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Hello and welcome to a lightweight series I’m writing while I recapture my footing at TechCrunch. It’s lovely to be back, and I’m excited to chat about what’s going on with private companies, public markets and the space between the two.
I wonder what the average revenue (trailing, say) of a unicorn is today, and if that figure is higher or lower than it was a year ago, or three years ago.
Lot - Wiggle - Room - Question - Hand
There’s a lot of wiggle room in the question; on one hand, the average age of a unicorn has likely gone up as there are far more born over time than exist in the cohort. At the same time, I’d guess that as unicorn creation accelerates, it leads to companies with less revenue than before making the cut. How does it shake out?
I have an email address now (email@example.com), so let me know what you think. Best answer gets a free Diet Coke.
Today - Revenue - Demarcator
Now, to work. Today we’re chatting about a revenue threshold that’s a pretty good demarcator for what a unicorn should be; rare, valuable, and fundamentally desirable.
Back when the unicorn phrase was coined (here at TechCruch.com, recall) six years ago, it excluded a collection of startups that were special in their own right. Private companies worth $1 billion were rare enough then to deserve their own moniker, an aspirational label that quickly became uncomfortably normal as companies held off on launching IPOs and venture capitalists raised ever-larger funds.
Years - Augmented-reality - Shop - Magic - Leap
In recent years, as troubled augmented-reality shop Magic Leap showed with its high valuation and vanishingly small revenues, some startups have earned the unicorn tag without having a business at all.
Firms with valuations that their revenues can’t back are in similar straits. In the post WeWork era, some unicorns are starting to look a bit...
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