Half of the 229 unicorn start-ups found in California, $175B in funding, $1.3T valuation, bubble highly unlikely

By Staff Writer

Jan 19, 2016 05:36 AM EST

Tech Unicorns are start-ups that develop products that are almost unimaginable with valuations that do not go below $1 billion and are preparing to go on an IPO. There are rumors and increasing fear that this industry is headed for a bubble, just like the subprime mortgages in 2008 and the dot.com in the early 2000s. However, there are reports that contend this forecast, calling it exaggerated and untrue.

Venture Beat reported that there are now 208 unicorns and 21 decacorns, which is a term used for a company that has reached a total of over $10 billion in valuation. The report dismissed the idea of the unicorn's impending demise, stating that it is somewhat exaggerated.

Half of these unicorns are found in California, 98 of them are in consumer space. Etsy and Alibaba are the most popular ones in the retail industry. The other 112 are in the enterprise technology infrastructure like cleantech, healthtech, fintech, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Spoke CEO Phillipe Cases said, "Unicorns are everywhere across the technology landscape."

On the matters of the possibility of a bubble, Jessi Hempel, a senior writer at Wired, told Forbes, "Yes, there might be a bubble. Or there might not be a bubble. If there is a bubble, it's likely in late stage funding, the kind of money that is propelling the unicorns to their multi-billion-dollar valuations. And the Fed interest rate hike could cause the mutual funds and hedge funds fueling those investments to pull back, which would cause some of those valuations to dip. But no one can say for sure until it happens."

The Guardian gave a list of some of the most popular unicorns that are making waves in the industry. Britain-based Fintech's TransferWise is a revolutionary foreign exchange market software that could turn into a worldwide hit. Another is the restaurant delivery and payment platform called Deliveroo. Furniture matching platform Made.com is another unicorn to watch out for. Farfetch, CityMapper, Nuzzel, and Jaunt VR are also included in The Guardian's list of unicorns to watch out for.

Virtual Reality, autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, and wearable technologies are some of the technological advancements that these unicorns are trying to develop. Some of the biggest success in the last several years is in software. Apple's "there's an app for that" slogan has now become a truism.

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