Unicorn companies are a new phenomenon in the business community. Venture capitalist Aileen Lee dubbed companies as Unicorns as startup companies that are a privately held startup company that also has a business valuation of over $1 billion dollars. These companies are so rare throughout the world, hence the name “unicorns”. There are currently just over 400 unicorn companies across the globe with 178 of those companies located within the United States. Think that you now all the hot startup companies worth more than a billion dollars?
Think again! Some Unicorn companies you’ve probably heard of. Companies like Uber, Twitter, Reddit and Airbnb. Other companies like Robinhood, Roblox, Ibotta are less well known to most people.
McGuffin Creative Group recently surveyed 4,000 consumers to try and determine which unicorn companies consumers are most familiar with and which ones are flying under the radar. The goal of this survey was to explore the relationship between valuation of these companies and brand awareness among consumers. The data in this analysis looks strictly at US-based business-to-consumer unicorn companies.
They analysis by McGuffin Creative Group is broken down into three distinct sections. The first section looks at the 25 best-known unicorns which was measured by consumer awareness levels. The second section compares the value of a brand private valuation vs overall consumer awareness. The third and final part of the analysis looks at the fastest growing unicorn companies. Growth in this exercise is measured by the value added per day since a company joined the unicorn list.
Let’s take a look at what they found in their recently analysis.
The most well-known unicorn brandsBelow is the full list of the most well-known unicorn brands:
- Reddit (Reddit scored an 86% in terms of consumer awareness. This metric was essentially asking whether or not surveyed respondents were aware of this brand)
- Airbnb (Airbnb also scored an 86% in consumer awareness levels)
- Buzzfeed (Buzzfeed scored an 73% in consumer awareness levels)
- Credit Karma (71%)
- DoorDash (70%)
- Grammarly (58%)
- Ibotta (58%)
- Quora (54%)
- 23andMe (54%)
- Epic Games (49%)
- Postmates (46%)
- Instacart (42%)
- Letgo (39%)
- LegalZoom (38%)
- Wish (36%)
- JUUL Labs (36%)
- Robinhood (34%)
- OfferUp (33%)
- Roblox (31%)
- Squarespace (31%)
- GoodRx (31%)
- Discord (31%)
- Nextdoor (30%)
- Niantic (27%)
- Vox Media (27%)
Surely that list provided some well-known brands and some surprises for most consumers.
Value vs. awareness
One of the most interesting parts of this analysis looked at how the value of a company reflected consumer awareness of said brand. Most the companies on the list that had a higher valuation were also more well known among consumers. This really isn’t that surprising, however there were some outliers on the list. JUUL Labs is a great example of an outlier. There valuation is upwards of $50 billion dollars however they are still relatively unknown by most consumers. On the flip side a company like Airbnb is both valued high and known by over 90% of consumers. Then there’s companies like Buzzfeed, Reddit and Credit Karma that are all widely known by most consumers, however each has a valuation of just under $10 billion dollars.
The fastest growing unicorn companies
The last part of the analysis looked at which unicorn companies are growing the fastest. Many of these brands experienced even more growth once they were named to the Unicorn list as they are attractive to potential investors. Brands like JUUL Labs, Epic Games (makers of the popular video game fortnite), Scopely, DoorDash and Airbnb top the list of the fastest growing unicorn companies. To say their growth has happened rapidly would be an understatement. Take JUUL Labs who has grown by almost $70 million each and every day since it’s addition to the unicorn list. Epic Games has seen a high rate of growth as well topping nearly $35 million in growth daily. Even some of the companies at the bottom of the list like Vice Media, LegalZoom and Machine Zone have seen growth numbers of over $2 million dollars per day.
The full analysis from McGuffin Creative Group, can be seen in the graphics below.