billion; Lead Investors: Promecap, Leonardo DiCaprio and Goldman Sachs
What it does: Rubicon Global is a cloud-based platform that is built around the idea of preserving the environment and providing a sustainable method of recycling waste. The company works with its clients to find the most innovate and cost-saving method to reduce and recycle waste.
It was first built as a simple mobile app that provided trash pick-up service on demand but later turned into a billion-dollar project that has received backing from the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio.
Symphony Communication Services
Founder: David Gurlé(CEO); Valuation: $1 billion; Lead Investors: Google, Goldman Sachs and BNP Paribas
What it does: Symphony Communication Services is a cloud-based messaging platform that lets different financial institutions exchange and organize digital information while maintaining the privacy of their content. This startup has the backing of huge companies like Google and Goldman Sachs.
Founder: Michael E. Marks (Chairman); Valuation: $1 billion; Lead Investors: Khosla Ventures, Foxconn Technology Company and Moore Capital Management
What it does: Katerra is a platform that provides comprehensive solution to the construction industry. Some of its services include customer service, supply chain, logistics and product design. The company’s headquarters are based in California but since 2015, it has seen tremendous success, expanding to other parts of the world including Shenzhen, China.
Founder: Eric S. Yuan; Valuation: $1 billion; Lead Investors: Qualcomm Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Emergence Capital Partners
What it does: This California-based firm sells a comprehensive communication software using cloud computing to provide a variety of remote conferencing services including online meetings, collaborations and video conferences.
Founder: Ric Fulop (CEO); Valuation: $1.02 billion; Lead Investors: BMW, Google Australian Future Fund, Data Collective
What it does: 3D metal printing is a relatively new technology and even though Desktop metal isn’t the first one to bring it to the market, the company has made the process of designing and printing 3D metal more efficient. Desktop Metal’s machines are capable of printing metal at a rate that is at least 100 times faster than other companies on the market.
The company’s innovative technology drew in an investment of $97 million from companies like Google, BMW and Data collective in the first round of equity raise. The company has now grown to a valuation of $1.02 billion.
Founder: George Kurtz (CEO); Valuation: $1.05 Billion; Lead Investors: capital, Warbug Pincus, Accel Partners
What it does: This California-based cybersecurity company is a subsidiary of CrowdStrike Holdings and operates in over 170 countries to provide protection against cyber-attacks by providing threat intelligence, endpoint security and incident response service to high-profile clients such as Sony Pictures and well as the Democratic National Committee.
Founder: Peter Beck (CEO, CTO); Valuation: $1.10 billion; Lead Investors: Khosla Ventures, Lockheed Martin and Bessemer Venture Partners
What it does: Rocket Lab is an aerospace manufacturing company which develops commercial rocket launch services that are cost effective and lightweight.
Founder: Dug Song (CEO); Valuation: $1.17 billion; Lead Investors: Lead Edge Capital, Meritech Capital and Benchmark
What it does: Duo security provides password protection and management system for corporate networks and protects devices against viruses.
Founder: Steve Huffman (CEO); Valuation: $1.80 billion; Lead Investors: Y Combinator, Coatue Management, Sequoia Capital
What it does: This social news and discussion website, which was founded in 2005 by two college students Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, receives over 500 million viewers every month and ranks at fourth place on the list of America’s most visited websites.
Founder: Brian Armstrong (CEO); Valuation: $1.60 billion; Lead Investors: Y Combinator, DFJ Growth and Union Square Ventures
What it does: Year 2017 has seen the growth of fintech and the cryptocurrency boom has benefited companies like Coinbase which is an online exchange platform for digital currencies including bitcoin and other altcoins.