As the saying goes, a unicorn company can't be built in a day. Much like the rest of the entrepreneurial process, success takes time and hard work, and there are no shortcuts to accelerate it. You'll need to make small, achievable goals along the way, leading to networking opportunities, product development, and, perhaps most importantly, meaningful funding rounds. And if you want to find out what unicorn companies around the world did based on their incoming capital, we've got the perfect chart for you.
Thanks to data from UpCounsel, understanding the funding rounds of the world's 100 most valuable unicorn companies is easier than ever. With the interactive chart below, you can see who raised what and when, allowing you to understand that building towards a one billion dollar company takes more than a few good funding rounds. However, it's become a bit of a regular occurrence in the business world, so much so that a new name has become popular for companies valued at $10 billion: the decacorn. And that means, the more you know, the better you'll do.
“Funding private companies considered to be unicorns requires more math and analysis than mystics or fairy dust to jettison a business to the top,” wrote the authors of the study. “Allowing other companies or venture capitalist firms to invest in a startup – or even an established business – happens in rounds.”
While value was barely taken into account in this chart, there were a number of important takeaways to consider when it came to this data. For one, funding rounds shouldn't be too far apart. While Hulu was able to wait an average of 90 months between funding rounds, most successful companies on the list didn't wait more than 20, most notably Uber, the infamous king of the unicorns. Similarly, companies rarely raised more than 10 funding rounds, save DocuSign, who racked up a staggering 25, which really extended the chart.
Click here to visit the original chart with data on who had funding rounds when, which states were the most popular for unicorns and a more in-depth look at the companies at the top. Below, you'll find the top 10 unicorn startups:
The king of the unicorns went through 16 funding rounds with no more than 20 months in between any of them.
Ant Financial Services Group
This lesser known company went through only 3 funding rounds with no more than 10 months in between any of them.
This Chinese ride-sharing company went through 8 funding rounds with no more than 11 months in between any of them.
The Chinese electronics company went through 6 funding rounds with no more than 16 months in between any of them.
The popular, albeit legally controversial, hospitality marketplace company went through 11 funding rounds with no more than 27 months in between any of them.
This American software company went through 17 funding rounds with no more than 15 months in between any of them.
This online Internet finance marketplace company, based in China, has only 2 funding rounds with no more than 9 months between them.
The Chinese mobile internet company went through 8 funding rounds with no more than 34 months in between any of them.
This coworking space has gone through 10 funding rounds with no more than 14 months in between any of them.
The company famous for developing self-landing rockets, founded by Elon Musk, went through 7 funding rounds with no more than 29 months in between any of them.