Overall, Unicorn companies may have grown faster and more prominent than one could imagine in 2013. Even decacorns and narwhales have made it into the start-up scene, but their rarity and uniqueness haven't suffered from it. By keeping the 90’s mentality of getting big fast, these companies have succeeded in becoming moguls in the tech field. Along with their innovative ideas and use of technology, they have made platforms and products that are unique to say the least. So, keep your eyes and ears wide open, because a Unicorn may be closer than you think and I've you already found one share the news with the hashtag #hiddenunicorn2017 or comment on this post by sharing it.

Hidden Unicorns - Top Companies you must know

originally posted on: MEDIUM.com‍‍‍

A fairy-tale come true, the unicorn. This mythical and endangered creature symbolizes rarity and uniqueness. Named by Aileen Lee,

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The Hidden Unicorn Champions of the Unicorn league

Trends like sharing economy, e-commerce, and disruptive technology products have driven the largest Unicorns to the top of the list. Everybody knows Uber, the #1 Unicorn, currently valued at 68.0 billion dollar that allows people to share their car as a public transportation service but there are more giants on the rise that you should know about.

Since 2013 there was a shift towards Chinese companies that are catching up with their North American colleagues, but also Canada and Germany have some hidden Unicorns that might be able to steal the show from their big brothers.‍‍‍

‍‍‍Top Unicorns 2017 to read more about it click on th‍‍‍e picture

The Evolution of the Unicorn

Being one of 39 members in 2013, you could have considered a unicorn rare and unique.  However, looking at the latest numbers, there is no need to worry about unicorn extinction anymore with the exclusive club being made up of 169 members.  

During the formation of the Billion-Dollar Club in 2013, only American tech start-ups were considered to be a unicorn. Being the Top 0.7% of the American consumer and software start-ups, they paved the way for more Unicorns to come.

In 2014, the number of Unicorns increased to 45 members, including Europe and Asia as additional countries that birthed Unicorn companies. China's JD.com was leading the field with a valuation of 11.7 billion dollars, followed by Xiaomi (another Chinese company) and Dropbox, each a valuation of 10 billion dollars.

Already in early 2015, the number of members doubled to 106 companies. With Xiami at the top with a valuation of 46 billion dollars, Uber rose from nowhere to 41.2 billion dollars and taking the second place on the exclusive list of billion dollar companies.

While China dominated the top 5 in the first years, in 2016 the US took the lead through their fast-growing Unicorns like Uber, Airbnb, and Palantir. The total number of Unicorns increased again to 150 members.‍‍‍

Right now, in the current 169 members, Uber is facing its biggest Chinese competitor Didi Chuxing among the top 5 Unicorns. And another Unicorn has made it to the top five, Space X.‍‍‍

These companies are shaping the tech world with their disruptive business ideas and forming new possibilities for other start-ups in the market. While Uber, Xiaomi, and Airbnb are one of the most common Unicorns, more companies are worth taking a look at.‍‍‍

What is feeding the Unicorns?

By looking at its History, a simple question might pop up:

Why is there such a rapid growth in the Unicorn Club, even more than only four years ago?

The reason is, Unicorns nowadays, are backed up by a bull market and new generation of disruptive technology, as stated in the fortune.

While in 2013, three to four Unicorns were born a year, the numb‍‍‍er of them has increased to 10 per year. Still, a study of the visual capitalist states that the average time until a unicorn hits the 1b mark is six years. Which is a significant number considering that 90% of all start-ups fail.

But in the end, the standard start-up mantra "Get big, fast", which dominates the scene since the 90s, drives most start-ups and VCs to follow the GBF-strategy.‍‍‍



The grocery industry has never been more promising. Combining the convenience of online shopping and the joy of cooking, Hello Fresh formed a unique experience of meal delivery and disrupted the food supply chain through high data-driven platforms. ‍‍‍By w‍‍‍orking together with local brands, the company delivers meal kits to their customer's porch. Founded in Berlin, our last Unicorn operates in more than eight countries by now and is defending their position among competitors like Blue Apron and Plated. Still, the future of HelloFresh looks promising due to the latest trends in the grocery industry and tech industry marriages, e.g., Wholefoods x Amazon.com.  


Started by a young University of Waterloo Student, Kik is competing successfully as a messenger app amongst others such as WhatsApp and Snapchat. With more than 200 million registered users, by integrating popular music streaming platforms like Soundcloud, and allowing their user to register without a phone number, Kik found their unique selling proposition.Currently, the Unicorn is highly involved in direct marketing – by giving firms like MTV, Buzzfeed, and Spotify a platform to directly communicate with their target audience. Kik may have found their boost to rise even faster.


Another Chinese giant, pardon Unicorn, on the rise is DJI. Founded by Frank Whang DJI is the leader in commercial drones and aerial filming or photography. By developing cutting-edge drones for both the consumer and professional market, they dominate the market with a share of 70%. Claiming creativity and R&D as the core of DJI, they have built up an empire of creators, prosumers, and fans. Even‍‍‍ the drone industry is shaped by DJI. They set standards for safety through their no-fly zone software which prohibits the start of drones in areas which may cause security concerns.


‍‍‍Consider Xiaomi, a smartphone brand that is among the top 5 Unicorns with a valuation of 46.0 billion dollars. The brand has risen to Chinas largest sma‍‍‍rtphone vendor in only four years.Selling phones, tablets, and tech accessories with incredibly strong hardware for a bargain is their strong suit. Their current flagship product, the Mi Mix 2, out beats the iPhone X in battery life, size, and weight altogether.By launching every few months, they're continuously enlarging their portfolio.